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Where the sun always sets

Those men and women who forged the Empire - the Sutherland Highlanders at Balaclava or those gin and tonic drinking rubber planters in Burma (for the malaria don't you know?) - would be ashamed of us. We got in the car and came home.

Over in Murcia they have a week of festivities, the Spring Festival, as soon as Easter is over. The Murcianos think that Carnival is all well and good but, what with the 40 days of Lent and then the soul wrenching that is Easter, they reckon it's all a bit depressing. So why not let your hair down as soon as you can afterwards?

We hadn't been able to get over to Murcia, what with having to earn a crust and all, but today we were free to go and have a look see. We were there in time to watch a few musical bands parade through the streets giving away small toys, we got to the firework display and we wandered the city full of life, drink, music and noise. With the exception of a Mexican band who were drilled to perfection it was all a bit slapdash. Format: drunken revels. Good to live but not great as a spectator sport.

The big parade, the one that makes the whole event so special, will be starting just about now at the end of which they will burn a giant sardine (from what I can tell the idea of a sardine is just a bit of foolishness with no hidden significance). We won't be there. We wandered the city for six or seven hours on a day that went from blazing sun to pouring rain every fifteen minutes. The museums were all closed for the fiestas and there are only so many bar stops that anyone can make, particularly someone who has to drive. So we surrendered, gave up, bottled out and came home.

No staying power.

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