A life of contrasts: Tenerife v the UK but who is your winner?
Take a long hard look at these pictures … Can they fail to remind you of something?
Yes: winter and spring back at home in the UK. Well, at least in my part of the world, halfway up the Pennines where even the sheep are born with chapped faces!
The weather, you may argue, is the pretty obvious dynamic between the two countries (and one that is subject of the biggest debate).
But just take a step back and absorb some of the less obvious reasons why there are marked contrasts …
For starters, people are happy to WALK in Tenerife. And here’s an astute observation provided by Laura-Daisy and Hannah-Rose Bennett, two of my daughters: couples actually hold hands with each other.
How romantic is that? When did you last see that on your average British High Street?
And have you noticed people are more willing to speak to each other in this land of sunshine?
My daughters reminded me when they were small in our homeland mountain kingdom, everyone used to greet you, say hello, whether they knew you or not.
It’s fading on the home front now …however, the tradition is still very much alive, well and flourishing in this idyll.
Then there are hats. In Britain, they are significant fashion statements or worn to keep out the cold but here they are in the main simply used as a sun shield.
And honestly, you really don’t need to bring your winter woolies either ( I still find it bizarre when I see people in coats when it’s warm enough to brew a cuppa on the pavement).
And who worries about stylish shoes when you can chill out in sandals?
But, of course, there are more cerebral contrasts.
Tenerife gives you the opportunity to switch off. To disconnect to reconnect. With life, yourself, other people and your surroundings.
Sadly, we’re all victims to the 24/7 nature of our world. We hook into technology every day, burning our eyeballs devouring in the 24-hour “breaking news” furnace.
Observe Spanish families dining out in your local island square: they all talk to each other. ( It’s only the Brits and their children who sit silently, between ramming down mouthfuls of food, locked into cyberspace).
And perhaps that’s one of the widest chasms: The ability to simply sit, relax and enjoy every mouthful of a meal prepared with love and devotion.
No ipads, no mobile phones, no selfie pictures, no snapchat, tweets or twitters. Just immersing yourself in the joy and unashamed warm pleasure and appreciation of real conversation and debate washing over you …
And Oh the delight of seeing local independent shops and businesses thrive!
In Tenerife, they seem to be built on word of mouth with each community helping to build itself.
How many places in the UK can you still buy a pair of shoelaces or wrap yourself around the warmest, the freshest baguette you’ve every tasted?
And for me, perhaps the biggest and most measurable contrast of all, is listening to the sound of waves which have travelled across half the world from America roll and spread in a delightful symphony on these warm, inviting shores.
But you may differ?
What do you think is the biggest contrast between life here in Tenerife and the UK. Let us known by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org