The battle of Thermopylae took place in 480 BC when 300 Spartan warriors held the pass for three days, to delay the invading Persians. In fact, the 300 Spartans were only part of a larger Greek army of a few thousand, but it is the fighting valour of the Spartans that has proved immortal. They stood and died in a ‘glorious’ delaying action. For those three days they held the gap between two narrow cliffs, until they were eventually outflanked when the Persians were told of a goat path around the cliffs. The music includes extracts from the theme music of the 2006 cartoon film (which was, in turn, based on a 1990’s comic series). There are numerous books on the battle of Thermopalae but ‘Gates of Fire’ by Steven Pressland is an acclaimed faction novel – highly recommended.
A fantasy: at Michaelmas, all the animals on the South Downs get together for a party. The hedgehog is playing the violin, the owl is signing in an operatic voice, and there is dancing around the old oak tree. Animals that normally enemies are playing and talking together. All is harmony – as long as Man will keep away! Michaelmas is traditionally 29 September (the end of the farming year).