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    Cutting Edge: Fables from the Stables 18-11-19
    Michael Yan Hip

    ‘The cutting edge’

    Where to begin, well let’s start by apologising for taking so long to put together another one of these little ditties. So much has happened over the last 12 weeks, and with staff retiring and moving on, our manpower was reduced by 40% during September and October, ‘Fables from the stables’ had to be put on the back burner. On a positive note, there is a lot to fit into this instalment!

    As just mentioned, we recently lost two valuable members of staff - John retired after 15 years of service and Stevie who decided to change career and join the fire service. I’m sure it won’t be long until he is returning in his big red machine when one of the boarding houses burns the toast or bacon! Although it is sad when staff move on, it is always good to bring in fresh blood and we have been fortunate to secure the services of two great replacements, pictured below.

    grounds Blair
    grounds Alistair

    Blair who joins us from the ‘Oriam’ with a plethora of experience, and Alasdair, the nephew of the ‘Great’ Willie Morton of Watson's fame, bringing an energy and a pedigree befitting of the family name.

    Whilst we waited for the new starts to arrive, it was full steam ahead with the start of term and ensuring that the campus was kept in the condition to which the school has become accustomed. With the rugby season in full flow from the day after the start of term it has been a very busy time for the three of us that were left - fortunately we managed (just about)!

    Probably the highlight so far of this term was the rugby festival where we hosted schools from Scotland, England, as well as Northern Ireland over the middle weekend of the half term holiday. Unfortunately, an inordinate amount of rain fell on Friday night through to Saturday morning, circa 38mm, rendering the whole place flooded. Sadly, this led to the cancellation of the festival on the Saturday, however the rain did abate sufficiently and with the ability of our pitches to dry relatively quickly, this allowed us to play some rugby on the Saturday afternoon which entertained some of our visitors. To be fair had done significant work (including verti-draining) to the pitches leading up the to the weekend, which enabled us to cope with the weather so well.

    The Sunday, we woke to clear skies and the majority of the water drained away, so with an earlier than scheduled start, a full day’s rugby ensued. Congratulations to Watson's on their win, but do I think that rugby and the school was the winner that weekend with so many boys and visitors to the school showing what we can do and do best. Here is a picture of the Sunday evening ironically with the sun out and beautiful blue skies!

    grounds sunset

    The Grounds staff helped enhance the school’s annual remembrance celebrations by adding our own made poppy to the first XV pitch, sitting above the school crest. We also created the memorial garden in the small island at the front of the school, both shown in the photos below.

    remembrance garden

    Well last, but by no means least, whilst all this was going on, the Grounds team had been nominated, then shortlisted to the final of the IOG Independent Grounds Team of the year and lo and behold we only won the thing! What an achievement, 8 years of dedicated work with a vision to bring the best we possibly could to Merchiston to the boys of today and the future. Here is a picture of the successful team who have deservedly won this award. READYAYEREADY.

    ground swining team

    Well on that joyous note that’s all for now, we’ll hopefully have a pre-Christmas edition of this blog to help bring the joys of the season to you all.