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The trouble with Spaniards and fiestas

is that they've been there and done that.

There have been things going on all week related to the Carnaval de Toros, the event that officially runs from this Friday evening until next Tuesday. For instance, as an example, a group of blokes, dressed in cloaks and playing lutes passed beneath our window yesterday evening on their way home from some little ceremony. Not something we got a lot of in Huddersfield.

Maggie and I haven't been involved in anything Carnaval related so far this year so, when Maggie said that we were going to abandon the telly and go to see the official opening of the casetas (the temporary headquarters of the peñas- see blog of 12 Feb, A buzz in the air), I was about as enthusiastic as we old folk get.

It started well; Maggie bumped into someone whose brother was a member of a peña so we were invited into one of the casetas - we got free beer and snacklets. By the time we made our excuses and left all the peñas were giving away free food and drink. But we couldn't stay, we had to go and meet Maggie's girlie drinking pals.

Maggie and I were expecting to go back to the casetas. The focus of tonights action. Not a chance. Even though one of Maggie's pals kept shouting "Carnaval, Carnaval" and doing an "I'm just about to wee myself with excitement" dance we were destined to spend our evening in a couple of bars.

Maggie's friends have done the casetas thing 10 or 20 or maybe 30 times before. We haven't, but, because we were unable to muster the correct language or tone to put forward our preferences we tagged along like sheep. We went to a bar playing loud music. I'm old, I'm a bit hard of hearing when conditions are less than perfect, I was bored to tears. As the music ground on I pondered on how may times, over the years, I've obediently toddled along behind Spaniards showing me things and taking me places that I neither wanted to visit nor to see as what I considered to be the main event went ahead without me.

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