Tag Archives: Richard Brassey

The Story of the Olympics

When The Story of the Olympics arrived at the end of the summer I did not feel ready for it. Not that I objected to Richard Brassey’s book, but the dratted Olympics felt like a very long way away. They still do, but it could be that with my head so deep in the sand I am missing a few things.

My heart fell when I heard London had ‘bagged’ the games, back in 2005. I remember the day unusually well, but won’t bore you with it. And I appear to be in a minority of one, feeling not the slightest inclination to buy a ticket for anything at all. Which leaves more for the rest of you.

Richard Brassey, The Story of the Olympics

But Richard’s picture history of the Olympic games is quite fun. I was especially taken with the nude athletes. And due to some miscalculation on my part I thought they’d been competing in their undressed state until a few hundred years ago. Must remember the difference between BC and AD.

I imagine this book would be good way for those who can barely remember the last time, let alone 1964, to learn about it all. A bit of history, a few amusing snippets of silly mistakes, plus many of the memorable moments from the past, is all served up in an easy to digest form.

In 1968 I was too young to fully grasp what Tommie Smith and John Carlos were doing, but I remember 1972 reasonably well. Not just for the awful things that happened, but it’s when my country found its future Queen. (That’s not in the book.)

Let’s hope that if there are future Olympics books that only nice things will be added to what’s in this one.

Greyfriars Bobby

There’s always something particularly sad about abandoned and loyal animals, isn’t there? And not much beats Greyfriars Bobby. I always feel a wee bit tearful whenever I pass his statue in Edinburgh. Silly me, but there you are.

I will be in the vicinity of little Bobby today, seeing as the Witch family is heading towards Stirling and St Andrews (yes, I know it’s hard to head in the direction of both of them at the same time…) in pursuit of education. So I’ll wave from the car at some point.

Greyfriars Bobby

Richard Brassey’s fact and picture book about Bobby is very sweet, as you’d expect. Bobby’s policeman owner dies pretty swiftly and then we get to see what happened to Bobby. There are many facts I didn’t know before, such as the stupid restaurant owner who used poor Bobby and made up stories about him. It’s the usual thing you get with celebrities; people lie and they use you, and Walt Disney comes along.

Queen Victoria and Billy Connolly, sorry John Brown, also seem to have met Bobby. And the Lord Provost was nice.


I love Nessie

Do you want to know how deep Loch Ness is? Then you want Nessie, The Loch Ness Monster by Richard Brassey, which has just been re-published.

Nessie, The Loch Ness Monster

Richard’s book has a nice fact basis to it, with some lovely pictures of Nessie and her loch. It can’t be easy being hunted and sought like that. People are just stupid. Some don’t believe, and some are intrusive.

I’ve always had a fondness for the wee thing. I just wish people would leave her alone.