Archive for November, 2008
Northern exposure with a talking moose and iron men

Not a single drop of drink had passed my lips, yet there I was looking up at a talking moose and surrounded by clinking steins of Bavarian beer and some very British carol singing. Well I was in Manchester and christmas, a clammy fog, and frost, were in the air. What a welcome back to England for my 10 day pre yuletide visit.

Staying with the lovely Pam, I was starting on the first leg of my trip, with a visit into Manchester city centre to check out the shops and the big street markets. The millenium type, big wheel was still standing proud by the Arndale centre and shoppers were bustling, less encouraged by the V.A.T cut, brought in a few days ahead of December 1st, and more driven by a Jack the Ripper scale slashing of prices.

The biggest of the street markets was one with a European theme, in front of the Town Hall, loads of crafts and foods, mainly from Germany, France and Holland, were pulling in the punters, but most people wer cramming into the large wooden chalets cum beer kellers, and it was on the roof of one of these that the afore mentioned moose was turning his head and making small talk. We stayed long enough to enjoy the cold before taking the packed Metro back to Radcliffe to thaw out.

Then on to Sunday, we headed out to Liverpool to do the tourist thing and visit the new Liverpool One shopping area, the old site of The Cavern and Albert Docks, thankfully the sun decided to shine, raising the temperature to just bloody cold. The main focus of the day was a jaunt out to nearby Crosby beach, don’t worry, even I wouldn’t swim in this freezing weather. The 2 mile stretch of remote beach is home to a work of art called “Another Place” by Anthony Gormley, the man responsible for The Angel Of The North. As the tide was begining to seep in the 100 human size iron statues stood defiant and alert gazing out to sea.Â

Iron Man

Iron Man Santa














The identical statues, are 189 cm (6 foot 2) tall and weigh 650 kg (1,400 lb) and based on a cast of the sculptors body, he must have been rather happy when the cast was taken, the statues are much more perky than they deserve to be in such a cold harsh setting. This was just one feature that aroused (a very appropriate word) a lot of complaints when the statues were installed in 2005, initially for a short stay. Before dropping anchor in Crosby, the work had been in situe at Cuxhaven, Germany, Stavinger, Norway, and De Panne, Belguim.

Locals warmed to the iron men and they are now a permanent great tourist attraction and discussion point. Anthony Gormley intended them to represent the ebb and flow of life and our attitude to it, the statues are placed at various points from the shore and the tide covers them as it comes in, so you get a different perspective depending on what time of day and year you view them. They are fixed in place and unstealable but of course are open to every joker in the area. On our visit, one statue had a santa hat and beard added, i’m sure they have featured in many peoples holiday photos, some in poses that would shame a Tory MP.

Despite the shifting wet sand, the biting cold and the fact I was missing a CD Tenerife home game, I as delighted by this whimsical and visual display of art. Now how about something similar on Los Cristianos beach in Tenerife, maybe statues of typically British holiday makers with blotchy sunburn and string vests? Well, it’s only an idea.Â

Safe bathing for all with Tenerife Baywatch

Limping and dragging its wing, a large seagull flopped off an incoming wave and lurched into crash position on the beach as curious holiday makers looked on. Through the crowd, a sturdy beach buggy with a red cross flag billowing, rolled down to the shore and 2 life guards helped the injured bird into a box and drove it back to their station to contact the local bird park to come and collect it for treatment. Not the most thrilling plot line for an episode of Baywatch, but just one of the small day to day incidents that highlight the compassion, dedication and sheer professionalism of the socorristas (lifeguards) on Las Vistas beach in Los Cristianos.Â


As a dedicated beach bum and avid swimmer I get to see a lot of the work of the friendly team guarding and protecting the beach, and my admiration for them grows daily. Just last week Arona council were holding training courses for another batch of lifeguards, a timely reminder to me, to sing their praises. You can just imagine what sort of problems too much sun and drink can cause, add in people thinking they can cruise to La Gomera on an inflatable airbed and you can see that there is no shortage of incidents on the beach, good job the guards are around. Part of their 300 hours training includes basic first aid for sun stroke, swimming cramp, the odd insect bite and many other bizarre injuries.

