Ariadne was the daughter of King Minos. She fell in love with the hero Theseus when he arrived in Crete to slay the Minotaur, a monster who was half man, half bull – and – Ariadne’s half-brother.

The Minotaur lived in a labyrinth created by the inventor and magician Daedalus on the orders of King Minos. Ariadne promised to help Theseus to escape if he agreed to marry her. He gave his consent and Ariadne gave him a red ball of yarn, which he unwound on his way to confront the Minotaur. Theseus duly killed the Minotaur then used the red thread to find his way safely out of the labyrinth. It’s this story that gave birth to the phrase, The main thread or Ariadne’s thread.

A translation sometimes resembles a labyrinth. Now and then you go astray and have to return to the starting point to find a new route – or rediscover The main thread – and reach a successful conclusion.

What about Ariadne then? Theseus married her but regretted it on the journey home and left her on a desert island. Ariadne wandered about in a thick fog until she met Dionysus, the Greek god of wine, who took her to heaven and married her, so all is well that ends well…