If you are visiting these pages for the very first time and you are in a hurry.......... do yourself a favor and click on the 'Hymno de las Islas Canarias'... (just below) It will give you an "Insight" into the Pride, Full Heartedness and generosity of the Tinerfenians..........Merry Christmas everyone.

Friday, 1 January 2010

Lets Kick-off the New Year with a little Humour

This Billboard has been recently recovered and I have passed it various times thinking nice car, good price, cool colour and interesting graphics.

Yes, those graphics..... prancing Ponies look good  and what does it say..... POP (mm)   DROP (yeah !)  LICK (mm!)   SICK.... Pardon......SICK?
Something has been lost or gained in translation here OR is this the Spanish sense of humour sending out subliminal messages!!!     Prospero Año Nuevo

Thursday, 31 December 2009

A Rare New Year Blue Moon to Greet 2010

When you hear some say "Once in a Blue Moon.......... " you know what they mean:- ie Rare or Seldom, or maybe even Absurd.  After all, when was the last time you saw the Moon turn Blue?
Tonight, New Years Eve 31st December 2009, you should look, because there is going to be a 'Blue Moon'
According to Modern Folklore, a Blue Moon is the second Full Moon in a Calendar month. Usually months have only one Full Moon, but occasionally a second one sneaks in.

For the technically minded:-
Full Moons are seperated by 29.5 Days, while most months are 30 or 31 days long, so it is possible to have two full moons in the same month. This on its own is quite rare and only happens every two and a half years, on average.

BUT, FOR THE SECOND FULL MOON TO FALL ON NEW YEARS EVE IS VERY RARE !   The last time being 1990 and the phenomenon will not repeat until 2028..................

Will this herald in the beginning of  a Fabulous Year?   I hope so!     After all, isn't it always the tiny, non related things that change our futures......   Enjoy Tonight for all its Rarity..........

Monday, 28 December 2009

Superyacht "A" visits Tenerife (Beauty or Beast? ...You decide)

On the odd occasion Santa Cruz is graced with the presence of  "Special or famous" boats that are on their way to the Carribean.  A little while ago we had the Royal Clipper which is the largest 5 masted (square rigger) and luxury Cruising Ship afloat.   What a Beautiful Sight.  It attracted lots of locals who came out especially to see this wonderful ship and envy the passengers that would leave on her.

A lot of  local people also came out to see "A" but mostly for all the opposite reasons! This 400 ft  super yacht is owned by 36 year old Russian Billionaire Andrey Melnichenko. There is supposed to be some rivalry between him and Abramovich (owner of Chelsea football Club).
This yacht is some 23 foot longer than Abromovich's  "Pelorus"

It is a 200 million pound stealth ship built by the same yard
that built the "Bismark"

It's maiden voyage was to Norway to pick-up three Monet Paintings.
It has a compliment of 42 crew members, But takes only 14 Guests.
At the Aft there is a Disco with a glass bottomed Pool directly above.

For most of us standing by, it looked more like a military machine than a Luxury Private yacht. However, Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. You decide!

Saturday, 26 December 2009

Santa Cruz Christmas Market (+ Effective Marketing)

Well, the Santa Cruz Christmas fair is in full swing and strung out along the the 'Avenida' close by the Plaza.
This comes at the time that our English Christmas and Boxing Day are over....done and dusted!
But, the Spaniards are just starting their Christmas shopping and the City is gearing up for the next ten days. The Three Kings will arrive in the City on the 12th day and that is when we all get our gifts.  Yes, the shops are open all hours and lots of bargains are out there.
Now, I am partial to a packet of nice hot 'Garrapañadas'.
(these are Almonds covered in ground almonds and caramelised sugar) You really must try them ... they are hot, crispy and chewy at the same time.... oh! and ever so more...ish!
Every night market here has loads of these stalls but one caught my eye!!
He had a very discrete sign that simply said "No hay Cucarachas en Mi Garrapiñadas" (You will not find a cockroach in My Sweets)  When he realised that I had seen the sign he beckoned with his Head to another stall down the road!   So, needless to say; I bought from him as against the almost certainly innocent vendor down the road...... But I am a sucker for Clever Marketing.
By the way, he also told me that they 'know if a cockroach has been covered and found its way onto the Hotplate' because "They are the ones that try to run away"....    He had me in hysterics.

Thursday, 24 December 2009

Photo Blog of Nativity Scene in Santa Cruz

Most Towns on the Island Have their own Nativity scenes (Belén) as part of the Celebrations. A Plaza in Orotava presents us with a life sized, walk around Belen, which was quite notable given the high winds we have suffered. However, I was very impressed by the model that Santa Cruz is displaying. The 10" tall mannequins are all hand made and the detail is quite staggering. (Double click on any image and it should come up Full Screen)   Thank you Santa Cruz for this tremendous labour of love and Yes, I gave generously to the Charity Box........ Well Deserved.

Monday, 14 December 2009

(A little Tip) Always accept the small, humbling gifts from Tinerfenians

I am well known for liking my food, maybe it is my body mass or maybe I always seem to end up being a very appreciative audience when confronted with "Cocina Canaria".  Home made cheeses, Local wines, Deep Sea Fish, Superb Deserts, Exotic Fruits, Wild Mushrooms and even freshly picked Snails have all ended up being devoured with gusto by 'yours truly'.
The other day, friends were just going off to get some bread and asked if I wanted some. "Por favor" was my quick response but they were gone before I could give them any money.   On their return they had several full bags and promptly handed me one of the biggest and by way of explanation; "Un regalito". 
But, this 'little' present nearly got dropped as it was a lot heavier than normal and I mean A LOT Heavier !!
Completely intrigued, I ripped open the paper to find the heaviest and biggest bread I have ever seen, complete with lattice work detailing........Gosh! 
Believe me, it was 20 inches long and 10 inches round.

