The Dean’s Diaries by David Purdie


Description: The Dean of St Andrew’s College oversees an ancient institution (Est. 1561) renowned for its academic oddity, inter-departmental warfare and explosive disasters.The Dean’s observations and anecdotes provide an exceptionally witty account of academia in Edinburgh, seamlessly combining the douce realities of Scotland’s capital with the decidedly bizarre goings-on at St Andrew’s.

The Dean’s Diaries follow the activities, on and off campus, of the Dean, his Dons and Fellows through the Academic Year. They also correct egregious errors in the press coverage of both the Giant Squid incident and the Antimatter explosion.

The population of Scotland remains rightly proud of St Andrew s College, seeing in its fierce political incorrectness and general eccentricity, a shield against the creeping gloom of the Endarkenment.’
–Rt Hon. Lord Fanshawe FRS

St Andrew’s College
King George IV Bridge
Edinburgh EH1 1EE

1: College animals: ‘Chimpanzees have souls – says Primate’, ran the Telegraph headline

2: The 15 Tesla Problem: No. 42 Stockbridge bus was not a double decker, thank goodness.

3: The Guest in the Laundry Shute: Turbo charged fun

4: High Table Dining: wine into water

5: Misprisions: a chocolate digestive as precaution

4: The Decalogue: Y chromosone

5: Richard Porson MA: he would drink anything

6: The Dean at Oxford: a night off for No. 10 stud manager

7: New College: exploding the Big Bang

8: Scott and the Aussies: Emma Chissit

9: Saints and Sinners: Peter Ustinov the best after-dinner speaker

10: Public Transport: the size of the hippocampus of a Princes St. tram-driver

11: The Big Bang – and Chimps: anarchy ruled the day

12: Armistice Day: Fixed bayonets on the A77 Glasgow-Ayr road

13: The Lord Taverners Lunch: Christopher Cowdrey

14: Student Japes: slokened wyth ale

15: A Summer Roundup: trophospherologist Dr Hirohito Takayatsu: ‘buy new umblerra’

16: The AGM: cloned lobster and Ye Riot Acte

17: Gravity: ploughing up the Higgs field, sausage and anti-sausage

18: Founder’s Day Lecture: Nobel Laureate economist Aidan Hartigan and a rugby tackle

19: Appraisals: an un-cited paper on dhobi-itch

20: Trains: the station approaching is Carlisle

21: The Dean of Krakow: I too will only English speaking here

22: Machrihanish: ‘there is a tide in the affairs of men, which taken at the flood, leads on to fortune’

23: The Dean on the Phone: recharging a necktop computer

24: The Dean in America: a ball-game in Maryland is not golf or cricket

25: The Dean in DC: Elvis – nope. My trip began in the deep south, in Greenville South Carolina – page 156 **waves to Susanna at my impromptu virtual visit**

26: Golf in America: The Ancyent & Healthfulle Exercyse of the Golff

27: College Burns Nacht: suffering from third degree Burns

28: The Dean’s Ivanhoe: blatant book pump #2

29: The Lady Mondegreen: the title of this section reminds me of Leven and Cosgrave and by extension, Ian Rankin’s Standing in Another Man’s Grave

The original Lady Mondegeen was via Sylvia Wright in 1954:

Ye Highlands and Ye Lowlands
Oh where hae ye been
They hae slaine Earl o’ Murray
And layd him on the Green

30: The Dean in Musselburgh: The Strawbs

31: The Dean’s Correspondence: What, pray, is this ‘Jeeves’ of Dr Mallard?

Great fun read – snappy, bright, insightful and amusing.


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