Despite the large grin on my face, I can remember being a bit frustrated at being called away from the ‘Goodbyes’ with my friends – “you’ll appreciate it one day” is what my parents told me, and here we are. There were lots of hurried promises about keeping-in-touch, and different tartans flashing past. The entire Ardvreck family split into many factions, very suddenly, and went back to their home-clans. I hope that it is the same for every generation of Ardvreckian, but I have found those promises easy to keep. The friends I made as an 11-year-old are still vital in my life- and when we come together our disparate tartans still harmonise melodically.
I was really excited about seeing the school at 8.25am again, but this time as a parent! Whoever would’ve thought that I’d end up marrying that lad a few years older in the Lindsay tartan? He only seems to be interested in playing the bagpipes, and rugby! Driving in, the beech avenue looked so incredibly warm and beckoning that our daughter remarked, “I really want to go here”. She meant into the woods to play, but I responded, “but you DO go here, darling! You’ve been here for over a month now- remember?” … never pass by an opportunity to tease! What’s that as a Latin motto? I will have to get her to work it out for me, she is really enjoying Latin, just like her Dad did. It felt fabulous arriving in giggles, just as I’d left the school 30 years earlier.
What I was definitely not expecting was a member of staff to catch me to tell me that she had been harbouring a gift for me in the office for a number of weeks. This was from a member of staff who has just reached a milestone birthday and I should really have been giving her a gift (or 50!) Having a thick brown envelope stuffed into your hands in a car park never looks particularly good, and on this occasion, it was better than used banknotes- it was pure gold. Inside were reams of information relating to shooting at Ardvreck, all in Mr. Verlander’s iconic script. Ardvreck’s name was at the top of just about every competition mentioned, and there was correspondence from The House of Commons, from The Army and signatures of Headmasters of yore. All of it, pure gold.