21/04/2012

SUN.SEA & S.....?


SUN, SEA (and another S that I can’t remember at my age) are why the average tourist comes to Tenerife. The sun can be relied upon to shine almost every day, and even a winter holiday can result in a tan to cause envy among those left at home. In high SUMMER it’s too damned hot, which the Tourist Board won’t tell you, and out electricity bill shoots up because we’ve got the ceiling fans on day and night. Especially at night, when even naked you’re too hot to SLEEP.
Our apartment block SHARES a pool with the next block – 160 apartments in all – and in the two and a half months of SCHOOL holidays the noise level is such that it seems every child is in the pool. When the temperatures reach 40+ there will also be groups of women chatting in the SHALLOW end, up to their SHOULDERS in water, and I have seen mothers holding tiny babies in the pool for a while to cool them down before putting them to bed.
My theory is that if the air temp is greater than 37◦F then your body overheats enough to make you SICK – mine does, anyway. If I was rich I would SPEND July, August and September in England, rain and all.
This of course is what SWALLOWS do – they fly SOUTH for the winter. I’m not talking about the birds, but the people. Some own apartments or villas, but many more rent for a few months at long-term rates, like we did when we first arrived here. 
            

They bring their social life with them, meeting the same friends every year, playing bridge, eating out, line-dancing. Local groups such as the Lions actually time their dinner dances and other social events to coincide with the Swallows.
                           
SEA For more than half the year the sea is packed with people SWIMMING. Local children are taught to swim before they’re out of nappies – very sensible on an island – and by the end of summer every child is a healthy brown. On Las Galletas beach I have seen grandparents being helped into the sea, where the waves take the weight off STIFF hips and bodies remember their younger days. There are also boys (oddly enough, never girls) on SURF-BOARDS riding the breakers – locals who know where the rocks are – this is not a forgiving coast for the uninitiated.       
You can take boat trips to see the whales and dolphins or go fishing in the deep waters that surround the islands. There are ferries to other islands – it’s less than an hour to La Gomera, our nearest neighbour. And the SUNSETS over the sea are SPECTACULAR when you can SIT on a terrace or promenade, SIPPING a SUN-DOWNER.
Some people would choose SANGRIA, a refreshing drink and very pretty with its fruit and mint leaves in a frosted jug clinking with ice cubes. It’s not to my taste and, like punch, you never know what’s in it. If I get drunk I think it should be my fault, not a waiter’s.

SCULPTURE or STATUE? Is it a sculpture if it’s been poured into a mould? Can it be a statue if it’s not a person? I don’t know, but this creation has appeared in the fancy new park that’s being built in our village. No doubt as SOON as the gates are officially opened it will be SPRAYED with graffiti. Cynical? Moi? Perish the thought!

7 comments:

  1. Summers there sound like summers in Egypt. I could hardly breathe it was so hot. I agree with you summers are better spent here in the UK.

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  2. Always so interesting to read about what happens there!

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  3. Another great blog Liz! I do enjoy them so much. I agree the Tenerife summer can be too hot. As you have already guessed my wife & I are Swallows from October to the end of March. Sometimes we come back late May / early June for 2 or 3 weeks. It's a wonderful time with all the flowers & shrubs in the Teide National Park in full bloom.

    The present English weather has been damned awful recently - very cold, windy with vicious squalls of rain & hail.

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  4. The heat would put me off - I sometimes find British weather too hot!

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  5. Like you, when the temperature reaches a point when my hair is wet with perspiration, then A/C is a necessity! Great "S" post.

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  6. What you call Swallows is what people call Snow Birds here, but they fly south from cold weather in winter to warmer climates ;) But same concept, meet up with some friends, etc. I had to google to see what 37 degrees celius would be in fahrenheit. That is a bit hot weather and I'm sure 40 degrees is over 100 degrees here. I can see that it would make it hard to sleep, much less think with temps that hot without air conditioning.

    another interesting post!

    betty

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  7. Hi Lizy,

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