Make Hay While the Sun Shines

From the Headmaster's Desk, April 23, 2018

It was lovely weather for cricket over the weekend, and, like many of you, I ‎very much enjoyed the sunshine all of last week.

This winter and ‘spring’ felt particularly wet and cold, including snow days at the end of last term, and plenty of flooding locally due to all the rain.

Then the sun finally came out last week and it was glorious. I loved seeing so many of you sitting and playing outside at every opportunity, pleased to finally feel some warmth. We all seemed to enjoy not only the warmest days of 2018, but the warmest day in April in 50 years!

Of course it was great weather for all sport, rounders and athletics and rowing, as well as cricket. But it was nice for anyone who simply wanted to enjoy the outdoors.

It certainly felt like an obligation to make the most of the sunshine – and I hope many of you did.

Now some of you may know that I grew up on a farm, and several times over the past week an old farmers’ expression came to mind: ‘make hay while the sun shines’.

Making hay while the sun shines refers to the production of hay. The warmth of the sun dries clover and alfalfa and turns them into hay. Once the hay is dry, if it gets wet again it may begin to rot. Given that weather is unpredictable, one must grab the opportunity to dry the hay and then collect it whilst the sun is shining. Stored properly, the hay is of course then good food for animals throughout winter months when other food is scarce.

This proverb is an English one that originated in Tudor England and was first recorded in writing in 1546.  The original version was this:  ‘Whan the sunne shinth make hay.  Whiche is to say.  Take time whan time cometh, lest time steale away.’

It’s a short proverb but a simple, clear lesson. If there is a task that needs to be done, then do it whilst you still have the chance. Take advantage of favourable circumstances, especially given that they may not last. It’s a point that can be made in all areas of life: make the most of a good opportunity – take your chances and seize the day.

Besides the sunshine last week, other highlights were the presentation on Ghana and then the mufti day on Friday.  The students speaking last week in assembly were inspiring, and the photos struck a chord with me; it was humbling to see another school in a less well developed part of the world with such limited resources.  Of course we benefit here from this gorgeous site, beautiful playing fields, and numerous lovely classrooms, labs, performance spaces and technology.

In the same way we made the most of the sunny days and enjoyed them last week, all of us must make the most of every day here at Blue Coat. There are many opportunities available to you all this week and this term. Make the most of these – make hay whilst you are here at Blue Coat. Because every day at this wonderful school is a proverbial day in the sun.

Have a great week.


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