Blogs in this series

Life in Culebrón is a disconnected series of pieces about the banal and ordinary of everyday life in an inland Alicante village seen from my very British perspective.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Care in the community

There is a district of Pinoso called Santa Catalina and today is Santa Catalina's day, Well it's today if you use the Byzantine calendar or tomorrow if you're on the Latin calendar. So Saint Catherine. The day is celebrated here by lighting bonfires in the street and having an associated "picnic". An efigy of the Saint also starts doing the rounds of people's homes.

When we first moved to Pinoso I went to have a look at the bonfires. Unlike this evening, when it was a very pleasant 13ºC, it was cold back in 2005 and I wore a big black overcoat with gloves and a scarf. Unlike tonight Maggie wasn't with me. I was alone.

A couple of years later I was working at a furniture shop and a new co-worker turned up. She recognised me as the man with the long coat and she told me a story. The people who lived in Santa Catalina didn't trust me. I looked shifty. Maybe their children weren't safe with me around. As I strolled amongst the bonfires a person from one group would keep an eye on me. After a couple of hundred metres at most they would pass the task to the next group and so on. Wherever I went I was being watched until I got in my car and drove away.

Tonight we were offered a bit of something to eat as we strolled around. Much better.

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