El Cautivo. / H. C.

Imagine no processions

Apart from the processions themselves, Holy Week brings with it a couple of further advantages - baked potatoes for starters

Peter Edgerton

After a three year hiatus, Holy Week is once again being celebrated in all its pomp and majesty right here in the centre of Malaga.

On Monday, while watching El Cautivo - said by many to be the most beautiful of the thrones on display - pass by, I couldn't help but reflect on what Easter had meant to me as a child and compare it to what I was currently witnessing.

As the statue of Christ, carried proudly aloft on exhausted shoulders, wended its way slowly through town, his immaculate lily-white tunic rippling in the early evening breeze as thousands looked on in awe, for some reason I found myself lost in a fug of nostalgia, gripped by vague memories of attempting to open a fiddly little drawer on a Bugs Bunny cardboard box in order to snaffle the chocolate egg concealed within, before finally resorting to the tried and tested option of ripping it to bits in a fit of frustration.

It's odd to think that all those years ago, as my Easter unfolded ten miles north of Liverpool amid a pile of shredded Looney Toons cardboard, a couple of thousand miles south, things were being taken somewhat more seriously, with magnificent thrones being paraded through the streets of a city I hadn't even heard of yet but which was later to become my home. It boggles the old bonce even to contemplate such things.

Apart from the processions themselves, Holy Week brings with it a couple of further advantages - baked potatoes for starters.

Easter week always offers a plethora of temporary food stalls around town, the highlight of which are, undoubtedly, the baked spud providers. I'm quite certain that if I were locked in an empty room and somebody played Semana Santa music through a pair of hidden speakers, I'd immediately start salivating in the manner of one of Pavlov's dogs, unable to free my mind from images of lovely baked potatoes piled high with all manner of tasty ingredients.

Another plus point where Holy Week is concerned is that, because the streets are gridlocked from about 5pm onwards for days on end, it motivates even the keenest of procrastinators to get all necessary chores done as early as possible. This has the added advantage of freeing up time in the evening to be able to do other things, like watch the processions. Or eat a potato. Or both.