Paradise Temporarily Lost

When people learn where I live they go all doe-eyed, many expressing envy.  I think this is because anything ‘far away’ seems to have appeal to those who wish to escape the mundane routine of work, dark nights and wet days.

Anyone who has read my musings about life on Tenerife will know that in the main, I only have positive things to say because, generally speaking, I believe that I live in one of the best places in the world and could not be happier.  However, it is fair to say that everyday living is nothing like being on holiday and the two should not be confused. Many people like to gloss over the not so pleasant things and push the idea that living on a holiday island is pure paradise, but the hell of it was brought home today.

Due to soaring temperatures of late, I had left my ironing until it couldn’t be left any longer so faced with a pile of clothes three feet high I ventured down to my garage.  The garage is large even considering we turned part of it into a room that incorporates two beds a wall of wardrobes, chests of drawers and is where on a daily basis I keep my ironing board.  The extra room is only used when we have an overflow of visitors but it is comfortable as it has a couple of fans to circulate the air.

Red Queen Musings, Ironing

Today it was like a sauna, there was no need for a steam iron to press my clothes, the amount of moisture dripping from my forehead was enough to dampen them even with two fans at full blast.  The temperature was over 30 degrees down there.  After staggering upstairs with the pressed clothes (we are in a townhouse so plenty of stairs to negotiate) I flopped on the settee and my eye travelled around the room landing on the dining table where a thick layer of dust covers what should be crystal clear glass.

Red Queens Musings - Living in Paradise

I know if I clean it within an hour it will look like it has never been touched because although there is hardly a breath of wind around the air is laden with sandy particles that settle everywhere.

Despite not having the cleanest of houses, (not dirty or untidy as my OCD won´t allow for that) I rarely wear shoes and the floors both inside and outside feel gritty and dirty rather than refreshingly cool underfoot. The water feature is forever running dry and all my plants are wilting.  Not being a natural gardener I am never sure when to give them a good soaking so do this first thing on a morning but by midday they are looking in a very sorry state (bit like the rest of us).

Red Queens Musings - Living in Paradise

I also can´t face cooking so at least for the time being meals are quick to prepare and while still ‘home made’ are the nearest thing you could get to a ready-meal.

Today we had a stir-fry. I didn´t have all the ingredients and of course you have to abandon the notion of a village shop, so rather than hoisin sauce I improvised with a tablespoon of peanut butter, a tablespoon of jam and a tablespoon of soy sauce – still it tasted good particularly as it was all prepared and cooked within 10 minutes.

Red Queens Musings - Living in Paradise Red Queens Musings - Living in Paradise Red Queens Musings - Living in Paradise

Pudding took a little longer but that was only in the cooking so I could walk away from the kitchen while that was going on. I used a tin of pears covered with some ginger jam and a readymade crumble mix – at least if I hide the wrapper OH thinks I am still spoiling him!

Red Queens Musings - Living in Paradise Red Queens Musings - Living in Paradise Red Queens Musings - Living in Paradise

When you dream about life on tropical islands, the dream of paradise, the dream of frozen cocktails and a wardrobe full of shorts and sarongs it is worth bearing in mind that paradise at times can be less than perfect, in fact it can occasionally be hellish.   Most of the time though, looking out of my 16 foot glass patio doors at the Atlantic Ocean with another small tropical island a short distance offshore I just find it too distracting to think of things like “drawbacks”.

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4 Responses to Paradise Temporarily Lost

  1. Catherine says:

    I enjoy reading all your blog articles. They are really well written. You should pull them together to publish in book. Catherine

  2. tenerifenell says:

    Can you please find paradise again, both for our forthcoming visit and for our permanent move next year? lol. x
    I think you are right though Red Queen, it is one of the best places to live. Compared with mainland Europe – we (in Tenerife) have better temperatures. I have heard a lot of friends this summer bemoaning the fact that they had to experience temperatures in the 40s and even 50s whilst on holiday there or in places like Turkey. Those are just silly temperatures. Also friends of ours who own a lovely place in Sicily are going to come to Tenerife for a month in the Winter cos Sicily is too cold!

  3. ceejayblue says:

    I love your blog! The pics of your home are beautiful and you are so right about it being different living somewher to be on holiday. It never ceases to amaze me when I watch the tv programmes where people are looking for homes in the sun, just how many of them are so naive about real life where they are moving to. Lots of people who want to go Spain say, “Oh we want to live somewhere rural and would love a finca!” then they realise when they get there that rural more often than not means remote and a finca is usually run down and in need of renovation!

    I would love to live in Spain and I certainly understand the difference between a holiday or living there permanently. Friends of mine moved to Spain to an urbanisation up near Almeria, they are now regretting it. Its full of expats who don’t mix with the locals (which actually suits them but not me!), shops are a distance away and the heat is so bad that they haven’t been outside the house between 10am and 4pm during the day for weeks! They decided against having a pool built in the garden (big mistake!) didn’t even want a hot tub and now they want to sell, the prices have collapsed and they haven’t got as much going for their villa as others in their road. They don’t mix with anyone Spanish and in the 8 years they’ve been there haven’t bothered to learn any Spanish (not even the basics!) because they are too keen to retain their Englishness!

    I think moving to another country as you have done and understanding the pros and cons means that you do settle in properly and learn to live your life more as a local than a visitor and adapt to the conditions and weather and don’t constantly (like some Brits do!) bemoan the fact that the country they’ve chosen to live in isn’t like the UK!

  4. greyjake says:

    What do you mean the crumble mix is not home made!!! – I am shocked and stunned.

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