Archive for October, 2013
Ten Diez Fills It’s Biggest Canvas Yet At Magma

Art comes in many forms and the Ten-Diez Movement embraces them all, their reputation and ambition are both flourishing at their latest exhibition at the Magma Arts & Congress Centre in Playa de Las Americas. Who wouldn’t be touched by the emotional impact of Nazaret Hernandez life studies above.

Santa Cruz kept me away from the big launch on Saturday night but determined to get in ahead of the Saturday 2nd November finish I went and gave my eyes a feast. The iron sculptures in the main entrance hall were just a taster of the range and scale of pleasures to come, they have attracted 65 artists from as far away as Brazil and Australia, displaying 650 works covering every medium imaginable. The sweeping stairway by the reception desk was my portal to well set out hall divided into unequal sections encouraging an informal voyage around the works.

Don’t feel you have to be an intense art lover, there’s plenty of light and shade here, the plate eyes of Victor Ezquerro Barrera playfully followed me around the room and the four striking Dali influenced figures of Aaron Rodriguez Diaz  were bold and challenging. The Viejo Lobo del Mar (old wolf of the sea) was a multi layered reminder of life around the coast, Carlos A Ortega really brought out the bond between man and nature.

For something a little different Australian Jenny Papalexandris series of black and white photos of a dead Brown Honeyeater may sound a little morbid but they brought out the weak and vulnerable side of the magnificent bird. Black and white studies also caught my eye through the lens of Goretty Gutierrez with some evocative urban scenes like Baker Street tube station. There was plenty of varied materials used, the drawings bordering on animation from El Orejon made me smile as did the Jack Brain graphic design that added a modern promotional spin on Tenerife history.

The artists cover a wide range of ages and experience, Ten Diez want to encourage as many artists as possible to find an outlet in Adeje and they are already planning an even bigger event next year. The Magma is a great flagship for the art movement, its location next to the bus station makes it easy to get to and its own bold style makes it a fitting partner. The concrete structure of the building is celebrated rather than hidden and that made a particularly good background to the large graffiti style works of Drew Wall in the big alcove room. I had another look at the soothing swim image of Sara Acosta before ending my full and very stimulating tour.

Entry is 3 euros, this Friday (1st November) the exhibition is closed for the national holiday but Wednesday and Thursday they open 9am to 5pm (closed 2 to 3 pm) and Saturday they finish with a packed all day special including interactive talks from several artists and a closing party from 8pm to midnight, the website has full details.


CD Tenerife Chase Away The Storms

Purring and grinning like a cheshire cat you could say I was happy with CD Tenerife’s well crafted 2-0 home win over Deportivo. After so much early season sour milk this was the cream, a commanding defensive show, a pleasing midfield blend, and two classy goals, all against a Primera side marking time in the Segunda.


The sharp showers I had experienced all afternoon in Santa Cruz stood aside as Tenerife dominated the first half, Roberto had to wait until the 18th minute for a slice of the action, he made a strong intervention to take the ball cleanly as Deportivo threatened. Before that Carlos Ruiz headed on from a corner but the ball eluded everyone to run out of play. Ayoze had a half chance when Aitor Sanz threaded a good ball through for him to run onto but a visiting defender forced him wide so his shot went straight at the goalie. Aridane had his moment but a speculative long range shot kept rising and was well clear of the bar.


Rudy was the danger man for Deportivo, he led the few breaks they were allowed, he sneaked in on the right and put a threatening cross into the goal area, Ruiz got a foot to it but as it bounced up invitingly Roberto leapt and made it his. Aitor Sanz and Rivero worked well together in midfield and it was Rivero who created the opening goal wit a corner that Ruiz met perfectly with a powerful glancing header that buried the ball. Veteran Pablo turned back the years to get past Raul Camara, a rare weak moment at left back, and sent a swirling cross just under thee crossbar, Roberto took no chances and pawed it over the woodwork while under pressure.

