17th January 2020

A more buoyant start to the week could not have been had for the eight boys who represented St. Mary’s at the Merchiston Indoor Football Tournament, last Sunday.  Mr Inwood and Mr Rooney had fed back how proud they were of Ollie, Josh, Henry, John, Isaac B, Lochie, Ewan and Nic, many of whom sported their winners’ medals as they bounced in to school.  The details were relayed to me throughout Monday, and it sounds like the boys excelled themselves in a closely fought competition.
This provided me with a platform to talk of strategies to facilitate happiness.  I had heard on the radio over the weekend a very simple piece of advice being given by an author of ‘Five Minutes to Happiness’.  This advice included taking five minutes out of a busy daily schedule to draw and colour a picture of choice, consciously daydream of being in a place of great appeal, breathe deeply and relax.  Added to this, I had been given a box on Sunday evening titled ’50 Ways to Celebrate the Everyday’.  I selected a few to read out and comment upon, and I have listed them below:
Make a list of things you like about yourself
Make some plans to look forward to
Mentor a younger person
Think of someone you appreciate, then call or write to say thanks
Enjoy simple sensory pleasures- a fresh clean towel or ice cold lemonade
Ask people older than you about their secrets to happiness
Pat yourself on the back: write down 3 recent accomplishments, big or small
Sit quietly, breathe deeply, and recall a time when you felt great joy
Practice being a hugger – it will lift your mood and others
Make conversion while waiting instead of checking your phone
Spend a day by a body of water – the ocean, a lake, a stream
Listen more than you talk
Recall a happy memory and share it with someone who was there
Surround yourself with scents that evoke happy memories for you
Forge deep connections: maintain eye contact and listen carefully to people
Spend some time around animals
Indulge in a weekend nap
Exercise it’s a proven mood lifter
Keep a list of good things that happen; when you’re feeling down, refer to it.
Take note of something in your home that you love and why
Write down one thing you love about 5 different people
Smile at people you pass on the street
Ask for help solving a problem or completing a project 
The week, has panned out to be busy and full of energy, a bit like the weather! Middle School rehearsal of ‘Shakespeare Rocks’ took place after school on Tuesday, and nineteen of our boarders went swimming with Mrs Rawson and Kalani to Galashiels Pool. 
Though we made far too little of it, dear Helen McSorley one of our two much loved domestic employees had her 65th birthday on Wednesday.  Helen’s appetite for mischief, and tireless work ethic might leave you somewhat surprised that she has amassed such a total in years.  Much to our great relief, Helen has promised to stick around for another sixty-five years provided we keep her stocked up with her favourite brand of ‘carpet cleaner’!
Form 8 donned high visibility vests, not to take part in an Extinction Rebellion protest in Melrose, but to survey the traffic.  This work spanned over two days and is part of their geography field work.
To conclude a ‘feel good’ week, Mrs Stuart and seven Form 8 girls gave a most informative and uplifting assembly on Outstanding Women in Science.  Mrs Stuart and her team drew our attention to numerous inspirational scientists;
Professor Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell  -     Discovered pulsars
Professor Lucy Yellowlees                    -      Professor Emerita in Inorganic Electrochemistry
Professor Dame Anne Glover               -      President of the Royal Society of Edinburgh
Professor Nicola Stanley-Wall             -      Professor of Microbiology
Professor Catherine Heymans             -      Professor of Astrophysics at the Royal Observatory
Professor Sheila Rowan                         -      Professor of Experimental Physics and Chief Scientific Advisor for Scotland
Professor Mercedes Marato-Valer       -      Assistant Deputy Principal (Research and Innovation),Director of the Research Centre for Carbon Solutions and
                                                                           Buchan Chair in Sustainable Energy Engineering at Heriot Watt University.
Professor Niamh Nic Da?id                  -       Professor of Forensic Science
These female scientists stand out in their various fields, but are exceptional people in whatever category they may be placed.  St. Mary’s first ever female Head of Science in the school’s 125 year history, most certainly brought to our attention eight hugely inspirational people, or should that be nine?
Have a restful weekend.

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