A blog about Tenerife, Linedancing, Food, Shopping etc.


Monday, May 26, 2008

Don't drink & drive!

This is one of the most terrible "real life videos" I have seen.
Please, take a couple of minutes and watch it!

An Update

Our internet hasn't been working this weekend but now it's on again.
We think the server is shutting down at the company we get it from, and in the weekend they are not open. It was the same last weekend.
But, you know, this is Spain and when you live here you have to be patient and accept the fact that the problem will be taken care of as soon as they get time to fix it.

Not much has happened here since the last post:

The neighbors are still cleaning the garage. They are right now filling up their third truck bed with trash. I can't imagine how all this trash have got room inside the garage but it have been looking like it's been a lack of space every time they have tried to get the car inside.

We have been working on new songs and I have got about 12 new songs to learn right now.
Many days I have been singing for 3-4 hours in the afternoon and my throat has been a little bit soar in the nights.

Saturday it was Grand Prix and we watched it like always.
Lewis Hamilton won and second was Kubica and third was Massa. Kimi was number nine after Heikki Kovalainen. Now Lewis is leading the whole Grand Prix with three points more than Kimi! He looked so happy.

Last night was really nice. We had many guests on the terrace and many dancers and the night just like flew away.

Today it's our day off and we are going to have a barbecue on the balcony.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Spring cleaning

You almost get feelings of spring today when you look at our Canary neighbors.
They have hired a big truck bed which they have placed out on the street and now they are carrying out all the trash from the garage. Working very hard.
What they do reminds me of my home country Finland.
There people are cleaning everywhere this time a year when the snow has melted away.
They rake the lawn, and everywhere around the houses, and some people are even burning away the old grass down in the ditches. It's a hard work but it looks nice later on when the grass starts growing and the flowers start blooming.

Americans who visited us before, when we lived there, were amazed over how clean our country is. You hardly don't see any trash anywhere. And the most of the cables are buried in the ground.
Even old condemned building have been taken down.
If you are an owner of a rickety shed, or something like that, you probably will receive a letter from the government that tells you to take it down.
My dad was a tomato farmer and when he retired some years ago he got a letter that told him to take down the whole building when it wasn't in use anymore.
That was a big project when it was huge and the walls and the roof was made of pane.
But I think the government is right. The surrounding looks much more beautiful when it's gone.

I wonder if it's possible to get Tenerife clean anymore. Probably not.
People have been throwing all kind of trash in the nature and it's frightful how it looks in some places outside the town. It's refrigerators, washing machines, old rusty cars and all kind of stuff.
Some of the trash is deep down in the valleys and they probably would need a crane to get it taken away.
It seems like it's only the national park of Teide that is really clean. That area is carefully guarded by watchers.

Some years ago we went by car up to Teide with a couple from Sweden. The lady thought it would be nice to bring home a small stone of the green phosphor as a keepsake.
No problem! Clas said, and stopped the car and went out and took a small phosphor stone for her.
On his walk back to the car he suddenly was confronted by a guardian who told him to put the stone back where he took it. Such a disappointing!
We didn't know you are not allowed to take even a small stone there!
Now we know you can be fined for it and we were in good luck when we escaped only by the skin of one's teeth.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

La Gomera

Valle Gran Rey, La Gomera

We went to La Gomera yesterday together with our friends Mick and Frances.
It was clear weather which was really a blessing when you don't see much of it when it's covered in clouds and fogs.

La Gomera is a small beautiful island outside the west coast of Africa, about 23 X 25 km in diameter, and it's shaped almost like a round cake out of which somebody has cut out thin slices a little all over. It has because of this shape got a lot of high mountains and deep valleys. The highest point is 1487 m.
The island belongs to the Canary Islands and is the neighbor island of Tenerife where we live.

We went early in the morning on the ferry from Los Cristianos and I started feeling seasick after a while when the waves of the Atlantic Ocean became bigger. I didn't start vomiting but it was not fun and it caused me also to feel uncomfortable in the car later on.
Normally I don't get seasick but the way of which this particular catamaran ferry moves in high sea gives me problem. It was the same last time we went to La Gomera.
When we went to El Hierro on an other ferry some weeks ago it was really a rough sea but then I didn't have any problems.

