My Name Is Ozymandias 

It’s been a pretty busy nine days since I last walked out of the gates at work for ten days leave. I spent the first four days over in the Netherlands with my wife, who’s birthday it was on Thursday. 

We landed back in Liverpool on Monday evening and walked into the furnace of a British Summer, which didn’t last as long as expected. Since I pulled on a pair of shorts in my Amsterdam hotel I haven’t worn any long trousers since – if it miraculously managed to snow tomorrow I’m determined to not wear trousers until Monday morning. 

Since Tuesday afternoon the rest of our time has been taken up with this reprobate…

  

Say hello to Ozymandias. 

He’s a nine week old Yorkshire terrier and he’s currently as mad as a box of frogs, when he’s not sleeping! He’s been a handful while he’s been getting acclimatised to his new surroundings, but he’s getting there slowly. 

So his name, Ozymandias. It can be a bit of a mouthful so it’s shortened to Oz or Ozzie for everyday use. There are a few connotations behind his name that my wife chose.  

  • I’m not too proud to admit that behind this heavy metal exterior I quite like a musical, and one of my favourites is The Wizard of Oz. 
  • It can be loosely attested to my slight liking of heavy metal music and a link to Black Sabbath frontman Ozzy Osbourne. That’ll be the biggest assumption even though I’m not really a Sabbath fan. 
  • If I wanted to be cool and in the know we could have said he’s named after the DC comics character that appears in the Watchmen mini series, but other than one viewing of the film a long time ago I’m not aware of the Adrian Alexander Veidt character. 

He’s actually named from a poem written in 1818 by Percy Shelley – the husband of Frankenstein author Mary Shelley – about the third Egyptian pharaoh of the nineteenth dynasty Ramasses II using the Greek interpretation of his name. 

    I met a traveller from an antique land, 

Who said—“Two vast and trunkless legs of stone 

Stand in the desert. . . . Near them, on the sand, 

Half sunk a shattered visage lies, whose frown, 

And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command, 

Tell that its sculptor well those passions read 

Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things, 

The hand that mocked them, and the heart that fed; 

And on the pedestal, these words appear: 

My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings; 

Look on my Works, ye Mighty, and despair! 

Nothing beside remains. Round the decay 

Of that colossal Wreck, boundless and bare 

The lone and level sands stretch far away.”

Source: Shelley’s Poetry and Prose (1977)

 

   

We’re both fans of Egyptology and Ancient Egypt so it does seem a fitting choice. 

For our honeymoon almost 16 years ago we went to Egypt. We had a week on a Nile cruise, a few days back up in Cairo and then finished it off with a beach like stay at a resort near Luxor. 

  

As impressive as the great pyramids look they pale into insignificance when you visit the site of Abu Simbel on the bank of Lake Nasser, near the border of what is now Sudan. The iconic rock reliefs commemorate his victory at the Battle of Kadesh in 1274BC and sat at the border to ward away marauding armies from other nations. It was as much an ego trip for Ramasses II as it was as a deterrent to Hittites, Canaanites and Assyrians. 

   

The 30m high structure, with four imposing 19m tall seated pharaohs, took nearly a quarter of a century to carve out of a cliff face and it was so precise that twice a year in February and October rays from the sun would penetrate through to the inner sanctuary and illuminate the sculptures on the back wall, apart from that of Ptah who is connected with the underworld and remains in the dark. 

  

Due to the building of the Aswan High Dam and a risk of losing the temples again, this time to water rather than centuries of sand, the temples were cut up into gigantic blocks and reassemble on a man made dome 200m further back and 65m higher between 1964 and 1968. 

When you turn the corner and look at the main temple head on for the first time it is such a breath taking sight.   

  

In a vague attempt to link a song to the post I was going to use the Motörhead song King Of Kings that was used as the entrance theme of WWE wrestler Triple H, but I came across a few other songs with Ozymandias in the title, but as I’ve not heard any of those either I plumped on this track is by a band called Gatsbys American Dream, an indie rock band out of Seattle. The song is taken from their 2006 self titled album released on Fearless Records – a label I’ve always associated with the pop punk and emo hardcore scene. 

  

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