Cup Goes From Stale Tea To Champagne For CD Tenerife

Talk about a slow burner. There were wholesale changes to the regular line ups of CD Tenerife and Real Valladolid and it showed in a half pace first half, but the home side grabbed the game by the scruff of the neck after the break to win this Copa del Rey (Kings Cup) tie 2-1. The Tenerife starting line up was particularly baffling with full back Shaq Moore wandering in a midfield no mans land and surplus defenders Sipcic and Isma Lopez could have put a card in a newsagents window to get a new club, their play was so poor. Ortola started back in goal and was relieved that Sandro hit his early strike straight into his body. Javi Alonso ha a let off when he miss timed a defensive tackle and it was all far from a feast of football. It was a different story in the second half as both sides warmed to their task.

Elliot was getting some good home crosses in, new signing Joselu showed that he would be a real asset up front with his heading ability. Sandro made the break through though with a shot that was only part saved by Ortola, he showed nifty footwork to tuck the loose ball in the goal.  Lopez got adventurous and unleashed a shot that just missed the Valladolid post as belief spread through the home side. Just after the hour, Elliot launched another teasing cross and Joselu rose between the markers to head the ball down and past the goalie. That raised everybody spirits and the arrival of sub Dani Lopez for Joselu cranked up the forward momentum. The 20 year old strikers first chance came when he latched onto a deep pass but couldn´t squeeze it the right side of the post.

Valladolid´s goalie had to be replaced after picking up an injury, his replacement had plenty to keep him busy. Dani Gomez was a real livewire as always, his enthusiasm rubbed off on his team mates and the 8,408 crowd. The cold night air and the glare of the floodlights promised a little bit of magic to come, and it did. Into the final five minutes and the charge was on, Dani was just short of reach to poke a squirming ball past the struggling goalie but the next surge was more fruitful. Sandro had a mixed night for the visitors but his lingering memory will be of his clumsy push on free flowing Dani Gomez that brought a penalty. From the moment the striker put the ball on the spot his determination was clear and he sent the keeper the wrong way to claim the lead and hurdled the boards to milk the fans applause.

The final few minutes were full of celebration, cup success has been elusive in recent seasons so the outpouring of joy went on after the ref had signalled the end of the game. Two home wins on the trot is not to be sniffed at, with the derby at Las Palmas and a possible La Liga giant at home a few days later in the next cup round, the smiles are back among the CD Tenerife fans.

 

Rear Guard Stand Firm For CD Tenerife Victory

Shackled, blunted, and generally frustrated. Even 18 goal Stuani didn´t get a look in for visiting Girona as CD Tenerife gave a 1-o defensive master class. It took just eight minutes for fit again Nahuel to storm down the left, beat two markers, and side foot the winning goal. The unlucky striker didn´t have time to celebrate as he pulled up injured and had to be replaced. That adversity merely toughened CD Tenerife´s resolve.

Former Middlesbrough striker Stuani soon got the message as Alberto expertly blocked his progress. Back to his inspired best, Alberto and central partner Carlos Ruiz formed a formidable barrier for the Girona team. Luis Perez polished up his own skills as well with four text book interventions in the first half, it was stirring stuff for the 9,454 crowd. Girona arrived with big money backing and big ideas but they counted for nothing against the hard work and pride of their hosts. Surging left back Mojica was a danger with his tricky runs but even he was overwhelmed by the brick wall in front of him.

Diamanka had the only clear Girona chance of the first half, heading wide  from a long threaded pass. Borja Garcia was confident with a turn and shot 10 minutes after the break but Dani Hernandez got his body behind it for a solid save, one of many he contributed to the game. Jozabed saw the big pink goalies gloves swallow his later attempt, Dani  has been enjoying a second lease of life after getting his starting role back. There was no shortage of effort from the home attack either. Dani Gomez led the line with endless running and a nose for a half chance. Coach Baraja arrived in December pledging to make Tenerife hard to beat, his replacement of forward Jorge with holding midfielder Undabarrena underlined that commitment. As the game neared its end, Elliot had a close effort and Dani punched away a desperate Girona attempt. The Tenerife players euphoric reaction to the final whistle showed their pride in a job well done and hopefully a turning point in the season.