Disabled area

Arona council has a multi lingual programme of Barriers Free Tourism, which allows disabled visitors a chance to enjoy the beach and a swim in the sea. Special parking zones, entrance ramps, roll up boardwalks and disabled changing rooms all go to make the beach fun for special visitors but best of all are the socorristas. They have 3 amphibian chairs among their equipment, free for use and purpose built to take disabled bathers into the sea. The guards patiently push and pull the chairs from the reserved decking sunbed area down to the waters edge and help their passengers into the sea and then wait to be called to go in and help them back out. It’s not an easy process but is always conducted with patience, dignity and good humour. The chairs need to be booked 24 hours in advance through the life guard station or on 922761600 and are only used when the green safety flag is flying.

Amphibian chair

Most people probably think it’s a cushy number watching the peaches on the beaches all day, catching a tan and putting the beach buggy, jet ski and canoe through their paces but with common sense left behind by most bathers, the socorristas have be stay alert. Even now with the rocky base of the beach fountain sealed off by a rope and a warning notice in 3 languages, people feel the urge to slip under the rope and climb up over the wet rocks. Then there is the red flag warning of dangerous waves, it merely acts as a challenge to some visitors.

Socorristas on patrol

Never mind, we can all feel safer knowing that from 10am to 6pm every day, the beach patrol will be ready will binoculors focussed, and red plastic torpedos tucked under their arms to stop us getting out of our depths.


CD Tenerife clip the Pios wings

Happy and hung over, the 2,000 strong army of travelling CD Tenerife fans can hold their heads high after a great 1-0 away win against Las Palmas in Gran Canaria yesterday. Those pesky Pios are now another step nearer the relegation zone while Tenerife can use this as a launch pad for their promotion bid.

The Armada Sur gathered at the Royal Oak in Las Americas for a liquid breakfast and a 10am coach trip up to the ferry port in  Santa Cruz. With surprising promptness we were up and running and in good singing voice as we headed up the motorway. It’s a whole hour to Santa Cruz so we of course made our usual half way stop at the Oasis bar for extra singing juice. Sitting outside in the sun we met a middle aged British couple who were heading over to Gran Canaria for a few days break, I think they were suitably impressed when we told them that all the ferries would be bulging with Tenerife football fans.

Armas ferry

Arriving at the port we had time to grab a quick beer at the bar and meet some of the other Tenerife fans that had arrived early for the later and faster ferries. Thanks to the television companies wrangling over who should show “El Classico” and when, booking the ferries at barely a weeks notice left us a bit more fragmented than usual. Normally the Armada Sur go on the one hour Fred Olsen ferry into Agaete, an hours drive from Las Palmas, but this time we were booked on to the larger Naviera Armas ferry that takes 2 and a half hours and goes straight into Las Palmas port. As we piled on board the rain arrived but it couldn’t dampen our enthusiasm, neither could over ambitious attempts to smuggle our own beer aboard, the police confiscated quite a haul from the 500 or so fans on board, they said we could have it back later – yeah really!

What a posh ferry this was, most swarmed around the large circular bar downstairs but some of us headed to the top deck where a swimming pool lurked dangerously close to another bar. The ferry company had been warned that we might like the odd half of shandy but even so they ran out of beer after an hours sailing, I was forced to go onto rum and coke, then they decided to close the bars – i’m sure that infringes our human rights.

Pool bar

We amused ourselves with some community singing and dumped a cuddly Tweetie Pie (a yellow Pio and therefore fair game) Â in the pool, instead of drowning it floated ,mockingly, despite our attempts to bombard it. With the bars closed and the prospect of arriving in Las Palmas 2 hours before kick off, some of the Armada Sur decided to slip away from our police cordon and get taxis into Santa Catalina, a busy bar area. The owner of the bar we descended on must have thought it was christmas as we get the beer flowing and invited local shoppers to join our party.

We suddenly realised it was getting very near to the 5.30 kick off and time to flag down some taxis, unfortunately I went to the toilet only to come back and find they had all gone. Luckily I quickly found a cab and got to the ground, the driver wouldn’t go right up to the entrances so I was left to suffer the verbal abuse (I had my Tenerife shirt on of course) of hordes of Pio fans. The General had given us all out tickets in advance so at least I knew the number entrance I needed.

The Game

Once in, I joined the swirling flags and colours of the CDT fans in the corner of the ground that we had been assigned. We rode our luck a bit and had our goalie Sergio Aragonoses to thank for some great saves but were giving as good as we got. After 30 minutes Aragoneses made a deep clearance and Alfaro jinked past his marker, Ramos, and beat the home goalkeeper to send the CDT fans wild. Not blessed lately with great defensive performances, we were a bit sceptical about keeping the Pios out, but the team stood firm and the final whistle signalled wild celebrations from the blue and white fans and the inevitable shower of missiles from the Pio fans, of course we didn’t gloat – MUCH.

