The die is cast, and Thirteen Fourteen Maids A-Courting has been loaded on Amazon, officially publishing on May 1st, unofficially available a few days before that, at the pre-release price which is a touch under what you would donate at the office for the birthday of someone you barely know. Here’s a thought. Buy them my book instead?
You can pre-order by clicking on this cover pic on most Amazon sites, then you won’t miss the intro price. The cover was created by Lacey O’Connor from a photo I took of Los Gigantes, a fairly typical Tenerife picture.
However, this isn’t the blog where I nestle on your lap and try to slip my hand in your pocket. That follows in a couple of days and shouldn’t be missed. This is a blog for those who haven’t been to Tenerife and might be intrigued enough by my descriptions of the banana plantations to want to look up a few photos.
You won’t find many. For some inexplicable reason the plantations, which are everywhere and spectacular, are not on websites. Since they fascinated me, and play a distinct role in the book, there was nothing for it but to produce a banana plantation blog, even though I am a poor photographer with a cheap camera and an unrivalled genius for capturing unwanted poles, overhead wires and bits of cars.
Tenerife is a volcanic island, and there are very few places where you aren’t on a slope. As bananas are conservative, and like life on the level, the plantations have to be built up to keep them as flat as a billiard table. The retaining walls are often built of volcanic rock, and the effect is extraordinary. Once you are out of the tourist centres, they are everywhere, even cheek by jowl with built-up (non-tourist) areas.
Some plantations are neatly terraced. Some are neglected. Some balance on the edge of ravines (it is a challenging landscape, once away from the beaches) and others line the highway. They’re quite something.
Introducing the banana plantations of Tenerife.