Monday, 5 September 2016

Seaside shrine

Another hot day today, but not humid, so the weather was bearable. In the morning, I prepared and sent out the documents for the next BCRP Board meeting. It took me more time than usual as accessing what I needed in our on-line file system took longer than usual. Fortunately the documents needed were also attached to findable emails, so I had a work around solution when needed.

I went out food shopping before lunch and went through recent photos and stored them off-camera ready for uploading on my next office visit. Just as was nodding off for a siesta a phone call came in about officiating at a funeral this Saturday, in Fuengirola Crematorium. I was happy to agree to this, as it's familiar territory from two years ago. As it's a September Saturday, I imagine the Costa del Sol Chaplains are busy with wedding blessings. There are few of these in Malaga. Funerals, sure, but also Christenings of African infants from a constituency for which Christian tradition and custom is still alive. It makes a refreshing change.

Before supper I walked the promenade westwards as far as the first tunnel, to investigate an area under the cliff at the end of the footpath, covered by a canopy, visible from afar. What I discovered was a shrine set into the rock, with a long line of benches set against the rock decorated in blue and white tessera and facing out to the sea shore. At the entry to the domain was a linear fountain, below a rock garden above which was the legend: Nuestra Señora del Carmen. This area is dedicated to those who have lost their lives at sea.

There was a notice in front of the shrine asking people not deposit votive candles there. Instead, people brought fresh flowers, and there were lots of them, tidily arranged. I watched an old man praying from his mobility buggy, a young girl in a swimming costume bringing a single glower, and a young man bringing a bunch of white carnations.
That canopy, partly sailcloth, partly netting is to protect visitors from rock fragments falling from crumbly cliff faces above.

I returned via the main street, but curiosity distracted me up a side road which led up a steep hill to Rincon's cemetery, with its maze of burial walls, mostly full, each niche decorated with fading artificial flowers. Only for All Souls and maybe Easter do these tend to get replaced by cut flowers. I noticed a new almost empty wall of burial niches, half the size of others, probably destined for cremated remains, now that this has become more widespread in the past half century.

As I was about to leave, Clare skyped me, and we talked while I strolled home, right up to the time of the Archers, and the attempted murder trial of Helen née Archer. Compelling listening this!

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