Wednesday, 25 February 2009

Mercredi des Cendres

Today is Ash Wednesday. I had always thought it to be just the day after pancake day but I am wrong. Church is a well presented social affair in St Jean de Luz so we decided to attend the lunchtime service. I am still new to the whole Catholic thing, let alone when it is conducted in Basque. The head man (I believe it is always a man in the Catholic world) started a fire at the alter which I thought was a little careless. He waited till it burned down and collected the ash in a dish. Everyone started to form a queue so I figured I should join in. Imagine my surprise when I got to the front of the line to find the priest and his cohorts smearing ash on everyone's face, including mine. I still have it marked on my forehead.

As has been normal to date I didn't fully understand all that was said but did grasp enough to comprehend. I do like the idea of self-sacrifice for the greater good, whatever that greater good be. There are now 40 days of penance ahead of me, we shall see how I cope. If I manage I will divulge what I am abstaining from, not before.

Around the coastline are a variety of wee lighthouses. Well, they say they are lighthouses and they are houses that have lights that shine out to sea at night but I think they are hideouts for evil French Bond-esque villains. They stash their arsenal of missiles beneath the surface in mammoth hi-tech caverns and these so called lighthouses are little more than launchpads for armageddon. There are simply too many of them for this not to be true. Be afraid.

Basque of the day:- religion :: erlijio