Archive for June, 2022
Airside – Check In For A Thrilling Read

Dashing across rain lashed runways, scurrying through underground service tunnels, and shot at in deserted lounges. Kevin Tyler´s life is under threat from all angles at a remote German airport in the new thriller Airside by James Swallow.

Call it a judgement on his years of under achievement, or punishment for grabbing a haul of hidden hot millions. Despite that, Airside readers will still want to root for this little nobody. James Swallow, an accomplished author and screen writer, combines the raw fear and rsourcefulness of Kevin as he tries to outwit thugs, murderers and torturers who want their mislaid money back. There´s noone to trust and even Kevin sneers at his own lousy life choices to date. As the airport slumbers, Kevin must wake up his desire to live and make his daughter proud of him.

Swallow keeps the pace frantic as he contines to raise and dash Kevin´s hopes. as a familiar travel setting threatens to become a final touchdown. I was left with nothing to declare except my admiration for this inventive and taut thriller.

Airside by James Swallow is a 2022 release from

Brits Unite Trail And Mountain Running In La Palma

As you tuck into your Sunday dinners, 26 athletes representing Great Britain will have christened the European Off Road Running Championships at El Paso on the Canarian island of La Palma. Passing through Los Cristianos, Tenerife for their ferry, the athletes and 7 coaching staff looked confident and relaxed for the three day newly combined event for mountain running and trail racing.

Bejenao mountain dominates La Palma with a 800 metre high peak at an altitude of 1600 metres. It´s the focal point for 10 events to be decided over both disciplines with races uphill only, up and down, or the winding trails. Even before the main competition starts on Friday, there is a mass night race of 6.5 k just to get the legs moving. The weekend is a chance for La Palma to reestablish its credentials as a major venue for athletes who want to challenge nature. In 2020 La Palma hosted the Spanish Mountain Running Championships as the shadow of Covid and the fiirst rumbles of a volcanic eruption loomed large,

Great Britain team manager Mark Croasdale viewed now as the perfect time for his squad to push on with their training programme, many had recently taken part in the Three Peaks Challenge in the UK. “We have a lot of young runners who have recently finished university and exams, this will give them a competitive challenge in a European competition. We flew over from Manchester with no delays or problems (despite much publiced weeks of airport turmoil) landed in Tenerife and now have the short ferry crossing to La Palma. It´s a good squad with strength in depth at all levels.”

Sport has been one constant in the difficult last three years for the Canary Islands but large groups of international swimmers, athletes, beach volleyball players and fun runners have still been heading in to enjoy the weather and facilities. There´s always a big welcome for visitors looking to test themselves against nature.

Basic Errors Wreck CD Tenerife Promotion Party

Three goals created by home defnders sounds like a winning recipe. Sadly, two ended up in CD Tenerife´s home net and handed promotion to Girona FC for a frustrating 1-3 defeat and the end to a thrilling centenary season for the Santa Cruz club.

A well defended 0-0 away leg in Girona had tilted the play off final in favour of the blue and whites, and pre match tickets had been selling on the black market for 500 euros and upwards, others perched on roof tops. Just a few returned away tickets short of the 23,000  ground capacity came hoping for a coronation. It was 13 years since Tenerife last won admittance to the top flight – and that came in a league game at Girona.

Soriano made a powerful punch clearance from Girona´s Juanpe after 18 minutes, the goalie has had an outstanding season between the home sticks. Stuani had been clamped in the away leg but after 41 minutes the secons divisions top scorer was gifted a penalty when home defender Sergio Gonzalez handled the ball. The Uruguay forward stepped up and increased his tally to 24 goals. One of the most consistent of  the Tenerife back four, Sergio was replaced by coach Ramis after the break by Carlos Ruiz. The 39 year old centre back was probably running our for his last game but crowned it with a well headed goal at the post from an inswinging cross by Shaq Moore.

It should have been a signal for a home surge but barely 10 minutes later, Jose Leon was caught in two minds as a fierce strike headed for him. Trying to chest the ball down he deflected it wide of the stranded Soriano. Home goals were a must now, Bermejo and Mario were having quiet games and were replaced by Elady and Brit Sam Shasoua but it didn´t bring an instant solution with time on the Catalan visitors side. Part of the Manchester City group, Girona have a few euros to flash but their killer blow came from a 19 year old youth product, Arnau, who had space and time to trap a 79th minute incoming ball and fire it past Soriano for a 1-3 lead that stuck firm.

