SITTING in October shade sipping black coffee as people drift past at the annual feria – the festival during which the Spanish town of Orgiva bursts into life for three days.

Abstract thoughts drift through the unmolested mind at times such as these. I decide there are few things more elegant than Spanish ladies bedecked in flamenco costume. Can’t say I’m an expert on this subject or that I possess experience beyond being a casual observer. It’s just a conclusion I have arrived at – unaided and surprisingly cheerfully.

Even the men on horseback have a proud elegance. As they clatter past I feel almost ashamed that my distant homeland failed in its duty to furnish its sons and daughters with a national costume.

Perhaps that’s why we English are so restrained and the Spanish so passionate. We don’t do frills and lacy things. We don’t dance without the aid of alcohol.

If we come back in another life then I am going to be Spanish. I might practise the tango before I leave this one.