30/09/2012

QUILTS but not for sleeping

Until I came to visit family in Canada I had no idea there existed a quilt sub-culture, but I have been to two quilt exhibitions in two days. The ladies - and a few men - of Ingersoll, Ontario, have produced some truly astounding pieces, several hundred of which were displayed in the Ingersoll District Memorial Centre and the Creative Arts Centre. When I get myself and my camera organised I shall post some pictures, but for now you will have to use your imaginations
I have seen quilts ranging in size from cushion covers to hangings that would keep out the draughts in a castle. They come in designs traditional and modern, exotic, pretty or whimsical, and if you wanted to buy one of the few that are for sale you should be prepared to pay up to $1500 Canadian. I suppose for a year or more's work that's a fair price, but you can't sleep under them - thousands of tiny pieces of fabric might not stay together in a washing machine!

27/09/2012

STILL HERE

A quick post from England just to prove I'm still alive!
Simply to be woken up that first morning by a grandson saying, "Can I come in with you, Nanny Liz?" was worth the trip.
Yesterday I walked up to the village in the rain - a rare treat after the drought in Tenerife - and stopped in a very English tea-shop to wait out a downpour. You enter this shop through a florist and step carefully over floral arrangements to enter the cafe half of the two-woman business. You can choose where to sit from a variety of odd tables and chairs, or sit in the overgrown garden when the weather is nice. There are huge home-made sponge cakes under glass domes, and the slices they serve are enormous. Last time I was there I had a sandwich with smoked mackerel pate, made by the fishmonger next door, and it came in fresh granary bread from the baker next to him.
I have picked out a couple of houses for sale - all I need is a lottery win!

21/09/2012

DON'T FORGET ME WHILE I'M GONE!

I am taking a month off, starting tomorrow with a four-hour flight to Gatwick, where my younger daughter will meet me. Then I shall have four days at my elder son's house sharing a room with my grandsons, who are now much bigger than they were at this family wedding.
L-R: No2 daughter & husband. No1 daughter & husband. No2 son & new wife. No1 son, wife & boys.
I will visit my mother and some friends, have my eyes tested, and see what the Post Office has to offer in the way of OAP Travel Insurance.
I must also buy some M&S socks and knickers and blackcurrant sweets to take to my younger son and his wife in Canada.
Two weeks in Canada! My first ever visit, and the longest trip I have made alone for 22 years. The itinerary my daughter-in-law has planned sounds fabulous, and includes a trip to Lake Elliot for Canadian Thanksgiving, but the main thing is to see where my boy has settled with his Canadian wife.
Then ten whole days back in the UK to relax, pick up my new glasses and do a bit of shopping before a flight home to Tenerife.

No1 daughter will keep an eye on the OH while I'm gone, so all I have to do is enjoy myself. And perhaps make a few notes, and write a story or two, and maybe blog once or twice just to keep my hand in, so don't go too far away!



19/09/2012

GRUMPY HOUR

I arrived at the bar the other night to be told, "You've just missed Grumpy Hour."
What a brilliant idea, we thought - everyone has to get their grumpiness out of the way within a specified time limit - say 6.30 to 7.30.
Work issues are always good for a grizzle. Lack of cash and the rising cost of living - everyone has opinions on this subject, however much or little disposable income they have. The latest stupidity of Him Indoors or Her Indoors is a bottomless well of stories.
Drivers - everyone else on the road is a blithering idiot.
Parents - what the little perisher did today.
You can bitch all you like - for Grumpy Hour - but after that, let there be no moaning at the bar!
.



17/09/2012

CLEVER CAT

When the temperature's in the high 30s you have to take advantage of any patch of shade!
This is Kika under a potted ficus, and she fought off another cat to keep the spot. In Kika's opinion, there isn't enough room in the whole world for other cats, let alone in such a small space as this.

15/09/2012

EL MERCADO DEL AGRICULTOR


Cada sabado, a las ocho de la manana, vamos a San Isidro para comprar nuestros verduras y frutas para la semana al Mercado del Agricultor cerca del autopista. El foto ariba esta desde su calendario de 2012.

Every Saturday, at eight in the morning, we go to San Isidro to buy our vegetables and fruit for the week at the Farmers Market just off the motorway. The above photo is from their 2012 calendar.


Junto al puerta es este puesto de tartas y enpanadas y mucho mas, todo para engordase y delicioso.

Just inside the door is this stall with cakes and pies and much more, all of it fattening and delicious.

Eso es mi marida hablando al propriedor y probando su enpanada de atun.

This is my husband talking to the stall-holder and trying his tuna pie.



En otro lado del columna verde es su mujer con un puesto de salsas y mermeledas. Tiene que probar su salsa piquante.

On the other side of the green pillar is his wife with a stall of sauces and preserves. You must try her spicy sauce.

Hay otros puestos con verduras, frutas y ensalada, todo muy fresco y barato. Esta pareja venden tambien croquetas artesanas de verduras y, a veces, cetas.

There are other stalls with vegetables, fruit and salad, all fresh and cheap. This couple also sell homemade vegetable croquettes and sometimes wild mushrooms.

Puedes comprar tambien el vino de Tenerife, o miel de pais, y frutas como platanos, ciruelas, mangos, sandia, peras, higos, higos picos etc.

You can also buy Tenerife wine, or local honey, and fruit such as bananas, plums, mangoes, watermelon, pears, figs, and cactus fruit.

