Susan Morrison: Parental pride comes before the P6 fall

It's the first day of school for five-year-olds Linda Cormack and John Boyle at Preston Primary in 1966
It's the first day of school for five-year-olds Linda Cormack and John Boyle at Preston Primary in 1966
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One of the side-effects of turning into a batty old dame is that my Facebook page is flooded with images of my friends children in shiny new uniforms ready for their first day at school. It doesn’t seem that long ago that my kids were ready to rock the educational establishment in the regulation uniforms and out-sized smiles.

That first day is such an adventure. Each one is a picture of parental pride. Every hair ruthlessly brushed into place and every uniform smart and new. The shoes are shined and the eyes are bright. Of course, old hands like me know that the shine dulls and once you hit P6, the morning routine no longer includes photos of catwalk-ready child models.

What's not to love about jousting? Picture: Ian Georgeson

What's not to love about jousting? Picture: Ian Georgeson

Well, by that point there just isn’t time for the grooming required for that magazine front cover shoot. Around about the P4/5 mark, it’s a matter of up, out of bed, hammering the cereal down their throats, spitting on a hanky to wash their faces and hoping no-one gets close enough to sniff the gym kit.

As an aside, it was always a mystery to me why the Boy’s alma mater insisted on a gym kit which was apparently made from highly flammable nylon that reeked like six-day road kill after one wearing.

For someone who is a fully paid-up member of the Awkward Squad, I surprise myself by being in favour of school uniforms.

For one thing, it keeps the demands for designer duds at bay. Children’s clothes can be as stupidly expensive as the adult variety.

A kid’s party recently left my eyebrows firmly wedged in my hairline when one young mum, who I had previously thought to be a sensible gal, told me her daughter’s ensemble cost more than my weekly shop that week. She giggled slightly when she told me that her seven-year-old would only wear “labels”. I laughed and said, mine too, only our labels said “Wash at 40 degrees”.

Uniforms take the hassle out of what to wear in the morning. You can save that for the adult world. Many an office worker’s day starts with the agonising decision time in front of the wardrobe. I think it’s why men like suits. Problem solved immediately.

But all that lies in future. For now, these new school kids look like Scotland’s rosy future, bright-eyed, clever and full of sugary cereal.

A sport that gets right to the point

Busy last weekend, working in Kinross at a new festival for Mary, Queen of Scots. She’s not my favourite monarch, not by a long shot, by any celebration of Scotland’s history is good in my book.

Mary loved a bit of a joust, so we had jousting. Why do we not bring that back? What is not to love? Two big blokes in metal racing at one another on horseback waving big pointy sticks at each other? Bring it on. Animal welfare is it? Fine, stick them on the roof of a Mini. Us folks in the cheap seats would have a ball.

It could overtake football, although I understand our national team just won two games in a row. Possibly the only time in history fans have been stunned into celebration.

Just when you thought it was safe to relax...

There’s that moment in horror films when you think the baddie is dead. Perhaps drowned in a bath. Whacked over the head with a shovel. Crushed by a massive metal crushing thing in a steel mill. And then, suddenly, just as the hero is about to move in for the big slobbery kiss with the lady-lead, the red eyes light up in the Terminator’s skull, the monster leaps from the bath or the hand shoots out of the ground. The baddie is back and battle is on.

Well, lookee here. The trams have just had their baddie moment. Just when we had all stopped talking about them, got used to them gliding about the city, and pretty much ignoring them when the drivers ting their bells at us when they are about 15 minutes away, hey presto, suddenly they are back at the top spot for on-bus conversations and taxi driver chat.

Who signed what, when and where? How much in the end? Enough probably to have funded Scotland’s very own haute couture fashion line, I reckon.

Oh go on, make tracks to Leith

AND will they come to Leith? It’s the question of the Kirkgate. On the one side, there are those who plan to man the barricades just about at Shrubhill. Well, at the very least, sign a petition.

And then on the other hand, there are those who say, you know what? At least the darned things would be of some use to us down here. I incline to the second option.

Shops and businesses took a bit of pounding during that first building phase, which was eventually abandoned. At least if they rethink, some good will come out of it. Let’s make peace with the baddie.