It was a heart breaking end to the season. The World Cup means only a few weeks rest before the new season kicks off. Several players have reached the end of their contracts, others will have impressed envious eyes, so there is a lot of work for the management to do. The season has been a huge leap forward, fine tuning is the key rather than the usual wholesale changes but the biggest head scratcher is how to make the patchy home form as good as the points gathered on away travels.



Art By The Tin Full In Tenerife

Andy Warhol may well have given a laid back thumbs up to El Tanque art and music exhibition space in Tenerife capital Santa Cruz. The America icon of the 70´s. A tram ride up to La Laguna and a 50 year retrospective of pop art linked two shows of artistic expression, both free to view, and right on my wavelength.

You can bank on Caja Canarias Fundacion to put on some interesting displays at their cultural space near Plaza del Adelantado in the university town. This Is Pop spotlights 50 years of pop art and music, featuring 60 works that changed peoples perceptions and made art more relevant to the masses.

Damien Hurst, Banksy, and even The Beatles tapped into this well of free expression, all the works are presented in spanish but GR codes open a choice of English commentary. Paintings, videos, and music all benefitted from the pop revolution. UK and America led the way but Spain also picked up on the new media, this is shown via youth magazines that explored day to day themes in cartoon form. Two floors are dedicated to the exhibition. To unlock these key times in modern culture, the free exhibition runs to 30 June from 10 am to 1.30 pm and 5.30 pm to 8 pm weekdays, 10.30 am to 1.30 pm Saturdays, and closed Sundays.

Back down in Santa Cruz, it was a n appropriate time for me to renew my acquaintance with El Tanque, the former fuel storage tank that was first conveted to a venue in 1997. By chance, the nearby huge Cepsa refinery was just begining a long decomission and clean up process. A much smaller operation had just updated El Tanque using banana plants to soften the visual impact of the tank, and a new cafe will be added soon.

The current exhibition was called Uncertainty, by four local young architects. The high roof, subdued lighting, and display of proposals and ideas about how we can live together made an interesting comparison of how we make choices. The first time I called in many years ago, a large suspended J Arthur Rank type gong featured in a spotlight with a large fluffy cod ball drunstick to whack it with – that was suitable weird and satisfying for my tastes.

The acoustics get a fuller workout each year with the annual Keroxen music festival as a selection of bands send their musical offerings on a wall of death ride around the skin of El Tanque. Opening hours for this unusual and innovative venue are 5 pm to 8 pm weekdays and 11 am to 2 pm on Saturdays.


Defenders Of The Dream Inspire CD Tenerife Promotion Attack

Last line, rear guard, or solid stoppers. All negative terms for defenders, but  to CD Tenerife coach Luis Migel Ramis they can be so much more. Centre back Jose Leon cast a giant shadow in the 1-0 home Canarian derby against Las Palmas that started the promotion play offs last four. Leons hooked clearance off the goal line robbed a Las Palmas striker of an easy tap in as the first half unfolded. USA international right back Shaq Moore made his own devine intervention from just under the crossbar.

A few days earlier, the regular league season had ended with a shock 1-2 home defeat to Cartagena. Newly capped Montenegro central defender Nikola Sipcic stood out and scored the consolation goal. That loss and a Las Palmas win saw the Gran Canaria side jump above Tenerife in the final league table. There´s no extra time or penalties in the play offs, aggregate score play off ties are decided by those final league placings. That left Tenerife with an extra incline favouring their neighbours, so a first leg semi advantage was vital.

Jose Leon wasn´t just in top defensive form, he showed clinical finishing after 36 minutes. Mario Gonzalez struck the ball at goalie Alvaro, it rebounded out and Leon drilled his shot with purpose from the edge of the box to bulge the net. The huge sound output of the 19,732 home crowd was instantly cranked up another notch as the yellow wedge of 700 Las Palmas fans squirmed in silence.

The second half was tense, CD Tenerife were pinned down for a while before driving forward with renewed purpose. Andres Martin was floored in the penalty area by keeper Alvaro but the ref showed no interest in the penalty call. Ramis made four changes to try to craft a second goal. The best chance came from an Elady strike that tested the goalie. The crowd urged Tenerife on amidst a swirling mass of scarfs and banners to the final whistle. The outpouring of emotion from the home crowd continued as the players came to the edge of the pitch to salute them as the pride and passion flowed back in waves.

Just a slender lead left the climax of the season hanging by a thread for the away leg. Defensive strength is the hallmark of coach Ramis. That and the travelling 700 plus from Santa Cruz will hopefully push them through to the two legged final against Eibar or Girona.