EDUCATION: Our part of NEWTOWN had turned into a slum; but city fathers subsidized ‘regentrifying’, so by ’72 it was middle-class again.
A taxi-driver told us it would be child-neglect to send children to a tax-paid school.
But we found out the school was far better than a middle-class US school ! The 7yrold in 2d grade was writing essays on Boadika, (the queen of Celts who actually defeated Julius Caesar once in battle!) The 3 yr old went to free pre-school; the 5 yearold was also writing and drawing precociously.
In ’71 we had foolishly sent our children to a ‘free-school’ back home with almost no rules.
In Edinburgh, the headmaster carried a belt around as a symbol of authority. The kids adjusted painlessly.
CHURCH OF SCOTLAND:
The tax-schools were actually run by the Church of Scotland—but with no interference except a prayer in the morning.
The Church owned most of the land in Scotland; you just leased your farm for 99 years; each year the value of your lease diminished.
This Church had huge cathedral-like buildings on almost every block—but they stood empty,
Because Scots had lost Interest in religion.
By ’72 they didn’t even go to Church to get married or buried!
But the one part of the old religion kept on was hatred of the Romish Church. Home Rule for Ulster? This slogan was all over: HOME RULE IS ROME RULE (at a time when the Pope couldn’t even rule the suburbs of Rome.)
A joke: The Cathliks is burnin’in Hell (as they ought to be,for their Papistical Mariolatry).
They cry out, “Laird,Laird, we dinna ken—we dinna ken.”/ A deep voice responds from Above:
‘Waal, ye ken noo !’
The Pope actually risked visiting a suburb of Glasgow. In a slum, a huge sign was erected:
NO POPE IN EASTERHOUSE!
Underneath, someone had put up a sign just as large; “LUCKY POPE!”
In many places you could read the graffito:
FUCK THE POPE!
In response, in the men’s john at U of Glasgow, was penciled neatly:
“FUCK THE MODERATOR
OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY
OF THE CHURCH OF SCOTLAND.”
A strange obsession.
We had a wonderful year in Edinburgh, though Mary got depressed during the long winter darkness.