Week 568

Sunday, 10th November, 2019

What a wonderful, wonderful but exhausting day. Hot and sunny all day, we walked for miles/kilometres and swam for ever – or so it felt. It is only 7.30 pm and I am struggling to move. 

Looking across Adeje & the North Atlantic with West Saharan Africa behind us.

We still did all the normal things like watch the round of political programmes. I watched two, excellent football matches particularly Liverpool easily seeing off Man. City. We followed an hour’s swimming with a long walk up above our villa to the huge volcanic crater which is now cultivated with acres of banana plantations, salad vegetables and prickly pears.

Beauty & the Bananas.

Pauline produced a delicious meal of roast chicken breasts wrapped in Serrano ham with roasted red peppers, onions and garlic mushrooms. There is no luckier man in the world! Pauline’s reward is to watch the results show of Strictly Come Something.

Monday, 11th November, 2019

Another wonderful, wonderful day. Hot, wall to wall sunshine we really had to push ourselves to complete our exercise targets …. but we did. We walked and sweated under a beating sun up to the volcano crater which is incredibly fertile farm land and produces acres of salad vegetable plus even more acres of bananas. 

Local Businesses.

There is really only one booming business here, however, and it is tourism and particularly property development connected to tourism. Homes for retirement and homes for rental are going up everywhere. Of course, the weather is perfect for builders and for sellers. There is really only one reason to come to the Canary Islands and that is the all year round climate.

You’ll need at least a €1 million for one of these.
These developments are everywhere.

There is almost unstoppable development moving further and further up the mountains and away from the coast.

Tuesday, 12th November, 2019

The lovely days just go on. Today we had a gentle walk down to the market and bought fresh langoustines and scallops for our meal. The langoustines are incredibly cheap in Spain. We bought a kilo for €7.84/£6.70 whereas a kilo in UK would be £18.00/€21.00. It is disgraceful that our market is so out of kilter with the real cost of healthy ingredients.

The joy of cheap, fresh ingredients.

Langoustines, of course, generally tend to be shipped from UK fishing fleets to markets in Spain. The small amounts sold in UK are premium priced. Why? It is an absolute joy to shop for fish here.

Pauline loves Papaya for her breakfast.

The Spanish are big on really good, fresh produce. This fruit stall contains Pauline’s Breakfast for a year – lots of huge, ripe Papaya but it also has locally grown bananas which just cannot compare with the South American ones I buy from Asda in Sussex. You may notice a section of Prickly Pears which are cultivated here And you can find growing wild all round Greece. They are the fruit of the cactus and pickers have to fight past dreadfully painful spines in order to harvest them. There also different cactus fruit in the form of the bright pink/red Dragon Fruit which, I must admit, I’ve never tasted. This month could be a first.

Wednesday, 13th November, 2019

Interesting and really enjoyable day. We registered 26C/79F but it was a little more cloud and sun today. We did our 30 mins walk to Adeje. It was delightful as an exercise and we walked along beautiful streets on our trip:

The roads below our villa.
My view of all womens’ clothes shops.

We walked down to the shopping area of Adeje but it was very disappointing. Blackpool on steroids was an over statement. I stood around while Pauline went in to Mango and then this:

We walked back and did our second swim of the day followed by grilled swordfish steaks and salad.

Thursday, 14th November, 2019

Exactly half way through our month away. We have done our 14th hour of swimming and our minimum of 140,000 paces. Actually, we have done much more than that. We had a downbeat day after quite a demanding one yesterday. Even so, we walked down to the sea and back. At the risk of sounding snobbish, this place is not for us. Adeje beach makes one want to run a mile.

All these people .. and so many tattoos!

The streets are lined with Irish Bars, Curry Houses, Fish & Chip Parlours interspersed with the odd Nail Bar and Tattoo Shop. This is the sort of thing that abounds on the path side.

We slunk off back to our villa and cooked Sea Bass en papillote to eat with green bean salad and tomato salad. It was absolutely wonderful. I don’t know why but I watched a bit of England. I couldn’t really watch it as the score reached 5-0 but it played out in the background.

Friday, 15th November, 2019

Dori Fidler

A day of fulfilment and enjoyment. We are so lucky to share this experience in our lives. Warm, sunny, relaxed, we have done our full exercise regime and eaten the most wonderful, pan-fried tuna steaks with tomato salad and mixed bean salad. 

We had very sad news of the death of our former colleague’s wife of 60 years. Dori Fidler was wife and partner to our colleague and friend, John for 60 years. We have been involved with John for 47 years and are trying to understand what it must be like to lose such a long-term partner. 

On our walk this afternoon, we found Tenerife’s answer to the Corinth Canal. The only problem was that it is ‘dry’. Obviously it has seasonal use as floods pour down the mountains to the sea.

 

Tenerife’s answer to the Corinth Canal.

It has been a delightful day and we have really enjoyed ourselves but we are carrying round the mortality of our colleagues. It is a heavy feeling which impinges on us and our own mortality. It underlines how important it is to squeeze the most out of our lives. 

Saturday, 16th November, 2019

The sharpness of light.

We are half way through the month and half way through our stay here. It is a beautiful day with crisp, bright views. There is something about the Mediterranean colours and vivid clarity of light that appeals to artists and really appeals to me. This view from our property early in the morning sums it up.

After breakfast and a swim, we walked down to the supermarket for our major shop of the week. We believe that living here would cut our regular cost of living by about 50%.

Pauline sourcing Tuna steaks and Sea Bass.

All this wonderful, quality foodstuff is so cheap. I have found the most delicious, fruity red wine for just €2.48/£2.13 per bottle. At the fish counter, I have my smartphone constantly ready to provide translation. Just making the slightest effort is rewarding because the staff immediately respond more positively.

We broke the habits of our recent past by also purchasing some sirloin steak which Pauline used with shiitake mushrooms, green peppers, onions and garlic to produce the most wonderful stir fry. Obviously, there was no noodle content but it wasn’t missed.

My self-discipline is appalling but my addiction to routines overcomes that weakness. We did our 2 x 30 mins swimming plus 10,000+ paces walking routine. Actually, we are recording an average of 12,000 paces per day for the time we’ve been here. I know it has to be done so it is done.

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Ex-teacher and Grecophile. Born 6/4/1951. B.A. Eng. Lit & M.A. History of Ideas. Taught English & ICT.
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