Sandown Bay Academy students the Chard quads, as they appeared on last week’s front page. Picture by Robin Crossley.
THE VIEW FROM HERE GREAT disappointment for the Island at this year’s A-level results, particularly those from Sandown Bay Academy, where the top news was of the Chard quads (Tom, Samantha, Michael and Abbi), who all achieved university places.
No, no, I’m not talking about the results themselves. We’re not interested in those.
A-star, blah, blah, usual debate about whether standards have slipped, rows about favouritism towards students from independent schools, head teachers all swanking about how marvellous everything is and, of course, the eternal wrangle on the Island about whether it’s all Steve Beynon’s fault (it will be if we’re sprawled at the bottom of the league tables again) or it’s because of the students’ brilliance (they’ll be given the credit if we’ve improved but still none to Steve Beynon, whose appointed place is always in the doghouse).
Who cares about the results when there are more important matters at stake?
I’m talking, of course, about the statutory leaping in the air by successful students, waving bits of paper about and beaming radiantly for the cameras.
Leaps should be high, both feet off the ground, and results should be flapping vigorously. All these requirements are crucial, most especially if we are not to be trounced by the Daily Telegraph, which leads the way in pics of top-totty jumping.
This year, however, we have been soundly beaten, not only by the Daily Telegraph, but by just about everyone else. Our Island A-level jumpers, as represented by the Chard quads, have performed very badly indeed.
Look at them. On the left, Tom, who has made some sort of effort, just about raising his feet off the ground, waving his paper and, for extra points, displaying his midriff (not so many points, however, as those gained by a Daily Telegraph’s top-totty midriff.)
Next to him is Samantha. Hopeless. Both feet firmly on ground and just clutching her result paper in a very boring, static display.
Ditto Michael, next to her. On the right is Abbi, who has done best of all, with a commendable leap, mouth wide open and results flapping in the required manner.
Abbi’s efforts, however, cannot compensate for her siblings. Tom is really not leaping properly and, as for Samantha and Michael, well, one cannot understand how they even got to university with such a lack of competitive spirit.
Is that the best the Island can do? Oh, how The Telegraph must be sneering.
If you received your GCSE results yesterday, get leaping. We have ground to make up here.
Forget the phone and enjoy Island
As we reach the last bank holiday weekend of the summer, let’s take advantage of what the Island has to offer in the way of leisurely loveliness.
A stroll on the beach, a dip in the sea, a lick of ice cream or, best of all, just idly doing nothing and doing it among the Island’s gorgeous scenery.
I suggested a couple of weeks ago it would be a good idea if we all put down our cameras and took a non-technical look at what was around us, making memories with our eyes and minds.
I now realise my suggestion needs a postscript. There are some people who are not looking at anything around them — not even with their cameras, let alone with their eyes.
That’s because they are busy texting, twittering, tweeting and receiving stupid, banal news from their stupid, banal friends or from that super-bore and smugface Stephen Fry. In short, being complete techno-prats.
You’re on holiday! Have a break! Give the rest of us a break, not least because you’re intensely irritating, with your gismos and your jabbing fingers. And also because you are missing out on so much.
I recently saw a father and son on the beach. A lovely sunny morning and the boy, aged about eight, was embarking on a swim.
As he went into the sea, squeaking and jumping in excitement as the waves splashed around him, he kept turning round to see if daddy was watching. Like any little boy, he wanted his father to see this lovely holiday moment as he showed off his swimming prowess.
Where was daddy? Well, he was there, sort of, and possibly he might have noticed if his son had been dragged under by a strong current.
Or possibly not.
With mobile in hand, he completely ignored his son as he peered and jabbed at his screen for the latest communication from his own ghastly little world of tedium.
So whoever you’re with, be there, in the moment. These moments don’t last forever.
Kids grow up. Watch them, talk to them and ditch those phones this weekend.
And if you’re on your own, simply enjoy the peace and tranquillity. You don’t have to show off that you’re not a sad loner by constantly texting.
In fact, that’s the sure way of making yourself look pathetic. Just be thankful for the lack of distraction and make friends with the beautiful surroundings of this Island.