In real life, I am an ancient historian, and was a university lecturer in Classics & Ancient History specializing in rhetoric, law and politics before moving to Tenerife. I’ve been here now for an astonishing ten years that has gone in a flash, after finding Higher Education had become little more than a processing factory for successful graduates who would be in debt for decades, or unsuccessful ones who were set up by the system to feel like abject failures after being encouraged to aspire to a level of education that was simply beyond them. Tenerife was our holiday home from home before 2004, and the obvious place to choose to retire. It is a sub-tropical haven with a pretty much year-round Spring climate and a language and culture both exotic and familiar. For anyone who wants to stay in Europe but in a place with a buzz, and who has rheumatoid arthritis, like me, and so needs steady humidity and kind temperatures, it is just about perfect.
I live with my husband in a tiny 200-year-old Canarian cottage on the edge of a mountain village a kilometer above the west coast. Our garden is full of flowers and trees, and lizards who now clearly consider us protection and food source combined. We have to resist constant demands for more egg mayonnaise, and shuffle them out of the way as they run at us for more banana now please! One thing I love about living at altitude is that we have seasons, something I think expatriates’ bodies simply need, and in Spring the air is heady with blossom scent from fruit and almond trees, and in autumn it’s a glorious relief to see autumnal colour and falling leaves while watching the mist rolling up the barranco like a steam train! Here’s a view from up here that I never tire of, looking out over the sea to the light show over La Gomera that is different every day. The “blessed isles”. Yes, indeed!
Over the last decade, I have spent quite a bit of my time indulging my interest in houses and homes, particularly interior design but also architecture – ancient architecture was always one of my favourite sidelines in work. My main fields, however, of rhetoric, law and politics have been the launchpad for considerable research into modern Spanish law and politics. If I see this website as having any function beyond that of personal enjoyment, it is as a source of advocacy for anyone thinking of moving here, or actually living here and struggling with bureaucracy and legalities. Ideally in such a place, people would be stress free and fulfilling their ideal of “living the dream”, but all too often it turns into a nightmare. I hope this site is helpful to anyone looking for accurate up-to-date information about what is happening here as well as a straightforward guide to the legalities and bureaucracy involved for resident and visiting foreigners, and their rights and responsibilities.
Please investigate the tabs across the top of the page. They lead to information and advice on being legal, owning property or living here – there are also a few private sales for those looking to buy property – as well as questions and answers on a wide range of related topcis. There are links to pages on everything from the rights of consumers generally to those of patients in the health service in particular, and from keeping dogs to donating a body to science! Under “Useful Stuff”, you’ll find some Spanish vocabulary, links to jobs available for English speakers, books written about Tenerife, essential places to visit, readers’ photos, how to stay safe in heat and water, and a full calendar of “what’s on” with links to detailed information about events.
Below on this page are the latest of regularly-updated posts about news and events; for earlier items, just look to the right and click on the main news link or on a particular date in the calendar (just hover over a date and it will show you the posts made on that day). The right hand column also has buttons to “follow me” on Facebook, Twitter or by RSS feed; a search box to help locate news items or information of interest; links to recent comments made by readers (please do express opinions or ask questions – just click on individual headlines to find the comments box); and the latest news from the BBC and in English from El Pais. The final tab at the top of the page is to Links and Laws, a whole range of legal, official, practical and inspirational resources for anyone with an interest in this wonderful island I call home.
COPYRIGHT: Apart from press releases or where expressly stated otherwise, I have written every single word of text on this website myself. The entire content belongs to me and I have the copyright. Readers are welcome to take text without permission as long as they expressly name me as author, and provide a link to this site. If anyone wants to use anything without crediting me in this way, please ask first.
Latest news and events in Tenerife
Click HERE for the What’s On Diary
Update 17 April: In addition to the bargain property available through lawyers, the lawyers now also have an arrangement with an auctioneer. They will put people in contact with her to view properties and deal with bids in any auction itself. Please just contact me initially, and I will put you in touch with the auctioneer directly: she will then make arrangements for you to view any property that might be of interest. Again, as with the distressed properties below, speed and decisiveness are of the essence, and the fact that lawyers are involved at the earliest of stages is a reassurance of safety for potential buyers. The list of properties is on the Bargain Properties page HERE.
Original post 14 February: Some might have noticed already that I’ve done some work rearranging the tabs at the top of the page. I hope the changes mean that things are grouped more sensibly, and under tabs that better describe their menu contents. I took the opportunity because I have added a new page under Property - Bargain property for sale via lawyers. I’ve been asked to make the current list – and future ones (hence the dedicated page) available to English-speaking readers.
