Semana Santa

Holy Week in Spain is a big event. Especially in Andalucía.

The capital cities of each province vie with each other for the biggest, best and most lavish processions.

Seville, reputedly, is the classic one to visit, closely followed by Málaga and Granada. Depends what you read as to which one is ‘best’. Other great Andalucían ones include Córdoba, Jaen, Cadiz and Almería. Not sure about Huelva, but probably up there with the rest of the best.

Our neighbours were discussing it some years ago. Córdoba, pronounced José to his family, had the best procession.

His daughters looked at him in disbelief.

‘You’ve never been to Córdoba,’ said Marcella.

‘I’ve seen it on the TV,’ he answered back knowledgeably and thereby ending the discussion with his patriarchal viewpoint.

Except he didn’t. The daughters laughed at him and told him he was talking a load of rubbish. They probably agreed that Málaga had one of the best.

My first view of Semanta Santa in Málaga was before the actual Holy Week (ie this week) when they basically have trial runs and cart out the religious effigies from their normally sleepy post in church to somewhere else. I have no idea why they do this, but it means that on a Saturday afternoon approaching Málaga bus station, your bus will be stuck in a queue.

So, dear readers, what happened when I later went to Málaga to view some Semana Santa processions?

Well there were a number of considerations to take into account. All of which I failed to do.

1. Processions start off late (remember this one, it’s important)
2. If they don’t start off late, they end up late as they traipse around quite long routes carrying extremely heavy tronos
3. If it rains, they start off even later (if they start at all)
4. There are a lot of people. This is not for the claustrophobically challenged. The pavements, bars, streets are just full of people. Forget going where you want. You go where you can, and even that is difficult.
5. There is a timetable. Ignore it and hope you are lucky enough to see something.

Not being aware of any of those, I had planned an energetic leap around Málaga to catch three processions. Good huh?

No. We got stuck in crowds, bars, rain and decided to catch the last bus home without seeing anything. But wait! Before we did, a procession approached. All was not lost. We stayed to watch. And it made the whole evening worth it. Semana Santa in Málaga is worth the effort. Well, only once anyway.

Next up, Vélez-Málaga. My local county town. Much smaller. While the Málaga processions are on main streets, you could touch the tronos in Vélez. A trono is probably a litter for want of a better word, but I can’t think of a good translation.

We were so close to one that was swaying so much I thought it might fall on us. The tronos are incredibly heavy, which is why the processions take so long. Every ten steps (or so it seemed), they put down the trono and take a rest.

The processions are organised by brotherhoods of the churches. In Vélez I was surprised to see a number of women carrying the tronos. Rather them than me.

Music is solemn and religious. Lots of battering drums. Very atmospheric. As many of the processions take place in the evening, or night, some are done by candlelight.

I do have some SLR photos of Vélez so if I find them, I will scan and add them on here, or maybe Everypic.

Photos are of the posters that are printed every year to publicise Semana Santa. It is a big event.

The penitents who form part of the procession. Eat your heart out KKK.
The penitents who form part of the procession. Eat your heart out KKK.
Jésus. Looking a bit waxy. As you do when you have died and come back to life
Jésus. Looking a bit waxy. As you do when you have died and come back to life
This is just a poster.  Imagine this on a float surrounded by flowers, trees and whatever else
This is just a poster. Imagine this on a float surrounded by flowers, trees and whatever else

I’m always surprised it doesn’t happen in Gib, given the huge Catholic population and that Gib does celebrate Día de los Reyes (Day of the Kings for Epiphany).

But apart from that odd anomaly, Gib sticks to Brit traditions, so our Easter is Good Friday and Easter Monday, whereas Spain takes holiday on Maundy Thursday and Good Friday. [Note, when I was in the civil service we got the afternoon of Maundy Thursday off too, for some reason I never worked out.]

Let’s finish with a little spice.

I see the Spanish are trouncing the Brits.

This time, in the crappy royal family stakes.

The head of Spanish intelligence was quizzed behind closed doors in parliament on Tuesday over whether public money had been spent on a woman whose friendship with King Juan Carlos has fueled talk of scandal and abdication.

[Reuters]

Nice one Juan Carlos. I wrote about his hunting safari in Botswana last year, but it seems this woman was involved in that as well. She ran a British-based company that acted as an intermediary, oh and well, just fill in the script yourselves, you can work it out.

But is Felipe (crown prince and heir to the throne) any better than Juan Carlos? Not in my opinion, certainly not with his anti-Gib stance. So why swap one poor monarch for another?

In this most important week of the Christian world, don’t you just love a Catholic monarchy where:

a. Sofia of Greece had to change her religion to Catholicism on marrying Juan Carlos of Spain (got to love religion getting in the way of personal relationships)
b. The king in his seventies is rumoured to have a lover in her late 40s
c. The heir to the throne of a Catholic country (Prince Felipe) marries a divorcee

Juan Carlos and Corinna.

