It's been a good week for ...
When Islay High School faced a dearth of cleaning staff, a solution was found on its now sparkling doorstep.
A team of eight senior pupils has been recruited to scrub and polish the classrooms after school hours. Each works around three hours per week for £7 an hour.
Headteacher Joanna Holmes offered the job to the youngsters after struggling to find part-time cleaners.
"I asked all the pupils over 16 years old if they wanted part-time work," she explains. "I didn't tell them it was a cleaning job at first but it didn't bother them."
The teenage dust-busters – six girls and two boys aged 16 and 17 – were trained by Argyll and Bute Council and are paid the same as other cleaners. Team member Siobhan Macnab said: "We take pride in it. I've told students off for emptying pencil shavings on the floor."
The class-proud posse might be getting picky with their fellow pupils for undoing their hard work, but I can't help but suspect their bedrooms are still the usual teenage guddle.
It's been a bad week for ... buying bananas
There was a sting in the tail for a Dumfries woman when she unpacked her groceries and found a tropical scorpion among the bananas.
While many might have flushed the poor critter down the loo, the brave shopper captured the creature in a jar and called the SSPCA. Animal rescue officer Tricia Smith collected the sand-coloured desert hairy scorpion and took it to the charity's Glasgow rescue and rehoming centre. "The lady was terrified when she called us," said Smith. "Desert hairy scorpions aren't deadly but if bitten the pain could vary from that of a bee-sting to intense inflammation and sickness. They're native to North America so it's likely this scorpion has come over to Scotland with the bananas."
Likely? Surely you don't find many venomous desert creatures indigenous to the Scottish Borders. Not much bigger than a 50p piece, the scorpion is thought to be quite young (adults can reach six inches in length).
"We're hopeful we'll soon be able to find this scorpion a home with an experienced and knowledgeable owner where it can receive the care it needs," said Smith.
Wanted: home for nippy wee beastie that will grow into hairy monster measuring half a foot.
Hmmm. I don't think they'll be queuing up for that one.
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