 Suso had come on for Chechu and gave Deportivo a torrid time, he played a key part in the flowing move that sealed the game. A deep clearance found Aridane, he passed to Suso who hurdled a couple of defenders before laying the ball off neatly to Aridane as he charged in and gave the scoreline the weight it deserved.


A terrific game, the only down sides were the booking for Sanz that gives him a suspension for next Sundays game at Alaves, and the poor crowd of 7,929. We can’t blame this on financial problems. When I was down in the city centre the bars were packing out from mid afternoon for the clash of the fat cats, a few thousand must have chosen to go out and spend money on that rather than watch Tenerife. Even CB Canarias basketball had an increased gate of 3,400 for their 8pm game. Oh you fickle floaters, you missed a cracking game.


Seeing The Big Picture In Santa Cruz

Like Dick Whittington being lured back to London, I found events drawing me back to Santa Cruz just a week after my last visit. I would have been there anyway as CD Tenerife were at home but I went up early with a large tick list. Storms had been mentioned but my Titsa bus trip was coated in sunshine, it was only when I got off at Centro Comercial Meridiano that the rain started to splatter down even though the sun was fighting it for top billing. Forget the end of the world, the second coming, or an alien invasion, all those seem to have been bumped down the curiosity order by an insatiable thirst for the opening date of Santa Cruz Primark so I popped in and asked an expert – the security guard, March was the answer – but he didn’t say what year.

That short detour didn’t affect my bono ticket bonus of a free tram ride having just left a Titsa bus, so I took a short hop to La Paz to check out Cine Victor the 1954 cinema being nursed back to life. The front was still being painted but a few well researched bits of background information got me an invite inside for a tour. It was looking tired and sad last time I popped in but the facelift was going well with much of the original features being restored and matched with state of the art projector technology that will give it star billing again. The original projectors were on the way out, I bet they could tell a few stories – oh hang on that’s exactly what they did. I’m looking forward to seeing the finished picture very soon.

Back in the last dribbles of sunny rain I headed down La Rambla past the old derelict bull ring to see the long time resident Henry Moore sculpture, El Guerrero de Goslar, a curtain raiser to the art in the street exhibition in the centre of the city, the main focus of my early visit. The work reclines there with few pretensions but it was good to see it now free of graffiti. Further along the road linked up to Parque Garcia Sanabria and taking the busy shopping street Calle Castillo to Plaza Candelaria I found the first cluster of sculptures brought in from Berlin and Basingstoke until 1st December and got snapping.

There was a lot of interest in the works of Castleford sculptor Henry Moore, Santa Cruz is very good at taking culture to the masses. I soon added the other large bronze works in Plaza Patriotismo to my collection before crossing from Plaza de Espana to the port road where the 39 vintage cars from Clasica Tenerife rally were parked up.

Another passing downpour gave the old motors a good sprinkling, well they had been spinning their wheels around the islands roads most of the day so maybe needed a little wash. The port is always worth a look, I have quite a big photo collection of the ships and boats that pop in so it was good to see two new captures, Celebrity Eclipse and the P & O Azura. These were like cities on the sea, Eclipse brought 2,800 passengers and 1,100 crew and Azura another 3,100 and 1,226, both were doing a Southampton to Canaries run via Funchal.

By now it was getting close to food and footie time so I grabbed a pizza somewhere I wouldn’t be subjected to the gathering ranks of fat cat bar stool football fans waiting to see two well known mega money Spanish teams get it on. I could almost taste the Dorada as I strode up the road to meet the other Armada Sur members at our pre match bar. A great day was just about to get a whole lot better.


CD Tenerife Refreshed By The Fountain Of Youth

The headline grabbers in this surprise 0-1 win at Ponferradina were Ayoze with his third goal of the season and Roberto with a mature, confident display in goal but maybe the biggest praise should go to coach Alvaro Cervera.