And, of course the Daily Wail.

I’m eleven words short for a WPLongform tag. I think I can soon fix that ;)

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56 comments on “Semana Santa

  1. We landed in Camayagua in Honduras on Good Friday a couple of years ago and i’d love to go back.
    The processions…Jesus, Mary, Veronica, Mary Magdalene…led by men with poles to hoist up the electricity lines…the roads covered with decorative ‘carpets’ of coloured sawdust, the crowds cheering as Jesus biowed to His mother, and all the time music playing in the main square…anything from Strauss waltzes to the Girl from Ipanema.

    At the Deposition, seven little girls dressed as angels and carried in sedan chairs represented the seven last words.

    It was not at all solemn…but it was sincere.

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    • It’s odd, the processions do vary. The Málaga ones were solemn because they were serious business, but even there in a big city, people are laughing and chatting and friendly. I’d say it is a huge mix, religion, solemn, processional, family, friends, spectacle, atmosphere and more.

      Makes my local village in the UK’s maypole parade look feeble :D

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  2. Sounds like a blast, albei a religious one. I have always felt that if one is going to take to religion one might as well go for it, all out. The Spanish seem to do this very well! Perhaps part of what they are doing is making up for the sins of Father Juan?

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    • All the festivals around me are religious, the Romería, the taking of the virgin to the sea for a boat ride, and Semana Santa. Most of them involve alcohol and big party on.

      And yes, if I did religion, I’d do one or the other. A simple mat and meditation or full-on in-your-face religion. But I don’t :D

      Poor old King Juan C has seriously dropped in the popularity rankings.

      I think Spaniards are pragmatic about their religion.They go through the motions, take part in the festivals and enjoy what they can. Not a bad philosophy.

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  3. Spain does know how to party! (I always wondered if the ones hauling that stuff got to rest or trade out during long parades…l remember seeing the white cone head costumes the first time – got a chuckle with your comment)
    Mexico also celebrates a lot….and much of that leaks over here…it’s Houston, some group is always having a celebration…now if we can just convince the newcomers from all places we don’t fire shots into the air as celebration ( thanks Biden – you’ve set efforts here back quite a bit with your porch and shotgun remark)
    Oh, the Juan Carlos drama – better the devil you know than the one you don’t? (Uh, it’s Easter, I should probably use some other comparison…)
    Religion and royal state marriages – convictions never stood in the way of a crown/government?
    Enjoy!

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    • Don’t all America Latinos party though? But Spain does have a certain amount of exuberance even with religious festivals.

      Actually, I have seen a few swap positions to take a rest, not often but it does go on. KKK? Strange eh? And slightly spooky too.

      I’m knowing that you’ve got the Mexican influence so wondered what would be happening your way this week. As well as the German influence and everything else in Texas. Gloomy German religion, Spanish is so bright and colourful, even with the KKK penitents.

      Biden! No! I’ve just been responding to another comment over on Clouds about him. He is all over the place with his comments, or feels like he is all over my blog (Saturday something post on Clouds – comment about Germans bombing Pearl Harbour).

      Juan Carlos or Felipe? Don’t care. Both as bad. Arrogant, up themselves and disrespectful. I could say more.

      Don’t you love those royal dynastical marriages? Asking someone to change their religion doesn’t get my vote. Unless they don’t care about it anyway, in which case – why bother?

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  4. I have wanted to see one of these processions for a year or two now. On Sunday night we were lucky to see a magnificent procession in Siguenza the size of which surprised me bearing in mind that the town is quite small. There was a simple one in the morning commemorating the entrance of Jesus into Jerusalem and a much noisier and lavish affair later in the evening. Wonderful stuff – so glad that I saw it! http://www.ciudadsegontia.com/semsanta.html

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    • I remember you saying that. They are very good, whether small town or large city. The processions are always pretty huge.

      I’ve seen one of those Jesus into Jerusalem ones, usually with an olive tree.

      Your link was an interesting one. Looked liked a load of Romans, I suppose it would though, but not the sort of thing done in my part of Spain. They just do big idolatry.

      Even over the frontier, La Linea is meant to have a pretty good selection of processions, but hey, seen it a couple of times, can’t be arsed to go and stand there for hours again :D

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        • Moorish castle here in Gib but still no processions :( Would be so convenient too. Bound to come up Main Street outside my house. Fascinating different style though and reflecting the reconquest. Totally different to my area. Just big time Catholicism, Jesus, Mary but not so much Joseph.

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          • Hey, he was a carpenter. He must have been able to sharpen pencils at least although possibly not his own. My partner spent ages doing some fancy joinery today, although I’m in charge of accommodation.

