You HAVE to go to Mass, it’s a Holy Day of Obligation. Get there smartly, don’t slinge.
The standard answer to “Mass again? But, why….???” when I was a skinny small teenager with a big fat attitude. So, sulking, we would dutifully slinge up that hill to St Mary’s and stand outside the back door, acting as cool as we could under the circumstances. One of us having drawn the short straw would be sent in to hear the message from the homily, so we’d all have the same answer when we got home – sort of singing from the same hymn sheet I guess.
Today is yet another H.D.O. in Spain. Puente del Pilar – the pueblo church bells of San Miguel are ringing as I type, but I think there will be more than just a few blue rinse jobs there today, as it’s also the day of the Spanish military celebrations. Any excuse for the Guardia Civil to tuck their trousers into their mirror-shined boots and wear the three cornered hat. I find it intimidating to be honest – but I guess that’s the idea.
It’s also Hispanic day for the Spanish speaking world. Día de la Hispanidad commemorates the day Columbus first set foot in the Americas – so there’s plenty to celebrate today.
For our village, it’s another opportunity to come home to the countryside and be fed by Mami, a reason for the Abuela to to grin toothlessly, another day to be spoiled for the Nieto.
The village Great and the Good will be invited to the local police station to have a few bevvies, denuncias and feuds forgotten for a few hours, at least as long as the Brugal flows.
Then, as full as proverbial ticks, they’ll weave their way home to sleep. Tomorrow it’s back to normality. Quiet once again, the square chimneys will send blue spirals of smoke to fight the chilly autumn evening. The scent of Almond wood will hang heavily in the air, and the sound of tractors and chainsaws in the distance. Until the next fiesta – it won’t be long!
Abuela – Granny
Nieto – Grandson
Brugal – Popular Spanish Rum
Puente – Bridge – or extra day off work tagged onto the weekend for post-shenanigan sore heads