Friday, July 06, 2007


I spent the afternoon at a famous London girls' school, where a small niece was taking part in the end-of-term play. It was superb - a musical, witty, and very clever operetta weaving together lots of Greek legends in a gently ironic style. They were all there, Midas and his gold, Narcissus with his self-love and the echo, the Labyrinth with string to lead us back safely after struggles with the Minotaur.The singing was terrific, and the music teacher, Miss Una Murphy, well deserved the massive applause and bouquet with which she was presented at the end. There was a splendid tea in the interval, with proper scones with jam and cream. There were wonderful home-made costumes and children being willow trees and flowers and animals and a Greek Chorus.

We hear so much about the collapse of educational standards, and a glance at a typical weekend's diet of TV watching, plus a perusal of the rubbish masquerading as readable magazines in the average supermarket, often makes one gloomy. But I have to say that recent visits to schools have proved to me that some are fulfilling today something of the role that abbeys filled in the Dark Ages - keeping alive the books, learning, legends, and ideas passsed on from the past!

My bike needs mending. It squeaks horribly. It carried me in a somewhat limping fashion to Waterloo, where it rests and I will collect it on Sunday and take it to a proper repair shop for an overhaul.

Many thanks to all who have offered sponsorship for my fund-raising cycle ride to help young people get to World Youth Day! I still welcome more...

1 comment:

On the side of the angels said...

it's funny you mention it , because my twelve year old daughter, when younger, was obsessed with greek myths, not only did the enid blyton 'tales from long ago' [every parent should buy it - [together with Arthur Ransome's 'Old Peter's russian tales'] fall to pieces it wa so well-read , we had the Anthony Horowitz and Roger Lancelyn Green retellings of the myths - but even that wasn't enough for her - she practically ordered me to read Robert Graves and the Larousse encyclopedia just so she could find out more. [wish I'd had the internet in those days]

She became so involved with the whole story; but every wednesday we would recite a rosary returning from the swimming baths on foot but once the it was over I had to start the whole Trojan War from the night Hercules was born and the deceit/fall of Eris.

I read so much 19th cebtury literature that I rarely have time for the modern stuff; so I more often than not forget the real dearth we have in decent 'storylines' these days in 'contemporary literature';
and the style of prose has plummetted in this country since Waugh.