Exploring the Stories of the Islands and the Freedoms of Third Age


Why Tenerife?

In a country renown for its crazy festivals, on an island known for its love of fiestas, Las Tablas de San Andres is surely one of the wackiest. Don’t let the name fool you – it might take place on St Andrew’s Day, but it’s not at all religious, unlike many of Tenerife’s celebrations, which are based loosely on Catholic philosophy………

That was how I began this post,  back in December. The trouble with being “away” for so long is that you forget “how to do it,” write that is. Oh, not the tapping of keys or the putting together of words, but the train of thought, the remembrance of things said before, even the enthusiasm for a place or an event. I wrote a couple of paragraphs back in December, and then it occurred to me to check what I had written the last time, because I knew I’d written about this festival a few years back, and I didn’t want to repeat myself. When I looked, I realized that I had nothing new to say. I knew that I could say it better now (note to self: tidy up that post!), but the information, my feelings, my reactions were pretty much the same.

The beginning of my blogging hiatus perhaps began with this one in 2015. I was already out of love with the perennial round of fiestas which punctuates island life. My relationship with Tenerife, like a stale marriage, lacked sparkle and curiosity, and even love. Predictably, festivals come around, and I enjoy them, but they have all fudged together in my mind. They follow the traditional paths they have taken for decades, and  I needed variety. I was finding it difficult to raise enough enthusiasm to go, let alone write about them, which is not to say that you shouldn’t go to them, especially if you are here on vacation. The island does fiestas superbly, they are colourful, friendly, fun and a tribute to island heritage.


Days on Tenerife don’t always end up the way you expect

Continue reading

Leave a comment

The Estrelitzia

Well, just because I downloaded this picture by mistake I will tell you that the estrelitzia, also know as the bird of paradise flower, has a little secret, which I didn’t know for years and years.  These exotic plants, which symbolize our gorgeous sub-tropical climate here have two lives.  Once the primary flower is wilted and begining to dry up, tease it gently out of its bed in the “head” of the “bird”, and then even more gently coax out the second flower, which is hiding underneath.  It won’t be quite so bright and gaudy as the first one, but it will give your display longer life.


Almond Blossom Time

Now that I have more time I realized that I didn’t post these lovely pictures of the almond blossom at the end of January. It was the weekend after the Friday on which I was fired, and the weekend before I moved house, but this walk was something I had wanted to do for years. You can imagine, when you only have weekends (and one of those days is, inevitably, taken up in cleaning, shopping and all the boring stuff), and short, Winter days what a short window you have to do this. And, sure enough, just over a week later, storms with orange-alert winds and heavy rains stripped the trees of these gorgeous blossoms – phew, was I happy that I had decided to go!  It was a brilliant day, with clear, oh-so-blue skies, and the trees were groaning with the weight of the blossoms.  It was early.  The festival in Santiago del Teide (near to where these photos were taken) wasn’t for another week or so.  In the end we didn’t walk so much as amble, because there were so many photo-stops!

At this stage I had bought my new camera, but hadn’t even opened the box!!! I knew that once opened it would take over my life, and I knew that I had to finish off the packing and complete the move and unpack enough to get by before I could risk it! So these were taken with my very basic, little Kodak, which had no view finder. It was afternoon and Winter, so the sun was low, and looking at the screen sometimes I could see nothing at all, and had to guess……..very lucky guesses on this day! I went with my friends, Colleen and Pablo, and Colleen’s battery packed in, which meant that she very kindly took charge of Trixy, which did make it easier for me to snap away- it is well-nigh impossible to snap around Trix!

And the added advantage (apart from their delightful company) of going with Pablo and Colleen was that he explained to me how these almond plantations came to be here. Apparently, almonds were brought to the islands by the Conquistadors, yes, the same ones who went on from here to seek for treasures in the Americas, and had been taken to Spain by the Moors centuries before that – you see how, even then, there was a kind of globalization, how cultures mix and grow.  There are still commercial plantations here, but, I imagine, far less than there once were.  Where we were snapping looked a bit abandoned, as you can see, many of the trunks are ancient and twisted.  Between the trees were rows of cabbage and other vegetables (I couldn’t get too close because I didn’t want Trixy to maybe do any damage), looking like the allotments I remember in the UK.

Going back to Colleen and Pablo’s afterwards for tea and cake I snapped the sunset from their balcony….lovely end to a lovely day!