 

Short Hop And Two Big Strikes Make CD Marino Feel At Home

Make no mistake, CD Marino are the real deal this season. Playing their home game at Buzanada, the blues oozed confidence and that combined with hard work and flexible tactics ensured a 2-1 victory over CD Tenerife B. The Santa Cruz visitors had the best of the early play as Youssef put a shot wide, and Borja looped a chance over the bar.

Marino are very good at absorbing pressure to take the sting out of their opponents, it proved to be the case again as the defence stood firm. Most of Tenerife´s attacks were down their left to Faridi but it became predictable and encouraged the blues to spread their own play. Ahmed has been a welcome return to  Marino, he was on top form out wide on the left, it took a well timed tackle by Pedro to cut off his determined run at goal. The busy forward was soon troubling the visitors again but blasted the ball wide.

At the other end Saavedra was cool and calm to shield the ball to safety when Borja threatened. Otano was getting more to do in goal for Tenerife, he was strong in the air and cut out a couple of good chances. Just after the half hour, Marino took the lead with a superb piece of skill from Nami, he cut inside from the left, went across two defenders, and unleashed a fierce shot into the back of the net.  Javi was strong and powerful leading the attack and went close with a rushed shot. Faridi closed the half with a free kick that was cleared by the home defence.

Tenerife tried to up their tempo after the break, a long shot was cleared well with a two fisted punch from goalie David. Play switched to the other end as Ahmed brought an equally impressive tip over save from Otono. Adri tried to catch Marino off guard but was thwarted by an alert David who raced out to block him. The visitors 13 goal top scorer, Brian Martin was only sub but was brought on to try to get them back into the game. It worked well, he met a hanging cross from Borja with a firm header and the game was all square. Faridi nearly grabbed the lead with a low shot, and Adri headed over but Marino came back strongly.

Roy made a great run down the right and fired in a tempting cross, Saavedra ghosted in from outside the box and buried the ball past Otono with a powerful header to restore the lead. That seemed to kill off the Tenerife threat, Marino were well on top for the closing 10 minutes, Samuel put a shot just wide and sub Prince crashed in a long shot that wasn´t far off target. There was some desperate defending from Tenerife to prevent further damage, Bamba was fouled twice in the space of five yards as he headed down the right flank. The final whistle marked another big step forward for Marino who returned to the top of their Tercera Division group and kept on course for the promotion play offs.

The Gibraltar Incident by Cranley Harding

Leaving a U Boat conning tower and a string of Nazi bodies, Secret Intelligence Service agent Scott Rutherford has moved on from the thrilling conclusion of The Tenerife Alternative, the explosive debut thriller fom Cranley Harding. The smooth agent and his bosses soon discovered links to a limpet mine attack on HMS Worcester in Gibraltar´s Royal Navy dock yards, and swung into action.

It´s 1935, Germany, Spain, and post Easter Uprising Ireland are in a state of flux as cut throat mercenaries, acting in their names but serving their own interests as Europe heads towards war. If you haven´t sampled Scott Rutherford´s fierce determination and resourceful drive in The Tenerife Alternative, prepare to be impressed by his actions and the words of Glasgow born but Southport settled author, Cranley Harding. Scott´s world is based on historical fact but with a few tweaks of dramatic licence, this hero is old school and doesn´t take many prisoners. Constantly adapting to conditions in the field, Scott even learns to moderate his view of the fairer sex after working with a half French and totally beautiful comrade, Yvonne Recoule who shows a tough edge that matched his own.