Y entonces hay queso de cabra, hecho por mano.
Y miel de pais y liquor de miel.
Se abre los sabados y los domingos.
?Que mas quieres?

And then there is hand-made goat cheese.
And local honey and honey liquor.
They open Saturdays and Sundays.
What more do you want?


13/09/2012

Expanding on the school story


Apparently the new building is to be an upstairs extension on the original. Therefore unsafe for the pupils to be on the premises. The fact that they've had three months of school holiday to do the building seems not to matter. When the parents went to register for the new term last week - this has to be done every term - they were informed that school wouldn't open till perhaps the end of October. One mother I know personally went immediately to the Police to register a denuncia - in effect to threaten to sue - and presumably others did the same and made enough noise for it to register with the authorities!.It beggars belief, doesn't it? No wonder half the people out of work at present are only semi-literate.

PARENT PROTEST POWER

This was the sight that met our eyes on our way home today - parents collecting their children from the school in Parque de la Reina.
Something you see everywhere, right?
It nearly didn't happen here. The Cabildo decided to extend the school to take senior pupils as well as infant and junior, and they were going to do start work this month. Apparently this would have made the school too dangerous for the pupils so the summer holiday was to be extended indefinitely.
What about our children's education? The parents complained and actually changed the minds of the authorities. What happens next I don't know, but it's proof that - sometimes at least - it's worth making a fuss.

12/09/2012

EATING IN THE STREET

We were just in time before Carlos closed for his two-week holiday - an evening out with the youngsters - his son, my daughter, two in-laws and two Polish friends.
We ate at El Cine, a restaurant in Los Cristianos that consists of a kitchen/bar and a couple of wind-out blinds that cover tables and chairs for about thirty.
They need the blinds to keep the afternoon sun off their customers, because they are all sitting in a narrow street - Calle Juan Banajo. The blinds are even fitted with "misters" that can deliver a fine spray to cool you down.
If you arrive after 8pm you have to queue up the steep approach alleyway, that you can just see behind us in the second photo, and sit on the windowsill of the Farmacia with a drink while you wait for a table.
We had 3 plates of hake, two of sardines, one of swordfish, one of prawns and one of cuttlefish, a glass of something each, some bread and coffees. We couldn't quite finish it all, and the bill with a tip came to fifteen euros a head.
Look it up - www.barelcine.com
Then we walked along the seafront and bought Italian ice-cream for pudding, which we ate watching a young man make enormous bubbles that drifted overhead in their wobbly fashion and exploded softly.

There were children kicking sand on the beach, girls on roller-blades weaving in and out, African women plaiting hair under a lamp-post, African men hawking watches, a Chinese girl throwing neon lit whirlygigs into the night sky, a man with a keyboard at one restaurant vying with a Canarian group further along.
And no, we didn't bring the dog home.





11/09/2012

SHORT-LISTED!

How exciting! My Writing Magazine arrived today and in the Competition Special I discovered that I was short-listed in a short story competition.
I entered it last year as a 2011 New Subscriber, and it was so long ago that I had forgotten. I had to look at my list of competitions I've entered even to remember which story it was!
If you want to read it, look on my Short Stories Page for "COMMUNITY SERVICE" - the story will explain this photo.

06/09/2012

PARQUE de Parque de la Reina


Parque de la Reina has a park - El Parque de Parque.
The Arona Cabildo announced a couple of years ago that they were going to build one, and the first thing they did was to demolish the football pitch and children's playground, leaving the kids with nowhere to go but the streets, and the builders moved in. The park looks quite nice - a series of overlapping circles that step cleverly down the steep slope - but we can only see it from the road because it isn't open yet.

There is a small children''s play area with brightly-painted climbing frames. Next to it is one with plain wooden frames, presumably for older kids.

There are circular areas everywhere - for congregating in, perhaps, though I can't see any benches - and curved paths and lots of walls made from that very expensive grey stone.


 There are overhead arc lights and these upturned ice-cream cone things, and a cat toilet - or is that a sand-pit?

And the bonus with all these interlocking curves is that there are lots of little corners for the local youth to smoke their cigarettes and buy the other substances from the people who lurk in such places. At least it will keep them away from our block.
When it's open.
Which may not be for a while, because on my morning walk yesterday I saw five men going through the gate and asked what was happening.
We're thinking of planting grass, they said. On an island that hasn't had rain for over a year, they're going to plant grass?

Give me strength!

To cheer you up - see my recipe page for a very easy Kipper Pate.

04/09/2012

BLUE SKIES, nothing but blue skies...


We have had no rain for over a year – one shower exactly seventy-four seconds long doesn’t count – and the Government have finally admitted there’s a sequia – a drought. They have asked people “not to waste water” though they haven’t actually banned its use – that might cause an uproar – and we can’t upset the tourists by asking them to use less. The street cleaners are still hosing debris off the pavements rather than sweeping first, and the public gardens are still watered daily, often with sufficient pressure to wash passing cars as well.
Savings are being made, of course. The plantation owners have been suffering from cuts in supply, frequent enough for some of them to be reduced to watering their fields by bucket – an arduous task in temperatures of over 40*C. Private complexes such as ours have tried to economise by reducing the number of trees in their gardens, so we have had the sad sound of chainsaws.

Despite all this, nature refuses to lie down - there must be some moisture in the air because my bedroom door is sticking.
 The barbed-wire plant has gone from grey to green, the weeds on the abandoned building site look healthy, and even the pepper-tree stumps are trying to grow again.