When we go out to other Canary islands we always have nice lunches or dinners there and try to eat the cuisine that is typical for the place. That's the highlight of the whole travel when the food is a good source if you like to quickly get a taste of a culture.
This time I had an ice cream and the other didn't like to have anything else than a cheap breakfast when we arrived when it kept them satisfied the whole day.
When we came back to Los Cristianos in the night Clas and I went out and had a five coarse meal and after that we were so tired that we went home and went to bed and slept until the next day.

It's a little bit tough to go by car on La Gomera. You go up on the mountains and down into the valleys and there are big changes in the altitudes all the time. And the road is turning constantly. You don't find many straight roads, but they are in a good condition and it's a lack of fellow road-users. It's very quiet and peaceful and the nature is awesome.
Drive slowly and you will really enjoy it!

I am so happy we got to hear `El Silbo´, the whistle language of La Gomera, this time.
The language was used before to talk to each other from one cliff to an other, but there are not so many people there anymore who know how to use it.
The `cabildo´ of La Gomera have the last years been arranging courses, for the youths who are interested in learning the language, to try to conserve it. That's nice when La Gomera is the only place in the world where the language has been used.
We went to a restaurant called Las Rosas where we have heard they sometimes arrange demonstrations of the language and we came exactly in time to get to hear it. Half an hour later and we would have missed it out!

We also visited a bodega at the road that goes down to Valle Gran Ray. There we got to taste wine, liqueur, cheese, honey and marmalade from the island and I bought some of the products.

We are planning to go to La Gomera again in November together with a couple from Sweden.
But then we will go by an other ferry to avoid the seasickness.

Clas made a short video clip of the Silbo Language with his phone.
Please, click on the video to listen to it.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

New Songs

We are busy learning new songs and thats why I haven't been blogging much the last days.
I have picked some songs from the new country scene when the audience here seems to be little bit younger in the summer time.
In the wintertime the tourism is more like 50+ and in the summertime maybe 30+. But of course there is a mix of all the ages all the time.
I am learning songs like; Redneck woman, Suds in the bucket and Walk away the wind blows.
And Clas is learning; If you wanna be happy in the rest of your life, Five o'clock somewhere, Love bug and Some days are diamonds.
We will soon start doing backing vocals for `If you wanna be happy...´ and when it's ready Clas will do the mixing job and then it's ready for the stage. I'm so happy he has choosed to start singing this song when it's a famous line dance right now in England.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Adeje Garlic Chicken

We went by taxi tonight, together with Mick and Frances, up to a small village called Adeje. It's about 15 km from Los Cristianos.
There is a nice restaurant called La Rambla where you can have a delicious dinner with a lot of different dishes at the same meal. That's what brings us there.

It was tonight the third time we were there with Mick and Frances! And we have been there with some other friends as well. I would like to recommend everybody who likes hot garlic tasting food to go there. It's really lovely!
And don't forget to walk around the corner at the street and look at the majesty mountains and the deep valley below and the old town city hall.
This is in the old town of Adeje and it gives a little bit of a picturesque feeling to be there and you will like it. It's old houses with typical Canarian balconies at narrow streets.
The restaurant is closed Mondays and during June.

First we had a crispy salad and bread with homemade Mojo sauces which is a specialty here on the Canary Islands. There are two different sauces and one is red and the other one is green.

Then we had a plate of some different barbecued sausages. Blue flames were burning on the plate when they carried it in. One of the sausages is black and has got a sweet taste and that is my favorite.

After that we had Adeje Garlic Chicken. A course that is famous here on the island.
It's really special and I don't know how they make it. People has for many years been going up to Adeje because of the chicken and there is even a restaurant, in the old town, that don't have any other meals than the garlic chicken on the menu.
We also had Ribs with a spicy sauce and we had the small special herb tasting potatoes that only this restaurant serve and which are very nice.
Guess if we were full! And on top of this Mick and I had sweet deserts!
I think we will have a good night sleep after all this. But what about the weight?!
The prices are humane so don't hesitate to order a little bit of everything when you go there.

