Of course it could be because I have had absolutely no inspiration for the letter U.
USELESS -As you will know if you've been following my ramblings, I am in the middle of a rewrite, and my brain has be totally USELESS today. Typing errors on every line - and my fingers used to spell so beautifully - so if I don't pull my socks up the book will come to a grinding halt.
UK There are many advantages to living in Tenerife. The climate is kinder on arthritic joints, for one thing – we know of one man who arrived here on crutches and within months was teaching badminton again. The cost of living is lower, as long as you go native and don’t do all your shopping in stores that import everything from the UK. We have fleeces but no winter coats, we don’t even possess wellies, and the beer and wine is cheap.
The downside is that we left friends and family behind – it is ironic that the first long word we learned from our flash cards was desgraciademente = UNFORTUNATELY. The space we left in the UK has filled up now, of course. Friends are pleased to see us when we go over, but we don’t share the minutӕ of daily life in common any more, and those friendships are fading.
We left six children there too, and four grandchildren. Since then three more grandchildren have been born and are growing up without us. So when people ask, “Do you regret moving?” obviously expecting the answer to be “No”, we tell them this - if we had the money we would go back. Our hearts are still there.
There is a veritable rash of unsold apartments everywhere we go. “¡Oportunidad!” the posters scream from the balconies. We know it means another family has lost the battle to pay their mortgage. It also means that our property had lost value and we are unable to raise enough to return the the UK.
UNEMPLOYMENT in Spain is around 26% - in Tenerife it’s worse, and el paro (dole) doesn’t cover the mortgage for long. No wonder the camp-sites and caves are filling up. Out by the basura at night, it’s not just tramps you see dumpster-diving for food, or clothes, or anything that might raise a euro or two at the Sunday flea-market.
and for those who appreciate a laugh - here is a photo I took yesterday in Las Gattetas.