Sunday, 20 April 2014

Hallelujah anyhow - Christ is risen indeed!

I woke up early, buzzing gently with the prospect of the day's celebrations, then got up and went out to watch the Easter sunrise with clouds promising a rainy day to follow.
Val ferried me to Benalmadena for the nine thirty Eucharist, then back to Los Boliches for the second service, to ensure I could arrive and not have time wasting parking hassles. It was wonderfully relaxing to be driven in such a situation of potential pressure. There were twenty five of us at Benalmadena, and we sang the service unaccompanied, as the organist was in the UK attending the christening of his grandson. Then there were eighty of us at St Andrews, almost a full house. 

It rained during most of the service and for several hours afterwards, and afterwards the family gathered and we dodged showers all the way to La Vieja Escuela restaurant where we were booked in for a festive lunch. It was an amazing meal, accompanied by excellent Ribera de Duero red wine, and a starter of air dried jamon cut from the bone. I had a dish containing three different kinds of tomatoes, flavored with black rock salt, followed by rice and  chicken fillets cooked in a subtle cream and saffron sauce, with strawberries to follow, poached in a black pepper sauce. All new and memorable tastes to savour. The others were equally delighted with their choices too, and afterwards we walked along the still wet promenade to Torreblanca for a drink, before strolling home.

Sadly the rain meant the curtailment of the local processions of the image of Cristo resucitado so the streets were extra quiet where one would have expected them to be full of people waiting for the procession to pass. Late in the evening I happened on a Fuengirola TV broadcast, which showed the bedraggled procession arriving at the Parish Church of our Lady in Plaza del Carmen, where all the processionistas, civic officials took refuge, along with the trono of Cristo resucitado and its bearers.
Thanks to this excellent broadcast service I was also able to capture a few inside views which timing and location would have otherwise denied me.
The band reassembled in the gallery and played, and the trono moved around in a restricted area that had been hastily cleared of its bench pews to create a space. Every now and then, at a signal, all the hand bells used in procession to signal between the different sections of walkers would be rung together and the trono exalted up at arms length by its bearers in celebration - women as well as men included, I noted.
Rain must have been a disappointment for those who'd put so much time and effort into preparing for this crowning event of such a remarkable week in the life of the Andalusian faithful, but even so they made the best they could of a very damp occasion. As they say in the Caribbean - Hallelujah anyhow.