Trial by Jury and Lear

Just keeping my hand in with older projects…

Some images trial 2.jpg

trial 1

The arrival of the Judge

bridesmaids chorus end DARKER

Edward Lear Background design- the woman of Smyrna:

small smyrna image2




The Day After

philip hammond the day after by TIM.jpg

By all accounts and reactions, the budget seems to be very good, but with this caveat, that if the EU negotiations go wrong, or if the deal is voted down in the House, as has been threatened, all this positive energy will be wasted and all the promises ditched. The budget is, in other words a tantalizing glimpse of what might happen if there is a properly negotiated Brexit in March. In other words, as much of a threat as an offer.

Theresa May the day after by TIM.jpg

King Cyrus

On October 29th (7th Alban) King Cyrus apparently conquered Babylon.

Cyrus is a celebrated character and adversary in Greek and Hebrew literature but his unofficial feast, today, is also a thing of fear for the Iranian authorities who have done all they can to discourage thousands from visiting his desert tomb in Pasargadae. The tough clerical authoritarians like Nuri Hameedani have branded the festival as “counterrevolutionary” which may well be partly true… Last year there was a slogan which read “Clerical rule is the same as tyranny” which is rather direct.

Nuri Hamedani by TIM

In the days of the internet, it is difficult to control  =how people want to express themselves without isolating the country from the modern age entirely. Certainly, there was little evidence of the “feast” before the present century. Last year, the regime resorted to threatening text messages to anyone they thought might be considering a trip in advance of the celebration. The site is apparently closed off this year. I do not have up to date information but would welcome comments from those who know!! Please add below!!

cyrus the great by TIM


I put up a small talk about the origin of the Greek gods with some illustrations that copy statues and various paintings. Art work below!

cronos by TIM


Apologies for beginning with an image of Cronos but it makes some sense.

The teaching of mythology brings children and adults into contact with other world cultures, but it is also a chance to introduce some of the great works of art and literature. Norse mythology, for instance gives us a huge insight into the development of English in much the same way that greek mythology once found a natural home in Greek and latin classes at school.

Here is a link to the youtube talk I have just posted. Do check it out, subscribe and add comments if you wish!


hestia by TIMjuno in sky by TIMjuopiter and juno in Farnese by Timleto and children by TIMbirth of venus after Botticelli by TIMPoseidon by TIMcastration of Uranus by TIM


What Disney added to the whole thing is significant. Just as he introduced children to classical music and dinosaurs (religious groups stopped him linking evolution to the development of man so there is no ape-man animation in the Rite of Spring, just dying dinosaurs), so too he introduced us to classical mythology. It is all oddly coloured and the Disney publicity machine went wild about a particular loganberry colour- but there is so much in the Beethoven segment that is worthy, albeit a conflation of Bacchus/Dionysos and Silenus.

tribute-to-ward-kimball-bacchus-by-timuranus by TIMathena in Louvre by TIMPersephone and hades after Bernini by TIM


Always important to remember that Dionysos was a dangerous god. I will do something later on the Bacchae by Euripides!dionysos fantasia and statues by TIM

One of the delights of mythology is in identifying why stories arose. For instance, the golden fleece is located in Colchis, now in Georgia.  Recent excavations in Vani revealed panning in the river and a gold rush that must lie behind the legend. Jason was a prospector – it’s a  pre-history version of “Paint your wagon”, one of the great American musicals utterly destroyed by a film that was cast with non-singing leads. More on that another time!


hermes by TIM.jpg2nd-century-roman-copy-in-louvre-by-tim.jpg


The Baby Zeus was hidden from Cronos by being suspended between earth and heaven in a hanging basket, and when he cried, an army of Cretans danced furiously to drown out the sound. The is is the origin of much Cretan dancing! Zorba would be proud!infancy of Zeus by TIM.jpgcopy of Romanelli Cronos by TIM.jpgGoddess vatican by TIM.jpg

Dominic Grieve comments on Hain and Green

Dominic Grieve by TIM


I am not sure Lord Hain was “arrogant”, but he certainly demonstrates that the law of Parliamentary privilege as it now stands allows parliamentarians to subvert the independence of the Judiciary which must be against the spirit of our democracy even if it is legal. When we judge other countries across Europe and into Eastern Europe particularly, we set great store on the independence of the legal process. This sends a message that, with all the best intentions, we do not really share the same standards that we expect of others.

It would be a different matter, I think, (and this must be the purpose of the original law of Parliamentary privilege) if Lord Hain felt compelled to name Sir Philip Green in a debate, let’s say, on the effectiveness and justice of Non Disclosure Agreements, but that debate was taken up outside the House by Vince Cable.

If someone like the loathsome Tommy Robinson/ aka Stephen Yaxon Lennon can be held in contempt of court for rather less sensational revelations, it seems madness that Lord Hains’ pronouncement is acceptable. The problem is not only Parliamentary privilege but the self-righteousness implicit in claiming that there is a public interest in “knowing”. Lord Hain’s actions, therefore, would seem to pretty well exonerate Robinson who is contesting the original sentence, and whose own case was adjourned only a few days’ ago because it was considered too complex. Gaoling Robinson back in May, the Judge had said, “People have to understand that if they breach court orders, there will be very real consequences”. Clearly not, if they are standing in the House of Lords.