Baker’s Beacon Blog – Week 14

5 January 2024

Dear Parents,

Happy New Year and welcome to The Beacon 2024.

A great Christmas with family and friends but I’m always happy to come back to work, and judging by the boys coming through the front gate yesterday, they all seem to agree.  Before spending Christmas at home with our wider families, the Bakers went skiing for a few days after we broke up.  We haven’t been since pre-Covid (amazing how we date things these days after that momentous period) and with both of our boys getting ever closer to the age at which they no longer want to go on holiday with mum and dad, we took the opportunity to visit Cervinia in Italy with three other families we have known for some time.  On Day 1, it was clear that ‘Team Baker’ were definitely fourth of the four family groups in terms of skiing ability and the ‘coffee and chips’ mid-morning break came as a blessed relief and opportunity to debrief and catch our breath.  “You go off, we’ll see you at lunch”, I declared to the expert others and, at our own pace as a family, we collectively managed to gain our confidence on the slopes and enjoy ourselves in what were beautiful, clear conditions.  And then, almost as a metaphor for the modern age, just as our skills were developing organically, a member of our wider group introduced us to the ‘Ski Tracks Lite’ App and everything changed.  The ability to gauge and record speed, distance, slope gradient and all manner of other data was just too appealing and what had been a casual saunter down the slopes turned into something much more competitive.  Great fun though, I even bumped into an old Beacon family in an après ski bar (and again in Berkhamsted on New Year’s Eve – old Beacon families get everywhere!), but I always find a sense of relief when handing back the skis and equipment – four days was long enough…

At 50 years old, my wife Brigid claims I’m difficult to buy a gift for.  I disagree and my mother proved this with buying me the Lego Concorde set for Christmas.  This is a 2000+ brick masterpiece that I was very much looking forward to building…until older son Patrick got hold of it and completed the whole thing within 24 hours.  It is a highly impressive ‘sculpture’ and now adorns the shelves in my office, showing itself off to Beacon boys like Tom Thexton in 6J who have dropped by these past couple of days to trade their experiences of Lego creations they received (the ‘Mos Eisley Cantina’ in Tom’s case) and built over Christmas.  Come and see it boys and test the landing gear mechanism – it’s amazing….

A particularly warm welcome to our seven new boys and families who join us this term; I know you will find an extremely warm, personable, busy and hard working school that definitely has a sense of fun and humour that permeates through all areas of our community.  Where better to experience this than at our two social events occurring in the coming weeks: ‘Race Night’ a week today (Friday 12 January 7pm) hosted by the Games Department promises to be a thoroughly entertaining and enjoyable event (please email by Monday to secure a place or book a table) and equally competitive and interactive will be our annual ‘BPS Quiz Night’ on Friday 2 February 7pm, where colleagues and I have collaborated on a uniquely ‘Beacon’ set of rounds and questions…I look forward to seeing you at both events!

Have a good weekend,

Nick Baker

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