Heading home back to Edinburgh from Freiburg after an all too short stay with Kris @ UWCRBC;
[car -> train -> bus 1 -> bus 2 – > plane -> tram -> walk]
Saturday 12/9: to AGM of Bipolar Scotland; sobering to come 5th out of 5 candidates to join the Board. Bought 20 fundraising tins to sit in shops / bars – won’t raise much – but given their financial crisis at the moment, every penny helps.
Then to Kirkmichael to show Turtles can Fly as part of Secret Cinema. Proved concept of showing films in Pine Trees Lodge was sound, even if only Miles joined me in watching the film.
Not every day Kirkmichael gets listed alongside London, Tokyo …
Bed @ Beinno, Glenderby, Perthshire
[walk -> train -> walk || walk -> train -> bus -> bus -> car]
Sunday 13/9: travel day – but took the opportunity to upgrade my salesman’s clothes in Perth.
struggled to find somewhere to eat in Kendal late on a sunday evening – never thought i’d be so keen to eat in Witherspoons
Bed @ Lindsay’s, Kendal
[car -> bus -> train x 3 -. walk]
Monday 14/9: walk up and around local fells just outside Kendal, followed by lazy morning. underestimated the time to the bus took to get down to Lancaster so only just made my appointment at Lancaster Royal Grammar School.
Great to catch up with so many ex-colleagues in their nice new staff room.
Positive talk with Alumni team – which lead to the idea that all UK State Schools should be offered the UWCGO Connect App for free.
Then on to Oxford to meetup with Jonathan Thorne – old sixth form school buddy – we hadn’t seen each other for 39 years! Nice meal at ye old english country pub.
Bed: Jonathan’s off Abingdon Rd. Oxford
[walk -.> bus -> walk || walk -> train x 3 -> car]
Tuesday 15/9: Manic Tuesday – the only word for it. 4 visits in one day!
9am @ Worcester College – to meet another school pal – we were at primary school together, Jonathan Forrest – he is now the Bursar. Nice tour of the grounds, coffee in the fellows lounge, followed by a further pitch of the App to their development director
11am @ Magdalen College School – my own school. Much changed with lots of new buildings in the last 40 years. Given a tour around by Ruth – herself an AC ’74 grad.
12:30 @ Rhodes House – impressive building. Cecil Rhodes left his money for post-graduate scholarships from CommonWealth countries, and Germany to study at Oxford University. (Germany -‘cos he was friendly with the Kaiser). 6,400 Rhodes Scholars alive today. Fundraising to be able to award more – costs a £4 million to endow a single scholarship. They have recently built their own alumni platform using (i think) Higher Logic.
2:30pm @Headington School – where my mum, Lily, taught maths for 15 years. Matthew gave freely of his time and i think i learnt more from him about alumni platforms than he learnt about UWCGO – but he did agree to test out the idea of the app on his recent gradudates next time he was in contact with them. Meeting concluded with a humorous exchange:
“if you don’t mind me asking, why is your mother a Lady”
“because my father is a Sir”
“why is your father a Sir”
“shouldn’t you know the answer to that one – he is a patron of your school!”
4:30 Oxford Bus Station – just in time to catch the bus to cambridge – except it is full and i have to wait for the 5:30
Bed @ Iain’s luxurious penthouse
[car -> walk x 5 -> bus -> car]
Wednesday 16/9 Cold calls to Cambridge Union and Cambridge University Alumni Office didn’t prove fruitful except i acquired my CamCard – almost certainly one made by my cousin Andrew’s company.
Mike’s plane from Amsterdam delayed – so only Iain to join me in our meeting with Alumni Director, John, @ Churchill College. V friendly meeting – exchange of ideas, followed by v nice lunch in the Fellows’ dining room. Sat next to a couple of maths dons – one of whom claimed to recognise me by my voice.
Lift with Mike in hired car to LSE in London for UWC Forum. Interesting, but didn’t have enough time to mingle after the lecture. Nice to meet in person with Hanna who is developing Online UWC, and also Josie Hamper who is 13 years older than she was when i last saw her 13 years ago.
[walk -> car -> taxi -> bus]
No bed – overnight bus to edinburgh
Thursday 17/9 Flight from Edinburgh to Basel. Trains and bus to Villars – home of Aiglon College – where i taught and played with computers ’95 – ’98. This was my first visit back since.
Lovely pizza out with Lynn, Richard, Hilary, Berie, and Duncan – who was a little the worse after re-hydrating after his squash game. Nuff said. Amazing how quickly you can pick up friendships after such a long break.
Bed @ Hilary’s beautiful swiss chalet
Friday 18/9 Quick tour of Lynn’s lovely old chalet – 3 floors, one for each generation. Breakfast in school – with Nick – another ex-colleague. Brief discussion about raising a team for next May’s 3 Islands Peaks Race.
And so to morning meditation – right up there with the most powerful piece of theatre i have seen at any school around the world to start the school day.
Richard – Head – wasn’t on campus, but i spent a very fruit few hours talking with Math and IT staff – boy, how the IT game has changed since we put in that first network.
And i was most taken with the Math teacher who had ditched the Smart Board but was using a tablet linked to the projector – neat!
Good meeting with Seth about alumni and the UWCGO app.
Bus, trains to stay with Kris near Freiberg – didn’t help that i failed to get off at the train in Zurich. But european trains are so comfortable the extra time hardly mattered.
[car -> walk -> bus -> trains x 3 -> walk]
Bed @ Kris
Saturday 18/9 Lazy day being a tourist in Freiberg. Very pleasant bike ride into town – segragated bike lanes. Bought myself a Raspberry Pi.
Evening meal with some of Kris’s colleagues, including UWCRBC Head Laurene and his wife Debbie. Very pleasant social occasion – even if the sweet course was way to large!
[bike -> walk -> bike || bike x 2]
Bed @ Kris
Sunday 19/9 Brief walk around the village – all quiet on a sunday morning.
Afternoon bike ride to have a look around the college itself. Nice mixture of the old and the new – though the residences were a little cube like!
Lovely old orchard.
Evening conclude with a trip to local beer garden where our request for white beer and white coffee completely bamboozled the barmaid.
Bed @ Kris
Monday 20/9 Bike ride with a suitcase strapped on top of the rack behind the bike seat – a tad unstable.
Useful, but too short, two hours meeting with UWCRBC staff – particular pleased to meet Julien – the IT dept – UWCRBC are running the RCN W4 database system
School van to train station, train to Basel, buses to Basel airport and flight home to Edinburgh.
Home in time to meet up with UWC graduates attending Edinburgh University – climb Arthur’s Seat and then share a nice meal at the Mosque Kitchen. 25 of us in all.
woow – someone actually read this blog to the end!
enjoyable, memorable, tiring, inspiring