Week 569

Sunday, 17th November, 2019

A quiet day which has started with politics and political interviews as well as reflections on  a devastatingly crass interview by a member of our royal family broadcast last night, will be gently played out with newspapers and exercise. There is certainly plenty to read today and, as I write at 11.00 am, I have already completed a 30 mins swim and are preparing for our morning constitutional. 

A really useful pool.

Our pool is exactly right for us. We don’t want some plunge pool to cool off or a playing pool for families with children. We want a swimming pool so we can do ….swimming. This pool is ideal. It is 16m x 2.5m / 52ft x 8ft. Even in the lovely, warm weather here, the water in a pool can feel quite chilly to get in to. Our pool is heated all day/night to a deliciously warm temperature. The owners usually charge for this but gave it to us ‘free’ because we were renting for a month. They have also clearly heard that I stumbled into the pool in the evening darkness at last year’s property because they have automatic lights fitted for all round illumination. Although we don’t need to, we make a practice of covering the pool after every swim in order to cut down the cost of maintaining the temperature.

Sifnos Police Station & its only patrol car.

Been reading an amusing story in a Greek magazine/blog about Sifnos and its police force. We never really had much to do with the police force apart from getting identity documents authorised/stamped (for a fee) prior to receiving building permissions. The one police station is about the size of a public toilet. The force for the entire island is three strong although one is on long term ‘leave’ and they only have one patrol car at their disposal which is an ancient, 4-wheel drive that keeps breaking down. No wonder the islanders feel they should not fear the law because it may turn up late by bus.

Monday, 18th November, 2019

A lovely hot (warm) and sunny day in which we rather indulged ourselves by relaxing in the sunshine. Of course, we did do our regular hour’s swimming and our minimum 10,000 paces.  Actually, we are averaging 12,000 per day while we are here. We did walk down to the shopping mall where Christmas decorations had been put up over the weekend.

Christmas in Tenerife…Where did we leave the snow?

Nothing seems appropriate about Christmas here as the sun beats down although villa rental prices significantly increase for the month of December. Pauline cooked the most wonderful meal of pan fried tuna steaks which she served with salads. Pauline’s sister is not well. She has had a hospital procedure which has led to complications and left Pauline concerned. It makes our current destination feel quite remote. P is back in hospital. However, there is nothing to be concerned about yet.

Pizza Express in Woking  has suddenly achieved celebrity. I …….. have driven past Pizza Express in Woking and would do no more than that. Woking is bad enough. Pizza Express is a step too far!

Tuesday, 19th November, 2019

Looking across to La Gomera

This is our 19th day and we have just 10 more left. We are really enjoying it and will definitely book this again. Today has been wall-to-wall hot sunshine out of clear, blue skies. We have exercised, followed political television and relaxed in the sunshine.

It is hard to stress how important the internet is to me, particularly abroad. Here, the internet is my connection with the outside world – television, radio, the web – and control of my house in UK. Last night was a cold one in Sussex and I was able to check the temperature inside our home, switch the heating on and, later, switch it off again via Hive. In this villa, the internet provides us with UK TV via a supply box, it provides our iPads and smartphones with internet connection to download our newspapers, our emails, Twitter, Face-ache, etc.. I just cannot manage without it.

Hot & sunny outside – politics inside.

In the last couple of days, our internet provision, which has been fantastic for over two weeks, has suddenly become a little flaky. I have had to reboot the hub a couple of times which is not confidence inspiring.

Today, apart from downloading our newspapers and emails, we have been keeping in touch with Pauline’s sister who has been in hospital again. I have had to report my INR result to Worthing Hospital. Pauline has had to order our repeat prescriptions from our local medical centre. We have monitored lights and temperatures in our house in Sussex. How would we do any of that without the net?

Wednesday, 20th November, 2019

After 20 days here, we have done 20 hours swimming and 40 hours walking. We made a conscious decision not to rent a car although we have a garage for 2 cars here. It is a 10 minute walk down to the supermarket from here but a rather longer walk back because of the very steep hill. We do quite a lot of admiring of the view on the way back. The weather is so wonderful – 24C/75F and gorgeously sunny most days that walking is a pleasure. This November has been the best weather in the past 4 Novembers here.