We decided to go to La Gomera (the neighbor island) by boat Monday when we have our day off and I have checked the timetables already on the internet. We will rent a car and drive around the island which is very green and beautiful. (Maybe with the exception of the small areas where it was wild fires a couple of weeks ago).
Clas and I have been there before but Mick and Frances haven't seen the island yet.
I think they're gonna like it! Nice weather and it will be really lovely!

Off today

Things change quickly here on Tenerife.
We are off tonight and instead we are going to play Saturday.
This is a new arrangement after a talk we had with the owner of Lewinski yesterday.
She like us to play on Saturdays in the summertime and instead we are going to be off Mondays.
For us it doesn't really matter what day is our day off but if it's not many guests the coming Saturday nights we probably will change it back.
We tried this once last year but it didn't work out well, but you never know, maybe the time has changed.
Tonight we are going out for dinner with our friends Mick and Frances.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Line dance teaching

It has been lovely weather again today and I have been sitting out on the balcony to try to get some tan. The tourists look so beautiful when they are out in the sun and on the beach all day long and sometimes I feel we look like pale ghosts compared to them. Thanks to the tanned creams that many times help out the situation.

I was asked last night to start teaching line dancing to an English group of dancers here on the island. I didn't say no directly when I thought I have to think about it. I have got many teach requests from the audience this last winter and understand there is really a need of it. There are also some Scandinavians here in the wintertime who would like to learn the line dances that we do in the nights.
Today I have been thinking on the balcony and I decided to not do it.
It takes a lot of energy to stand on the stage 6 nights a week + we release two new CD-albums every year + all other things that need to be done and it probably would make me grow weary.
I like line dancing but to be honest I have only been dancing for one and a half year myself and I have still got much to learn. To start teaching it to others would demand a lot of hours every week when I'm not even good in using the dance glossary which has to be called out in the same time as you teach the dance. If you start teaching you need to do it properly and I don't feel ready for it now but leave it open for the future if I would change my mind.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Grand Prix Istanbul 2008

Kimi ended up number three today. He got a bad start and was once number six.
I am glad he made it to the podium.
Number one was Massa and number two was Hamilton.
Now Kimi is only leading the Grand Prix with 7 points over them.
He has 32 points and Hamilton and Massa have 27 points each.
Next race is in Monaco the 25th of May.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

False drinks

Talking about spirits...
Many tourists who come to Tenerife are fooled by some of the bars here. ( Not all bars!)
Maybe the bar owners, in the cases in point, would be angry at me if they see I blog about this. But I think all the wrong situations in which the tourists are treated here causes them a bad experience of their holiday, and they maybe choose an other destination next time. At least they will choose an other bar! People are not stupid!

If you as an example order an Irish coffee you have to tell what kind of whiskey you like to have in it. If you don't you probably will get an Irish coffee made of a cheap local whiskey and you have to pay the same price as if it was including Chivas Regal or something similar.
The same if you order a drink of Gin, Bacardi, Brandy or Vodka etc.
They have got cheap imitations of all the common spirits. And people complain it tastes terrible.
I wonder how long they can continue doing this when it needs to be against the law of the consumer.
We are in EU! Aren't we? If a bar in Finland would do this it would be closed down immediately or be brought before the court!

This is a trick that the bars are doing to earn more money but it has opened up a market for honest bar companies like Harry's Cocktail bar and other similar to that chain.
When you go to a solid bar you are served by educated bartenders and they put exactly the right measures and the right stuff in your drink and you get what you order and pay for. That's the image of their business and I think they do a good business when people are more enlightened today and prefer to have the real stuff that stands for quality.
When you order a drink in a `trick bar´ they make the measure by the eye and if you like to have something on rockets (ice cubs) you can end up getting only 2 cl of alcohols instead of 4 cl, still paying for the larger amount. It's really insolent!
Sometimes if the person behind the bar is in good mood you can get up to 12 cl of the cheap alcohols in your drink and you have to dilute and dilute during the night to get it drinkable.

If you as an example like to have a whiskey, tell which one you like to have and that will help you to get what you pay for.

Oh, there are so many things in this society which are a bit shaky and I can't even tell you about everything I know. I am not the person who can say how everything has to be.
When you move into an other culture you should accept the circumstances there and be happy that you can live and work there. But sometimes I get so tired of hearing complains from vulnerable tourists. I like them to have a lovely vacation here on our paradise island and would like to see them return year after year.

