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What is the plural of a mace? If it were a joke you would say ‘mices’, but it is maces. What is a mace? It is not something the ‘normal’ person ever puts on the weekly shopping list!

It stems from the ‘Middle Ages’ – or even earlier – when men (no women allowed!) had one to show off their status as a king or something stupid like that. Later they were made of gold and encrusted with jewels to show off how much loot the man had stashed/robbed/stolen. In those days they didn’t have a Rolls-Royce car to perform the same task.

When men form a procession these days, led by a man holding a mace, we usually associate this with a mayoral procession. All the men like to wear strange clothes, based on flowing robes like those worn by ‘starlets’ or ‘personalities’. The tradition is also strong in the church and legal profession where men like to dress up in clothes one normally associates with women. In the legal profession they even wear white wigs.

Who is this person holding a mace – or even about to make off with it?  It is my sister Pauline! Amazing but true. Another pic is of her with the local mayor. He appears to have two maces! Check out his outfit. Don’t the English just love to dress up!  I recently got an e-mail from someone, not in the UK, who asked me, “Is this your sister?” I answered, “Yes, it is – and how did you find it?”

It was posted online in a picasa web-file with many others. They showed some kind of ceremony at the Anglican Church in Cherry Hinton – which I am sure you all know is in the east of Cambridge, where Pauline lives. So what do you think about that, Frances and Barbara? Strange world isn’t it?