The boss was bold and brave in dropping club legend Sergio Aragoneses and giving a Segunda league debut to 22 year old Roberto from Icod as well as starting with Raul Camara and Salva Ruiz in the full back slots and Rivero starting in midfield. All his decisions were vindicated and we know he would have been slaughtered if it had all backfired.

The defence looked strong, the midfield productive, and Ayoze, our 20 year old from San Andres continued to grow in stature. Roberto was a star from his first big test, a 20th minute corner save from Fofo, to his late push onto the post to preserve the first away clean sheet and win of the season. Carlos Ruiz gave Aridane a good opening but he put it wide, then a small slip by Ruiz was expertly mopped up by Roberto. Ayoze could well have grabbed a lead just before the break, his strike was judged offside, but it was a very close call.

The reward for cool heads came after 58 minutes as Ayoze showed his star quality with a well taken piece of individual skill. Of course there was a fight back from Ponferradina but Roberto showed character to deny the home team with three more confident saves. The value of this win can’t be overestimated, it offers hope and shows the team can win on their travels – and hey there were no silly red cards this week. Deportivo come calling on Saturday night, kick off 7pm, now let’s put that home form back on track.

Santa Cruz In The Palm Of My Hand

You know it’s been a good day when you wake up with a strange nobbly citrus fruit in your pocket. Well it was a bit of a mixed up Sunday as I caught up with a non football visit to Santa Cruz.

It had to be an early start, which is fine by me as I got to see the sun stir itself and bathe Tenerife in its magnificent glow. From the twinkle of the sea to the shadow receding over Guimar it was shaping up for another belter of a day. My 110 direct Titsa bus to the capital was in such a perky mood it arrived in 45 minutes so with time in hand I had a mooch around and noticed the tram has a great new offer, 12 euros a week unlimited travel in the capital area for under 26 year olds. Damm those young people with their pop music and long hair – actually good luck to them, it’s just another reason I wish I was still young.

The Sunday market was in full swing just along from the bus station so I had a look around, it seemed to have spread out into more side roads since I last called in, maybe a sign of the tough times with people looking for cheaper goods. They really did have everything you could ever need, and lots of things you couldn’t imagine anyone wanting. With enough time frittered away I was off to my main call, the Palmetum botanic gardens built on a large landfill site and bristling with 1,400 different species of plants including an amazing collection of palm trees from around the world. I will post an in depth review soon but it was fantastic, great plants and new views over Santa Cruz plus plenty of dragon flies and a free guided tour for our party of 40 plus people. The strange citrus fruit was from some samples given to us from an Australian tree, Morinda Citrifolia,  we were assured they were edible but one I tried tasted very sour so my new nobbly friend can sit on my balcony for a few days before I taste again.

The two hours flew by, there was even a couple from California (hubby was a published expert on palm trees) who had booked the tour to coincide with their cruise ship docking in Santa Cruz. I wandered off to check out the port but apart from the giant cruise ship it was relatively quiet, the new lay out of Via Litoral does make it much easier to get into the heart of the city, on Friday 8 November the free Tenerife 40 Pop & Dance show will take place on the new public zone. Sunday is normally a quieter day in Santa Cruz but despite most shops being shut, the cafes around the lower end of Calle Castillo were buzzing and I also spotted several well wrapped sculptures, well they were too big to be cufflinks, ready for their unveiling, they are by Henry Moore the great British artist, I hope to show you the revealed masterpieces next week.

I had a good wander around, popping into Parque Garcia Sanabria and then clocking the ornate centre piece at Plaza Weyler, it looked good after last years scrub up. Heading down Calle Castillo I noticed a few shops had changed hands again and also spotted an interesting contrast of new and old in a few of the lower end buildings. I’m often stopped in my tracks by a surprise visual slap to my senses and a nice bit of graffiti art caught my eye in a side road. I’m guessing there’s a bit of a naughty nudge nudge moment going on and if you look closer you can see the traffic sign stand has also been painted to blend in.

