Needy Children Nab Our Money

Mid-November came around again and with it a certain custard-coloured bear and the barrage of frivolous fancy-dressers who conga in his wake. The longstanding tradition of three days antics in the name of Pudsey was retained with the all the zeal of previous years and moneys requisitioned nobly for the cause.
Wednesday saw the tables bedecked with assorted baked goods, turning the traditional lunch/break queuing area into a thronging marketplace – where the custom could indulge in guilt-free gluttony. The buzz and bustle was interwoven with the folky textures of a busking Ceilidh band, giving spring to the step of passers-by and in some cases, the excuse to link arms and fling each other about in joyous abandon. Despite this some still found the time to launch their coppers in the buckets set before the zealous musicians.
However, no silence rivalled the tense unspoken edginess to the start of the “Bid for a Butler” proceedings. It was an auction for the services of certain plucky sixth years who had offered themselves bravely to be ascribed a value by the public and to assist the highest bidder for a full day’s labour on the culminating Friday in tasks great and small for the sake of Children in Need. Who would yield the highest total? Was the estimated value enough to win? Would there be any bids at all?
Alongside this, there was a “Beat the Goalie” competition against staff goalkeepers at lunchtime– a tournament widely spectated and much enjoyed by all who looked on. Chemistry teacher, Mr Barber showed particular aptitude in saving penalties and his colleague, Mr Blance, could not resist the chance to try and beat him – putting boot to ball in his attempt.
It was the turn of the school cooks to deliver on the confectionary front on Thursday with Pudsey-inspired creations being produced and sold in the canteen. Again the uplifting lilt of spritely folk music was heard in the foyer to the delight of all who passed through, punctuated by the incessant clamour of monetary shrapnel resounding in the collection buckets circulating continuously throughout the day. The lecture theatre became a fairground of stalls with all the usual favourites including a lucky dip, sweeties in the jar and nail in the bale. A round robin dodgeball tournament was held in the games hall, with teams comprised of teachers, S6s, Young Ambassadors along with a Rest-of-the-School entry. All of this of course, was conducted in fancy dress with all manner of participating caricatures from robbers to Hawaiians and jocks to winter-wanderers.
Friday, as always, was a fancy dress affair. Scooby Doo and the Mystery Machine crew split up to look for clues around the school. A Harry Potter posse cast their charms and Dorothy, Scarecrow, the Cowardly Lion and the Tin Man skipped along the yellow brick road to every class. Butlers did their service and many dressed for the part, serving gentlemen with long watch chains and walking canes.
At interval a solitary Tin-man stood and led the school into spontaneous dance. The dining hall was filled with revellers throwing shapes with varying degrees of synchronicity to the soundtrack of the Macarena. The flashmob was filmed and made it on to national television in the BBC’s evening programme.
The main event was a distinctly Orcadian take on the popular TV show “Take Me Out”, this time taking on the moniker “Tak Me Oot.” Much hilarity ensued as the vanity-stricken Mr Walker, with his luxuriant greasy locks, hooked up with Mrs Stead; the hopeful Mr Troxler (outfitted in the regalia of the covenant) was rejected by all the single ladies and the energetic Mr Beasley was bestowed with the suspiciously familiar-looking Miss Carmichael.
Watch the flashmob here:

About alasdairflett

German & English Literature graduate. From Orkney. Interested in alternative and indie music, language, writing and politics.
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