Alcohols and Tenerife

Unusual Spanish beers

It's our day off today and I went out shopping in the middle of the day but found only a T-shirt.
Tonight we have been barbecuing chicken on the terrace.
Clas has also been out in the day and met some Swedish who live here on the island and a lady from Germany had invited them to drink champagne.

The problem when you live here on Tenerife is the alcohol. The tourists are on vacation and cool down every now and then with spirituous drinks and I have heard about people from Scandinavia who have been living here and have had to move back home when they got more and more addicted to alcohols.
If you like beer, don't move down to Spain! You will probably end up as an alcoholic!
Here you'll always find people who like to drink and who invite you to join them. It will be more temptation than ever. And all the alcohols are very cheap!

Many times our guests in the nights like to buy us a drink which is a nice gesture, but to be honest I don't like to drink alcohol at my workplace. I am not on vacation and we have the responsibility for the entertaining at the restaurant. Of course, nobody gets drunk of one drink but the facts are that the musician here on the island who have started drinking at their works have ended up as alcoholics and we have heard a lot of complaints about their venues.
I don't like to stand on the stage affected of alcohol. And I don't think people like to come to a restaurant and listen to entertainers who aren't sober. You are not drunk at your workplace either. Are you?
If a waiter would be drunk at work here on Tenerife he probably would be fired. But the musicians can drink a lot and many bars expect them to drink when they think it causes the guests to drink more. We got digs at us, because of our fizzy water, before when we played in Las Americas.
I like to have a glass of wine every now and then when we have a nice dinner on our day off.
It adds embellish to the taste but I never like to become real drunk. A lot of drinking causes an unwise living.

Our English friends seem to have a nice way of drinking spirits. They always drink the same amount when they go out and that is a amount that is not so much that they put themselves on shame by becoming too drunk. They have decided maybe many years ago about how much they can have and they don't exceed it.
If you go out drinking alcohols without a plan just trying to kill the thirst you probably will end up disabled. Specially if it's warm weather and you like beer.

I am a canna

I am a

What Flower
Are You?

I have been very lazy today. I took time to figure out what flower I am and this is the result.
But I don't feel like a flower!

It said "I stand up for what I believe in, even if it gets in the way of what other people think. That I am proud of myself and my accomplishments and that I enjoy letting people know that."

He,he! I don't believe in this kind of superstition!

Friday, May 09, 2008

Ropa Vieja

We get a dinner every night at Lewinski before we start playing.
Yesterday one of the chefs had made a Canarian stew for us which is called `Ropa Vieja´. (`Old clothes´, in English)
Oh it was so lovely! We get many times typical meals from the Spanish or Canarian cuisine and we really appreciate it. It's really a shame that the tourists can't have it.
Today we have been very busy. Directly when we woke up in the morning Clas started taking out everything from our music studio and I started cleaning the windows. We have been working with this the whole day and now it´s clean and nice in every corner. We have still got some stuff to sort out and put back in, or maybe throw away, but it can wait until tomorrow when it's our day off.
Now we need a nap before we have to go to work.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Silk stockings

It's not easy to find good silk stockings here on the south of Tenerife.
There is one shop here in Los Cristianos where you can find nice ones, but they run out of them very quickly and then it can take months before they order new ones. Why they can't keep good stockings on the shelf all the time is something I don't understand. Last time I had to go to San Isidro to buy them.
Yesterday I visited the shop and they had got in a new shipment for the summer and I took the chance and bought all that were my size. Both brown ones and black ones. The shelf started looking empty again.
Sorry ladies! I know I was egoistic and if I am honest I feel a little bit guilty. But I also feel happy when I look at them, because now I know I will be provided until the autumn at least. I can have a wonderful summer without worries about running out of silk stockings. To stand on the stage in short skirts without having silk stockings would be like a nightmare.
The only problem right now is where am I going to store them. There is no room in the drawers and the wardrobes are already overfilled. They are still piled up on the ironing boarder waiting to get an own space.
Clas told me to go and get a big box for them. Maybe a good idea, but where can I store the box?
If somebody gets really desperate I can think about being kind and sell a pair or two as long as I still have got many left. *smile*

Grand Prix, Istanbul

It's Grand Prix in Istanbul this coming weekend which means our weekend is booked up.
I just smile when I think about Kimi. I think he is going to win again if not something happens with the car. But the car has been running well like it seams so he will probably make it.

