It has been a month since I returned back to London from Tenerife. The three months went quicker than I had expected, however it was a wonderful experience to live abroad, away from home and my usual surroundings.
- My first week was in Santa Cruz, in the north of Tenerife. Sadly the weather wasn’t the best as it was raining on some days, which was unusual on probably the driest island in the world plus it is not too far from Africa.
- My second week I stayed in Adeje until the very end, with the exception of going to Puerto de la Cruz for five days towards the end of February. While on my short break, I did fall ill with a possible stomach bug. I did make a full-ish recovery and was able to go to the famous Loro Parque zoo.
- I was primarily based in Adeje, where I attended the local language school, SMS Spanish School. I stayed with a host called Ana, who is originally from Argentina but has lived in Tenerife for over twenty years. She also has two Siamese cats Lola and Sasha, who are mother and daughter, respectively.
- Communicating in Spanish did have its challenges, sometimes I would pronounce words wrong or not in order. I did a few refreshers in some classes, focusing on the preterite and imperfect verbs, also learning the past perfect and future tenses. Not going to lie, some classes were incredibly overwhelming and I walked out on one. I did feel embarrassed, however my teacher and classmates were very understanding. Fortunately in my last week at the school, I did have one-to-one lessons with my teacher, and went through certain verbs again.
- During the weekend or sometimes after class, I would take the bus (aka ‘guagua’, as it is known locally) and explore around or in the surrounding areas of Adeje. I often went to Fañabé beach or Los Cristianos. I did go to other places along the coast like Costa del Silencio and Playa San Juan. It was quite relaxing to go out for afternoon wanders until the early evening, and it was an advantage since I had my cameras with me.
- Speaking of photography, I used the Fuji Xe1 more than film. Unfortunately, there were specs of dust and particles on the camera sensor and I did attempt to clean it myself. The good news is it has been professionally cleaned in London at the time of typing this. Yet I have the tedious task of getting rid of the unwanted sports on photos during the editing process.
Film was a walk in the park. I only took the Olympus XA2 and ten rolls of Kodak Trix 400 (expired). Yes, a Film Friday feature from last year. It probably took me a week to finish one roll, although towards the end, I completed two in a day as I went on a couple of day trips to La Gomera, a small nearby island on the weekend, then Mount Teide and a few other small towns on the following Monday.
Shooting film wasn’t so much as a task like before when I used to take 20 to 30 rolls for a week’s trip or less, with a mixture of different film brands and emulsions. For Tenerife, I decided to ‘cut down’ on the film for the ten-ish weeks I was there and thank goodness I made that decision; processing will be an easier task, as well as producing prints.
- I flew back into London a month ago, just in time for Easter. My flight was slightly delayed, also a bit chaotic when boarding but overall the journey was smooth. When I arrived back, it was raining heavily unsurprisingly – typical British weather not compared to the very warm weather back in Tenerife.
I did promise myself I shall return back to Tenerife in the near future, most likely next year and possibly for a shorter period. At the moment, I have to see how things go…
- Post-Tenerife Blues and what am I doing?:
Nothing much. Kinda.
Since being back, I have been catching up with a few friends, as well as doing some job hunting so I can fill in some time until I go back to work in October.
I want to focus on photography, especially improving on digital photography and finally getting my way around Affinity, despite downloading it last year.
I didn’t manage to do any craft projects in Tenerife with the cards and watercolour paints. I will still use the materials in the future, maybe for something else.
Not forgetting, home developing. I have the Ilford developer, but not the processing equipment such as the tank, fix and wetting agent. It has been one of my main aims to do for a long while, hopefully I will get around to doing it very soon.
Outside of photography and creativity, I really, really want to take care of my mental health and wellbeing a bit more. I find myself casually neglecting it time and time again, even though I go to therapy, I still have to work on myself by getting the right tools and resources.
For now, I can do things at my own pace without feeling the pressure.
Take care and stay safe