When I got to cut it open I found that it was full of Ham, Olives, Raisons, nuts and melted cheeses!!!  The bread itself had a lovely yellow hue and tasted sweet like breakfast buns. The photo above shows the last uneaten half, as it got eaten in very short order between us.      Well, the diet went out the window !!!

Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Worlds Greatest Diva to sing in Tenerife

Whitney Houston will hold a concert in the South of Tenerife.

Her new Album, "I look to you" is in the shops now.

The Venue :-  El Campo de Golf in Costa Adeje

The Date :-     30th of April 2010

Remember that you read it here...... First!

More details as they come in.

Tuesday, 3 November 2009

Marauding, Looting Armada Invades North Tenerife

Dutch, Germans, French and English buccaneers are wreaking havoc in the North of Tenerife and systematically sacking the town. They seem to have taken over Santa Cruz and are to be seen plundering the Supermarkets, Liquor stores and Fresh Produce Markets. Fresh (out of the Oven) baguettes are snatched out of the hands of the locals and complete shelves of wine, beers, Hams and a multitude of canned meats are swept into the carts of these marauders.
You cannot visit a Cybercafe without having to wait for various of these intruders to finish boasting about their exploits and sharing plans of future conquests with all and sundry back home. Their Banners, Flags and Privateer Pennants are flying high as they gather together and swap stories of frontiers crossed, Officialdom circumnavigated and How far their Chest of "ill-gotten gains" is holding up.........
I am of course 'having a little fun' by describing the annual assembly of "Round the World" sailors that use the Islands as a vital victualling stop before they launch themselves across the Atlantic in the wake of Christopher Columbus. Most years there are about 1000 Sailing Yachts that launch themselves from our shores. That really is a small Armada. Although a lot of them have only skeleton crews [moan], there are still 3000 odd souls out there pursuing  their dreams.The Middle of November normally heralds the start of the "Christmas Trade Winds" which take them across to the Caribbean.

                                                            I know,  their hearts are in their mouths as they prepare to confront the unknown. Anything could catch them out; an unpredicted storm, a breaching whale, a lightning strike or a ' Floating Container' just below the surface. Each and every year there are incidents; a sinking, serious damage and sometimes loss of life!
So, whether we take the Mick or brand them as misguided fools lets just wish them "A safe and happy transit"......."May the Wind be always from behind"........ and.......... "May you remember our 'Fortunate Isles' with a smile and a grin"

Friday, 30 October 2009

"The Good times" & identifying them as you have them!

The smell of Bourgainville invaded the flat as I sat back in my new and very comfortable 'Directors' chair and perused my recent computer efforts. Spinning the chair around and leaning forward thro' the veranda doors I could still hear the sound of crickets over the din of the Plaza below. Nestled in my hands was a glass of Pernod and fresh squeezed orange..... but it was late and time for bed.
The morning was still and tranquille with that clarity of air you only get on Islands. Nestled in the leather of my car I glanced across at Gran Canaria, it seemed one could almost reach out and grasp it. Even at 8-30am it was hot enough to have the top down and my hair barely knew we were doing 100kph. The sea was bright blue and what waves there were glistened brightly in the Sun. A few small fishing boats bounced at anchor; the owners 'feet perched up against the rail with an early morning beer in hand' hoping that the fish would leave them alone for a while!
This is my daily commute to the South of Tenerife along the Motorway and I enjoy every second of it.
Today there is a small ring of white clouds around the mountain slopes that manifests their true height and casts little moving shadows on the dark green slopes below.

The outside temperature increases significantly as I speed South and I look forward to having breakfast with clients.
Question:- I have sometimes looked back and thought, Gosh wasn't '84 great and that sailing holiday in '90 was fantastic.......and I know you have too......but did we know "at that time" that we were having a an absolute ball?      I suspect not!
Part of life is learning to identify that one is having a great time, in the present moment...... Is it not?

Thursday, 29 October 2009

"Winter Clock Change" and "Clouded by Determination"

The walk was nothing special, I would have done it on my own but Natty wanted to do it with me and worked until 2pm on the Sunday (yes I had changed the clocks)        The walk was going to be from the village on the right across to and around the "Roque Taborno" that you see on the left. (2 hours max)
All three of us did not arrive until 3pm (equivalent of 4pm) and as the day was dull we started out walking just below the cloud base. We took the obvious path when we hit the mountain base but half way round we nearly walked into midair!
So, we backed up and tried the other path in the opposite direction, which took us upward and more into (by now) dense clouds.
"Reasoning is the better sense of valour" so they say but 'Determination' had taken hold!  No Problem, though as there were plenty of Green paint marks and piles of stones to follow. But, slowly and surely these dwindled and suddenly we were disorrientated, semi-lost and it was getting dark....... there were three different opinions as to which way to go etc etc etc.  Bursting out in nervous laughter we renewed our efforts to escape. (for that is how we felt and by now it was dense fog)
Because, you are reading this you can gather that it all worked out fine but we only regained the car a little before dark!!! (now 7pm, as it took us over 3 hours)
Three large Cognacs, Three black coffees and three Fresh Rosquettes refreshed our humour at the nearest bar.     Take heed.......Because of the Clock change. go early if you are walking in the Mountains.    Hic! [sic]