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Off caps. Shun!

I always think the Spanish National Anthem sounds a lot like the tune from the old advert for Standard Fireworks. That probably doesn't help anyone much under the age of 40 as I suspect that attempting to advertise fireworks in the UK nowadays is akin to organising a kiddie porn site. Capital crime.

Anyway, I'm on my way to get my paper before setting off to teach English. It's just before eight in the morning. I hear the anthem, a tinny version, drifting down the street. The flag is being raised outside the Naval Headquarters by two sailors, one in whites, the other in combat gear. I realise that nearly everyone has stopped. Years and years of training at the Odeon, standing, as She was sent happy and glorious long to reign over us, kick in. I stand and wait. Less than half a minute.

I've never seen Spanish people take much notice of their wordless but tuneful anthem before. Interesting.

Post script: It is now December and this evening I saw the flag being taken down at 5.45pm in the afternoon - just before dusk. Once the flag is furled the Salve Marinera, the Navy Anthem is played and then a recorded voice from inside the building says Cartagena, Buenas Noches.

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