One of the blogs that have popped up recently is that of the Ancient Blogger, a bloke from UK that writes about Greek and Roman mythology. He doesn’t just write, it seems there’s a wealth of pictures and videos and he shows us everything with a touch of humour.
It all starts with, and on, the island of Lefkada which sits in the Ionian Sea (west of mainland Greece). It’s here where you’ll find a particularly vertigo-inducing white rock which gave the island its old name, Leucas. Apollo had a temple here and if you know your Greek love gossip then you know Apollo is never far from a tragic date.
When Aphrodite was grieving for Adonis it was suggested to her by Apollo that she jump off the white rock to cure her feelings. Whether this was sage advice or the sort of thing which siblings do to each other is unclear but as Aphrodite emerged from the sea she was indeed cured.
The famous Sappho apparently jumped from here to cure herself of love, but died, which isn’t exactly surprising. Strabo contends that the first mortal to attempt the feat wasn’t Sappho (as is sometimes stated) but Cephalus who had fallen for Pteralas (10.2.9). Whether Cephalus survived isn’t known but we do have a list of those who attempted and (mostly) failed thanks to a Greek grammarian called Conon who lived around the time of Augustus.
OK, it’s not that they don’t like me, it’s rather like they don’t hit on me.
Ever. Never ever.
I mean, I don’t get what I’m doing wrong. I have my relationship status set to single and everything. My height doesn’t help either. I’m five percent short of two meters. But that’s not the worst part. The absolute frickin worst is my nickname.
My name is Adelaide, so it was bound to get mocked at school.
My parents shortened it to Ada at an early age.
Then they went up and died.
That reduced the total number of people who love me on planet earth, to zero.
My yiayia, that’s my grandmother, is the only person left who still loves me.
Just a bit.
Out of need.
She is like ninety eight years old and part-Robocop. Whatever empathy she might have had is gone over the decades. She is like a squeezed version of a human, where you take out the squishy feely stuff and leave a bag of bones behind, lubricated by spit and bile.
I know you’d think that my yiayia loves me deep down, and that she is just like all other lovin’ and carin’ cookie-making machines in the world.
Well, she does not. She calls me by my nickname, which I hate.
So, back to my nickname. It was at school, thirteen years old. I was bullied all day long by this boy Chris. Chris was obnoxious, smelly, and hit all kids at school. He liked me better, which is to say he hit me the most. I was an expert at avoiding him at all times, but in some cases he remembered all about me and eventually he would find me and torture me.
He’d steal my lunch. He’d throw dirt on my hair. He’d make fun of me, pointing his greasy finger at me and the rest of the bully-posse would laugh at me.
Chris was the bane of my existence during my childhood.
It didn’t help that I was beginning to grow much taller than him.
If Chris was nasty before, then after my growth spurt he acted as if it was his legal obligation to bully me. The mere heights of my adolescence were threatening his street-cred, even though I had done nothing to provoke him. I crouched to lessen my frame, I avoided him, I made sure never to look down on him.
It didn’t matter. Chris hated my guts. My tall, leaning over him guts.
I had discovered Ada Lovelace at that time. She was my hero. A countess from a century long forgotten, the very first computer programmer. I wanted to be her, I simply adored her.
The teacher asked for our role models, what kind of work we wanted to do when we’d grown up. That ill-fated moment, I raised my hand and said, “I want to be a computer programmer, like Ada Lovelace.”
Chris misheard the name and mocked, “Loveless? You wanna be Ada Loveless for the rest of your life? Hahaha!” And they laughed. Even the teacher cracked up a bit before she demanded silence.
Boom. It stuck.
Since then I’m loveless.
Do you want to know what’s next for the virgin computer nerd? Do you wanna meet the nasty Yiayia?
Join the Mythographers and be the first to learn all about Ada!