Well that was about it for me, as always the visit left me with more reasons to call again and chase up some more bizarre points of interest. One last tweak of my curiosity came at the bus station when I noticed an emergency vending machine, I could understand plasters, ointments, and even condoms but couldn’t see why anyone would be desperate for the kiddies wash kit that included two yellow rubber ducks.



Hard Times, Hard Luck, Hard Shoulder For CD Tenerife

That was probably our best chance of a home win thrown away, not just more wasteful finishing but also another silly sending off and even a schoolboy error by Sergio Aragoneses to gift Mallorca a 0-1 win.

Yes it was nice to see returning heroes forward Alfaro and coach Oltra but the big problem is here and now and we should have gone all out to plunder a poor team with a terrible defensive record. The tone was set early on with a Raul Llorente long range thunderbolt hitting the post with the goalie stranded. Ayoze set up Aridane but the keeper blocked his shot and it didn’t break kindly to Raul Llorente.

Mallorca looked weak and hesitant in the first half, Alfaro had a couple of nice touches but they didn’t make Sergio break sweat. We thought we had made the big breakthrough after 25 minutes but Aridane was offside and the goal was ruled out. Mino wasn’t inspiring in the visitors net, he needed to be put under plenty of pressure and it wasn’t coming, Suso had a decent shot which Mino could only parry but there was no follow up.

In the second half as Alfaro faded before being subbed, their main man Ximo pushed up and started to create problems for Tenerife. Suso had a passionate appeal for a penalty but the ref was right to ignore it. The killer goal should have been cut out by Llorente on the left, the lively Thomas exploited the space and put in a weak cross cum shot close to goal, Sergio seemed to have it covered but it went through his hands leaving Gerard Moreno an easy tap in.

Aday and Rivero arrived in quick succession for Tenerife with Chechu and Ros making way and Aday made some good runs down the left flank. Ayoze was again the pick of the bunch but needs to pick his shots better, he rushed one straight at the goalie. His next effort was worthy of a goal, he took the ball past the keeper and screwed a shot in from an acute angle, it meandered slowly along the goal line before bobbling off the post to Nunes who cleared it after taking a moment to realise how lucky he was. The final blow was a wild midfield challenge by Moyano that earned a second yellow and a dismissal, it was a stupid move and effectively killed off all hope of a fightback.

Next week is Ponferradina away, 5pm Sat, let’s hope the team have better luck with their plane than the Armada Sur did when our bus broke down on the motorway, it didn’t even break down near a bar – now that’s what I really call unlucky.



Over Land, Over Sea, Overjoyed On The En Pie Adventure

My kayak had a sense of humour, just when I thought I was on board it rolled over and shrugged me off. Well at least the sea just off Masca beach was warm and soothing and the sun was on top form. This was just the half way point on the charity challenge for Fundacion En Pie and their ongoing support for mental health issues in Tenerife.

It was only a few days before that I was asked to cover the Masca descent and kayak to Los Gigantes but once Silverpoint offered to pay my donation to take part I was soon excited by a more hands on role. I was given Friday night accommodation in a private apartment in Poblado Marinero, perfectly placed next to Los Gigantes marina. It brought back memories of living in the area when I first moved over and also a boozy holiday before that when I stayed in the same apartment block. I resisted the urge to go and explore old haunts and had a quiet meal at The Chicken Shack in Puerto Santiago.

Soon after waking on the big day I met the assembling group at a café on the marina. The sea was calm and the sun was kissing its way down the famous cliffs as a beautiful day dawned. On the taxi ride up to Masca village the road sides were already turning into make shift stands for Sunday’s Subida A Tamaimo uphill time rally. Masca was as glorious as ever and just over 40 of us set off down into the ravine. Despite living here for 12 years and doing regular walks I only added Masca to my list a few months ago. It’s a steep and testing route but so rewarding with outstanding landscapes that hark back to the birth of the islands. The walk is very popular but on this day it was particularly busy and we encountered many organized groups as we set a cracking pace with just one food stop.