As regular readers will know, we are incorrigible foodies. One of the true pleasures of travelling and particularly abroad is sourcing and sampling the local foods. We love cheese but don’t eat a lot of it nowadays because of its high calorific content. However, foreign cheeses have to be sampled and on this trip we have become addicted (That might be a bit strong.) to a white, lightly smoked cheese called Quesos Flor Valsequillo.  It is not for vegans like my sister, Catherine, because it comprises cows’, goats’ and sheep’s milk. Occasionally, if we are desperate for a snack after all this exercise, we will eat the smoked cheese with some Beetroot remoulade called Ensalada de Remolacha

Actually, I was so enamoured of the cheese that I searched it out on the net and discovered it had been awarded World Cheese Award this year in Bergamo, Italy. I am not surprised.

Thursday, 21st November, 2019

Scorching hot day after a muggy night. We spent the morning swimming, sunbathing on the patio, watching the Labour Manifesto launch and doing a little shopping. There is nothing of great value that Tenerife can offer other than stark scenery and climate or weather. I don’t know which word is more appropriate.

We have had a couple of days when the temperature reached 28C/83F but most have hovered between 24-25C/75-77F. Night time has ranged between a minimum of 22C/70F – 19C/66F. Every room here has air conditioning but we haven’t felt the need for it either as a cooler or a heater. Imagine that, an environment where little energy is expended on temperature control. It’s a difficult concept for we poor Brits to understand particularly in the middle of November. What I also don’t understand on an island of perpetual sunshine is why solar power is not in more evidence. Look at the roofs on the Mall below. Wouldn’t you expect them to be energy generators?

Looking down on to the roof tops of SIam Mall.

When we go shopping, we walk down from the seclusion of our villa to Siam Mall which is next to Siam Water Park. It is an easy enough walk down but a killer walk back. It is so steep that it has taken three weeks before we have really got used to it. On days when we do a big shop, we return up the hill by taxi – blowing at least €3.00/£2.60 in the process. As we intended, our life here has settled in to a ‘normal’ process of contentment. Unfortunately, we leave a week tomorrow but we will be back.

Friday, 22nd November, 2019

Morning becomes Electric

Our villa is South facing. The sun rises in the morning through the mountains on our left and sets across the sea to our right. You won’t be surprised to read that this morning has been no different. The most gorgeous sun rise at 6.30 am which followed a lovely sunset across the sea last evening.

Evening dies at Sea.

There was one difference. When we walked out on to the patio this morning we noticed small pools of water on the furniture. Over night it had rained. We didn’t hear it so it can’t have been strong but water there was and the surrounding cactuses had obviously thought it was Christmas come early.

Today has proved the most delightful one with strong sunshine and 25C/77F temperature. We ate our meal of cold meats & cheeses with salads out on the patio under a burning, late afternoon sun. We watched the sun sink beneath the sea and prepared for a quiet evening of reading and watching the political debate. What more could anybody ask?

Saturday, 23rd November, 2019

Start of our final week for this spell. Actually, although the temperature is 22C/70F by 9.00am, the sky has clouded over and the light is dulled. It is no problem. Actually, a break from sunshine after three weeks of it, is a welcome change. We know it will be back soon. Just done my first swim of the morning and the water was deliciously warm – rather like swimming in the bath. 

Made a mistake with my phone camera.

We know that we have a couple of hours of walking and another half hour swimming to build in but today will be Pauline watching Strictly on TV and me watching Spurs v West Ham with Mourinho in charge followed by Man City v Chelsea on my iPad via the VPN.

Well, the day has turned into a blazing hot and sunny one with clear, blue skies and strong sunshine. We have already reached 27C/81F and Pauline has retreated to the pool. Spurs have beaten a poor West Ham and, having done my required walking for the day, I am limbering up for a 30 mins swim myself. Just 5 more hours of swimming before we leave. I’m going to be so clean!

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