Their costumes are a modest version of the full oufit, which for men includes a colourful sash and heavy woolen leggings - like leg-warmers knitted by a fisherman's wife  in Guernsey.

We only went to Las Galletas because the cat had eaten all her food, but after a quick coffee I followed to sound of music to the sports hall opposite the school and watched every pupil participating in an annual demonstrartion of national pride.
 Costumes were everywhere - the shops are full of them too - and the stands were full to bursting, Even the old men we usually see sitting by the car park were there, joining in the fun, Today is the actual holiday - so no doubt tonight there will be parties and fireworks and fighting and drunkenness, but yesterday was just music and dancing and lovely.

And on our way back to the car we saw this - an infant school's very creditable attempt at making a Corpus Cristi Carpet, for this is actually the feast ho Corpus Cristi and all over the island temporary carpets will me made out of flowers and coloured volcanic rock  I had to take my photograph upsidedown through the fence, but it looks really weird if I turn it right way up!



This alien-looking creature, along with at least one of its friends, is chomping its merry way through a huge creeper on my daughter's roof terrace.
They come every year and save my son-in-law the trouble of pruning, because by the time they've finished eating and buried themselves to pupate, there is nothing left but bare branches.

And woe betide you if you disturb one of them - they hiss and spit most alarmingly.

When they emerge from their pupae they will be  Deaths Head Moths, which impressed the children at our barbecue immensely.

So did the cakes - my speciality Flapjack and the Lemony Rice Pudding Cake with Lemon Curd that I made especially for my gluten-intolerant son-in-law.

The occasion was special too - four generations of my son-in-law's family on one sofa - from right to left - his Dad, himself, his son and his grandsons.

My daughter is far too young to be a grandmother, of course, even a "step" one, but she loves it, so I shall have to resign myself to being a step-great-grandmother! 




I have been neglecting my blog lately but I have two good reasons - one is that the A-Z Challenge used up all my blogging energies for a while, and the other is that I am concentrating on finishing the re-write about which I told my readers during the April Blog Slog.

Anyway, just to keep it ticking over, here are a few photos I took this week.

The first one is of course an estrelizia - strelitzia in the UK or Bird of Paradise flower, This is the most perfect one I've seen blooming on my morning walks recently.

I have also been experimenting with close-ups - the first photo is of poinsettia flowers that have appeared on last Christmas's plant which is now bursting into new life.

 and finally, guess who had to get in the picture?



Whether the weather be cold
or whether the weather be hot -
we'll weather the weather
whatever the weather
whether we like it or not.

I'm not sure whether I've quoted that old ditty correctly, but the childhood when I learned it was a long time ago!

Isn't our perception of weather strange?
My friends and I have been complaining this week about having to wear jackets when we go out, yet in England people are turning the heating back on.

"When are we going to get some decent barbecue weather?" someone in the bar moaned a couple of days ago, but last weekend my family in Sussex ignored the rain and lit their barbecue under a parasol.

People come out here for a holiday and walk around practically naked while we cover up - we can pick out the tourists at a glance. "Dressing up for the evening" to them means short sleeved shirts and strappy dresses - to us it means wearing long trousers and jumpers.

Opinions vary as to how long it takes for an ex-pat's blood to thin - some say weeks, others claim months - but the fact remains that for us the drop in temperature from 40F last week to 25F this week has come as a shock, and we're freezing!



After a debauched two hours drinking and chatting with my daughter - if you can call two glasses of lime & soda debauched - Kika was waiting patiently for me on the swimming-pool wall. (She's in the centre of the photo above the hibiscus.)
Well, I say 'waiting patiently', though there was a definite 'Where have you been?' in her greeting and I think I detected a tapping of paw on the cement wall.

She proceeded to weave her slalom course through the railings - and then she heard the whirring of my camera.

What a poser she is!

Is this my best side?

....  or this?

...... or how about this?

Kika must be at least fourteen years old - she was a stray - but she's a real prima donna, isn't she?



Just thought I would share tonight's sunset - I was only popping out to the basura when I saw this!



  Today is Mothers' Day in Tenerife, which I can't help thinking is quite appropriate only a few days after Labour Day.

In honour of the occasion I have copied onto my POEMS page (on the right) a poem I wrote when my own children were small, more years ago than I care to remember.

This photograph was the only studio portrait my own mother ever had taken, probably for the benefit of her parents before she left Australia with my father and me to live in England.

Two boys and another girl later, she was still smiling.

Here we all are in 1961 - I'm the moody teenager on the left!

Now Mum has twelve grandchildren and eleven great-grandchildren. I took this photo on Mothers' Day in England in March this year - doesn't she look great?



I wasn’t going to enter the A-Z Challenge this year and did so at the last minute. My experience was like the Curate’s Egg – quite good in parts - there were definitely times when I wished I hadn’t succumbed! I am in the middle of a major rewrite of a novel, and having to put that aside every day to compose a blog slowed the work down considerably, but I try to finish what I’ve started, so I made it through to the end.

Last year I was relatively new to blogging and the thought of hundreds of other blogs to peruse drew me in. I found many interesting ones, some of which I still follow, and collected some more followers of my own.
The same happened this year - the number of comments on my own blog doubled and there were some kind remarks about my excerpts from my book. Real comments I welcomed, but not those that just said “Hi – come on over to my blog" - not very subtle!

Speaking of comments, here are a few of my own.

Firstly I must say I don’t know how the organisers manage to stay sane. Approaching 2000 entrants to read and sift and weed through – they must have spent all day every day at their screens. I only managed to visit between six and ten blogs per day.

I was particularly interested in blogs by my fellow forum members, Liz Brownlee’s drawings and poems are always a delight, and there were a couple of serials I followed. I also did my own lucky dip by scrolling down the list and clicking indiscriminately. I found some great blogs that way, including some lovely artistic and photographic ones, and tried to comment every time although sometimes it was difficult to see how. I hope the list stays open long enough to dip into at greater leisure.

But many blogs were still far too long – if I have to scroll down the page for ages I stop reading. Others were in very small and/or faint fonts – I gave up quickly on those as well, which was a shame because they might have been interesting. Am I the only person on-line with poor eyesight?

So in conclusion, as we used to write in school essays – well done to Arlee Bird and the other bosses, and to my fellow bloggers, and of course to me for getting there!



When we moved to Tenerife in 2000 I explored this ruin, though it has been fenced off now. I marvelled at the intricate mosaic tiling that covered every surface - walls, tables, the bar, the toilets. I sat on a bench beside one of the sand-filled rings, imagining what it might have been like to be there with a group of friends, sharing a bottle of Sangre de Toro while real Bulls' Blood was spilled only metres away. I stood in the doorway of an animal pen looking at the deeply scratched walls, breathing in the stench of old sweat and piss and fear along with the ghosts.
You can read my short story it inspired by going to this month's issue of the online magazine.Running Out Of Ink  where you will find eight short stories each month to read - and they're FREE! Go back through the issues and you will find two more of mine as well.

Running out of Ink - Home