It has been far too long since the last HM blog, for which I can only offer my profound apologies. I was meaning to write one earlier in the holidays but the effects of the school ski trip, which took place immediately after the end of term, clearly played havoc with my memory.
Once again, the 21st edition of this annual event was a huge success but not exactly a rest cure – 66 adults, in the loosest sense of the word, and children descended on Les Bruyeres in the 3 Valleys for a week of skiing and afters. We arrived to find somewhat patchy snow lower down, only to awake the next morning to a winter wonderland and half a metre of fresh snow and sunshine – very lucky indeed for, as one of the locals told me, it was only the third ‘blue sky powder day’ of what had been a pretty poor season. I could write a good deal more about the week but, as the saying goes, ‘what goes on tour…..!
Reflecting on all that went on last term, undoubtedly the highlight was the school play, the first proper production in the new theatre. When Oliver Paterson told me that it was to be the Sweeney Todd, I told him he was mad as, even with my limited knowledge of the musical theatre scene, I knew that its dissonant (I looked it up!) music and quite complex plot would be a real challenge. It undoubtedly was and, as with all school plays, there is never quite enough rehearsal times and then they are always compromised by crucial cast members not being available for a variety of reasons. However, with Harry Knight and Tom Martin superb in the lead roles, but equally so the supporting cast and chorus, it was of an extraordinarily high standard and a production of which the school can be enormously proud. I am sure that the Juniors and 3rd Form, whose turn it is this term, will have taken great inspiration from it.
Back to the forthcoming term, and the boys will arrive back to find a number of further improvements that have taken place over the holidays. The Junior End has been redecorated, long overdue, and the green common room has been split in to two, with one half becoming a small dormitory and the other half remaining as a tv room, but redecorated and refurbished in a nautical theme with a pair of oars on the wall – I am not quite sure why but it looks great! However, best of all is the new Gents which has replaced the simply awful facility that has been there since 1934 – with sensor lighting and all the necessary bells and whistles, it will afford a high degree of comfort to any visitor, indeed they will be actively encouraged to go!
As always, the summer calendar looks unbelievably full and there is much to look forward to, especially for the leavers once the small matter of Common Entrance is over. With the sun blazing down outside, let’s hope that this is a portent for things to come and we can all enjoy another successful and happy term.
Finally, I note that the first Sunday activity of term is Zorb Football – apparently it is increasingly popular at stag parties, so it is good to see that we are preparing the boys for the important things in life!