Former Huddersfield gymnast and pub landlord Brian Hayhurst and his wife Elaine are ex-pats who have lived just outside Fuengirola on the Costa del Sol for 20 years. He writes a regular blog for Huddersfield Hub.

As we all look forward to longer brighter days from tomorrow, Elaine and I hope that all family and friends are enjoying a happy Easter.

Here ‘Semana Santa’ (Holy Week) concludes after what is described as the most eagerly awaited event in Southern Spain.

If weather would have allowed, this is what we should have enjoyed. Over this deeply religious holiday period the streets would have been filled with hundreds of thousands who flocked to watch the annual Passion Parades in towns and cities accompanied by blaring trumpets, pounding drums and crashing cymbals, signalling the arrival of the iconic images of Christ and the Virgin Mary.

These multi-ton floats are carried by dozens of carefully selected men, all slowly marching in line towards the churches.

Easter week is seen as one of the most magical times in Andalucia and, despite road closures causing chaos in some towns, these issues are quickly overlooked as the parades, which are steeped in history, are enjoyed by Spaniards of all ages.

Malaga boasts one of the most spectacular Easter parades in Spain, and the event usually attracts more spectators with Malaga-born Antonio Bandares always joining the float carriers.

Although with rain falling as I write and forecast all week, Malaga and others have cancelled events.

One unusual tradition at this time is for the Cabinet to approve the release of one prisoner with consent from the local brotherhood.

This is a solemn goodwill act which took place here on the steps of Malaga Cathedral on Wednesday for one pardoned prisoner, ending a three-year sentence. It is a deep-rooted Holy Week tradition which dates back to the 18th century.

Meanwhile the drought situation is still uppermost in people’s minds as water is still becoming more scarce.

There was, last week, a few days of torrential downpours which, along with more rain forecast, should help to keep water supplied across the Costa del Sol until the end of August.

This hefty rainfall came with a violent storm which severely damaged several chiringuitos (beach bars).

Local councils promised to assist the rebuild and restore beaches for Easter, and this was fulfilled having seen the numbers enjoying the well-kept beaches.

The Marbella desalination plant, recently expanded, is working 24 hours a day and, with the possibility of more rain, experts are reasonably confident that residents and visitors will only have to endure occasional restrictions.

But private and community swimming pools, car wash outlets and grass watering cannot use drinking water. Many private pool owners are annoyed as hotels can fill their pools up!

Work is almost completed to supply water from underground wells, which they say should provide 60% of the region’s demand.

I do hope their confidence is right as I noted this week that the record-breaking Malaga airport is preparing to receive over 20 million passengers this summer (11% up on last year). Can the systems cope? We shall see.

Majorca, Tenerife and now parts of Malaga are experiencing anti-tourist campaigns as locals are up in arms about having less places to rent or buy. Owners are not renewing contracts, instead turning their properties into more lucrative tourist lets.

But life goes on, and the majority of visitors and residents openly admit they would not feel happy with the UK weather at the moment.

Having said that, the news that authorities are recommending restaurants and bars should close earlier each night is likely to upset many…

READ MORE: Catch up on Brian’s previous blogs HERE