Scott´s enemies have revenge on their minds which adds to the thrilling ride across many borders with twists and turns that will keep you enthralled. The Gibraltar Incident is available from Amazon in paperback or Kindle version or you can contact Cranley direct for a copy. If you are in Tenerife, both books are available at Libreria Barbara in Paseo Pablos Abril in Los Cristianos. Don´t be too despondent when you turn the final page, Cranley let slip the word “trilogy” when I discussed the latest adventure with him.

 

CD Marino Take Direct Route Back To The Top

Heavy on build up but light on shooting, CD Marino fell behind to UD Las Palmas C. A more direct second half approach and positive substitutes brought their rewards with a last gasp injury time 2-1 home win to regain top spot in their Tercera Group.

Zeben Buades found visiting goalie Ale´s safe hands with an early strike. Diego made room for an acute angle shot that cleared the bar, but they were limited after that by a solid back four. Too many times Marino moves broke down as they passed the ball around rather than take a pop at the goal. The yellows from Gran Canaria began to get more adventurous, Luis unleashed a swerving shot from a deep position which wasn´t far off target. A few minutes later their enterprise paid off, as Ian caught the home defence cold with a powerful strike to take the lead.

Luis speculated again, putting the ball wide, and Pipo forced a good save from David in the home goal. Charni pushed up more from midfield to spice up the blues play, and Niki opened Las Palmas up with his runs down the right. Marino were causing Las Palmas more problems now, A Diego cross from the right fell perfectly for Santi but his header flew over the bar. There was still danger from the visitors, Diego was though before Saavedra tidied up with a back header to David.

Marino looked sharper after the break, Ahmed tried to lock onto a cross pass but it was too high to meet with a header. A double change on the hour saw Marino add Bamba and Javi Gonzalez for Santi and Zeben. The changes gave Marino more punch and they forced a series of corners. The leveller came when a speedy run and cross was powered into the goal from the head of Nami. With Ahmed, Nami, and Javi Gonzalez taking turns to be the target man, the Las Palmas defence struggled to shackle them. Javi warmed the keepers gloves with a crisp shot, and Ahmed teed up the ball before firing wide.

Recent signing Oli made a run from his central defensive position to meet a corner with his head but didn´t manage to hit the target. The final home change brought  Michael from the bench to patrol the left wing as Ahmed departed. Pipo managed a forced slice at the Marino goal but David wasn´t troubled. The subs were giving Marino plenty of fresh ideas but the yellows Sebas wasn´t long arrived on the pitch when his full on tackle on Michael left him worse off and he needed carrying off the pitch for treatment.

One last big push was needed by Marino and that was what they gave. With the Las Palmas goal mouth crowded a corner from Samuel sailed over and Michael got a head to it, a deflection off the yellows Josemi made sure the goalie couldn´t stop it and the Marino players piled on each other to celebrate their win. Now a point clear at the head of the table, the second half of the season should give Marino a good shot at the promotion play offs.

 

King Suso And Prince Jorge Launch CD Tenerife Over The Muñoz

Battered and on the ropes, CD Tenerife had good reason to feel apprehensive about 2020 but a vintage display from 34 year old captain Suso and a home start goal for 18 year old Jorge Padilla led the gloom busting in a 4-2 win over Albacete Balompie. Injuries forced changes on coach Ruben Baraja and produced a sprightly start. Luis Milla stung the Albacete goalies hands after a good build up Nadal added a finger tip stop to partly stop a long drive, Dani Gomez flicked the loose ball to the buzzing 18 year old forward Jorge and his cool, clinical finish produced a 10th minute lead.

Albacete´s  Azamourm blasted a shot over the home bar and Carlos Ruiz robbed Fuster with a crunching tackle. Dani Hernandez, back in goal for the injured Ortola, had already looked at ease when guiding a roque Albacete shot wide off his post. Tenerife looked confident and comfortable on the ball, Milla was back to something like his best form and Jorge and 20 year old Elliot Gomez were banging the drum for the clubs youth policy. Milla showed great vision to pick out Dani Gomez with a fine pass, Nadal had to be alert to stop his shot.

