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Saturday, 26 March 2011

Hagar-the-Horrible's Mum

Mothering Sunday

Some will tell you that we celebrate "Mauthrin Sunday" in memory of  St Mauthrin the Viking (or should that be Viqueen?): mother of Hagar the Horrible and inventor of simnel cake & the explanation mark.

But that is of course complete nonsense.

There IS an interesting Mothers' Day Viking link that concerns us nonetheless. The Vikings - you see - (being good plunderers rather than good spelers) thought that MOTHERS' DAY was (and still is) an anagram of MUSTARD SEED;  and thus discovered that the Mustard Seed is probably the best place in England (maybe even the world)  for Mother's Day gifts. The Mother-of-all Mothers' day shops.

There's the delicately alluring fair trade silk scarves; the mother-of-pearl fair trade jewellery; the exquisite hand-made cards that are so perfect for Mothers' Day (and there's also really cheap Mother's Day cards if you're looking for something for your mother-in-law); the mouthwateringly motherly chocolates; the rubber washing-up gloves (sorry - Freudian slip there); and of course the matronly winged helmets.  And as documented in Sven Forkbeard's Annals of Viking Exploits, the Mustard Seed was at the very top of all the Viking plundering lists, and one of the main reasons why they so frequently made the crossings over from Norway. Even Hagar the Horrible didn't forget to get his mum a Mother's Day gift from the Mustard Seed.

Scholars will then tell you that Mothering Sunday - the 4th Sunday of Lent -  is also called Dominica Refectionis (Refection Sunday - refection meaning meal - hence refectory) because of the scripture reading of Joseph feeding his brothers.

Gosh - how interesting - you're probably thinking.  But - LL's Bells!  I've just realised something else.

If you add an L to refection then what do you get?

Yes - RefLection. The picture above is now beginning to make sense to me. Or - maybe you'd already spotted it.

Anyway - when you're in the Mustard Seed buying a present for your mum, you may see a Viking swooping in astride a winged helmet bellowing out the Song of the Valkyries in Norse. If so - do ask him/her  if it really was St Mauthrin who invented the explanation mark.


P.S. By the way - where do you put the apostrophe in Mother's Day ?

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