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.
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.
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).
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.
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!
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”.