Ms. Dempster gets upset when the nativity is moved

Date: 7th December 2020

The latest blog from SFSA writer Donald Stewart:

It is breaktime at a serene Edinburgh nursery where the calm is very much calm. In fact, it is so calm, you might think it was a warning.

Just at that point, some fizz enters the front door.

Picture the scene…

Easter Leith Nursery are contemplating how well they have done with the pandemic. Not a person aff oan the sick, nae weans testing positive and the hale lot o them in the pink…

Or at least that is what Headteacher, Ms. Brodie is sat thinking, contemplating an extra Garibaldi (she fair likes the biscuits with the Italian sounding names), when she is interrupted by a flustered secretary, Mr Gordon. Unusual in the profession of school administration, Mr Gordon is a man. For a fleeting period of time there may even have been the hint of a flirtation between Ms. Brodie and Mr. Gordon but that was simply not to be as Ms. Brodie dedicated her life to the excellence of the minds sat in front of her on a daily basis.

Hers was not a mind to be turned easily…

Mr. Gordon is standing in a tizz. “Ms. Brodie, I do apologise, for interrupting your daily refreshment but we seem to have the brewing of a brouhaha in the foyer.

Ms. Brodie does not do anything eastern European so is immediately on her guard. “Pray tell, Mr. Gordon, for who is it at the centre of such unseemly behaviour?”

Mr. Gordon pulls himself up top his full height – just over 6 foot in sling backs – and responds with a sneer on his face. “Why, Ms. Brodie, I fear it is one of the parents of the bursary children, a Ms. Dempster.”

A name known to Ms. Brodie and each and every one of the teachers in the school, Ms. Dempster was one thing and one thing only: trouble.

Ms. Brodie throws her half eaten biscuit in the bin, tidies up the flask from her desk and straightens her back for the next stage of battle and then instructs her flustered secretary, “Mr. Gordon, do the good lady the courtesy of showing her in and I shall deal with her.”

“Very good, Ma’am”

She swears he curtsies as he leaves but cannot be positive as she was making doubly sure that the whisky is unable to be seen. She has barely had time to ensure all her drawers are closed before Ms. Dempster, clearly with a bee buzzing in her drawers has slammed open the door and then slammed it shut.

She draws herself all the way up to her full height and bellows, “Was it you?”

Ms. Brodie, somewhat taken aback at the ferocity of it all, tries to smile, ends up with a pained grimace and just nods. Thinking that the best defence may be just to admit fault and manage the fall out she crosses all her toes, fingers and limbs hoping it is enough; it isnae…

“I knew it!” continues Ms. Dempster.

Ms. Brodie waits in silence as Ms. Dempster draws a seat out and planks herself down upon it, leans forward and stares directly into her eyes.


Before Ms. Brodie is able to say anything, Ms. Dempster, clearly on a mission of sorts, continues with her complaint.

“Have you any idea, any idea whatsoever, the havoc you have created? I will now have to shift things, move people, re arrange events and try and keep everyone sweet because you don’t have the decency to consult before making an announcement.”

Ms. Brodie, squints from behind the desk. What possibly could have got this parent in such a state, she wonders.

“I realise,” continues Ms. Dempster. “That I am one of the parents due to leave soon so it may not be important to you, but this is intolerable. I did NOT agree to this, d’you hear?”

Ms. Brodie continues to look slightly nervous and quietly terrified though she feels, she is trying to unpick what Ms. Dempster is trying to say when Ms. Dempster, taking the silence as acquiescence turns up the volume.

“You said to me, in this very office, that we should move. But I said to you, this did NOT suit us. I have had to take to social media to explain and apologise to all our supporters, and they will be livid. We may be the juniors in anything but when it comes to mucking us about, we have very senior tempers, I can assure you.”

Ms. Brodie is far from reassured but is well aware that, if the current display is anything to go by, that she may be the cheer leader of angry people.

At that Ms. Dempster stands. “I am well aware who made this “request” and it has not gone unnoticed, I can tell you. I mean, you could have called me. I know that I am leaving soon but you do have my mobile number, do you not?”

Meekly, Ms. Brodie nods. She does indeed have her mobile and she does indeed know she can phone it. She does indeed try to avoid that if at all possible.

Ms. Dempster has now headed towards the door but is not done. She turns before leaving and spits out, “This was done without my knowledge. Moving it to Monday. I am fizzing.”

At that she opens the door ferociously and strides past an open mouthed Mr. Gordon who then tiptoes into the head teacher’s office. “What was that about?” he asks.

Ms. Brodie is still in shock. She looks at Mr. Gordon and just manages to ask, “Did we make a decision about the date for the nativity?”

Mr. Gordon doesn’t hesitate. “Why yes, that nice Mr. Desmond asked if we could move it to the Monday and we said we could.”

Ms. Brodie is now clear and beginning to recover. “Ms. Dempster is providing something for the nativity, is she not?”

Mr. Gordon looks down at his notes, he responds, “Why yes, she is as a matter of fact. According to the list donkeys. 11 of them. I think she has them sitting around at her place of work and she offered to hire them out to us free of charge. I presume we might be 11 donkeys short for the nativity then?”

Ms. Brodie just nods, sits back and opens her drawers – for medicinal purposes, you understand.,



Whilst the author asserts his right to this as an original tale, there is no evidence that Leeann Dempster has ever stormed into a headteacher’s office, and this is therefore not true, though many of the words came from Leeann Dempster ’s tweets.

During the week the SPFL moved the Celtic v Hibs fixture at the New Year and didnae, according to Leeann Dempster tell her. The outgoing Hibs Chief executive, tweeted  Apologies to our supporters and our head coach. This was done without my knowledge – we said no to the original request from Celtic because the request didn’t work for our club.  The SPFL appears to have agreed this without a call to the decision makers at our club. @spfl. We are fizzing about this – @spfl know I am leaving soon (ish) but they still have my mobile number so a call should have been easy to do – or @gmathie82 or even to our Chairman. Not good enough. Move to Monday without asking us?” we get the impression she is not happy.

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