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  5. Okay – I am stuck on the big KKK hats, never having seen the likes before. Well, besides in pics of the KKK. What are they for? Do they represent anything? How curious…

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    • They preceded the KKK. They were medieval in origin, the people were repenting their sins, but because they were repentants they could hide themselves with the hoods and cloaks so no-one could see their identity.

      I’m thinking the KKK took the clothing from that sort of idea, especially given the zealotry of both Catholicism and KKK. The penitents were hiding their faces because of shame, the KKK, for a different reason. To not get caught.

      Here’s an interesting link with some good pix.

      http://youngadventuress.com/2012/04/semana-santa-for-beginners.html

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        • I think the parallels between KKK and penitents are interesting however. One group acknowledged they were sinners, who knows what type of sins though? Not saying the required amount of Hail Marys or killing someone? The other deciding to enforce the law as a bunch of vigilantes according to their own so-called code of ethics. Ironic that the KKK was/is anti-Catholic and is so identified with the much older and extremely Catholic penitent’s hat.

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          • Isn’t it? There are startling parallels in many places, where there should be none. Wearing a hat to declare penitence over unknown transgressions, versus truly being penitent, and changing heart, not hat – quite a contrast. And then there is a group declaring their superiority in a hat designed for some degree of humility – wow, I think you could almost write a thesis on the topic…

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          • Your description of changing heart not hat is very neat. Somewhat like the concept of going to confession and then going out and repeating the actions again. I don’t know about a thesis but between we could certainly manage a blog post!

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  6. I spent a couple of days in Malaga a few years back and saw/got caught up in some of the Holy Week processions. They really have to be seen to be believed! I LOVE your comment about your village in the UK – making the Maypole procession seem feeble, I know exactly what you mean!

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    • As you say, you can’t describe them, the photos never do justice nor do vids, the nearest anything gets to capturing it is the all day long programmes in Semana Santa on TV that dot around all over the place showing first one procession and then another. Still not the same as being there though.

      Our Maypole procession was actually pretty good as those things went (more than 40 years ago I might add) but nowhere near in the same league. There is just nothing to compare with Semana Santa in the UK that I have ever seen.

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  7. Love Andrew’s link to the guys with breastplates on, outside the bar.
    Yet again I’m in the wrong place!
    Funny that Maundy Thursday afternoon business, but any excuse not to be there was good. (I’m an ex-not so civil servant too).
    Happy Easter!

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    • I found that breastplate one bizarre, as he said, linked with the conquistadors, because nothing like that in my part of Spain. Just total ostentation and flamboyance.

      Haha. That Maundy Thursday thing was good. Bit of a waste of time going in really (I was commuting into London), should have given us the whole day off :)

      Thanks, not that we’ll be doing anything for Easter, but bank holidays are always nice because everything is quiet. Although I never remember which days the supermarket opens and closes. Good Fri and Sunday as I recall.

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  8. Those processions must be an amazing sight, so colourful and vibrant. I do hope you find you pics.
    I can imagine the scandal of public money being spent on the king’s female friend has gone down well in Spain, considering the state of the economy.
    I do hope it didn’t fund his hunting safari :-(

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    • I don’t have the big city ones, just the local county town ones, which were as good in a different way. The narrow streets made it far more intimate (hence the worry about the swaying trono with an olive tree and goodness knows what perched on it) falling onto the pavement.

      His popularity has really dropped dramatically since the hunting exped (quite right too). But Felipe is the same, so what is the difference?

      AFAIR the hunting trip was private and only came out because of his accident. So no, he wasn’t spending the peasants’ money, just his own on a jolly jaunt shooting elephants while everyone else struggled to pay their mortgages and put food on the table.

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  9. I understand Prince Charles has been celebrating these last couple of weeks, something about some chap getting the top job at 76!! Argentinian! who cares says Charles.

    As you know, I’m very anti-monarchies of any sort, from the UK to Syria to North Korea. If Queen Elizabeth survives the next 5 years, I think at the then age of 69 Charles will be out of the running and so will Camila. Not that I’m keen on King William either.

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    • Charles is an idiot. I don’t mind him talking to his plants or his organic dabblings, but he obviously inherited his diplomacy skills from his father. I do hope he doesn’t get to be king. I would far rather see his ancient mother continue on the throne, even if John Prescott thinks she should resign or at least take a back seat. I don’t know enough about William to dislike him, however I do think Queen Kate sounds naff as a title though, on a par with Queen Camilla.

      Perhaps there should be an election for the next monarch, and you could open the field up a bit eg you could include the Duke of Ed, Anne, Randy and Edward in the contestants. Didn’t some of them take part in one of those silly shows on television once? They should be quite good at electioneering. Paid for out of their own pockets I hasten to add.

