Teachers at St Andrew's Secondary in Glasgow were barely off their holiday flights when they found, among the backlog of fuel bills and discount insurance offers, a helpful missive from heidie Bruce Malone giving advance notice of their initial in-service days.
Staff were addressed by their first names and the letter was signed personally by Malone, suggesting that the CBE he was awarded in the honours list earlier this year could well have been for public relations.
It was a nice touch to have a "working breakfast" at the start of each day. In typical Glasgow fashion, this quickly became known as the "eatin' meetin". The inclusion on the lunch menu of "clam before the storm" was a worthy attempt to amuse the staff and soften them up.
One teacher, a matter of hours after getting off the plane from Malaga, was so amused on reading the letter that he told his wife: "I'm surprised he didn't call a PTA night as well." Some of the staff, however, appreciated the lengths Malone had gone to ease the pain of returning to school.
When they arrived at the school dining hall, they discovered that the old tables and chairs had been replaced with new lightweight cafe-style furniture, complete with garden umbrellas on which were emblazoned the name and logo of the new sponsor.
Not Martini, or any other exotic continental beverage, but something closer to home - Barr's Irn-Bru.