And So That Was Christmas, And What Have I Done…

…Damm, those festive pop tunes still wont get out of my brain. Like a big soggy pudding, the last week has got all stodgy and mixed up so it’s time for an update before I blow 2012 out of my bottom with hardly a backward glance of regret.

The best presents of all this yuletide have been the visit of my friends Neal and Karen from Bournemouth, and a youth football tournament just down the road to bridge the yawning gap while CD Tenerife practice tactics on their new electronic soccer games. A sizzling spell of sunny weather has been very welcome too, tourism has been down in the dumps so we really want to send the bumper crop of holidaymakers home with good things to say about the rock.

Surfacing from a rather drunken Christmas day it was good to throw myself into the Arona Football 7 Tournament at the CD Marino ground, I was quite shocked to arrive to find Barcelona taking on Valencia ahead of the official 10 am start – nothing happens on time here let alone early. Anyway the footie was good and I even got the interview I needed with Liverpool coach Darren Hughes and some handy snaps of Liverpool losing 5-0 to Real Madrid.

The Titsa bus nutter hunt is a fine tradition I share with Neal and Karen so on Friday we made an early start to Icod (top pic) a wonderful twisty route like a roller coaster up through Santiago del Teide and northwards. Icod was at its post festive best but not overly busy, the bar we popped in had a strange confrontational reality show muted on the TV, it would have made the BBC blush in the 1970’s as some lecherous young chap got too familiar with his future bride and ex.

Grabbing a taxi we headed up to Santa Barbara to see my friends George and Ingrid at the Artlandya bear and doll museum, a truly beautiful place. The bears and dolls were in fine form and as usual our hosts hospitality was overwhelming with home made apricot jam cake and milkshake blended from bananas from the overflowing basket of nature that makes up their restored farm. Relaxing on the café terrace the bells of the village church were playing carols adding to the serene atmosphere perched high above the Garachico coast as lizards scuttled in the undergrowth. George whizzed us back to Icod in time for the bus south and we stopped off at El Gomero restaurant near Las Americas bus station. They were busier than ever but squeezed us in for a scrummy meal with lashings of …..Dorada – who needs ginger beer.

Whoops this was going to be a short update but I’m already rambling like Ronnie Corbett on acid. Let’s jump forward to Saturday and the final of the Arona tournament in the evening, I arrived in good time for the final between Atletico Madrid and Valencia and soaked up the friendly mood at pitch side as the young 5,000 crowd bundled to catch freebie football cards being sprayed around. It was good to see the international teams all enjoying their prime seating behind the goal and I found myself thinking again why don’t they ever invite a local team to compete and why didn’t CD Marino make more of the huge crowd to advertise their existence and future games.

The 20 minute each way game was good, some of the under 12 players looked like they could easily blag their way into the local nightclubs – what are they feeding them on? I was a bit disgusted that after Atletico scored their 8th minute winner they cynically started patting the ball around to kill time but despite a storming second half from Valencia they held on. The trophies were presented by Vicente del Bosque and the kids needed a fork lift truck to pick the mammoth trophy up, can’t wait for next years competition. There will be loads more pics and full details in The Tenerife Weekly out on Friday 4 January.

After the game myself, Neal, Karen, and The General headed down to Fañabe for some chicken and beer at the beach front followed by a stop off at Soul City in San Eugenio for Dorada nightcaps – that’s how we roll, as those nice American chappies would say. That’s better, now I feel a bit more tuned in to the world and ready for New Years Eve.