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      • I like Charles. I think him and I have many views in common. All too easy these days for people to denounce somebody as a luddite (as they have done with Charles many times) but as I see it change for changes sake or change from a superior way of living to an inferior is not progress.

        He has on numerous occasions challenged the politicians on their desire to push the UK further and further into an over populated island full of unskilled and poorly paid people who have all lost touch with the land, nature and basic life skills. I wholeheartedly agree with this view.

        The suggestion that you can only be close to nature if you are wealthy and own lots of land like Charles is a lame excuse as we own a small garden and can still grow veg, interact with wildlife, nature and the seasons and have very similar views on farming and agriculture as Charles. Those who don’t have a garden have an abundance of places to visit in the UK where they can experience some of this too so I think in most cases such comments are made from petty jealousy rather than being based on any kind of fact.

        I also totally agree with him on his architectural standpoint. Why is it progress to throw up a concrete box that shows no artistic skills and does nothing to enhance the quality of peoples lives?

        Charles may frequently make politically incorrect statements but in that respect so do I and as far as I’m concerned it makes him more honest and more human than those who never say what they feel for fear of upsetting some minority section of voters.

        I’m certainly no Royalist and you certainly won’t ever catch me doffing my cap to Royalty but in Charles case I respect him for airing his views publically even if the majority disagree. That gives him more integrity and earns more respect from me than our elected officials who are more interested in self promotion and fence sitting than actually using their position for the good of others or the long term sustainability of the British Isles.

        Anyway, as you highlight with the Spanish Royalty, and as with people in powerful positions all around the world, power corrupts and to find somebody that remains honest is a rare thing. It has been like that for millenia and is unlikely ever to change.

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        • I wouldn’t call him a luddite, eccentric possibly but that applies to me too. His views are not mainstream so therefore there is something wrong with him, is the general perception (not mine in this case).

          I’ve lost touch with any recent pronouncements by him, but yes the UK is over-populated, but either way it hasn’t been self-sufficient for years. Your garden is not small from the photos I have seen. It is larger than any I ever owned in the UK, much larger than my terrace in Spain and ginormous compared with the ledge in the patio where I am currently trying to raise a parsley plant. (The patio is not mine it is a communal area and I happen to have a key for it).

          Being close to nature is relative, but for urban dwellers it isn’t that easy. For city flat dwellers it is even harder and growing your own organic veg is simply impossible. To grow some veg at all, you need land. There are no allotments in Spain and there are none in Gib. When I did live in the UK there was a waiting list for all the local allotments, probably because it was a trendy middle class area where people didn’t want to grow veg in their gardens (apart from me and I was ridiculed by a neighbour who likened me to The Good Life).

          And yes I did dig up my lawns to do it.

          I think petty jealousy is an unfair comment in general. I’m not jealous of Charles but I do think he comes from an extremely privileged perspective. If he said (and he may well have done) scrap all GMO, pesticides and processed ready-made foods, and cited the reasons why, I wouldn’t have a problem with that. But I don’t think that is his role. I don’t agree with a monarch being so political, just my view however.

          As for architecture, I remember the carbuncle comment. I think there are a number of perspectives (so to speak about architecture). I can’t see any point in trying to reinvent or reproduce the old. I think there is a place for modern design/progression in all arts. I think the value would be in supporting our heritage and ensuring it doesn’t get ripped out or modernised past belief (which happens all the time in Gib for example). That to me would be more beneficial than criticising modern new build. Or maybe criticise the standards of construction rather than the design, or maybe their environmental impact? Perhaps he is doing that. I don’t know.

          There is a differentiation between a) political statements (which he makes/has made) b) so-called politically incorrect statements, which is basically a meaningless term it has been devalued so much and c) upsetting minority voters.
          You are probably in a minority for growing your own veg, having a stay-at-home partner who bakes bread, and driving Series Land Rovers. All of which I have done. But being in a minority doesn’t mean you have less rights or that your views are less valid as I’m sure you would agree about those examples.

          Upsetting and/or offending someone because you have no understanding where they are coming from (feminism, disability, racism, poverty, vegetarianism – all minority groups) and using ‘politically incorrect’ language are miles apart. Which is why I have ‘discussions’ on Clouds and elsewhere about language. Honest and human to say something insulting that offends someone?

          As for the role of royalty, about which I am just disinterested rather than anything else, not for or against them, I don’t think the heir to the throne – or the monarch -should be political (and that doesn’t mean party political, rather controversial). If they want to take on that role fine, but leave the throne to someone who does the boring visits and the hosting of state receptions and all that crap.

          PS. You are writing too much on your blog. It will take me all Easter to catch up!

