Sunday, 16 April 2017

Counting the cost! And other comments!

Well, so far as I have been able to ascertain, World War III has not yet broken out, despite the best efforts of a trigger-happy chocolate cake lover on the one hand and an equally unpredictable "look at my weapons" show-off on the other.

And here we are, Easter Sunday, celebrating the day the Prince of Peace is said to have risen from the dead.

One news report I came across about the queen and other members of the royal family attending church this morning was much more concerned about the fashion aspect of it all than anything else. Kate used-to-be-Middleton wore a cream coat and hat while the queen herself wore turquoise. Princess Anne's son, Peter, is married to someone with the unlikely name of Autumn. (I have come across a few girls called Summer, so why not Autumn? I have yet to meet any Winters!) She wore blue. I assume that the men all wore sober suits that did not give rise to any fashion comments.

Think how much money went into clothing the royal (sometimes by marriage) ladies for that church visit! There is an article in today's paper about the cost of weddings. Couples are opting for a cheaper day than has become normal in recent years. "Couples are realising that they don't have to spend £20,000 to have a great wedding day", says one wedding blogger (a wedding blogger!!!!) although elsewhere in the article it states that the average wedding costs £30,000! Wow!!! The writer speculates on how much will be spent on Pippa Middleton's wedding dress (wedding next month apparently) since the dress she wore as bridesmaid to her sister, Kate used-to-be-Middleton, cost an estimated £20,000. Wow, again! Some people expect a whole wedding for that! I would expect a good sized new car and some change as well!

But, do not despair! You can buy a wedding dress from Dorothy Perkins for between £85 and £175 and Topshop offers dresses from their bridal range for around £400. You can get the flowers, typically £1,500 from a professional florist (another WOW!) for under £150 from Lidl. They say "under £150" but that is only just under: "A selection of spring flowers, which includes 100 roses, 80 chrysanthemums, more than 160 tulips - enough to make a bridal bouquet, three bridesmaids' bouquets, six buttonholes and eight table displays - is £149." Hmm! Since when have roses and chrysanthemums been spring flowers?

All right! That's enough of that. It's Easter Sunday. One of my neighbours is hoping that no-one has bought her an Easter egg; it was her birthday last week and she received lots of chocolates AND she is trying to lose weight.

A number of years ago we spent Easter in Salamanca, in a small pensión overlooking the impressive main square. We had an excellent view of all the Easter processions from our balcony. Indeed, we were woken in the small hours of good Friday morning by the mournful sound of the funeral march as they carried the statue of Christ crucified past our pensión. The other processions were at a more reasonable hour. I watched the "re-encuentro" where they bring together the statues of Mary and the risen Christ and make them meet in the square, the men carrying the statues dipping down to make the statues bow to each other. Salamanca does Easter well. The next morning, looking at pictures in the local paper, I saw a photo of the "re-encuentro" with our pensión in the background and my good self on the balcony. Fame at last!

Going even further back in my Easter memories, one year we were in the small town of Cómpeta in Almería, a place with fewer inhabitants than some of the large cruise ships have passenger. Despite their small size, they still managed a procession every day through Holy Week, no mean feat in a town where the streets are seriously hilly. They were accompanied by a very bad town brass band and the local madwoman who called out furiously every chance she got. Less solemn and theatrical perhaps that Salamanca and Sevilla but quite spectacular in its own way.

Enjoy your Easter eggs!

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