Before the game Suso had received an award for completing 300 games in a Tenerife shirt, the total would have been much higher but he had a few years away from his home club, including a year in Fuerteventura where a 7 year old Jorge was just starting out. The captain continued to defy the march of time with another passionate performance highlighted by his powerful run to leave defender Benito in his wake before burying the ball for a 2-0 lead just before the break. Suso had more sparkle to add less than ten minutes into the second half, deep down the right wing he delivered the perfect ball that took out two defenders and found the feet of Dani Gomez to stretch the lead. The skipper nearly worked his magic again when he took the ball into the post and was only denied by Nadal.

Albacete were a poor side but managed a brief fightback. A corner found the head of Rey Manaj who scored despite the attention of several markers. Then a few minutes later old defensive worries returned when Ojedo nipped in front of Carlos Ruiz to tap in a second goal. Tenerife shuffled the pack and brought on the defensive Undabarrena for Jorge, closely followed by Shaq Moore on the right for Suso, both departed to deserved ovations. Alex Muñoz pushed forward from defence to show his attacking qualities, a neat interchange with Dani Gomez didn´t quite work but helped to put the pressure back on the visitors. Javi Alonso was the last home sub replacing Elliot, Javi is another of the rich crop of home grown talent and in just a couple of months has become a fixture in the senior squad.

A big finish would have capped an encouraging return to for Tenerife and they delivered it via an individual pearl from Muñoz who made a swerving run from deep and unleashed a shot worthy of an experienced striker to make it 4-2. It seemed everyone wanted to get in on the act, Undabarrena is known more for his defensive qualities but let rip with a fierce blast that Nadal had to look lively to grab. The victory was a relief after the recent free fall of results and was achieved without injured key players like Ortola, Bermejo and Borja. The January transfer window is going to be a key ingredient to Tenerife climbing away from the drop zone so it was noticeable that Narnanjo, Mierez, Sipcic, Lopez, Dos Santos, and Malbasic didn´t see any action, at least a couple of them should be leaving in the next few weeks.

 

Hopping Mad – A Winters Football Tale

Frosted panes of a red public phone box were further blurred by condensation streaming down the inside as four portly, middle aged men, pressed up close to a cracked grey telephone on top of a wobbly tin money box.

“My sodding thumb is dead, either that or the 10p slot is blocked.” complained Bertie, the so called clever one, and the only one of the four to possess any loose change.”Hang on, it´s moving.” The coin squeezed in but the lack of a tell tale dropping noise suggested further coins would struggle to find a home. “Good morning” shouted Bertie. “Is the game definitely on today?”

A faint female voice snapped back. “I wish you lot wouldn´t pester me. My husband is the Club Secretary and he is at the ground now shovelling up snow. It will be on if he has to crawl over every bloody blade of grass and breathe on them to defrost it.”

“I will take that as a yes then.” was the almost joyous reply from Bertie as he tried to nod frantically at his three well lagged friends before hastily adding. “So sorry to bother you but the ground phone seems to be out of action and we have travelled quite some way to see the game.”

The slamming noise would have told a less insensitive man that Mrs Club Secretary barely caught any of his polite signing off. The red frames of the box almost sighed with relief as the quartet splurged out onto the half thawed grass verge. Neighbours in the sedate village of Middle Brevit would have appreciated the close up parking to avoid filling the concrete base of the phone box with mud. Well they might of if the visitors hadn´t dug plough like furrows in the verge. Albert, the driver and proud owner of their now much browner Mini, plonked himself back at the wheel and unzipped his dark green three quarter length coat. As the others scrambled in, Albert fished out a map from the glove compartment and in a confident voice announced. “About five more miles lads, the beer guide says there´s a satisfactory real ale pub just before the ground, so lets go and make their acquaintance.”