As I say on the page itself, the properties listed are what we commonly know as fire sales. They represent incredible bargains, and legality is assured because of the involvement of lawyers from the outset, from before they’re even advertised indeed. If anyone would like further information, please just contact me: these are not my concern, but I’ve agreed to filter enquiries. Both buyers and sellers, and hopefully the local economy itself, benefit from this sort of thing, so I see no reason not to help.
Mainly, though, I hope the new tabs and their arrrangement make the site easier to navigate, and to find information.
Adeje Council’s Culture department will once again present “the greatest story ever told” – the Passion of Jesus Christ – tomorrow, Good Friday, 18 April. The annual Easter passion play reenacting the last days and death of Jesus of Nazareth, the Pasión, will once again be staged in Calle Grande and will be broadcast live throughout Spain on TVE in the Canaries and on La2 nationally.
La Pasión will start at 12 noon, and for the second year running the scene of the crucifixion will be in the Plaza España. Culture Department councillor Nayra Medina Bethencourt noted that “with the change of location and stages which we did for the first time last year we achieved the desired affect, which was to create a panoramic setting for the final setting which we get with the Plaza, the church, the Convento and the Barranco del Infierno as a backdrop”. There is also more room for the public to watch the final scene of La Pasión with the change to the Plaza.
The councillor said that La Pasión is a major event for Adeje, and that “more than 300 people will be taking part as amateur actors in the staging of the story, the vast majority of them people from different parts of the borough who sign up year after year to take part in what is an important element of our local culture”. She said that ” the people of the borough feel they own the event, and return to it year after year. This … important international event [is] something very different, very unique. As well as the participation of local residents we must also recognise those other groups and individuals from other parts of the island who will be here, from the north, from the island capital, or the many who come from other towns and villages to play their part”.
She is right, of course, but it is more even than all that. It is also a stunning visual spectacle of high emotion that is gaining worldwide renown. And in 2014, the production will see a number of improvements to some of the stages, costumes, the Jerusalem marketplace which will have 20 stalls this year, all of which will add to creating the atmosphere of the era. Another new addition will be the participation of students from the Municipal School of Music and Dance as Herod’s dancers. The Herod and Pontius Pilate stage has been redesigned and restructured, and that of Pontius Pilate and Claudia has also undergone some changes. Their script has also been changed and is more intense, with the inclusion of a song during this part of the representation.
The whole of the Calle Grande, from the Plaza de la Cruz del Llano to the Plaza España, will be a stage dressed to resemble Biblical times, with plants, cloths, sculptures and altars, etc. Music also plays an important part in the event, and all of the songs and compositions are originals, written by the EMMA, incorporating some traditional Canarian musical themes and instruments – the timple, cháracas, the drum, airs and dances. Security during the event will be provided by a group of Adeje local police, members of the civil protection unit and civil protection volunteers and the voluntary Adeje fire brigade.
If you haven’t seen it, don’t miss it. If you have, feel the pasión all over again. As I’ve said in previous years, get there early because this gets packed out, and get there by public transport or taxi because this gets packed out …
A 46-year-old man has needed medical treatment after being set upon by a group of people in Callao Salvaje. The assault happened around 11.30pm last evening in Avda La Galga, and emergency services were called to help what is said to have been a hard blow to the face. After being stabilized at the scene, the injured man was transferred to Hospiten Sur, where he was admitted and said not to be in a serious condition. The Guardia Civil are investigating the incident.
Upmarket indeed, and appealing to a yet wider audience. The Tenerife Cabildo is delighted that the island has been given full feature treatment by the European edition of the Wall Street Journal, with a total potential readership between print and online editions of 15 million. The feature, entitled A Walk on Tenerife’s Wilder Side, was published at the end of March, and Tenerife President Carlos Alonso, said that this type of promotion was exactly what Tenerife needed and, evidently, had involved no promotional costs beyond those dedicated to letting the island show itself to its best. He stressed that the media repercussions of such exposure were enormous.
The article’s author, journalist Jemima Sissons, spent several days in Tenerife at the start of this year in order to get to know the island from first hand experiences of the lesser known attractions we have to offer. She visited the Abama Golf & Spa Resort and the Parque Nacional del Teide, Santa Cruz (including the Auditorio and Carnaval) and Garachico. She also refers to gastronomy – one of the key niche markets – with visits to the Bodegón Campestre in La Esperanza, El Rincón de Juan Carlos in Los Gigantes, and the Michelin-starred Kabuki del Abama.
She writes that Tenerife is an ideal escape at any time of year and that it offers stunning landscapes and afternoons on pristine beaches. The feature occupies two full pages in the print version, and the online version is HERE. As can be seen from above, the article is announced above the journal’s banner on the front page. The European edition of the WSJ is edited in Belgium, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey, the UK, and Israel, and is distributed to fifty or so countries in Europe.
