Friday, January 26, 2007

Going mad with my friends' camera

Today I went with my friends, Helen and Theresa, to look at a house in the middle of nowhere on the other side of the island. It took some organising because my son gets out of school at 1:30, and the earliest the estate agent could meet us at the house was 12:00 - and it's at least a 2 hour drive between the two. So another friend, Norma, who doesn't work on Fridays picked him up.

Me, Helen and Theresa are three large ladies, and the exit to our house has a steep ramp. So my friends can't get in until I'm at the top of the ramp, or the bottom of the car scrapes on the concrete. We all set off over the mountain, playing Norma's CD (Norma is a singer songwriter - see ) It was so nice to get out of the rut! If I'm not careful, my word shrinks to home, the supermarket and the school run, which is criminal when you live on one of the most beautiful islands in the world. So I felt like I'd been let out of school.

My own camera broke on my birthday a week ago, but my friends let me borrow theirs. It's a bit like letting a dry alcoholic have one drink. I went a bit mad taking photos of Mt Teide and the clouds. We carried on to the telescopes at the top of the mountain, where I took a photo of the Magic telescope. Then we carried on to Llano Negro, where I took photos of a house. We met the estate agent and drove tothe house for sale. That is, we drove most of the way. The drive was full of deep ruts, and three large ladies made the car suspension sink down far enough to scrape. So we got some nice healthy exercise walking up the steep drive to the house.

The house is like a lot of country houses here. One building has a kitchen downstairs and a bedroom upstairs. Another tiny building is one bedroom, and a third is another kitchen (odd, but that's what it is) and a fourth is a bathroom with a terriffic view. There's a fifth building without a roof because they never got planning permission. It makes for a lot of character, but it does mean that when it's raining, you have to get wet to go from one room to another. The place also has quite a bit of steep land, some terraced land,a nd a selection of fruit trees.

And while my friends were looking at it, I photographed the stray cat that lives there.

And then we had a long drive back, and got home just as my son was asking next door for the key to get in.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007


Yay! My friends have arrived from England. They've been dreaming of living here for years, and now they've been made redundant, they're finally taking the plunge. They're staying with me for six weeks while they (hopefully) find a house suitable for conversion into a B&B, and buy it. Then they're flying home to London in March, staying there for just three weeks while they finish things off, and finally driving down through France and Spain in a seriously overloaded van.

Six weeks. Am I nuts? Well no, they're the sort of guests who pitch in and help with things like cooking and cleaning. And Helen actually quite likes ironing!

So what could go wrong? Lots of things. But we'll have fun sorting them out as they come up.

Meanwhile I'm shattered. For months now, every time I haven't known where to put something, I've shoved it into the guest room. So I spent the last few days clearing it all out again, making space for people with large suitcases.

I managed, though.

Thursday, January 11, 2007


Wahay! I won the On the Premises mini contest for stories of 10 - 20 words. My entry should be on their website by Monday.

My son was saying that this was good, but obviously it didn't make me a VIP. We agreed that I'm now a SIP - a slightly important person. Or even a SIM - slightly important mother.

It's not exactly the Booker Prize, but something about the words "First Prize" has got me puffing my chest out and grinning like a crocodile.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

The Kings

Father Christmas has been visiting Spain for a few years now, but Spanish children still get the bulk of their presents on January 6th, when the three kings visit baby Jesus. They also come through most Spanish towns the evening before, and we went to see them in Santa Cruz de la Palma. Well, we saw the begining of it. The whole procession takes hours.
They start at the post office, then when they get to teh Plaza España, they have a conversation, find they're all off to visit the same baby, and decide to travel on together. Then at the Plaza Alemeda, they find King Herod's court, and have a converation with him. Of course he says he wants to see the baby too, and asks them to come back and tell him where they find the baby. Then they carry on to the ravine outside town, and find Mary, Joseph and baby Jesus in a cave. Luckily for us, you get a great view of the inside of the cave from down on the road. The kings give their presents, and then an angel above the cave warns them not to go back to Herod because he means the baby no good at all.
And then they light the bonfire and set off the fireworks. And the shops stay open until about 1 am for people who like to leave present shopping until the last minute.
I got an iron.
I'm not as upset as I might be, because a) it's a very good iron, and it might even allow me to get the wretched ironing done and out of the way faster, and b) Father Christmas very kindly brought me a scanner than will take negatives and slides and c) I plan to treat myself to a good digital camera in the sales.

Happy New Year

We saw the new year in with the extended faimly. The photo is my son, going mad with what the Spanish call "mother-in-law killers".
They always have fireworks here at New Year. We weren't very close to any displays, but the house is built on the side of a hill, and we could see lots of displays from a distance: La Polvacera, San António, Zumacal, Santa Cruz, Concepción, Palmasol, and San José.
Fortunately we live almost next door, so nobody had to drive. Consequently I spent most of New Year's Day recovering. But it was well worth it.