We went to see Clash of the Titans over the Easter weekend. We’d missed the 3D showing but yeaahhhh, it was okay; I didn’t look at my watch... Our expectations weren't high as we’re not getting out much as the moment with the Red Shirts causing all kinds of chaos throughout Bangkok.
Sam Worthington, Perseus in the film, has been widely quoted as describing it as a movie about "… a guy on a winged horse in a skirt with rubber swords battling monsters.” It is, he said, a "fun, boisterous popcorn movie. We're under no illusions, it's not a history lesson."
In spite of this, watching the film took me back to 1985 and my interview at Hull University. I spent the whole of the train journey to Hull reading the myth of Perseus. I was preparing to persuade the Department of Classics to give me a place on their degree programme based entirely on two holidays in Greece and my father telling me Greek myths as bedtime stories throughout my childhood. Oh, I had A’Levels too, just not in anything very relevant.
At my interview, Dr Hilton was lovely, asking me lots of questions about my A Levels, what I was doing with my gap year and what I’d seen while on holiday in Greece. (One of these excursions had been a school trip where we HAD seen all the important sites – the other was a beach holiday!) Then as we finished up, he said “Did you come up by train? Did you see the bridge?” I didn’t know what he was talking about as I’d spent the train trying to cram myths into my head so I could talk knowledgeably to my interviewer but I kind of felt this was important. His eyes sparkled; it was the way he said ‘the bridge’ that gave me a clue, more like ‘The Bridge.’ ‘Yes’ I said, hoping for a bit more information. ‘Impressive, isn’t it?’ Dr Hilton said. ‘Very,’ I said, nodding.
Anyway, bless them, they gave me a place and I knew I was going to love it there.
I got back on the train at Hull Paragon station to return to London and with no more pressure to cram, sat gazing out of the window. Into my view came a bridge. The Bridge. It got bigger and bigger and bigger as we passed right by it.
The Humber Bridge held the world record for the longest single span suspension bridge for seventeen years. Its presence crossed the last major unbridged estuary in Britain. The towers were 155 metres high and its span 1,410 metres and a total of 480,000 tonnes of concrete were used to build it.
Phew, thank god for the bluff.