Tenerife fans gloat

We had to wait well over an hour for our coach to be allowed out of the stadium car parkbut eventually we were off to the port and up the gang plank. Guess where we stopped first? no, not the souvenir shop, the bar. It was quite a liquid trip home, fair play to our police escorts, they struck their usual menacing poses but left us to enjoy our celebrations in good voice. The crossing seemed to fly by and we were soon on our coach and heading down the motorway to Tenerife South with great memories of another jolly derby day.


TEA, a cheery brew of Tenerife arts

Do you remember boring school trips to stuffy art galleries, where the highlight of your day was noshing your curled cheese sandwiches and thinking that at least it was a day free from the classroom? Art has come a long way since then and the 2 week old TEA, Tenerife Espacio de las Artes, in Santa Cruz, is here to blast those memories away with a wide ranging and challenging array of photos, paintings, sculptures – and even a man with bread rolls tied round his face !

Minimalist, thats the word I was groping for as I entered the 20,000 square metre building in Avenida de San Sebastian. The entrance hall is large, open and with a high ceiling and polished light wood block flooring and leads to a tight spiral stairwell serving the 3 exhibition halls. Tear drop shaped lights hang from the ceiling with long slender stalks welling into glass bowls holding the light bulbs, quite a first impression.

Henry Moore

Deciding to be organised about this, I started with La Coleccion in Sala A and let one of the 3 attendants pierce my ticket and usher me inside. The high, bright and white theme is repeated in here with the first 2 rooms housing giant photos of reclining figures, a couple of their subjects none too shy about what they reveal to the camera. I take photos as a neccessity to go with my writing, i’m no photographer, and I’m in awe of those who can master the lens like these exhibitors have. A familar figure reclines in the centre of the second room, Henry Moore’s “El Guerrero de Goslar” (above) has been living on the street in Rambla del General Franco since the 1973 “Art In The Street” exhibition brought several outside sculptures to Santa Cruz.

As I passed through the rooms I noticed that the few visitors on this Wednesday afternoon were outnumbered by the attendants, is it the sign of a good gallery if the security guards eyes seem to follow you around the room? A big chunk of La Coleccion is devoted to Tenerife’s famous painter Oscar Domiguez, who was born in Santa Cruz and died in Paris, where he had become a surrealist. I had only seen bits of his work but was pretty impressed with the works on offer here, he could certainly push a paint brush around.

There’s a nice mix of art at TEA, sculptures form a centre piece in most of the rooms, with paintings, pictures and even video clips around the walls. You can’t beat a bit of abstract work though, and a pair of wellies, squares of stone tiling and a ladder entwined with flourescent light tubes were among some of the more unusual and interesting sights.


Time to adjourn to the library, if Harry Potter and Doctor Who went to school together on a far flung planet, this would be their library. Massive, sprawling and very airey, the contents of the ancient Santa Cruz main library are gradually being transferred, but there are rows on rows of shelves, work desks, comfy sofas, magazine racks amd 36 internet ready computers for free use. The tear drop lights swarm down from the ceiling and when the sun shines through the side windows, the 2 wings are bathed in light amplified by the bright white desks. The attached cafe was not open on my visit but looked big enough to quench a thirst for knowledge.


Onward to the other halls, first the Sala C for Un Arma Visual, a montage of posters and memorabilia of life in the Soviet Union from 1917 to 1953. Stark, regimented and austere as you would expect, but very interesting all the same. And finally Sala B for Cosmos, in search of the origins from Kupka to Kubrick. I’m a bit of a sci fi buff so this was right up my space time vortex. A nice mix of mediums including footage from the space programme and some very speculative paintings. My favourite exhibit of the afternoon was The Last Room – a mental odyssey by Mathieu Briand. This stately cooled white room with sparse furniture and illuminated floor panels played on the senses with eerie background sound effects like breathing and the odd glass breaking, a very odd sensation.

The Last Room

Now about that man with the bread fettish, his name is Tatsumi Orimoto, I only got to see photos and film of his performance art exploits, but on the opening night of TEA, he and a few friends performed live with large amounts of bread rolls attached to their heads. The performance area has seating and awaits the next challenging display.