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          • LOL, yes sorry about the number of recent posts. I’m off on holiday so am taking the opportunity to update the blog with some posts about stuff that I’ve been meaning to migrate from other sites for a year or so.

            On the minority thing above, my point is that we all have different views. You can’t please all the people all the time.

            As humans we simply can’t express an opinion that will find favour with 100% of our audience so therefore it is natural that a minority will get upset. Better though that a genuine opinion is expressed than a false one. For example if my wife asks me what her hair looks like I will reply openly and honestly. If it looks a mess I’ll tell her so. This way she knows damn well that when I say it looks gorgeous I mean it. Many men will take the ‘oh it looks lovely Darling’ stance all the time which I find spineless and pointless as the opinion expressed is not heartfelt or honest.

            I therefore respect people that are passionate about a subject and will stand up and voice their opinions on that subject even though it may offend or upset some people. I respect such people even if their views differ widely from mine.

            What I really do not like is people that try to please all the people all the time and consequently say nothing of any worth for fear of upsetting some section of the population.

            I think this is why politicians these days have little respect from anybody and are often spouting the same policies no matter what party they belong to. So blurred is the line between left and right than nobody really cares any more and explains why voter apathy is at an all time high. I would rather have a politician who stood up and fought for a subject he/she truly believed in even though it would lose them a chunk of votes. Better to fight for a cause that affects your chosen section of the public and is a subject that you believe in, whether that be stay at home mums, Land Rover fans or bone idle benefit lifestylers than to blend in to some politically correct, don’t upset the apple cart, fence sitting stance that 99.99% of UK politicians have now taken.

            I think the UK needs to go back to a time when we had those politically incorrect animals that upset people with their views. At least you knew what their opinions really were and you knew what side of the fence they sat and your knew more or less what type of government you’d get if they were voted in. What have we now? I can’t tell the difference between any of the three major parties, even their leaders are all starting to look the same and their manifestos could well be written by the same guy!

            I hope I haven’t upset you too much with my comment ;-) ;-)

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          • I need to get up at 5 or 6am and gently work my way through them. They’ve come up on my reader (for once) and like another blogger who wrote a flurry of posts, I would rather give them time and consideration.

            Of course we can’t please everyone. But minority groups of whatever type, eg LGBTQ have as many rights as anyone else, such as the transgender woman who was ridiculed by Littlejohn and committed suicide.

            Different views aren’t a problem. Accepting the perspective of a minority viewpoint is a problem for many people. How many examples do you want? I’ll give you one at the end of this reply.

            In fact I’ll start with the next one. Your validation of your wife’s appearance is extremely sexist. I don’t disagree with you stating your opinion but who cares what you think? My hair is frequently always a mess, I don’t give a shit whether my partner thinks it looks a mess or it looks gorgeous. Mainly it looks the same. Probably a gorgeous mess.

            Q: What does my hair look like at the moment? I asked right now thanks to you.(expecting gorgeous, messy, and sexy)

            A: Greasy.

            Shit happens. Heartfelt and honest. I think I need to wash my hair.

            But that is totally different to discussing issues about discriminated people or those who lack privilege, see nice words here, got to use the correct language.

            Your view about your wife’s hair (or my partner’s similar view) is not the same, as say for example Philip talking about slitty/slopey eyed people in China.

            Politicians aren’t what they were. Benn and Powell always get my vote. Different sides of the fence, although not always.

            Hmm, what did upset me ;) was saying the manifestos were written by the same guy. Women write too you know. And guy is not an adequate word to describe men and women. Just from a minority perspective of course.

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          • “Hmm, what did upset me ;) was saying the manifestos were written by the same guy. Women write too you know”

            Yes, the majority of the Land Rover bloggers that I know are women, however I would suggest that in the real world most people making political or influencial decisions, in the UK at least, are men. Whether it be right or wrong it is fact so my comment was accurate like it or not. :-)

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          • Your comment was not accurate.

            It generalised and perpetuated sexual stereotypes.It was subjective. It reinforced gender specific messages. Yes, in the real world (because women who write about Land Rovers are just playing around) men make decisions. Possibly because people prefer to continue to support the status quo.

            You don’t know how many women write the speeches or manifestos or press releases or speeches behind the scenes. Or maybe you do. I certainly do. And I can quote examples. So therefore assuming ‘a guy’ wrote the manifesto is crass and insulting.

            I would suggest you don’t get into a gender-specific linguistic discussion with me. I will rag your balls off. Just like I wouldn’t dream of arguing about tyres or fuel efficiency with you. In each case both of us knows more than the other, which was my earlier point.

            Don’t argue where you don’t know your subject.

            I like to keep roughseas relatively polite. If you want different conversations, go to Clouds where you can argue all you like about language, feminism, discrimination, racism etc.

