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Wednesday, January 17, 2007

A Little Break!




We went to a family wedding some time ago. There was a happy and cheerful piper who piped the bride into the chamber in the castle and then piped the happily married couple back into the car. The piper also piped during the photographs.


He piped the couple into the reception hall, piped the cutting of the cake and piped the couple leaving.


The piper, bless him, was not allowed to pipe for us to dance the Gay Gordons and less well known reels like `The Wind on Loch Fyne’. It was not in his contract.


You do need to know about pipers because every child who passes the eleven plus examinations has the opportunity of having a party with their own piper.


You are all aware that you, and other parents, have been casting around trying to work out what to do with their now restive eleven year olds. The great majority of the eleven plus examinations are over. Perhaps a little weekend break is due.


You can only be preoccupied with the standardised scores, a mere 92% on an Eleven Plus paper, and the unfairness of the eleven plus system for so long. Rumours about hard papers and questions will only occupy your thoughts for brief periods before your natural resilience takes over.


There is a limited amount of time that you need to rehearse your speech to the appeal panel. I mean what can you say? Was it the type of questions in the test? Your child’s ability to make use of opportunities at school and at home? Was it illness? A reading problem, a mathematics phobia, nerves or even ordinary bad luck?


This is why we need a piper at some time in our lives. The piper makes us think of brave men putting their bodies on the line. We have all seen pictures of lone men standing on a hillside while the rest of the regiment `go over the top’.


Confide your deepest fears to your best friend. Maintain a cheerful fa├žade to your eleven plus candidate. Contemplate taking up Scottish Dancing as an antidote to your occasional blues. Best of organise a blissful weekend in Scotland for the whole family. Go as far as possible from books, papers, telephones and all the impedimenta of every day living. Relish your family and your time with them.

Please, please find a piper because `He who pays the piper calls the tune!’ Remember that this proverb means that if you pay for something you will be able to exercise authority over the events.

So if you pay for the holiday surely the rest of the family can respect your wishes and give you a well deserved rest?

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