Emerging from TEA I felt I had been thoroughly immersed in the arts, and felt a lot better for it, it’s a fantastic addition to the cultural life of Tenerife. The shop next door has some unusual gift ideas for the art lover in your life and lots of specialist books on some of the featured artists. If you want to visit TEA, it’s just a short walk along from the bus station, next to Barranco Santos, opposite the African market. Opening times are 10 am to 8 pm every day except monday, entrance is 5 euros for adults, 2.50 for residents, and just one euro if you are over 65 or under 26.



Going up market in Santa Cruz

Sometimes there are great discoveries right under your nose, this proved to be the case with the African market in the Tenerife capital Santa Cruz. Our football coach passes it on the way back from home games and I keep meaning to go and have a nose around inside. It’s referred to as the African market, but the full name is Mercado de Nuestra Senora de Africa (market of our lady of Africa) and many people, myself included, assume that it sells the sort of tacky crafts and souvenirs sold around the bars of the south. Today was a pleasant revelation for me.

African market

Opened on January 4 1944, the arched entrance leads into three spacious courtyards and a very welcome attack on your senses. Flowers, plants, vegetables, meat, sweets, wine and much more, you name it , they have it at one of the bustling shops. The clock tower dominates the centre and the skyline of the nearby area, and today the christmas tree had just taken up residence. Downstairs is another collection of intimate shops including eco friendly food outlets, but your nose will lead you to the large fishmongers market where you can come face to gills with every manner of sea creature caught locally.

African market

Back upstairs, there is a childrens play area, and a selection of cafe bars, including one where you can sit out in the courtyard and watch the shoppers hustle by, I had a coffee at a bar where the bar stools had home made embroidered covers, that seems to sum up the feeling of pride the traders have in their market.

There is one cloud on this happy horizon, the Sunday rastro (flea market) that takes place outside is under legal threat. Residents of a new building in Calle Bravo Murillo, have denounced the rastro for noise and mess, despite it being there long before they came along. The courts have ruled in their favour and banned any stalls within 350 metres of any building, this is potentially a blow a busy local area that also includes a permanent street bazaar in Rambla Azul. The traders in the African market are organising opposition to the ruling and apealing to the local council to find a better solution.

African market

More power to their busy elbows, it’s nice to see traditional markets thriving in the heart of the big hi tech capital that Santa Cruz has become. The African market is open every day from 7 am to 6 pm, and is just a short walk from the main bus station.


CD Tenerife rue missed chances, sloppy defence and the ref!

Ooh you bounder, what an absolute cad, these were just some of the insults thrown at the referee in CD Tenerife’s 1-1 home draw with Real Sociedad last night in Santa Cruz. There were additional references to the referees poor eyesight, debatable parentage and sexual interests, but CDT fans will wake up today, painfully aware that this was a game they really should have won but they only took a point due to some old familiar failing s of their own.

Sociedad came to play a defensive containing game and looked well organised and hungry in the tackle. Tenerife had a strong first half and made plenty of chances, Kome set up Alfaro early on, but his control let him down in front of goal. Coach Oltra dropped Garcia in the CDT goal and his replacement, Aragoneses showed his worth on the half hour, claiming the ball as Moha raced towards him after winning tha ball off Martinez. At the other end Juanlu had sight of the visitors goal but was squeezed out by a defender and the goalie.

CDT v Real Sociedad

The second half carried on in the same vein, with Tenerife trying to break down their stubborn opponents. Referee Franco ignored a penalty appeal when Nino went down after 55 minutes, but the Tenerife striker followed up with a good shot a couple of minutes later, only to be denied by keeper Bravo. Frustration was setting in for CDT, Kome squandered a good opportunity, firing just wide of the post, and Nino couldn’t quite finish his effort soon after.

The break through came after 86 minutes when Bertran fired Tenerife into the lead after good work from Juanlu. There was plenty more drama to squeeze in, first Gonzalez clearly handled the ball in the area but the referee seemed the only one among the 14,556 crowd not to spot it, and just to rub it in, he booked Bertran for pointing out his error. Still it looked like a home win but in the 3rd minute of injury time, Tenerife conceeded a corner. Set pieces always expose the worst in the CDT defence and Gerardo floated his corner in for Labaka to rise unchallenged and head in the equaliser.

Not the ideal preperation for next Saturdays big derby game at Las Palmas, especially as the Pios won 2-1 away at Eibar. Despite the chopping and changing of the match day to please the television companies, the usual 2,000 or so Tenerife fans will be putting the bar staff through their paces on the ferries across to Gran Canaria next week. I feel an adventure coming on.