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      • I’d simply like an elected President. Only rule is nobody who has been an elected MP in any parliament anywhere in the world can stand. Sorry Tony!!

        I don’t object to Prince Charles’s views. What I object to is the prominence these views are given when they come from a man of average intelligence who has done little or nothing with his life. OK, he captained one of mummy’s boats for a few years and he pays people to run The Prince’s Trust with money he receives from the State.

        I’m happy for him to talk to his plants, many of us talk to dogs and cats and even inanimate objects. I am concerned though when he says he listens to what they say back to him, thats called ‘hearing voices’ (he admitted this during a TV interview).

        As for his lifestyle, I would want a lot more money than he gets to do his job. The Press were a lot gentler when he was younger, William and Kate have it much tougher with 21st century technology aimed at them.

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        • Hmm, can’t say I fancy a president. Not if means all that palaver that goes on in America. And it would still cost money without bringing in tourism. I’m not a Royalist but they are there, so there they might as well stay so long as they do something useful. Plus a president would be political. To be fair to QEII she does an excellent job at remaining out of politics, unlike Charles.

          I don’t know enough his personal funding but he see he has obviously not been employing the right people (wherever their salaries came from) as his alternative medicine outfit was closed days after a couple were arrested for alleged fraud, and HM Tax Office has been asked to investigate alleged tax avoidance by the Ducky of Cornwall.

          As I said above some of his views are similar to some of mine. But he’s not saying anything new, and he is basically using his position to not only raise issues he believes in, but has lobbied and interfered in the democratic process (eg architecture and proposed planning development). This is what I’m uncomfortable with. I don’t consider the heir to the throne should be taking on such a political role. And that’s probably his problem, because he needs a job and a role so has basically invented one for himself.

          I think he genuinely wants to rule the remnants of the Empire. I think he genuinely wants to change the style of monarchy for something more modern. But should he ascend, I would hope he would learn to keep his mouth shut a little more often. King Charles/George is not the same as being heir apparent.

          I won’t comment on dogs talking back to us seeing as my dog has his blog ;)

          I think the royal family has had to leave much of the old ways behind and move into the present in many respects, and media is one big problem for them. Probably started with the arranged marriage with the Virgin Bride, the ensuing media coverage of the breakdown in their marriage, the divorce and then her death. Charles might have been gently mocked for talking to his plants – which I thought everyone did actually – but after Diana, he really started to get it in the neck. Add the internet and the speed with which photos/news travels around the world and it’s a veritable nightmare eg Harry in Las Vegas.

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  10. Jose and his parade pronouncements reminds me of my MIL, who loves a celebration so long as she can view it on her big screen TV, but I can’t blame her – I hate crowds, so the big parades wouldn’t be for me either.
    I like the posters, I quite like religious iconography. Framed, they would be a great souvenir.
    It’s Easter-y here too, if a little warmer than usual weatherwise. There’s no religious parades that I know of, just the Grand Parade at The Royal Easter Show. It’s years since I’ve been – of course because it’s too crowded.
    The pre-Easter anticipation is palpable, as the sun is shining and everyone is looking forward to their 4 day weekend. We have 5 as tomorrow, Maundy Thursday is a RDO for the G.O. so we’re off to TA where we may go to church but most likely we’ll celebrate Easter our own way wth a walk on the beach rather than chocolate eggs – the stores are full of them, just thinking of it makes me feel ill.
    I find Prince Charles a bit icky, and those photos do nothing to dissuade me of it but I loved “Prince Charles wasn’t quite as amorous when greeting Cayetana Fitz-James Stuart, Duchess of Alba”.

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    • José often falls asleep in front of the TV anyway, and all the processions look pretty similar so goodness knows why he chose Córdoba. A fit of cantankerousness probably.
      Religion may have produced a lot of wars (bad) but it has produced some wonderful works of art, in terms of painting, music and architecture (good). I do have a poster and have never got around to getting it framed. It’s a bit gloomy, once of those where Jesus looks a bit ropey. Might even have a Crown of Thorns. Not the sort of thing you want to wake up to every morning. The Tourist Info Office was dishing them out free so beggars couldn’t be choosers sadly or I would have liked something more like Esperanza above.
      Do hope you have a wonderful break at TA. At least five days makes it worthwhile although not as good as your Chrissy/NY idyll.
      I find Prince Charles a lot icky. I think Letizia is looking far more snooty and hard-faced. Mind you with a father-in-law like Juan Carlos, life can’t be much fun.
      I don’t like Fitz-James Stuart either. She is one of Spain’s extremely rich aristocracy and natch, extremely arrogant and up herself. She’s got about 20 titles as well as Duchess of Alba. There is an annual award made by the Junta de Andalucía for chosen sons and daughters of the communidad. For some reason they nominated her and there was a lot of criticism. Apart from anything else Andalucía is and has been poor with a lot of struggling agricultural workers. Not too long before the award had been announced she’d been reported of treating workers on one of her many estates badly. The idea is that the award goes to someone who has done something for the community not some loaded member of nobility who has done stuff all for Andalucía..

