Showing posts from May, 2012

Olympic Torch Relay - from Ancient Greece to London

It’s an Olympic year! And the Muse is very excited because this year the Games are going to be held in London. Right now, the Olympic flame is making its way around Britain to the 2012 stadium, passing through as many towns and cities as possible so that everyone gets a chance to see it. Here it comes... You might have already seen the torch pass through your town, but do you know how far it has travelled? For each modern Olympic Games, the torch is lit by the sun’s rays reflected in a mirror at the site of goddess Hestia’s ancient temple in Olympia, Greece. Then it is transported to whichever country is holding the games that year.  A runner carries the torch through our local town.  This year, the flame travelled to Athens, where it got on a plane called “Firefly” and flew to Land’s End in Cornwall. A relay of runners then picked it up to carry around Britain, passing the fire from torch to torch. Having passed on the Olympic flame, the tired runner takes his un

Poetry - A Bracelet of Bright Hair

The muse loves poems, and today he brings you a whole year of poetry in the form of A Bracelet of Bright Hair by Frances Thomas. Although it sounds as if it were spun from unicorn hair, this book is actually a personal journey by Frances of poems she read throughout the year 2010, all dated and introduced with personal notes that make this both a fascinating poetry book and a diary of the year that gave us our current coalition government, before the financial crisis hit. Two years on, and I decided it would be fun to read these poems beginning in the same month I received the book. So I opened it up at May and found myself midway between these two entries: May 10th (shortly after the general election failed to provide any one party with an outright victory) Frances: “Still we don’t have a government, and none of the choices will make anyone happy…” The poem she chooses comes from William Shakespeare’s "Troilus and Cressida" about past deeds, however great, being f

Story of the Month: Rubies

A six year old can survive on cats – two or three, if one drinks carefully. But at that age I was wasteful and kept so many of them in my tower, there was barely room for me to sleep. I used to hunt them nightly through the forests that surround our castle and bring them home in handfuls, dangling by their tails and spitting furiously. Papa indulged me, though he gave dire warnings about the danger of scratches, and I grew used to hearing my family discussing my ‘problems’ when they thought I was not listening. “She’s a strange one, that Kryssa,” Grandpa was fond of saying. “Always off on her own. She’ll come to a bad end.”      This used to make me giggle. Even at six, I knew that none of my family would ever end . Papa was five hundred years old, Grandpa more than a thousand, my eldest sister nearing two hundred. Ending was a great joke – would that I had known.      But I was very young, and only just beginning to experience that disquieting hunger even a menagerie such as mine c