THE three kings followed their star of wonder and arrived in Orgiva last night to commemorate the Dia de los Reyes. The Spanish don’t celebrate Christmas Day with the enthusiasm of we peoples of the north; January 6 is their main event, or Twelfth Night as it is known. The Magi are delivered from the east on pick-up trucks and their helpers toss sweets and toys to the crowd. Once installed on their thrones, instead of gold, frankincense and myrrh, they distribute presents (which have been discretely deposited by parents beforehand) to the children of the town. And as if by magic, swallows and house martins – which I thought had flown south many weeks ago – emerge from the church belfry like silver sparks in the glare of the street lamps and swoop above our heads. It’s a pleasant affair . . .
Meanwhile, Don Quixote’s statue gazes unimpressed and vaguely hostile as these kings from foreign parts are adulated in his native land. The centuries have done little to ease the knight of the sad countenance.
HAVE just finished watching a film called The Long Duel, starring Trevor Howard, Yul Brynner, Charlotte Rampling and Harry Andrews. It’s about an uprising in India during the final days of the Raj. Did you see it? Splendid views of snowy mountains – only one of those mountains looked curiously similar to Veleta, the foothills of which rise behind my house. A little poking about reveals that although the film was scheduled to be made in India, it was in fact shot here in the Sierra Nevada. I suppose that if the three wise men can make the leap from exotic lands to rural Andalucia in twelve days, moving a film from India is a doddle.