Monday, November 29, 2010

Red Alert in Canary Islands

We've been having a major storm here in all seven of the Canary Islands since yesterday, November 28, 2010 and as I write this it is still continuing.  Wind gusts have been up to 130 kms per hour (over 80 mph). All schools and universities are closed and people have been advised to stay indoors.
Which is what we're doing here today.

Here's the storm yesterday heading towards us from the west.  That's Tenerife circled in red.

Image courtesy of SAT24.

Heavy rain and thunderstorms are also passing over the islands, although they haven't arrived  in our area yet.

We've had pots turned over, debris and leaves collecting and large palm leaves blown down.  They can be dangerous in winds such as these as the ends of the branches terminate in heavy wood which can knock one a dangerous blow on the head as they fall from the tree.
Part of my potting table area:

Some more photos from our garden taken during the storm:

Here are a couple of little videos I made during a less violent moment this morning:


 Poor kitty wanted to go outside but I couldn't risk her being blown away!

Well I hope I can show you some better weather next time.
That will be after we've cleared away the mess in our garden.

Thanks for dropping by, and do come again soon.  Until then...
¡Hasta la Vista !

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Canarias Mi Mundo

"Canarias My World."  That's name of the new series from TV Canarias coming up soon, either in December 2010 or January 2011, depicting the lives of foreigners resident in Canary Islands.

As a longtime resident of these islands, I was asked to participate, so I'm showing a little of what was filmed that day.

 I must have done something right that morning, because the cameraman was smiling!

 Room of antiques in upper floor of Casa de Los Balcones in La Orotava

I drove with Laura and Javier after a day of filming many of my usual haunts.  And the day ended with a visit to La Orotava and the Casa de Los Balcones where I had recently been to show my sister and a friend visiting from Canada. But although I have been many times to this lovely old Canary house I had never been to the top floor where antiques are stored in rooms furnished with artifacts of times long gone.

The Canary house located in the villa of La Orotava, is an architectural treasure of the 17th century.
Its style is typical of the houses of that era, with beautiful wooden balconies, floors and carved ceilings, all made from tea, the heart of the Canary pine, and still unretouched or refinished after 400 years.

The mannequins were posed in period costumes and at first glance appeared to be real.

Actually that one on the far sofa is real....that's Javier, the cameraman, changing his camera settings over for interior lighting.

Looking over La Orotava from one of the upper balcony windows.

As part of the filming I was asked to try my hand at this old hand cranked musical organ.

Looking down into the central patio from an upper balcony.

And looking over to the other rooms from the open balcony.

And a roll of antique priceless hand worked linen, called calados of which the Canary Islands are famous.
Women from all over the islands bring their handiwork of drawn threads here to Casa de Los Balcones to be sold.  The technique is an old art, which was taught here in the embroidery school years ago.

We found Mari, a lady who had been working here and doing this type of drawn needlework since she was fourteen years old. She demonstrated how it was done on a small sample board.

She recounted how the queen of Thailand had been there.  Mari found her to be a sympathetic and gracious lady who bought two of their most beautiful, expensive tablecloths.

And it was at this point that my day was over.  I was asked to wave to the camera and say my goodbyes as I watched Mari demonstrating the calado needlework.

And I also said goodbye to Laura and Javier after a long day,  while thinking how nice it was going to be to sit down and relax at home with nobody watching!

Thanks for dropping by, and I hope you'll come back again soon to visit.
¡Hasta la vista!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

TV Canarias

Walk toward me and look into the camera

The other day I was chosen to participate in an upcoming series of programs produced by the local station, TV Canarias, which will be presenting  sketches of foreigners who have taken up residence in the Canary Islands.  The program will be titled something like "Canarias Mi Mundo"....(Canaries My World) and it will show a series of interviews and commentaries from people from many countries of the world who have decided to make Canary Islands their  home.

I understand that I was chosen on the basis of my Tenerife and photography tutorial blogs in which they were interested, as well as my being the first Canadian they had found so far.