Los Cristianos mini mountain peaks my interest

Looking up from Las Vistas beach in Los Cristianos, many people wonder just what that big hill is that looks down on them. The answer is Montaña Chayofita, a volcanic mound complete with crater, that rises to 116 metres above sea level. It’s just one of many mountains and hills in Tenerife, beyond it you will see the much larger Roque del Conde with its distinct table top.

Montaña Chayofita

Two years ago Arona council did a series of free guided walks up the local mountains and I greatly enjoyed trying them all out, now seems a good time to re-visit some of them, starting with this small but interesting local peak. Arona council have recently done some work on the mountain to improve the paths to the top, and to shore up a few areas where the crater was subsiding.

The best way to approach Chayofita is down the slip road alongside the Avenida de Chayofita (the dual carriageway) as it heads from Los Cristianos to Playa de las Americas.  There’s a partly built road that leads up the coast side of the mountain to the abandoned shell of a restaurant that was never completed. It’s amazing how the project ever got so far on this protected site, it now remains fenced and chained and an eyesore that needs demolishing. Anyway there are 2 main tracks up the mountain, one just as you leave the road, by the name board and the other further along the abandoned road, between 2 large whitewashed stones.

Montaña Chayofita

I picked a bright early morning for my walk and there were quite a few others taking to the high ground. The textures and colours of the rocks were really inspiring and made me wish I had a talent for painting. As I follwed the path, marked by large rocks either side of the trail, it started to curl and climb into the centre of the old crater. Working up the side of the mountain, Arona and Adeje spread out behind me in the distance, with future walking challenges already forming in my mind. At the top of the peak, I could see the full extent of the sprawl of Los Cristianos punctuated with swimming pools at various hotels and the open green space of Golf Las Americas.

Montaña Chayofita

Las Vistas beach was slowly filling up but most of the sunbeds were empty, set out in their regimented patterns as the sea lapped at the shore and the bays further around the coast. La Gomera was slightly hazy in the distance but moving along the ridge and higher up, the port came into full view with the Fred Olsen ferry ready to head out to the other islands. At the highest point, there are clear views to all sides and out to Guaza mountain and beyond to Palm Mar and the Rasca lighthouse.

Looking down at the crater, the contrast of the layers of rock is a start reminder o0f the volcanic nature of Tenerife and the clumps of cactus and small ferns show that even in such challenging landscapes, there is plenty of life. Leaning over the edge, I could see the courtyard of the part finished restaurant below, quite a lot of ornate stone work had already been completed but apart from the odd squatter passing through, it was all wasted.

Montañya Chayofita

Taking the path back to ground level, there seemed no end to the stream of explorers, some armed with state of the art walking poles. The whole trip took just over an hour and the climb is not too challenging with sturdy trainers, it’s a great way to get a different view of how the modern resort of Los Cristianos has grown in the shade of the volcanic hills and mountains of south Tenerife.


A kick up the Arsenal for Canary Islands tourism

Wasn’t it thrilling on Saturday at the Emirates Stadium in London as Arsenal beat Manchester United 2-1, people just couldn’t take their eyes of it, no not the game, the adverts for Canary Islands tourism. It was a corker of a game, but if you could bear to take your eyes off the action, you may have noticed the logo (below) on the pitchside hoardings. This was just part of a three pronged promotion at European football stadiums, to encourage more holiday makers to come to the 7 Canary Islands.

Yslas Canarias

It’s a very innovative and, in my humble football obsessed opinion, good idea, that will also take in the Madrid derby at the Bernabeu Stadium on March 8th 2009 when Real Madrid play Athletico Madrid and will close with a game, yet to be decided, at the Allianz Stadium home of Bayern Munich, befire the end of this season.

The promotion is called “Los Tres Estadios de la Felicidad” (the 3 stadiums of happiness) and each game will be at the centre of a 14 day promotion at the ground. The total cost of the promotion is 250,000 euros, that sounds a lot but just look at the Arsenal game, the crowd was 60,000 and after the game has been relayed to 202 countries, it will reach a potential 500 million people, that’s the power of football.

There was also a full page advert for the Canaries in the Arsenal match programme and a big publicity bash after the game. There were even a few celebs on hand, Bono was there (that’s the rock star, not the multi use Canarian bus ticket) presumably he is a Man United fan, they have a big Irish following.