The boys in the back seats, Roy and Pickle (don´t ask) were actually in the mid 50´s range like the front pair, but on football days, they were all boys again. A dense bank of fog rolled across the side track indicated on the map, they weren´t too sure of the name of the village home of Rakers FC , it was inside the Salisbury border but didn´t seem to belong of any of the smaller cluster of villages. Emerging from the fog, they could just make out a dog eared wooden sign saying Tyne Warp, that unusual name alone was worth bragging points when next meeting their fellow ground hoppers. As the warm air from the Rakers Arms pub greeted them, they were met by a dozen sets of curious old eyes. If the reception was a little chilly, the two hand pumps sent a warm glow of anticipation through them. Old Warbler would normally have won their vote but a slightly dusty pump adorned with the hand written clip for 5.6% Olde Rakes Pleasure beckoned them closer. Driver Albert knew at once this would be the source of the only two pints he would allow himself, so he shouted up a round.

“Oh strong ale is it lads?” enquired the crusty landlord as he pulled the first flush of liquid night time. Pickle went to hop up on a bar stool and the low throb of conversation ceased as eyes drilled into him. “Sorry” said the landlord as he poured, that´s old Percy´s seat” It was thick in dust, prompting Roy to pipe up.

“Which one is Percy?” A mild gasp of shock travelled around the room as the landlord leaned slightly across the bar and whispered. “Old Percy has been dead for 20 years, but that´s still his seat.”

A few chuckles and cackles in the background left the boys wondering if they were the butt of a local joke. They just shrugged, and withdrew to a comfy corner with their brooding pints. Albert´s modest drinking was soon eclipsed by his passengers until 20 minutes before kick off when they bade the regulars farewell and left the premises. Staring hopefully up at the bank of dark clouds, they patted down their layers of insulation to check they were fully loaded. Plain bobble hats emerged from outside pockets and were pulled down over their ears.

Squeezing through the turnstiles they joined the sparse crowd. Little notebooks were flipped open and scribbled in under bold headings of Rakers FC v Lower Marsh Casuals. Crackling announcements prompted frantic scribbling on the pads, no desecrating of the programme sheet was allowed. A polite ripple of applause greeted the teams, it was nice to see they all sported neat back and sides haircuts, the worrying trend of bubble perms thankfully hadn´t reached these parts. The kits got approving nods, just like a Subbuteo set, home in plain red tops, away in blue, and both with white shorts. The goalies stuck to tradition as well, green tops and flimsy gardening style gloves. The last regional meeting of their ground hopping circle had been rocked by a tale of a keeper in a yellow and black shirt – these were indeed shocking times.

Even wearing more layers than an arctic explorer, they could feel the cold, toe wiggling in their sturdy shoes kept the little fellas awake. Roy´s memory couldn´t be faulted, he bought the warming round of hot Bovril, without any prompting that it was his turn.

The first half was very pedestrian, the glue pot of a pitch prevented flowing play, it was all good robust efforts to ensure the ball moved at all. Not surprisingly by half time they hadn´t troubled the man with the hook on a pole to hoist any numbers onto the tall scoreboard. Stamping feet and swivelling around during the break, the four chums took in the surroundings beyond the low wooden fences. It was all rolling hills, the road they had come in on was disappearing steadily under a blanket of dense grey mist. It was very clinging and made them shudder a bit, they had picked a central position as they weren´t favouring either team, it really did feel eerie and deathly quiet. At least they could finally hear the stampede of boots coming up the tunnel under the corrugated tin arch. What emerged made their jaws sag in awe.

The players all had a strange, grey, look about them and they had old retro kits, the same colours but in a duller, heavier fabric with string pull V necks and big collars. Even their hair was different, smeared down with grease, and as for their lower halves, baggy long shorts and hob nailed boots with vicious looking studs had appeared. The quartet looked at each other wondering if it was individual madness or a shared delusion. Slow nods confirmed they were on an equal footing, the refs whistle sounded sharper and echoed in the shroud of mist as he blew to resume the game. Forget the rutted mud and slush, the players charged into each other, it was all crunching tackles and powerful runs as they huffed and puffed like steam engines.

