I had an excited telephone call from my five and a half year old granddaughter on Sunday evening. "Granddad," she shouted down the phone," We've seen Queen Elizabeth the Second. She was wearing a yellow coat and a yellow hat, and she stopped to talk to the man next to Mummy!" And fortunately Daddy had his camera handy to record events for posterity. They had gone to Smith's Lawn in Windsor Great Park to have a picnic while watching the polo. It turned out to be the day when the Queen was due to officially open the new clubhouse for the Guards' Polo Club. A clear case of 'the right place at the right time'.
Last night the first procession of Holy Week took place in the village. The week doesn't really start until tomorrow, but this year there is a new trono for the Virgin's statue, bought at a cost of some €25,000. I didn't see the procession myself, so have yet to see this new throne. It will be on display in the church, so I will see it tomorrow at Mass.
Tomorrow at 12 noon, we have the blessing of palms and olive branches outside the chapel by the side of the cemetery, after which we all go in procession through the village to the parish church for the Mass. After that, from a spectator point of view, the programme is:
Weds 8th at 6.30pm The small statue of el Santo Cristo de la Caña is carried from Plaza del Ingenio to the church.
Thurs 9th at 10.00pm is the procession of Ntro Padre Jesús Nazareno (Jesus of Nazareth)and Our Lady of the Sorrows around the village leaving from and returning to the church.
Good Friday, 10th The Way of the Cross takes place through the village at noon.
Later in the day, at10.00pm the now crucified Christ is carried through the village in procession, followed by Our lady of the Sorrows; then at midnight - to me the most moving of the processions - the women of the village the Virgin in her grief through the village. All the street lights are switched off, as well as lights in homes overlooking the procession route, and the procession is lit only by the candles carried by the women (all dressed in black) as they sing in typical Andalucian style. At least once on each of tonight's processions, a saeta (flamenco lament) to the Virgin will be sung from one of the balconies.
The final procession takes place on Easter Sunday when after the Easter Mass, at 1.00pm the doors of the church are thrown open and the statues of the Risen Christ and Our Lady of the Dawn are carried out to vigorous clapping from the assembled crowd, and stirring music from the town band. The two then go inprocession through the village taking the good news of the Resurrection to those interred in the cemetery.
And that's Semana Santa over for another year.
The photo at the top of this posting is from last year; photos of this year's celebrations when I have them.
One word of warning! All times in Spain are strictly approximate. Don't expect any of these processions to start at the advertised time. While you're waiting - if you are here - just enjoy the atmosphere.
Well, I've been back to the UK for a couple of weeks and took my dead Macbook with me. I took it into a company in Riseley, between Reading and Basingstoke, called VIS, whom I have used before and can thoroughly recommend. They fitted me a new, bigger hard drive and uprated my RAM to the maximum possible, all within the space of a week. For this they deserve a plug. You'll find their website at
I lost a whole load of recent photos when my hard disk fried (When will I ever learn to back up frequently?), so here's an old one until I take some more.