On the way home from school, they asked me why we have Pancake Day.
I talked about myth and metaphor, of feast and fast, of journeying into the desert, stones and sand, scorpions and snakes, of isolation, solitude, prayer and meditation.
Their response was “so we can eat pancakes!”. They talked of lemon and sugar, chocolate sauce and liquid toffee, cream and ice cream, of batter hitting the ceiling and falling on our heads.
“Knock knock” “Who’s there” “Philip” “Philip who” “Flip the pancake and don’t miss the pan!” (We’re not very good at knock knock jokes in our house).
I remembered that decades ago, in another life, I had been asked to provide visual aids illustrating a powerful Biblical passage, used to mark the start of Lent.
Actually, the accompanying sermon was more striking, beginning with the preacher throwing off her cassock to reveal the most violent orange check shirt you can imagine, going on to deliver a high pressure pitch as Satan in the persona of an East London salesman (voices she knew well from her childhood days around Woolwich market).