The pitch was just about visible through the misty coating but the boys couldn´t make out anything beyond the fence surround. Strangely though, they could hear clapping, cheering and mighty cries of encouragement, it seemed way beyond the ability of the scattering of fans at kick off time. Rakers responded best to the pulsing roar of the crowd. A nippy winger with feet like quicksilver weaved his spell again and again, twice in five minutes he wrapped his boot around the laces of the heavy ball and launched it high for a Goliath of a forward. The thundering giant met the first ball with a huge crack from his left foot, and the second time he intercepted it in mid air and became a human battering ram as he headed it in for the second goal.

It was an exhibition after that, for big men, the Rakers had lovely close skills and teased their valiant Lower Marsh rivals for the final ten minutes of the game. The final whistle lingered in the air before tailing off as the players filed off down the tunnel in a slow, regimented fashion with no exuberance or emotion. Even the clatter of their hob nailed boots faded in their wake as the mesmerised Mini travellers clapped loud and long. Looking around it was like a spell had been broken, the ground was empty, and the wooden doors to the street open.

The village was pretty much deserted, the pub was closed up but at least the car was parked up just beyond, a reassuring link to the reality they thought they had lost. All four slipped into the sagging seats and put some heating on. Their emotions were reeling, how could they explain the afternoon to their friends, the hoppers all tried to out boast each other with tales of games they had been too but this would draw even more scornful, disbelieving responses than normal. There was no point telling their wider circle of non football friends at their local – they all switched off anyway when they talked about stand designs and wonderfully graded pitches. It would just have to stay their own special daydream, mirage, or group illusion, there was nothing to suggest it had even happened. Bertie, who after all was supposed to be the clever one, had a thought and dipped his hand into his pocket to withdraw his programme sheet. The days teams and the date 27th November 1974 couldn´t be argued with, but the sheet itself was dry, faded, and like ancient yellow parchment. He held it up in front of the others, almost trembling, they also retrieved their sheets, and smiles spread across their faces as they saw they all had the same well worn paper. That was enough for them, they knew something had happened, it would be their secret, something special to bind them together for life. They tootled off home filled with a deep happiness – they even missed the fallen down sign in the hedge pointing back to Rakers FC – Founded in 1874, Inaugural Game 27th November.

Ships That Pass Tenerife In Their Might

By no stretch of the imagination  was it Antarctic weather in Santa Cruz. The 51.3 metre (168 feett) four masts of the Kruzenshtern clawed at the clear blue sky as 24 degrees of sunshine decorated the dockside with shadows of flags, rigging, and cross beams.

Built as the Padua in 1926 in Bremerhaven, the 114.4 metre (375 feet) long vessel joined the Soviet fleet after being surrendered to the USSR in 1946. Now proudly playing its part in the 200th anniversary of the first Russian exploration of Antarctica, the 66 senior crew and 120 cadets in the 17 to 21 age range were passing through Tenerife from a Kaliningrad departure and had eyes set on the next port of call Rio de Janeiro, on a Ships Of Peace tour. The cadets included six ladies, with another 10 as part of the senior crew. There was a nice mix of equipment and fixtures with original parts preserved next to more modern additions, helping the cadets to work, watch, and learn.

It was open house with the gang planks receiving an eager stream of members of the public with many varied nationalities. A small donated church and prayer area catered for the crew´s spiritual well being, and a Christmas tree on deck provided a focus for seasonal celebrations. Mutual respect filled the busy port air, six luxury cruise liners dwarfed the inter island ferries on the far side of the harbour. Names like Queen Victoria, Balmoral, and Artania brought a festive boom to Santa Cruz with 12,000 passengers swarming through the capital city.

It´s always good to see so much marine traffic using Tenerife, historically Santa Cruz has always been a popular stopping off point for the world´s shipping.  Looking around there were more recent additions to the waves such as the oil tankers and platforms, and pleasure boats also skipped across the horizon. Safe journeys to them all.