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  11. I’ve heard a lot about these Semana Santa processions and am amazed how many of them there are. I follow the blog of an Englishwoman married to a Spaniard and even her small Andalucian town has one which lasts for hours and packs the town. One of these days I really must make it as far south as Spain. :-)

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    • Well, you’ll know better than me that Easter is the focal point of the Christian year, and Spain being a Catholic country likes religious parades. Our village surprisingly doesn’t do Semana Santa (probably not enough time or money to be honest), but does do a Romería pilgrimage in May, and takes the virgin to paddle in the water in August. They are both harvest festivals in a way, one for the ground and one for the fishing, and asking for blessings for the future harvest.

      I’ll try and check out the blog you mentioned, sounds interesting. Spain is good, not too far from France although northern France to southern Spain took us a few leisurely days.

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  12. Ha! Why didn’t this show up in my reader? I demand an explanation. We have lots of parades. The Chinese have more gods than you can shake a stick at and they all have to be kept happy. That’s my idea of religion – flexible. Now as to royalty, I find them an anachronism but they provide rollicking good entertainment if you don’t take them seriously. Both Phil the Greek and Charlie are wonderfully immune to the idea of political correctness and quite right to. Brenda has been around a lot longer than I and I suspect she was one of the few who kept Thatcher in order. I hope she does not abdicate. I have some vague recollection that there is some sort of tenuous family connection between the 2 royal families but I thought JC lost the plot on his hunting hol. But remember that Phil used to wander off to shoot elephants, tigers, 3-toed sloths, armadillos and probably Spix macaw but still made it to be head honcho of the WWF. I remember visiting some Saudi businessmen a few years ago and they had their own private zoo. So here we all are debating the size of our gardens and these guys get worry about whether the cheetahs have enough room to sprint in. Perhaps Phil and JC could pop over and shoot a few if it gets to crowded.

    I am now jolly worried that I may miss the next exciting episode of Herges adventures of RSITM. I shall have to send my reader in for its 12m service. I don’t want to miss the procession.

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    • Same reason nobody’s posts show up on anyone’s reader. WordPress needs to fix what is broken. That’s my explanation although whether you were demanding it from me is another matter.

      I quite like polytheism or whatever it is called. Like HIndus. Just endless wonderful gods. As for the Chinese ones, we have Fuk Luk and Suk (can’t remember their real names) bestowing their wonderful feng shui on us in our dining room. Very flexible.

      Political correctness? I see you are another recidivist male who blurs the boundaries like M4F. I can see poor tired cloudy roughseas will have to right a post on these issues for clarification.

      Family connection? Is this not fascinating?

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Royal_descendants_of_Queen_Victoria_and_King_Christian_IX

      The Netherlands are rather out of the cosy clique. I’ll leave more on the Spanish Royals and the Greek/Danish/Brit links for another post.

      I did say that Charles inherited some of his father’s traits. Phil being in charge of animals worldwide is a mirror image of JC is he not? But didn’t Chas take the little boys off hunting shooting and fishing in Balmoral as I remember? (No need to go to Africa when you have your own huge estates to kill animals).

      Herges. You’ve lost me there for once.

      The procession climaxes on Sunday. I think.

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        • Indeed. Yes, I do remember now. Well, to be honest I don’t as I was never exposed to TinTin but yes I recall the names. A quick wiki hunt reveals that it was also criticised for animal cruelty, colonialism, fascism, violence, racial stereotypes and ethnocentrism. That’s not quite what roughseas is aiming at!

          PC will be on Clouds. It doesn’t suit roughseas style either. I am sure it will indeed be sport, blood sport in fact as I will no doubt get savaged by everyone as I can’t think of anyone who comments on my blogs who agrees with my views at all :D But still, it makes for the fun of blogging. I write for fun, to entertain, and to occasionally inform, not to have everyone agreeing with me or ‘twould make for a dull life.

          However, write it I shall. At some point in the not too distant future.

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    • I didn’t see anything this year as we avoided SS in Spain. The years we did see the parades, they were great. As I said, I’ll hunt down some pix of the second one we went to (no camera at the first one) and post them up. At some point.

      The nearest we get to it in Gib is Easter Sunday when the Catholic Bishop (?) goes for a walkabout after the service. Must try and remember to nip down on Sunday for a few pix. Don’t think the Anglicans do anything.

