Wednesday 19 August 2020

The New Olympus Postcode

by Henry Lewi

 London dry gin and tonic

  “I can’t get a Home Delivery slot,” moaned Zeus to his wife Hera and daughters Artemis and Athena. “I’ve tried all the stores including that one called Iceland used by Odin and Frigg.  There’s no option for a Major God delivery only for NHS staff and Carers – Even Apollo As God of Medicine can’t access that option as he’s not employed by the NHS.”

 “This is totally unacceptable,” cried Artemis. “Look at my hair – I urgently need some hair products at the very least – I had to borrow some shampoo from Medusa last week and look what that’s done to me!” She slapped down two snakes on the top of her head that had been woken up by her shouting.

  “I know darling,” replied Hera. “We’re all having to suffer – you know I like to put honey on my Bran Flakes – us gods have to keep regular”. “Anyway”, she continued, turning to Zeus, “why can’t we get a Home Delivery slot?”  He replied, “for a start they won’t deliver to our Postcode, apparently OLY 8US is outside the delivery areas of all the major supermarkets, and Harrods and Fortnum’s won’t risk their vans driving up the side of Mount Olympus. I know we haven’t spoken to Hippolyta and her bunch of Amazons for over a thousand years, but I’ve heard that they’ve set up a delivery business, maybe we can ask them to help us out.” 

  “Dad you’re so out of it,” said Athena. “Haven’t you heard - both Hermes and cousin Nike have set up their own online stores and delivery network. What about asking them or even sending a couple of the boys down to one of the supermarkets if you can get a  ‘click and collect’ slot if its that desperate?”

“I’d love to,” replied Zeus. “But that idiot Bacchus, as he now calls himself - ever since he was in those Spaghetti Westerns- has smashed up the Golden Chariot when he and a bunch of nymphs were pissed out of their minds last week.”
 “Yes”, said Hera staring at Zeus, “ever since you threw the Mechanic (she of course meant Vulcan), out of Mount Olympus, we haven’t been able to fix anything. Look at the plumbing; it’s atrocious. And where is he now? Living in some volcano in Cape Verde – Wind Surfing!” She flounced out followed by her pet peacock. 

 “That’s it! I’m done with this place," shouted Zeus as he threw a thunderbolt which immediately fizzled out before it hit the ground. “Nothing works around here! Right I’m calling my cousin Hestia. She’s set up an Estate Agency with that Roman bloke Janus to find us a modern place to live preferably in London especially as the UK is now leaving the European Union!" He looked at both Athena and Artemis. "In the meantime, get onto the Amazons and see if you can arrange for them to provide some sort of home delivery. Are they still using the Centaurs, or have they had a falling out with them as well? Anyway, get Ares to help, he always got on well with those ladies. I’m off to speak to Hestia.” 

  Having spoken to both Hestia and Janus who ran  a discrete property service for all the major deities Zeus announced to the assembled gods, “Right, we’re moving to London and I’m looking for somewhere on a hill with views over the city and Hestia has suggested Hampstead, Highgate and somewhere in Brent which is much cheaper but has stunning views over the whole of London.”
 “We’d prefer Hampstead,” shouted out Apollo and Artemis together.
What can you do with twins, thought Zeus. 

“I’d prefer Knightsbridge,, said Athena. “The shopping is so cool.”  

 “St. James is my choice” said Ares. "All those military clubs within walking distance and Jermyn street is where I get my Jackets made”. 

“I really don’t mind where, so long as the plumbing works and there’s a big lawn for the peacocks, but I draw the line at penthouse flats!” muttered Hera.

  “Look,’ said Zeus. “We need a biggish place with off road parking, plenty of room for entertaining, somewhere on a hill and with good transport links, and plenty of shops nearby, and far enough away from those Russian oligarchs who have no respect for the old order. I’ve also had a chat with Old Father Thames who’s happy for us to move into his neck of the woods, but not too close to the river which ruled out Chelsea and Richmond. 
“Hold on”, he continued “I’m just going to take this call from Hestia”. 

  “Right guys,  Janus has found  a brilliant property in Brent, North West London, on the top of a Hill between Cricklewood and Neasden that overlooks a park with amazing views over the whole city. I know, I know, it’s not got the NW3 postcode, but Janus says we can buy the two adjoining properties and the total cost will still be less than a six-bed house in Hampstead. Just think – great traffic links – a Park opposite – easy access to the West End and Wembley.  Athena, you can still pop along to Knightsbridge and Ares you can easily drive to the Emirates to watch the Gunners, and  if we buy the adjoining properties we can ask the Three Fates and the “Oracle at Delphi” to move with us, though the “Oracle at Neasden” doesn’t have the same ring to it.  Maybe we should just call her simply “The Sage ”.

 So, it came to pass that during the Olympian month of Skirophorion (which to us mortals equates to July), the Gods moved from Mount Olympus to their new modern home high on a hill in North West London, and  although the postcode was NW2 it still gave them excellent views over the whole of London. The British Government were generous in helping with relocation as having the Olympians settling in the UK was a significant snub to the EU.

Of course it wasn’t that easy and once the Gods of Olympus now officially known as the “Olympian Gods of  North London” had settled in they realised that they had lost their EU Major Deity Grants and had to find work, as they were now ineligible for state help, as their assets far exceeded the threshold for  Universal Credit.
Zeus was invited by the Tory Government to become a Cabinet Adviser and teach them how to all have a God Complex; the only problem was the name tag he had to wear around his neck as it kept getting tangled up with his beard. Apollo set up a discrete private medical practice in Harley Street that catered for the Healthy and Wealthy, whilst Artemis and Athena opened a boutique in Knightsbridge that sold clothes to the wives and girlfriends of the Uber Rich. Demeter who spent little time at home got a job at the ministry of Ag , Fish and Food advising on Cereal crops; whilst Ares hooked up with Nergal (aka the Boundary Stone) an old friend from Babylon (nicknamed the Devil’s Policeman) to set up a Security Consulting Service called “Styx and Stones Consulting”.
  As would be expected Bacchus (AS HE NOW CALLED HIMSELF) opened a microbrewery in Camden with help from his nymphs, and Aphrodite continued to stream her on-line Porn Channel. The Mechanic remained in Cape Verde windsurfing.

 Whilst Poseidon had his mail redirected to NW2, he didn’t move into the new residence, preferring to house share with ‘Old Father Thames’ in an abandoned fort in the Thames Estuary. Hera stayed at home entertaining the great and the good, hosting a weekly book club, giving out prizes at the local schools and working as a hospital volunteer.
t goes without saying that as they were now officially residing in a North London postcode, they were able to get a “Home Delivery Slot!”

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