Diary… Wednesday, Los Cristianos, Tenerife

There was a pacific hush today all over the neighbourhood and at Paloma Beach Apartments, where I have installed myself as writer-in-residence.

That was never going to stop the wheels of commerce from turning, and unlike most stores Super Dino was open for business.  Close inspection found one unlucky assistant cleaning up after a smashed bottle of red wine. 

The flip-flops abandoned in haste by last night’s evil woman beater remained in place – one on the apartment-block staircase, the other on the street outside next to a small car. 

I flirted with the idea of pairing them in the spot we had discovered the abused woman, with a sign reading, “Here lies the DNA of the man who battered Caroline”. 

Some of the squatters in the sea-front retail development had embraced the festive spirit, but otherwise the morning felt quite sleepy.

After Christmas lunch (prawn cocktail, scallops, turkey, salad and papas arrugadas with mojos) we watched the ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ special, then ‘Call The Midwife’ and later a big factual feature on BBC2 about Dolly Parton. 

The emphasis of the Dolly show was not just her ruthless self-promotion but that her songs are all an exercise in storytelling. They are built and plotted like any other work of fiction, albeit based in reality. Her success rests in her determination to tell her own story in her own way.

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