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  • Writer's pictureOverstrand Life

Monday 1st May 2023 - One of 'Those' Mornings, Maypole Dancing and Oxalic Acid

Have you ever had one of ‘those’ mornings, afternoons or days, when everything seems to take more time than usual, well I had one of ‘those’ mornings today. It started with me trying to do the housework and spotting a neighbouring cat glowering into a sedum in the flower border. A frog, I thought, so I stopped changing the bed, came downstairs and chased the cat off, Peter did too, but the cat came back again and again. Not wanting the cat to pounce on the plant and break the tender stems, I investigated within the plant and found not a frog but a mouse taking refuge. As I went to pick it up without having any idea where I was going to put it, it moved further into the depth of the plant. I decided on a can of water to get the mouse to move away on its own. Yes, a dousing was a bit unfair on the mouse but I am sure it was preferable to being killed by a cat. I didn’t see it move off but said cat lost interest, which was a result. And so, the morning went on with various distractions etc. and the housework which would normally take around three hours took an additional forty-five minutes. You may ask, why was I doing housework on a Bank Holiday, well, we have never done anything special on these days, preferring to stay at home and avoid crowds.

When I woke up this morning and dozed, until it was time to get up, I started to wonder what has happened to the tradition of dancing round the maypole on the 1st May. There is a photo of my dad, then a young school boy, dancing round the maypole in a history book and I remember with affection maypole dancing at my junior school. Our sons were denied this tradition as the headmistress at their junior school refused to allow it; she said it was a symbol of fertility. Well, if it wasn’t for fertility, she wouldn’t have any children at her school – never understood her logic. Looking at Wikipedia the maypole symbolizes a variety of things to different countries. As for me, I think it is a shame dancing round the maypole seems to be a thing of the past.

Peter spotted a green caterpillar this morning which was munching on a rhubarb leaf. What eats something containing Oxalic acid, was the question? Looking on the internet, it was suggested brimstone butterfly caterpillars do. Peter took a photo of it, which I posted on the Facebook group, Norfolk Butterflies and Moths. This group is a fountain of knowledge and the caterpillar was soon identified as an Angle Wing. Today’s photo is of the caterpillar which as you can see, has a good appetite, there is not much of the rhubarb leaf left.


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