Christine Grahame is SNP MSP for Tweeddale and Lauderdale

Peebles High Leadership Team

I had the great pleasure of meeting up with Anna McGorum Begara and Darcy Hamilton head prefects, and Annabel Blackwood and Emily Wright their deputes at Parliament last week. We had a grand chat about Parliament, a visit to my office in Queensberry House, and they sat in on the pre meeting before First Minister's Questions with the Presiding Officer, myself and Linda Fabiani the other deputy and officials. There, the questions and supplementary bids for questions by MSPs at both General Questions and First Minister's Questions, which follows, are discussed. Most MSPs will never attend those meetings so I hope they found it interesting. They then attended the Chamber and heard all those questions being asked. As you know I have never supported compulsory gender balance and the election of this Fab Four I think vindicates me. I’m claiming that anyway.

Men’s Sheds

I have met up with the Peebles Men’s Shed team and visited their premises in what was the Ex-servicemen’s Club. They have opened their doors to 'Gender Balance' but I think to call it the 'People's shed' sounds a bit odd. Men’s sheds, like my late father's are easily identified: full of tools, shelving, paint pots and with a wee seat so the 'man' can perch there and retreat from the world or just simply survey it. At least that’s what my father did to escape his five children and read his Sunday papers undisturbed. To be frank my mother was sometimes quite happy to see him go there and get from under her feet (or so she said). Now I’m not saying today’s 'Men’s Sheds' are a duplicate but they do have certain traits in common: full of tools, paint pots and so on. Wives and partners might also be glad to see them as a place to give them a break. Whatever, they are a roaring success, indeed Peebles Men’s Shed already has over 70 members and I will be celebrating them in a debate in Parliament next week. I know many Men’s Shed folk are coming from across the constituency to hear it at 12.45 on Thursday 21st. If you want to come, just phone my Edinburgh office or email to let me know.

IPads or text books?

Like me, do you think that pupils having to share text books should mean that money for these should be a priority before an iPad for all? Well there are Borders schools which could do with more books and could do with librarians for that matter. IPads might sound smart but costing millions when the basics are ignored is indefensible.