Virtual BYC Returns!

Simon Green
Aug 24 · 5 min read

Spooky Scotland. Football. Back to school.

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Spectacular Edinburgh

Hello everyone. I’m back from a couple of weeks annual leave (holiday). During this time I went to Scotland and was really impressed with their handling of the pandemic. All the places I visited were very organised and had made lots of changes to help make you feel safe.

I went on a very entertaining tour when I was there, called “City of the Dead”, where we (safely and with social distance!) explored the underground vaults in the city. Some spooky but very real stories were told. You may have heard of Burke and Hare the “famous” graverobbers or bodysnatchers or simply murderers. You’ve got to love a gruesome story, and this one is pretty gruesome, but especially terrifying when the story is told in an old vault, by candlelight! Anyway, I’ll let you find out about the Burke and Hare story for yourselves (they were selling bodies to medical researchers!), but there was one spooky side of the story that I will share with you. In the National Museum of Scotland you can find these.

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They are tiny dolls that some schoolboys found buried near Arthur’s Seat. Anyway, some people believe that these dolls were made by the wife of one of the murderers to represent each of the victims of their husband and his accomplice. Others believe they may be representative of sailors lost at sea. Either way, they would be TERRIFYING to find buried underground.

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Face coverings are seen more often there and people seem to have adapted to new ways of doing things. I felt very uncertain about travelling at this time but the trains and buses also felt safe and people were following the new rules very carefully. It wasn’t as enjoyable as usual but it didn’t feel too scary. I guess this is how things will be for a long while, so maybe it’s best to try and get used to it.

Like may of you I watched the Champions League final on Sunday evening. How very strange it was. Two enormously rich and powerful teams (PSG backed by the Qatari government, Bayern part owned by Adidas, Audi and Allinaz) battling it out for the ultimate European prize. So much to lose, these games are not always that exciting (not always!) and this was no exception. It failed to grab me and I can’t wait to get back to watching the Championship, just like all you Robins fans out there. With fans returning to level 6 (Clevedon!) this weekend, then maybe, just maybe, we might get to see some live football this season. Here’s hoping. Bristol City v Birmingham City in December is the dream.

I missed the chance to write about all the coverage of exam results and schools during the last couple of weeks. That was quite a story. A turnaround by the government in allowing teachers grades (CAGs) and the dilemma of whether to attend university or which course to take in 6th form. I do feel for young people who have been dealing with the complex changes of a global pandemic and then having to face the anxiety of not know whether tour results may have been altered by a computer. Strange times indeed. I’m sure that some of your older siblings would have been affected. I hope you’ve been nice to them during the last few days. Just remember, you have no idea what it will be like when it’s your turn!

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Many of you will be preoccupied with thoughts of returning to school and may remember that I was a geography teacher in another life. I still know a lot of teachers and if any of you are feeling worried about going back to school, then I can reassure you that many teachers are too. Also you can be confident that schools are doing all they can to make the new school experience as safe as possible. No doubt it will be strange for everyone for a good few days (or possibly weeks) but noone has experienced anything like this before and it will take time to adjust. Just make sure that you ask questions if you are worried about anything, and follow the advice from teachers and school staff.

The BBC have some great resources for going back to school

On this page there are some great tips and videos about surviving your first day back at school, “hacks” to help you at school and a fun interactive quiz or two. Remember young people in Scotland and some parts of England (Leicester, that I know of) are already back at school so you could find out what pupils in those areas think.

Look out for updates about the future of BYC, we’ll be making plans very soon! It will be really exciting, returning to the URC but I don’t want to get carried away and give you false hope. It will happen one day, we’re just not sure when yet!
Have a great last week off and enjoy the bank holiday weekend. I’m off camping,

See you soon,

Simon and Sadie.

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