It was noticeable that since July there was a bit more moisture around after some welcome rainfall up in the high mountains around Tenerife. Streams trickled and some rocks needed more caution due to wet feet passing ahead of us. In the deepest heart of the path the light and sound takes on a strange quality like it has been preserved in a time warp,that merely made it more enjoyable. My initial Masca walk took just over four hours with several hours but with barely two and a half gone the cliff sides were diverging and the trees thinning out as the sound of the waves filtered through. Breaking through we headed for the beach and a cooling dip before the second phase in the kayaks. Some people did both legs and some picked one or the other so while a few went back on the boat we got ourselves sorted.

I have never tried a kayak before and imagined them more hollowed out like a canoe but they were quite flat with moulded seating areas, some were solo and some doubles. The tethered group was brought close to the mooring point and we had to jump in the sea and haul ourselves aboard. When I sort of got on I had trouble telling which way I should face but  once lodged against the support strap with feet braced against the ridged floor I felt ready. They told me we would have a Zodiac with us – honestly when would I find the time to read my horoscope! then I realized that was one of the support boats. With plenty of encouragement from the experts El Cardon and Salitre I prodded the water and gradually got a rhythm with my paddle and dipping the oar on each side moved off with the convoy.

It was hard going but great fun, every now and then we bumped but there was a great spirit among the rowers and a determination not to get adrift of the pack. Rounding the first cliff face and seeing Los Gigantes way up ahead was a big boost, the cliffs look even bigger towering above from close to the water and even in the exposed sea it was lovely and warm. Dolphins abound in this area but I think they were hiding in a group having a good laugh at my cack handed rowing technique. About half way across I swapped to a two man kayak as one chap bailed out not feeling too good. I was at the front and now had to try to consider my poor partner, several times our oars clashed on my back stroke but we made good progress in the centre of the convoy. The last leg was very rewarding, as people waved from Los Gigantes beach as we turned in to the marina and moored up just in front of the bars. My shaky legs were glad to be on dry land and I was even more delighted to hear that there was a beer waiting in Rincon de Antonio.

Dripping all over the quayside we adjourned to the far side where the party was about to start, sponsors did us proud including a large bin full of iced Tropical and later a paella courtesy of Santiago del Teide Ayuntamiento. There was music and even a paragliding display as three pilots swooped down off the cliff top and landed expertly on the harbour wall with red smoke billowing around them. An alarmed local called the police thinking a paraglider had plunged into the sea so we had a surprise visit from the Guardia Civil and their helicopter – it’s good to know they are so quick to respond. The party was chilled, well there wasn’t much dancing in our legs, and the beer helped to numb the aches. I slipped away after a few hours for my journey back south, tired but very satisfied with a wonderful day.




Goals That Can Make Or Break A Weekend

Funny chaps goals, they always look so easy when you see a montage of them flying in on television but in reality confidence and even a bit of luck can soon separate two teams. The good news is my double football Sunday brought plenty of goal chances but the bad news is that although CD Marino were clinical finishers in their 4-0 home win over Union Viera, CD Tenerife went down 2-1 at Recreativo.

CD Marino are basking in the glow of success after starting again in the Tercera, I saw their first home league win and was looking forward to picking up the thread again. Their performance was as blistering as the weather that scorched down as I watched their young line up show plenty of skill coupled with good team work and a hunger for goals. The first goal was along in 13 minutes after concerted pressure, a good ball across from the left made Viera jittery and Ramon turned the ball into his own net.

Balduino was promoted to captain for the day and led the line well, around him he was blessed with the terrier like Pulido on the right and instinctive goal poacher Murci. Both sides were in the top four and Viera were always on the look out for a chance at goal, their nippy main striker Peraza should have pulled the trigger himself but drilled the ball across the face of the Marino goal and it went to waste.