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  13. Roughseas, I’m surprised by your reaction to the use of the word ‘guy’ in my comment earlier. It seems an overly sensitive reaction to what was essentially a general comment about the lack of distinguishing features of the three main UK parties. To my knowledge all three leaders of those parties are male. In my severely limited comprehension of how things work, I believe it is they who have the final say on what content will go into a manifesto or will be fought over in a term of office so in the broadest sense (as my comment was intended) it is accurate.

    It seems you are asking me to change the wording for purely politically correct reasons to ‘person’? That would be wrong and is actually reinforcing what I said earlier about political correctness stifling debate. Furthermore you seem to be suggesting that I should think about every word I type just in case it is used out of context, is innacurate or may upset somebody and yet you yourself on this very post have stated things that are innacurate and offensive, for example ‘Charles is an idiot’ is not accurate as he is a very intelligent and well educated man whether you agree with his views or not, and ‘crappy royal family’ may be offensive to those the like the Spanish Royal family. On numerous posts you have made equally inaccurate, potentially offensive or sweeping generalisations about other subjects. I have no problem with this as I enjoy reading opinions from all side. The difference is that I will not point out individual inaccuracies as they are irrelevent and trivial in context of the overall message. As you saw above in my 1st post, I did not lambast you for your choice of words but rather I commented in his defence from my point of view.

    It is a shame that you feel that I’m only allowed to comment on something unless I’m fully qualified in that field. My 1st comment above was in no way, shape or form meant to be offensive or cause upset, it was simply my point of view. I shall keep them to myself in future. :-)

    Ian

    PS. My wife often calls out ‘right guys lets get a move on’ when she is actually talking to our daughters. It is also commonly used, by most people I know, in a gender neutral way so I would think twice in future before condemning somebody as sexist based purely on the flippant use of a slang word. ;-)

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    • I’m not arguing about it on here, because it is a blog post on its own, so a reply, in a sense, will be over there on Clouds. And not today. But I will address ‘political correctness’ on there because I think the term is often wrongly used and damaging in terms of some very genuine issues where people are seeking improvements and changes to peoples’ lives.

      As for Charles being an idiot, that’s my opinion, and has been expressed by a few other people. Pompous twit used to be a popular description of him too. Agreeing with his views is one thing, as I said, I agree with some of them. But interfering in a democratic process because he considers some architectural proposals to be not to his liking is not sensible. The monarchy is no longer political, we have far too many inept politicians as it is. Another example is his comment about schools needing to teach life skills, which is pretty ironic considering he hated going to both Cheam and especially Gordonstoun, where he was meant to learn, uh, life skills. Currently around £21K a year.

      Whether he is very intelligent or not I don’t know. Because of his position and privilege he certainly had expensive private education. But how many people do you know who got into Cambridge based on five O levels and two A levels? Because everyone at my school who went there had a minimum of nine Os, three As, and invariably all of them were at top grades. Academically in terms of history and archaeology he is no more qualified to talk on them than I am. He’s done more organic gardening than I have per square acre, because he also has rather more land than me, but I’ve never gardened any other way. My gardening is actually veganic (which I doubt Charles does), and no-dig.

      The crappy royal family comment was a generalisation about all royal families because you can find something wrong with each of them. The Spanish Royal Family has decreased in popularity, or certainly Juan Carlos has, over the last couple of years, and one of the Infanta’s husbands – Urgandarin – being involved in a financial scandal hasn’t helped.

      Your comment about Charles was perfectly valid and reasonable. At the end of the day, this is a personal opinion blog, and like you, I have the right to say what I want. I don’t edit comments (apart from by request or glaring spelling errors from people who have asked me to correct errors previously) and I don’t delete anything unless it is obviously spam or a personal attack on commenters. I accept I will get disagreement from people, but that doesn’t mean I’ll sit back and not reply.

      I have no idea whether I have stated inaccurate facts as I usually research my posts thoroughly. But if someone points something out then I will go back and amend it, for example there is a dispute about whether Nelson’s body was brought onto Gibraltar or whether the Victory just remained in Rosia Bay, so I now refer to the two differing historical points of view.

      I don’t recall I said that you needed to be fully qualified to comment on issues. Rather that I was suggesting it was silly to start discussing something where someone is better informed. You’ll remember I did say I wouldn’t dream of arguing with you about mpg or tyres, neither of which are my strength, although I am good on brakes. I don’t like to see inappropriate gender-specific language on here so I point it out, as I do on Clouds. You aren’t the first person who has argued with me about it and you won’t be the last. To be really gender-specific, I should be honest and say you aren’t the first man to argue with me about it as the others have been men as well. I would hardly be sticking to my principles if I let it go by. You did say you hoped you hadn’t upset me, and I took that as a genuine invitation to point out why you had. So I did.

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