The start of term is more fraught for some than for others. A west of Scotland primary teacher arrived halfway through the first morning. He paid the taxi driver, then, still wearing his holiday clothes and carrying his cases, explained to the heidie his late arrival had been due to "pigs on the road".
The heidie knew he had been to Turkey and, not unreasonably, assumed the straying porkers had blocked the road from the resort.
"Oh, no," said the tanned teacher. "It happened on my way back from Manchester airport when an animal transporter shed its load on the M6."
The heidie could have been forgiven for suggesting that with six weeks' holiday getting back on time should not have been too difficult, but accepted his excuses. She might not have been so obliging if she had known the teacher was in Turkey for three weeks in July, returned home, took one look at the weather and hotfooted it back to sunny climes.