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.

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Not a dry eye in the house

I was sitting beside an emergency exit, near the stairs to backstage. There was coming and going all the time. Babies were crying, a little girl sitting with her grandad to my left seemed to be practising crossing herself, mobile phones were alight everywhere to video the son or daughter, grandson or granddaughter maybe even the uncle or grandma doing his or her bit. The woman behind me suddenly burst into annoying conversation but I forgave her when a few minutes later she cursed slightly before going on stage to the accolade of the crowd as one of the moving forces behind the event - pre-show nerves I suppose. I was sitting next to a bloke who owns a bar I go in from time to time and I think the singer who sat in front of me when she was done performing was the woman who runs the tobacconist. Everywhere there were pristine frocks, new shoes and shirts with the creases still in them from the packets. I recognised tens of people in the audience or onstage. There were false starts with the same, wrong, music for three different performances and the number of times mics weren't on when they should be or had to be moved, adjusted and adjusted again was legion. The attempts to find the join in the curtains was very Morecambe and Wise. At times the singing left something to be desired but, what it lacked in professionalism, it more than made up for in heart.

But that's what you'd expect from a small town Christmas concert. Proceeds to a local Alzheimer group. I think nearly all of the musical groups from the town were there and both of the primary schools too with their music teachers just hoping that this time it would go as it should.

I used to work for an organisation that had community in its title. If I am ever required to say what I used to do in the UK I talk about work with communities but what was happening around me this evening, in the Teatro Auditorio Emilio Martinez Sáez, in Pinoso, was about as community as community can be. And as the Mayor said, as he did his little bit of wind up at the end, we have a pretty nice little town - a town that does well at being safe yet lively, good at looking after and supporting its people. It was almost like an advert for Christmas - very good will and peace on Earth.

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