Murci battled his way into the visitors box, turned and shot in one movement but got his foot under it and sent it over the bar. Yosimar (below) saw an opening and cut in from the right before stinging goalie Li’s finger tips. Richard Jimenez (above) showed them all how to finish when he struck a sweet volley that was only going one place, that was 2-0. Murci showed his strength powering in with the ball, Li had to get down well and block him at the near post. It wasn’t like Alberto was having an afternoon off in the home goal, Viera let rip with a couple of long range shots that he saved in fine style.

The second half brought more good football from both teams, Alberto showed his agility again early into the play. It’s very much a squad thing this season at CD Marino, the bench was packed with talent and coach Sosa Espinel has no reservations about using them. Lamine arrived for Yosimar and put himself about, it paid off as he won the ball off the under pressure defence and squared it across to Balduino who popped it in with ease. Nabil took over from Pulido and saw plenty of the action including a touch towards a quality strike from Murci. The forward ran at Viera, nicked the ball off a defender, drew the keeper and slid it under him.

There was still time for local boy Luis Sierra (below) to make an appearance, he looked a handful up front and was unlucky not to get on the score sheet. Union Viera may feel the score was harsh on them as they put plenty into the game but Marino are a strong all round side this season with a cutting edge and were good value for the big win.

Over in Recreativo it was a story of squandered chances but at least Tenerife are still creating them with Ayoze improving with each game. The youngster will need to sharpen up his finishing, a weak shot and one off the post could have set up a shock win at the Segunda leaders. Aridane was guilty of missing a few too especially from Ricardo’s corner just before the half time whistle.

Recreativo showed better aim, Montero struck just after the restart from outside the area but sub Suso found Ayoze with his pass to level. It was short lived, Arana took his chance well a few minutes later and Tenerife were chasing again. During one concentrated spell Ayoze, Suso, and Moyano all missed the target and the task was made harder with Ricardo getting sent off for a harsh second yellow. The last two games have revived confidence and the unpredictable Mallorca are definitely beatable next Sunday in Santa Cruz.



So That’s What A Win Feels Like

The problems aren’t solved and there’s a big struggle ahead but for a few hours on Sunday night we could celebrate thanks to Ayoze scoring in the 1-0 home win over Real Madrid Castilla. The 20 year old starlet did much more than that, he showed us that we may have a goal scorer in out midst and he showed he is learning to improve his game. On the down side Borja Perez should wait a long time for another chance in the starting line up, he could earn a place alongside legendary bad forwards like Raul Sanchez and Frankowski.

It was a pretty even game between two sides desperate for points, thankfully we had Inigo Ros back to run the midfield, the dangerous sit back in the first half tactic was still in place but given the flat showing of Aridane and Borja in the first half it was hardly surprising. Castilla had the best open chance after 14 minutes as Borja Garcia dragged the ball wide past the post. It was a close call when Chechu planted the ball in the Castilla net on the half hour, the ref ruled Aridane was offside and interfering with play. Maybe Sobrino felt sorry for us when he scooped his easy chance up and off the underside of the Tenerife crossbar.

The mood was lifted at the start of the second half with Ayoze taking over from Borja Perez, this was a new look Ayoze, sharp, aggressive, and with a stubbornness in his play. Aridane was no longer abandoned and he was able to create space and pressure defenders into mistakes for the nippy Ayoze to move in on. Chechu spotted Ayoze and unleashed a perfect pass, the young forward eluded Pulido and tucked the ball past Pacheco, a rare and wonderful sight for all home fans. Within minutes Castilla were claiming a handball after a Ruiz tackle on Benavente, again it could have gone either way but for once it was our day and the ref waved play on.

More Tenerife chances followed, Suso firing just wide, and Ayoze finding the side netting, Ricardo had a long range effort which hasn’t yet come down and Ayoze was unlucky when his ball rolled kindly for the other Llorente to clear his defenders error. The referee made us suffer with five minutes of added time, a calculation made by the same mathematical genius who posted the crowd as 9,206. The final whistle brought huge relief and more calls for President Concepcion to go – this time with more support than last game. So all we have to do now is win at table topping Recreativo next Sunday, at least there is some belief back in the camp now.