Pio throttleBack in the real world of football, where money is hard to come by and wins even harder, CD Tenerife slipped back to their usual away form with a 2-1 loss at Levante. It’s gonna be an early start for us CDT fans in 2 weeks for the derby game in Gran Canaria, Canal Plus have decided to show the Las Palmas v CD Tenerife game live on Sunday (November 23) morning at 11am. The Armada Sur will be bright tailed and bushy eyed in their blue and white jim jams, and ready to join the other 1,500 fans at the Santa Cruz ferry port for the traditional pre journey drinkies, singing practice and abuse of Pio effigies ( the victim in the photo met a gruesome end ). The form book always goes out of the window for these games and we must be owed a win after last years sickening equaliser in generous amounts of injury time. The clock is ticking, in the meantime lets hope for a home win next Sunday when Real Sociedad visit Santa Cruz.

Splish splash, having a Siam Park bash

Floating serenely down the kilometre long lazy river, with my bum wedged in an inflatable yellow doughnut and my toes wiggling in the cool water, what a way to spend a Saturday afternoon in the Tenerife sunshine. Today I had my first hands on experience of Siam Park, the new Water Kingdom in Costa Adeje.

Lazy river Siam Park

My last trip was covering the official opening evening on September 15, a much more formal affair but this time I gratefully acepted a media day invite, and brought along friends Vicki and Martin, over from the UK, to enjoy the rides. Although a keen swimmer, i’m not a huge fan of thrill rides and Vicki describes herself as a wimp, but we all took the plunge on The Giant, as the colourful Thai faced God head seemed to promise a gentle first ride. Armed with an inflatable ring each we climbed the stone steps bare foot, ridges and pock marks ensure a good grip for even wet feet, to the launch area. A lifeguard referred to a video screen of the splash pool at the bottom of the ride to ensure the tubes were clear and then beckoned us to plop ourselves on our rings, grip the handles and launch onto the slide and through the tube opening. The water wasn’t cold but as we slopped from side to side, rushing down the chute, the twists and turns definately got the adrenaline pumping. Halfway down a bigger chamber redirected us onto the final descent and plopped us out to be greeted by a burst of sunlight and a shower of spray – exhilerating.

The Giant

That was our fuses well and truly lit, we were back up for more and then onto the Naga Racer for a face down, head first ride on a giant flip flop down an undulating slide. A much needed food break, and we were on to the more sedate Lazy River, grabbing our doughnuts and drifting away with the meandering current. After a circuit of the park we were washed onto a moving ramp to raise us up 8 metres to a higher level and more drifting. I was just thinking how this could be adapted to challenge the Thames punts back in Oxford, when a lovely young lady lifeguard advised me to cross my legs and hold on tight (feel free to insert your own smutty thought at this point). My bright yellow support dropped into a fast and twisting series of downwards rapids, as I skidded around the upper curves, bobsleigh style, until becalmed in an underground section. Flowing slowly, I got my breath back in time to admire the fish darting back and forth in the large glass sided tanks around and above me. Looking up, I could see the sealed tube from the Tower of Power ride  passing through the fish pool, and suddenly a thrill seeker wooshed through the tube like a human missile leaving bubbles and a tail of displaced air in his wake. Blimey, that was impressive, I thought as I popped back out into the daylight and back to the landing point to disembark.

Just time for a plunge down the Mekong Rapids, all 3 of us on one raft, we assured Vicki it was quite tame, but were soon proved to be over confident and we were shocked at her screams of abuse as we hurtled down roller coaster like, into the pool below. A couple of bursts down the Snake Jungle tubes took us to closing time so we made our way back to the locker room to collect our gear, thorughly thrilled and soaked. We didn’t quite drum up courage to tackle the 28 metre drop Tower of Power, but it was fun watching others scream their way down.


Barack Obama and a log for the White House fire

Leaving your mark on the ballot paper is one thing but U.S.A President elect Barack Obama seems to be taking things a little far. We know now that he “pissed all over” his rival John McCain but is there any need to go to these lengths?

Barack Obama

Don’t worry, I haven’t caught potty mouth syndrome from Brand and Ross, this is in fact a sort of honour for Barack. Each christmas the Catalans indulge in one of the more unusual traditions of “El Caganer” (the shitter) , a figure that appears in the nativity scene, sadly not here in Tenerife, Â answering the call of nature. Originally it was just a shepherd but over the years more and more celebrities have been lampooed in this way, including Spanish royalty. It signifies renewal of the soil and the continuing cycle of nature, so no smirking at the back.

Quick off the mark, a Girona based company has added Barack to this years new stars. The rising star of World politics is yours for just 14 euros plus postage from You may want to browse at the range of football stars and even vote for their caganer of the year, go on download one today !