You may have heard Tenerife called “The Island of Eternal Spring,” which may make you wonder how we tell the difference between the seasons here. I’ve mentioned the spring flowers already in the past week. The foliage does change, though the changes may be more subtle than further north. If you follow the temperatures online or in newspapers you’ll notice a difference, but the winter temperatures will still sound warm, and they are. I have to admit that there are times when I have to stop to try to remember just what time of year it is. I can wake in the night worrying about whether I’ve ordered the turkey, and then roll over with a sigh of relief when I realize it’s July, and there is scads of time to deal with that! Or I can go out in the heat of the winter midday sun dressed in a cotton dress, forgetting that I won’t get home until after dark, and end up shivering, and the temperatures do drop at sunset.
There are some signs that summer is around the corner however:
1. The duvet is always on the floor when I wake up. Sometime during the month of May I begin to kick off the duvet during the night. You may wonder that I use one at all, but I guess that’s because I’m acclimatized now! When this happens every night then I know we haven’t long to go. Despite global warming or climate change this has happened every year I’ve lived here, and the timing hasn’t changed, and the opposite happens in November. I begin to wake up cold during the night, and I know winter is about to set in.
2. Trixy sleeps on the tiled floor and not on her bed or any of the various rugs she also favors. Trixy is a spoiled dog, no doubt about it. She lays claims to just about anything comfy around the house. I have to make sure bedroom doors are closed when I go out, and put magazines on the sofa so she won’t jump up there, but when the temperatures rise she prefers the cold tiles, and the breeze under the window.
3. I no longer want to cook. When I do I am drenched in sweat. This last few weeks have been a scurrying of cooking and baking to make sure I have some stuff in the freezer for those odd times I crave a beef stew or onion soup during the summer, but it’s just about impossible to cook in comfort now, so it’s salads and sandwiches when dining chez moi for the next few months.
4. The sneakers are only for hiking or sport, and not an everyday piece of clothing. Formal footwear doesn’t figure hugely in my lifestyle. It’s basically sneakers in winter and sandals in summer. Just bought this year’s supply of Dr Scholls today.
5. I ditch the jeans – and really this is my favorite item of clothing! I’m definitely most comfortable in jeans, but they are much too thick and tight for summer wear. Admittedly you will see Canarians, both men and women, wearing them year round. I am guessing that after 24 years I will never attain that level of acclimatization.
6. I change from red wine to white. At least I don’t have to choose! I adore Canarian wines both red and white. Lucky for me that they are award-winning wines of both types here!
7. The weekenders are here in my building, splashing in the pool till late (they don’t HAVE swimming pools in the north?), barbecuing and partying at 1 a.m. :=( In a couple more weeks it won’t be just weekenders. It will be people here for whole weeks at a time until September when the kids go back to school. However, I just renewed my lease till the end of the year, so I can’t really think it’s that bad, can I? **Taking out the earplugs** “Sorry, what was that you said?”
8. There is no parking around here on the weekend. It’s a beach town. Of course the streets are bulging on the weekend. That’s not a complaint. It’s normal. However, the quality of parking leaves much to be desired – except that so far I haven’t actually seen parking on the sidewalks, like they do in the town of Adeje! I do think, though, that the police could make a load of money by fining the illegal parkers!
9. I don’t stuff a wrap or a scarf into my bag when I go out during the day. Even in summer nights can feel chill, especially if you’ve been outdoors in the daytime, so I always have one at night. In winter the weather can change very suddenly as clouds blow in from the Atlantic, so I always have something with me, but for the rest of this year, I won’t need to do that.
Sometime towards the end of November I’ll be pulling up the duvet, cooking pasta, looking for my sneakers and my jeans, trying out the year’s new red wines, and combing the markets for shawls and scarves and cardigans. Trixy will sneak onto the sofa when I’m out, and as I drift off to sleep I will notice how quiet it all is……and then I will know winter is here.