Once I was hooked up to the microphone and transmitter gear we began the day filming at the local German bakery where I go to buy bread. After that, a walk along the seawall overlooking the Martianez Beach, showing where I take some of my daily weather reporting photos for a local forum.  

 The Bakery
 The Sea Wall

 Unfortunately sunglasses were not allowed and it was a day of brilliant sunshine.  So instead of looking mildly mysterious behind my black shades, I will look like a blind chicken, squinting heavily at the camera, eyes watering and red.  
Oh dear! Did I really want to do this?

Then we moved on to my Pilates class where Javier, the cameraman, zoomed with the camera up and down my prostate form as I was sweating and straining on the recliner, pushing with my feet and sometimes with legs in the air!  I had forgotten my socks and so had bare feet, but hadn't expected closeups.  Darn!  I really needed a pedicure but now my bony toes will be exposed to the world!

The following photo is not of me!  It's my instructor Maria who is a first class teacher of Pilates:

Maria on the reformer

After an hour of filming Pilates we went up to the cafeteria at the tennis club where I had invited some of my classmates to a cool drink and a chat while we rested.  Cameraman Javier kept filming as we found our table and ordered our drinks.

The Tennis Club Restaurant/Bar/Cafeteria

In the conversation Maria mentioned that the photos I had taken at the club's recent Sunday champagne brunch had been made up into a large poster, advertising this new weekly event.  I hadn't yet seen the poster so was surprised and pleased to see it done.  The cameraman caught it all as Maria went into the office and brought out the poster for us to see.  

After that we went to my home where there was a lot more to be seen and filmed but I'll continue with the story in the next entry.

In the late afternoon we visited La Casa de Los Balcones, a historic Canary House,  so here is a preview of what we saw, with Mari who is giving us a demonstration us how to make the drawn linen needlework, typical of Tenerife. I'll show a lot more in the post that's coming.

I hope you've enjoyed your visit.  Thanks for dropping by and hope to see you soon again.
¡Hasta la Vista!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Tricontinental Handicraft Fair


Puerto de la Cruz was recently host to the first Tri Continental Handicraft Fair, (Primera Feria Tricontinental de Artesanía) in which two hundred artesans from South America, Mexico, Africa, Portugal, mainland Spain and Canary Islands displayed their works from October 27th to November 1, 2010.  The event was held down at the harbour wall, near Plaza del Charco and included live music in the evenings, as well as stalls of food and drink, some of which I showed in a previous entry here after I discovered the stall of special baked goods and gofio made in the town of Vilaflor, Tenerife.

This was well worth a visit and I'll look forward to the next one.  There were many displays of handmade orginal jewellery,  much of it quite inexpensive.  Here are some photos I took while there.


I've made a slideshow of more photos taken of the displays at the handicraft fair.
If you wish to see it,

Thanks for dropping by.  I hope to see you again soon, until then...
hasta la vista!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010


 Sometimes downtown refers to a beach or shoreline.  So it is here where the activity of the town revolves around the central plaza, Plaza del Charco,  located just a stone's throw from the small fishermens' harbour.  So close that people mingle and stroll from the plaza to the harbour to have a look out to sea, perhaps to see some newly caught specimens of fish, often cleaned and sold right there on the shore. On this day at the end of October the water was calm and the air warm.  Enough for several bathers to sit on the stony beach in the sun and test the waters.

Here the old customs house, now converted into a government  tourism office and handicraft shop.

And here the meeting place of many who love to sit and watch the movement, read a paper, dine, have coffee or a wine and tapa with friends:  Plaza del Charco.

And here the central pond and childrens' playground.  There are always plenty of pigeons to feed.

 Nearby streets are crowded with little restaurants with their tables outside on the sidewalk.

This past week there has been a three continent handicraft fair, showing arts and crafts from South American countries, Cuba, Mexico, Africa and Canary Islands.  My next entry will show photos from this event.

Baskets from Peru

So thanks for dropping by and hope to see you again.  Until then, hasta la vista!


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