Monday, 25 July 2022

Nelson's Retreat



    Today  here in our capital of Tenerife, the city commemorates the 225th anniversary of the battle of Santa Cruz. Admiral Horatio Nelson and his fleet sailed to our shores with the plan to take the territory from the Spanish.

    Because of our location in the Atlantic Ocean, the island was desirable for the British. Unfortunately, for the Admiral, the Spanish under the command of General Gutierrez were ready to fight for their King, Ferdinand VII and country.

    As Nelson attempted to land with his party, they were welcomed by cannon fire. Horatio's arm was shattered by shrapnel and the landing party had to withdraw.

    That day the British fleet was badly depleted and Horatio was left with the constant reminder of his failure after his arm had to be partially amputated.

    There will be celebrations tonight, in the capital, that will include battle reenactments and of course lots of fireworks. We do love a good fiesta here!!



#Tenerife #SantaCruzdeTenerife #HoratioNelson #Fiestas #1797Battle

Saturday, 30 April 2022

     Five Minutes of Fame, or Cutting Room Floor ?

    Over four days or so, trucks parked up, car parks and vacated premises were taken over.

 The overhead signs on  the gates leading to the boat moorings changed, and the pricing of

 the jet-ski hire changed from euros to Croatian kuna. Not forgetting that the marina now 

sits on the Adriatic sea rather than the Atlantic Ocean.


    How on earth could that happen? Answer: the makers of 'Tom Clancy's, Jack Ryan rolled

 into town. Our beautiful little town of Las Galletas on the south of the island of Tenerife,

 the Canary Islands had been chosen as a location in the upcoming new series.


    While I'm writing this tonight, several roads are being closed off and security guards are

making sure no spectators visit the sights chosen, in anticipation of filming taking place

overnight in the hours of darkness,

    When the weekend comes around tomorrow, the minor upheaval will be forgotten, and

any signs of a film crew will be gone. The town's people will now be in fiesta mode, it will

be time to celebrate, Labor Day. Normal life will resume and this beautiful little town may

have at least five minutes of fame when series four, hits the screens. 

    Hopefully, the scenes don't end up on the cutting room floor.



Tuesday, 8 March 2022

 A Prayer for Liberty and Peace



   Today is, International Women's Day, and one woman I admire, is poet, Phillis Wheatley. I chose this amazing woman for many reasons.

   Phillis was born in West Africa, on May 8 1753, which is only 965 miles, from the Canary Island I call home. At the age of 7 or 8 Phillis was kidnapped to be sold for slavery. Humans were and still are a lucrative cargo, then in the hands of the greedy slave traders and now to the exploitative human traffickers. Last year 9255, illegal migrants of African descent, many of them Senegalese, as Phillis was, arrived in the Canary Islands.

    Sold to the, Wheatley family of Boston, USA, Phillis at an early age demonstrated her talent for writing poetry. Considering she was not writing in her first language it was a wonderful achievement not only to be published, but also to be one of the first, if not the first African/American to publish a book of poetry.

    The poem of Phillis's I have chosen to feature today is about war, something which is at the forefront of the minds of the world today. 

    This poem also celebrates the end of war. Something, that I pray, Ukraine and the African countries which are also being consumed by conflict at this time, will be able to do very soon.  

    Please, let liberty reign and let peace smile once again, as Phillis wrote.

Liberty and Peace
Lo! Freedom comes. Th’ prescient Muse foretold,
All Eyes th’ accomplish’d Prophecy behold:
Her Port describ’d, She moves divinely fair,
Olive and Laurel bind her golden hair.
She, the bright Progeny of Heaven, descends,
And every Grace her sovereign Step attends;
For now kind Heaven, indulgent to our prayer,
In smiling Peace resolves the Din of War.
Fix’d in
Columbia her illustrious Line,
And bids in thee her future Councils shine.
To every Realm her Portals open’d wide,
Receives from each the full commercial Tide.
Each Art and Science now with rising Charms,
Th’ expanding Heart with Emulation warms.
E’en great
Britannia sees with dread Surprize,
And from the dazzling Splendor turns her Eyes!
Britain, whose Navies swept th’ Atlantic o’er,
And Thunder sent to every distant Shore:
E’en thou, in Manners cruel as thou art,
The Sword resign’d, resume the friendly Part!
Galia’s Power espous’d Columbia’s Cause,
And new-born
Rome shall give Britannia Law,
Nor unremember’d in the grateful Strain,
Shall princely
Louis’ friendly Deeds remain;
The generous Prince th’ impending Vengeance eye’s,
Sees the fierce Wrong, and to the rescue flies.
Perish that Thirst of boundless Power, that drew
Albion’s Head the Curse to Tyrants due.
But thou appeas’d submit to Heaven’s decree,
That bids this Realm of Freedom rival thee!
Now sheathe the Sword that bade the Brave attone
With guiltless Blood for Madness not their own.
Sent from th’ Enjoyment of their native Shore
Ill-fated, never to behold her more!
From every Kingdom on
Europa’s Coast
Throng’d various Troops, their Glory, Strength and Boast.
With heart-felt pity fair
Hibernia saw
Columbia menac’d by the Tyrant’s Law:
On hostile Fields fraternal Arms engage,
And mutual Deaths, all dealt with mutual Rage;
The Muse’s Ear hears mother Earth deplore
Her ample Surface smoak with kindred Gore:
The hostile Field destroys the social Ties,
And ever-lasting Slumber seals their Eyes.
Columbia mourns, the haughty Foes deride,
Her Treasures plunder’d, and her Towns destroy’d:
Witness how
Charlestown’s curling Smoaks arise,
In sable Columns to the clouded Skies!
The ample Dome, high-wrought with curious Toil,
In one sad Hour the savage Troops despoil.
Peace the Power of War confounds;
From every Tongue coelestial
Peace resounds:
As from the East th’ illustrious King of Day,
With rising Radiance drives the Shades away,
So Freedom comes array’d with Charms divine,
And in her Train Commerce and Plenty shine.
Britannia owns her Independent Reign,
Hibernia, Scotia, and the Realms of Spain;
And great
Germania’s ample Coast admires
The generous Spirit that
Columbia fires.
Auspicious Heaven shall fill with fav’ring Gales,
Where e’er
Columbia spreads her swelling Sails:
To every Realm shall
Peace her Charms display,
And Heavenly
Freedom spread her golden Ray.
Phillis Wheatley 1753-1784