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 ten years that have gone in an astonishing 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 therefore belongs to me or the source I quote and the copyright is protected and reserved. Readers are welcome to take text without permission as long as they expressly name 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
A 35-year-old man died shortly after 2pm this afternoon after drowning at Playa del Camisón in Los Cristianos. Emergency services were initially called out with reports from Arona Policía Local that a bather had disappeared at the beach, but after the poor man’s was found by bomberos, paramedics and beach lifeguards could do nothing other than confirm his death at the scene.
Tráfico has announced that from Monday, any transactions requiring payment will not be able to be made with cash. The measure is coming into force in the Canaries, Catalonia and Madrid, joining almost all of the rest of the country where regional offices either adopted it after taking part in a pilot project, or initiated the proven system in May. Tráfico says that the measure increases security and reduces the possibility of error, and that the numbers using cash have steadily fallen in any case: the time was thus right to implement the ban, particularly given the alternative mechanisms the public had to make payments. These include debit and credit cards, payment in a bank of modelo 791, or bank transfer direct to a Tráfico central account.
The body of a 30-year-old woman was found at 8pm this evening in the sea on the north Anaga coast at Almaciga. LIfeboats and a helicopter were dispatched to recover her after emergency services were called out with reports that a person appeared to have drowned and was floating in the water off the coast.
This Saturday, 20 September, Garachico will host the III Certamen de Tapas de Canarias – Canarian tapas competition. Seven chefs, one from each of the Canary Islands, will prepare a tapa to be voted on. Tapas will be accompanied by wine from the bodega La Palmera. The competition is part of the Paisaje Gastronómico 2014 event, and starts at 9pm in the glorieta de San Francisco. Competitors are:
Gran Canaria – Abraham Ortega García with the tapa “De la isleta al cielo”.
La Palma – David Antonio Pérez with “Conejo deshuesado con toques canarios y puré de papas”.
El Hierro – Inocencio Padrón with “Volcán de burgados y viejas”
La Gomera – Antonio Jacobo Negrín Mora with “Corneto pal verano”.
Fuerteventura – Marcos Gutiérrez Vera with “Volcán de huevo”.
Lanzarote – Jesús Orlando de León with “Tosta de vieja, batata y chorizo chacón”.
And from Tenerife, Francisco Llanos López with “Crujiente de pollo con queso y menta”.
In keeping with the haute cuisine feel of the competition and the event more generally, several Michelin-starred chefs will be involved, with the stoves being turned on this evening for preparations to commence, for example, by Pere Planagumà, 2* Michelín chef. For more information, see www.paisajegastronomico.com
How times change. Just a couple of years ago there were two or three reports, at least, a week, then last year, just one. And this is the first one this year of an immigrant boat reaching the Tenerife coast. A patera arrived around 6pm this evening at Los Abrigos with 24 immigrants on board. All are said to be in good health. They were picked up on arrival by emergency services and are currently being processed.
Update 18 September: The Tenerife Cabildo has handed over 37 new artisan cards, with president Carlos Alonso expressing his delight at the way in which artisans are extending their ranges to include extra arts and crafts. The autumn window for new applicants is now open, and will close on 15 October. Meanwhile, those who already have a carné de artesano are invited to apply for the Feria de Artesanía en Reyes y Mercado Navideño de Artesanía – Christmas markets in Santa Cruz and La Laguna – between 2 and 5 January 2015: registration starts today and closes on 10 October, and anyone who would like a stall can find all details about the application HERE.
Original post 22 August: Artisan fairs are a regular event throughout Tenerife, and they are always well attended by people enjoying viewing and sometimes buying the products of some really creative and talented individuals. Those who have stalls in these officially run fairs, though, must have an artisan card, a carné de artesano, and these are awarded – upon application and practical submission - by the island cabildo in spring and autumn. This year’s autumn application window will open on 15 September. The information from the Cabildo is HERE for anyone who is interested in applying.