Daddy Finders Bring Families Together With Science And Sensitivity

Tracing adoptees birth parents has always been an emotional and difficult journey that requires a special dedication and compassion. Barbara Mason and Mick McNulty have those qualities and using DNA and genealogy, they have brought answers and comfort to 70 families in four years, with another 30 searches continuing in several countries. I became aware of their work after being introduced to Mick on one of his regular visits to Tenerife.

Everyone is familiar with family trees but mention Deoxyribonucleicacid, even by its more user friendly name of DNA, and you might start thinking of huge labs and banks of computers. Mick from Edinburgh is much more down to earth. “I was interested in genealogy, after being asked to trace someone’s father I learnt how useful DNA could be. It’s a bit like basic electronics and binary arithmetic and once you get into it, it’s like learning to read music. Barbara asked me to trace her dad, and we also found the father of a third cousin who was seeking her dad, and that started us off. When I went to the Mitchell Library on that first case, I used to joke I was off on a Daddy Hunt, so that led to the name of our group.”

The non profit making Daddy Finders operate through a Facebook page so they can offer self help, a forum for members, and private groups and messaging. “We have over 300 members and they can talk openly about their feelings and expectations. Barbara runs the organisational side of things and is exceptionally good at dealing with enquiries as she knows when they first make contact they may have had to pluck up courage, and she puts her own experience to good use. We don’t charge for our work as we think it is wrong to put a financial barrier on someone trying to find their parent or child. Everything costs money, so we welcome donations to pay for overheads.”

On to the method. “They need to buy a DNA testing kit online, about 80 pounds including post, there are several versions out there but we prefer Ancestry DNA for our methods, often we are working on 30 cases at a time so having the same system helps, and about half of the people on Ancestry DNA have added their DNA to their family tree. Invite us to the home testing and we can start by building a clients family tree and then attaching DNA values to it from the kit chart. Its a process of elimination, once we match values to people on the tree. We have solved cases with no known parent but it is much harder.” The time scale varies from case to case. “I started one case on a Tuesday and found the father on a Thursday, but I´ve been chasing one case for two years. Our cases have touched all corners of the globe such as America, Canada, Greece, Jamaica, Australia, and Spain.”

Most people would have symbols, numbers, and dates constantly spinning in their heads but Mick has a knack of treating it like a puzzle to be methodically solved, and Barbara makes sure that they always smooth the path for the anxious searchers, before, during, and after the trail has been illuminated. You can start your journey here.

Sun Sea Sand And Santa At The Tenerife Swallows Christmas Party

You could hardly move for lords A leaping, French hens, or calling birds. Maybe it wasn’t as clear and sunny as the previous sweltering days but Los Cristianos beach still pulled on the crowds for the annual Tenerife swallows Christmas day party.

It was a bit blowy and the sand was stirring but it was nothing compared to the lively antics of the swallows *the affectionate name for the mainly mature visitors who head to the sun every winter. Not that age was a barrier or qualification, everyone was invited provided they had a hearty singing voice, nibbles and drinks were also on parade in abundance, much to the amusement of the locals.

Strange hats dotted the skyline, as young and old embraced the big day, even a few pets were wrapped up in festive coatings. It was raining back in the UK but it was pouring on the beach – cava, wine, and beer. You couldn´t fault the main players for organisation, carol lyrics were handed around, signs were dished out to head up the groups depicting the 12 days of Christmas in a frenzied dance.

 

Many of the hats and other garments had been brought over in visitors cases, what on earth would the airport security scanners make of the odd sights coming through their terminals. Anyway back at the beach it was all bubbling along nicely, strangers were becoming firm friends and appetites were being built up for the plates full of dinner to come. Ho ho ho was never felt so deeply as the chuckles rang out across the beach. Tenerife knows how to stage a good celebration, local fiestas are always dazzling and the big Spanish celebration of Reyes (the arrival of The Three Kings) was yet to come.

The swallows certainly made their mark, it was a  fabulous morning and the perfect cure for the hangovers from the previous night. Roll on New Year, there´s plenty of party spirit left to go around.