It is easy, as the last days of summer fade into crisper cooler days of winter, to identify who is a local on Tenerife and who is a holidaymaker.
In the past couple of weeks, we locals have abandoned our T-shirts and shorts for woolly jumpers, long trousers and boots. Yes even the likes of me who when we first arrived on the island thought it was the strangest of sights to see people dressed for winter while the sun was blazing has succumbed to dressing like a local. I went out with friends this week, they had their flimsy tops on and I was wearing a jumper with a fur collar, OK it had short sleeves and I was still wearing open toed shoes so I am not 100% Canarian, but well on the way.
Another sign that Christmas is just around the corner is the supermarket aisles are filling with boxes of chocolates, sweets and biscuits. Not just the large supermarkets like Carrefour but the local shops in small towns like Cabo Blanco. And of course turrón is everywhere. That particular Spanish delicacy only appears at this time of year, and thank goodness because it is very sweet, very yummy and kills dead in its tracks any thought of a diet. I have to admit that I am rather hooked on the whiskey flavour but at a push, I will make do with the traditional roasted almond. Let’s face it any flavoured turrón goes down well with a nice leche leche.
November is also the month of chestnuts and although they have nothing whatsoever to do with Christmas here on the island to us ex-pats, the smell of them roasting brings back memories of snowy winter evenings cozying up around a blazing fire in the UK. Couple this with the Christmas lights and decorations that have appeared in shopping centres and supermarket aisles, roundabouts being decorated with figures of the wise men there is no doubt that summer has ended and winter has begun.
A couple more weeks and the lights will be lit and all the poinsettias planted, mine is already in full bloom, and of course, I will be putting up my decorations – although there is no snow for the holiday season, Christmas in the sun can still be fun.