Meanwhile, there are several arts and crafts fairs coming up. Adeje’s and Alcalá’s were in May, but Vilaflor’s is on 30 August, and Guía de Isora’s on 14 September (link), the same day as one in Icod de los Vinos. Also in north Tenerife there is one in Buenavista del Norte this Sunday, 24 August, and a major and quite famous one in Pinolere above La Orotava on 5, 6 & 7 September.
The 3rd Feria Tricontinental de Artesanía will be held between 27 September and 5 October in the carpark area on the sea front between the Conquistador hotel and Parque Santiago 1. The major fair has been organized by the Tenerife Cabildo and Arona Ayuntamiento and preparations, including the huge tents of more than 2,000 square metres, are already well underway.
The artisan fair brings together arts and crafts from three continents – Africa, America and Europe, particularly Spain and Portugal. The previous two fairs have attracted over 100,000 visitors, and organizers say that they hope this time will be even better for the more than 200 artisans who will be displaying at the fair. Entry is free, and doors open between 10am and 9pm.
Update 16 September: Caixabank has announced the purchase of the Barclays Spain retail banking. This means that Barclays clients will pass over to be clients of Caixabank unless they opt to transfer to another bank. At present it is unclear whether Caixabank will maintain the old Barclays offices or transfer clients to existing Caixabank ones, but either way, clients will be allocated a new bank account number because of the way IBANs are structured. Caixabank says, however, that any existing direct debits will be changed automatically.
Although the terms and conditions of existing contracts like mortgages will remain unchanged, consumer authorities warn that this is not true for accounts and cards, where new conditions will certainly be imposed. Clients thinking of staying with Caixabank after the takeover should therefore check the detail very carefully, and are best advised to compare the offers available from other banks as though they were opening a brand new account.
Original post 19 May: Barclays Bank has announced that it is sidelining its banking businesses in Spain, France, Italy and Portugal into a new “bad bank” as part of an international restructuring exercise. Spanish customers of the new financial entity will then be sold on to a purchasing bank, expected at this point to be Bankinter, and will be in the same position as many other banking clients who have found their original bank absorbed into another, as in the case, for example, of Caja Canarias and La Caixa, or Banesto and Santander.
When an announcement is made that a buyer for Barclays Spain has been found, the bank’s customers would be well advised to check that any account numbers and direct debits have been altered correctly. Much of this should be done automatically but it is as well for account holders to confirm for their own peace of mind. Beyond specific accounts, those with Barclaycards will be well advised to check the situation with their cards since some holders are saying that they have received letters from Barclays Spain informing them that their card accounts will be closed if they have not been used in the past six months and are not linked to a UK address.
Between 15 and 28 September, Adeje ayuntamiento and FECAO (Federación de Empresarial Canaria de Osteleria Ocio Servicio y Comercio) are staging “La Ruta de La Tapa por Adeje 2014″ to celebrate the area’s gastrotourism featuring local cuisine centreing on cheese, honey and gofio. Various local establishments and public spaces will be host to a range of activities, including food and cookery demonstrations, wine tastings, and of course tapas with wine! Adeje ayuntamiento stresses that many local products have now won prized international awards and that the municipality is becoming a reference point for foodies everywhere. The leaflet with a “gastroruta map” can be viewed HERE, and there is a word doc list of participating establishments to download HERE.
I so do not want to have to keep making these posts. Just three days ago I posted Fifth drowning in just one week in Tenerife’s waters as woman is rescued in Adeje, and now we have a sixth, and the third fatality.
This is now confirmed despite silence from official sources and other local media. Nonetheless it is confirmed that an 83-year-old woman died shortly after lunchtime yesterday in the sea at Los Cristianos. Eye witnesses say that she was alone and her bag was found on the beach, but fellow bathers thought the poor woman was snorkelling. Although lifeguards and paramedics tried to revive her for more than half an hour, they couldn’t save her and she was declared dead at the scene.
As I’ve said all too many times before, cardiac arrest is a known symptom of cold water shock. Please read my page HERE for information on this. It is difficult to imagine at times that our waters are “cold”, but in technical terms of cold water shock, Tenerife’s seas are never not “cold”. Please take the utmost care when swimming in the sea here. I’ll keep saying it too, as people continue to drown …