Heikki Kovalainen (on the photo) has been cleared to race in the Turkish Grand Prix by the FIA medical team now. That's nice! He had a heavily crash at lap 22 in Barcelona and, good luck, suffered only a suspected concussion.
There's something I don't understand, and that's how the drivers can do such a fast come back after they have been into a terrible car accident. I would be so scared and step on the brakes in every turn. But no! They just continue driving like nothing has happened. Haven't they got any fear at all?

Nico Rosberg has a very special website that I visited today.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Sign problems

The word `Tonight´on our big sign has caused problems.
When we went on vacation we tried to tell every body that we are going to be off for 9 days.
We blogged about it on the websites and Clas wrote the date 27.4 on a paper that he sticked over the word `tonight´ on our big sign, which is hanging high up on a pole on the terrace of Lewinski.
The smaller sign with the light bulbs inside we carried home to be sure it will not be placed outside.
We didn't like people to believe that we are there when we are on vacation. And we tried to inform about which day we will be back.
Now we have got complaints from some guests when the big sign said `tonight´while we were gone.
They had seen the sign in the daytime and believed we are going to play in the night and decided to come and see us. When they got outside the restaurant in the night they discovered we weren't there.

The problem is that Lewinski is empty in the nights when we are off. This has made somebody at the restaurant to take away the date sign of 27.4 after we left, hoping to get somebody in.
We don't like to fool the guests and beg pardon for the miss understanding this has caused.
Of course people feel fooled when they have walked the whole way to the restaurant to finally figure out we are not there.
This has been a problem before when the staff hanged out our sign even on Saturdays, when it was our day off.
About one year ago a couple went into the restaurant one night, and got a table and ordered a big pot of sangria, waiting for us to come there and play. They waited and waited and finally they got to know it's our day off.
I wonder if they were sitting there the whole night drinking sangria or if they left it and went out.
Different cultures have different ways of doing business. That's something we have learned here on Tenerife where you can find a lot of cultures.

Next time we go on vacation we will definitely take down the sign and maybe we need to lock it with a chain inside the restaurant so the tourists don't get deceived while we are gone.

Monday, May 05, 2008

New Line dances

Today I have been learning three new line dances.
It's Crazy Foot Mambo, Peaches & Cream and My New Life. They are lovely dances and we are going to start playing them in the nights from now on if we have dancers in the audience who know them.
After fifteen minutes I will start doing the makeup for tonight.
It has been very quiet this last week and we have had only about 30-40 guests per night.
A couple who visited us last night said they have been told the tourism is starting coming up again next week. We hope so.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Our day off

It´s Saturday and our day off.
I haven´t been bloging much this last week when I have been busy cleaning the apartment and doing the laundry and the ironing etc.
The calima brought a lot of dust and now it´s really a pleasure to sit out on our balcony when we have got rid of the it.
A linedance couple from England have visited us at Lewinski a couple of times this last week. Last Thursday they brought us all the new 10-top line dances, which are on right now in England, on five different CD´s.
Clas is now trying to get them into our laptop so that we can play the dances in the breakes. They even let me borrow the last linedancers magazines from them and I am soon going to start learning some new dances.
I think I will start with "Crazy Foot Mambo" when that music is something Clas is going to start singing as soon as he get the backing track ready. An other couple from England also brought us this same song track on a CD the last week and that shows it´s really a popular dance right now.
The music is very catchy and when you have heard the song a couple of times you can almost sing it.
Oh, there are so many dances I´d like to learn, but it takes time and time is something I haven´t got much of right now.
We are going to expand our repertoar with some more linedances during the summer and I will let you know which ones later on when we know exactly which ones we choose.
The new songs will be played a lot in our place next winter and we are thankful to all of you that is helping us out to choose the right songs and dances. Without your input we would be lost in the big range.
We like to have a crowded dance floor when we play and to get that we need to play the right songs that are popular in the line dance community.