Archive for the ‘Tenerife’ Category

Often it’s the little things that can seem the most different. Take the shot below. There are a number of things in it that speak of foreign lands and different cultures; the palm trees in the background, the wooden ‘home-made by Robinson Crusoe’ tables and stools, the similarly desert island-esque thatched straw roof. But most of all it’s the sign.

You might think that given the design of this terrace this occupied a prime location overlooking a dreamy beach. But if you fancy popping out for a quick dip from here, the beach is a three hour trek through a ravine. This is at Masca on Tenerife; quite a bit inland.

So by the time you’ve popped out for your swim and made your way back, you’ve worked up a serious thirst. What better to quench it than with some cactus lemonade?

The prickly plants are abundant in these parts and apart from adding a touch of sub-tropical exoticism to the landscape, you can eat their ‘pears’ and, as the sign says, make lemonade from them.

I tried it once – you’ve got to really – and it didn’t really have any distinctive flavours. It certainly wasn’t unpleasant. But these days I tend to be boringly conventional and go for the seductively icy friendship of a cerveza after a strenuous hike.

Sadly the bar no longer looks like this… but the cactus lemonade is still there.

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I’m sure everywhere must have anticrisis products. Due to various circumstances, this week I had to buy anticrisis bread. This was mainly because it was the only decent looking bread in the nearest supermercado to where I live.

I’m pretty sure that the precio anticrisis is meant to make me feel all warm and fuzzy that the producer is so concerned about the effect of the economic crisis on the consumer that they have created this wallet friendly bread priced at only €1.09.

Nice idea, except for one thing; it’s half a loaf. It might be an anticrisis price but it’s also an anticrisis size. In fact, when I work it out it has cost me more than my normal full sized loaf.

Exactly whose precio anticrisis is it?

It looks like a squeeze bottle, it’s got a nozzle like one and it smells like washing up liquid but it sure as hell doesn’t act like one.

Even being throttled into a deformed shape such as this results in a piddling, good for nothing, little drip of washing liquid. You could argue that it’s environmentally friendly as it’s impossible to get a decent amount of liquid out of the damn bottle.

When we forgot to buy our favourite brand of coffee during the weekly shop we picked up this replacement from our nearest supermarket. I don’t really have to say anything else…

On Saturday our friend Bob carried out what was a most unscientific study… but one which yielded results which are probably representative.

Whilst we booed and hissed at dastardly, unsporting behaviour and cheered as sweet revenge was delivered in the shape of two goals from Wayne Rooney, Bob counted the number of men who washed their hands after a visit to the toilets.

Okay it might sound like an odd thing to do, but if  you’re sitting at the bar in the Beehive Pub in Puerto de la Cruz you are also sitting in a direct line with the corridor leading to the loos and the sink directly outside the gents. It is almost impossible to not notice those guys who leave the loo and body swerve the sink.

So as we cheered our lads and jeered our old neighbours on the Mersey, Bob carried out his meticulous research. By half time he presented us with results that were positively shocking.

Eight out of the ten men who had visited the toilet during the first half clearly either had rabies or suffered from hydrophobia because they didn’t go near that sink. Eight out of Ten!
Basically that equates to a stonking (or should that be stinking?) 80% of men don’t wash their hands after a visit to the toilet.

“Some of these guys come back and paw their girlfriends afterwards,” Bob pointed out somewhat unnecessarily. We got the picture. There was a plague of pissy-handed blokes around us.

In a day and age when we all know how disease can be easily transmitted, this figure was a shock. I know it was only a mock survey, but who out there really believes that the figures would be much different anywhere else? A lot of blokes simply don’t wash their hands after a visit to the loo. Is it just Brits? I really don’t know. I’m sure it isn’t exclusive to Brit blokes. On the other hand recently I remarked to Andy about having to queue up to wash my hands at the toilets in our local shopping centre. I don’t remember ever having to queue to wash my hands in the UK.

Coincidentally, the same day I’d been reading hotel reviews from early 2011 in Los Gigantes when many people’s holidays had been affected by sickness and diarrhoea. Norvirus had swept through the resort. There has been much written about it and we’ll never know the truth for certain about what caused it but the virus appeared to only affect resort areas predominantly visited by British tourists.

I mention this because the first piece of advice on some health websites regarding the best way to prevent the spread of norovirus is:- ‘wash your hands carefully with soap and water, especially after using the toilet’.

You don’t need to be Benedict Cumberbatch to work this little mystery out.

Guys, wash your hands after visiting the loo… for all our sakes.

Here’s a question that had me reeling, aghast and plain amazed – Why would an English language magazine publish something that was a Spanish tradition?

December 28th is Dia de los Inocentes in Spain. It’s the equivalent of April Fool’s Day in Britain and the tradition is that the media publishes or broadcasts hoax stories.

One of the main Spanish TV channels had a whole night of screening pranks, one involved fooling a man into believing he was witnessing a murder.

For the last two years I’ve published a hoax story on Tenerife Magazine to commemorate the date…and for the past two years it’s caused a bit of a stir amongst some people who aren’t aware of the tradition (even though this time the piece was clearly tagged with Dia de los Inocentes).

A few savvy people clocked it was a Dia de los Inocentes story right away, leaving comments on Facebook, Twitter and on the article itself. And most others, once wise to Dia de los Inocentes, got the joke. But the comment about why would an English language magazine print a Dia de los Inocentes story that had me reeling wasn’t left on any of the magazine’s social media channels, it was left by an ex-pat resident on an English language forum.

I’m not a judgemental sort of person (what bollocks – I’m terribly judgemental) so if someone living on Tenerife doesn’t know about or isn’t interested in the island’s traditions then that’s up to them. Live and let live and all that jazz. But if someone living on Tenerife who doesn’t know about the traditions has the audacity to criticise me for following one then that’s a very different story.

The question was so utterly ridiculous that I’d have thought it was a hoax itself, except I knew it wasn’t.

Why would an English language magazine write about a Spanish tradition?

Why would we write about carnaval…or the flower carpets at Corpus Christi…or the goat bathing at midsummer? And why do we write about eating cabra and conejo? Because I don’t see the difference between any of those and observing Dia de los Inocentes.

Why would an English language magazine write about a Spanish tradition?

Why? Why? Because we happen to live in Tenerife, Spain and not Weston-super-Mare that’s why.

We are always, always late putting up our Christmas decorations. This year was no different except that this year we toddled off to Portugal shortly after Christmas Day to return on the night when the decs were due to come down again. So we didn’t really have a lot of time to enjoy them.

Instead of leaving them up in the house for 12 months and risking bad luck, I thought I’d post some pics on here, so I can enjoy the house dressed for Christmas for just a little bit longer.

Instead of a Christmas Tree we have a Sprayed Branch, Lights and Old CDs.

Our Only Tree.

By the Light of the Stars.

Bucks Fizz on Christmas Morn.

The Door Handle that Requires a Strong Wrist.

Symbols of Good Luck.

Stars and Discs.

On the Outside Looking In.