A 23-year-old Moroccan man was stabbed to death around 11pm last night in Playa Paraiso. The Guardia Civil were called out with reports that a man was lying on the floor in Calle La Vega, and emergency services arrived to find him with a stomach wound so severe that they could do nothing to save his life. Police have since arrested the 37-year-old man with whom he shared his accommodation, and say that the older man has acknowledges that the pair fought over a personal matter. The investigation continues to try to clarify the details of what happened, and an autopsy is being carried out to confirm the cause of death.
Recently Tenerife’s cheese producers met during the III Pinolere Fair in the Parque Etnográfico de Pinolere in La Orotava, and the winner, named best Tenerife cheese 2014, was Adeje cheese maker Montesdeoca, whose one-year-cured mature cheese was chosen for the award. The dairy is a family business, and Daniel Montesdeoca said that “this is an important award for us as it is the result of hard work and effort. We have always given priority to producing cheeses of high quality which people will select and enjoy for their flavour and texture”. He added that he was delighted that their cheeses were appreciated by so many people and promised that they would continue to work to improve the product and ensure that the island’s cheeses were known both here and outside Tenerife.
Adeje councillor for Agriculture Esther Rivero Vargas explained that the “Pinolere fair is the perfect setting for displaying all of the island’s natural produce and of course promoting the cheese making industry and culture which has been recognised with this award”. The Montesdeoca dairy makes a variety of different cheeses including smoked, semi-cured, cured, gofio and pepper cheeses and, of course, this now prize winning mature cured cheese. I’m sure I’m not going to be the only one who would like to try it, and we are lucky that it’s locally available either through the dairy itself in Tijoco Alto, or perhaps more conveniently, at the dairy’s stall in Adeje Farmers’ Market every Saturday and Sunday, 8am -2pm.
The VII Arona Jazz Festival 2014 will take place in Los Cristianos’ Church Square at 9pm on Saturday, 3 May. Participants will include A-Trio Raider and Big Band Jazz Tamos, both offering a range of styles including Latin, Swing, Bossa, as well as Bop, Fusion, Dizieland and Metalica. A date not to be missed! Click the above poster to see full size.
Update 14 April: Anyone who didn’t have a chance to go over the weekend has not lost out! Granadilla Ayuntamiento says that the fair was so successful over the weekend that it has been extended to today as well. Above is a picture the council has released of one of the weekend’s events at the fair.
Original post 18 March: The Plaza Príncipes de España (Plaza de El Médano) will be home on 12 and 13 April for the VIII Feria del Saldo, an annual market for local businesses to offer at sale prices all the stock they wish to liquidate, or ends of lines, and so on. The organizers, Granadilla’s Concejalía de Empleo y Desarrollo Local, say that they hope that it will help local commerce, and the fair, between 11am and 8pm on Saturday 12 and Sunday 13 April, will certainly see incredible bargains for products ranging from fashion, jewellery, children’s toys, and sport and IT equipment.
Update 13 April: After a wet day and a very wild night, with frighteningly strong gusts of wind, and with more rain threatened for later today, this is how Teide looks this morning from La Orotava! The coming week will be unsettled, but no more real rain is expected until next Saturday.
Original post 12 April: It was meant to be a bit blustery with a bit of rain in north Tenerife. Now, however, north Tenerife is on orange alert, and the rest of the island on yellow, for gales gusting to 90 km/h and rain to 15mm per hour. The alerts last throughout tomorrow, for the moment.
Update 12 April: Well, as the old joke has it, they didn’t say which month! As La Opinión has reminded its readers today, Los Cristianos welcomes Semana Santa, and the Easter break visitors, still without sunbeds on its beach. Given the unsettled weather forecast for this weekend and the coming week it’s perhaps not that much of a loss, but that’s hardly the point, is it …
Update 10 March: As expected, Arona Ayuntamiento today confirmed the award of the contract for sunbeds on Los Cristianos beach. The winning company, UTE, now has ten days to provide the necessary aval (financial guarantee), and within a month, there should be 300 sunbeds and 150 umbrellas on the beach.
Original post 7 March: Nicolás Dorta has reported in today’s Diario de Avisos that the longstanding problem with sunbeds on Los Cristianos beach may be about to be resolved. The Ayuntamiento will seek confirmation in council on Monday, it seems, for the award of the contract to the successful tender from the nine submitted. The winning company is UTE (Unión Temporal de Empresas) formed by Juan León Correa and Celedonia León Correa. The contract will bring €250,000 per annum into the council coffers, and will see some 300 sunbeds and 150 umbrellas in place over four years. From the expected approval on Monday, UTE will have ten days to provide the aval (financial guarantee) required, and the service should start within a month.