Archive for November, 2008

Scanning the posts on the Tenerife forum of TripAdvisor, I notice that lots of people are planning to come to Tenerife for Christmas and New Year and are keen to know what festivities they’re likely to find in or around their resort.

Of course, this being Tenerife, information from the local town hall on forthcoming events in its municipality is thin on the ground, and in English, positively conspicuous by its absence.

Your quick guide to whats on in Tenerife

Your quick guide to what's on in Tenerife

There are two things about the Tenerife method of marketing which are critical for you to know if you’re hoping to glean information about what’s on in Tenerife over the festive season.
Firstly, ‘planning’ is not a skill that Tinerfeños rate highly and even the most efficient of businesses on the island will rarely practice it. Secondly, ‘word of mouth’ is still the preferred form of business, social and personal communication.

These two factors combine to stage events where the agenda is produced in what is considered to be plenty of time i.e. the day before, and the only people who attend them are those who were there last year or who know someone who was there last year.

In an attempt to provide some kind of advance notice of what’s happening in Tenerife, we’ve just launched Tenerife Matters; short, sharp, timely information on events, fiestas, concerts, exhibitions and anything else that we feel may ‘matter’ to anyone planning to visit Tenerife in the near future.

Check it out.

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I have long held a personal philosophy of ‘work hard, play hard’. I know it’s not original, nor is it ever going to be the subject of “Discuss” on a philosophy exam paper. In fact, let’s be honest, it’s a sort of Mars Bar philosophy on life…but nevertheless it works for me. If I don’t feel that I’ve achieved something at the end of the day then I’m usually irritable and find it difficult to relax. If, on the other hand, I’ve worked hard and achieved results, the sound of a beer can opening is music to my ears and I can settle down to a movie or listen to some sounds with a light heart and an easy mind.

Life's 'yin & yang' concepts beautifully illustrated by alceu

So I can easily appreciate the symbiotic relationship of the yin and yang of life.

The same is true of living in this island paradise. Often, days can be filled with frustrated attempts to move forward in even the simplest of matters and it feels like all the negative energy is stacked in your direction.
Like the two minute job of posting a package which turns into a half day’s lost production courtesy of the Correos (Post Office), or the trudging from shop to shop in search of even the most basic of items because re-stocking on a weekly basis appears to be beyond the wit of the average supermarket, or spending all morning without electricity because someone forgot to flick a switch when they put the cables back into the road.

But then there are days when the yin and yang scales tip the balance back in favour of our Tenerife lifestyle.

Yesterday was one such day.
We had a meeting scheduled in the south of the island and we left the house in plenty of time. As we approached the car, we saw that one of the rear tyres was flat, and I don’t just mean it needed air, I mean ‘metal rim in contact with tarmac’ flat.
After a few perfunctory swear words, Jack got to work removing the spare tyre and toolkit from the boot and wrestling with the jack to free it from its handy moulded plastic container.
As he began to jack up the wheel, I thought I might try to hurry things along a little by loosening the bolts. After about a nano-second I gave up entirely on that idea and just watched as the veins in Jack’s neck stuck out with the exertion of pushing on the brace. At one point he finally managed to loosen one and it spun his hand downwards, scraping his knuckle along the ground and removing a slice of the flesh…ouch!
Sweating, hands covered in oil which was mingling with the bloody knuckle, Jack finally managed to get the wheel off and the temporary spare on and we set off to the Vultesa garage at the top of the road.


Vultesa - I cant recommend them highly enough.

'Vultesa' - I can't recommend them highly enough.


The speed and efficiency with which one man repaired the puncture, removed the temporary wheel and re-affixed the newly repaired wheel was a joy to behold. It took him approximately 11 minutes in all, not pit stop speed (but then I doubt he’s on pit-stop wages) but certainly impressive enough.
I paid the bill (the princely sum of €5), threw a euro into the tips basket and we were on the road, just half an hour or so later than planned.
The flat tyre had been a negative force but it could have happened while we were on the TF1 which would have been far worse. The need to repair the tyre took us to a local business with smiley staff who knew what they were doing and set us back on the road with the minimum of fuss; a very positive experience.

7C Marketing for all your advertising, marketing and PR needs in the Canary Islands

Although we arrived late in Los Cristianos for our meeting of the 7C Marketing Group, everyone had waited patiently for us and we spent the rest of the morning receiving copious pearls of wisdom from John (sorted-sites.com) and sharing laughs and experiences with Julie (Tenerife-tattle.com), Joe (MyTenerifeinfo.com) and Colin (canary-green.com), rounded off by a great lunch courtesy of John.
As we drove back up the TF1 mid-afternoon, we felt like a part of a community that, although it’s invisible and only virtual most of the time, is as real as the skinned knuckle on Jack’s hand. A community that works unseen to raise the profile of its own and other’s web presence; a cyberspace circle of friendship and a part of the yin and yang of living on Tenerife.

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Life here at Casa Monty has been hectic of late.

All summer we’ve been fully occupied producing a new guide to Tenerife, or should I say the new guide to Tenerife, as it knocks the spots off everything hitherto produced. Jam packed with insightful information, witticisms, priceless tips and tried and tested recommendations, ‘Going Native Tenerife’ should be available on Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.com by the year’s end and will provide a shortcut to the accumulated knowledge and experience of ourselves and others over the course of years spent living on the island.

With the early rains came Teides first snow of the winter

With the early rains came Teide's first snow of the winter

Squeezed into small pockets of leisure time in between researching and writing have been island exploring exploits with visiting friends and family, the latest of whom was Mary, Jack’s mum, for whom tan topping was high on her agenda. Unfortunately, Mary’s trip coincided with the early arrival of the November rains and we’ve had to travel the length and breadth of the island to try to find the illusive ‘sol’, largely without a great deal of success.

So amidst all this activity, it’s hardly surprising that I haven’t had time to keep you up to date with all the goings-on in our very own little patch of Tenerife paradise, including the arrival of our new neighbour.
It was at the beginning of September that we first noticed lights on in the little house (we call it the ‘casita’) that borders our path and a few enquiries at the golf club revealed that indeed someone had moved in.

A week or so passed without sightings of the elusive new resident until one night when we were on our way into town with Bryan who was staying with us at the time. As we closed the gate behind us, a voice called “Hola” in the darkness and we went back through the gate to be greeted by Jesús, our new neighbour.
Not much more than a slip of a lad (mid-twenties), Jesús is from the Basque Country and is lately moved here from Thailand where he has been studying and practicing the ancient massage techniques of Sen healing; the loosening of the flow of energy from the body’s natural network of energy lines in order to alleviate muscular and skeletal problems.

Over the course of the ensuing weeks, we’ve gotten to know Jesús very well and he’s now a regular accompaniment on our Friday morning shopping trips and an habitual visitor to Casa Monty where we have ‘cook-ins’. He’s a very good chef and he brings us traditional Basque dishes in exchange for our culture-crossing repertoire of meals. He’s still waiting for us to cook something ‘typically British’ and I guess we’re going to have produce fish and chips at some stage.

Needless to say, having Jesus living at the bottom of our garden has been the source of endless puns and ‘double-entendres’ for our friends and family and the fact that he is a healer by the laying on of hands has naturally added fuel to the quips. But for me, the crowning glory of our juvenile blasphemy came last week when we introduced him to Jack’s mum:

“Jesus, meet Mary”.

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