Feng shui and a new life in Tenerife in the Canary Islands
Goodbye Wales and hello Tenerife
Back in 2004, after visiting Tenerife in March, I knew I had to move to the island to live. It was an inner feeling and my second visit had confirmed for me that this is what I wanted to do. I wanted to live in the Canary Islands.
My family had no objections to me doing so and eventually after a lot of mailing around and searching online I befriended Cindy, whom I met a Tenerife forum and whom many of you will know here as Mistyhorizon2003. She was looking for a tenant to share her house in the south of the island, and both being pagans and animal lovers we got on well and it seemed to make good sense.
Feng shui image
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Making the move
The plan was for me to actually make the move in December and that gave me many months to sort out all my affairs and get rid off or find somewhere to store all my belongings.
I had read an article on Feng Shui that said that basically if you haven't looked at or had any use for things in your house for months then the chances are you do not need them and should get rid of them. I realised I had an awful lot of stuff that came into that category with drawers and cupboards packed full of all manner of stuff I very rarely even looked at and stuff I had forgotten I even had.
I decided to apply some Feng Shui in helping me make my move but I soon found that it is a lot more difficult than it at first appears to actually get rid of stuff without simply throwing it away. There was the accumulated possessions of some 25 years in the same house and there was my son Isaac's stuff to get rid off too even though he was now living at his mother's place.
My neighbour Jess said she would take just about anything I wanted to give away and I held her to that with frequent knocks on her door to say here's some more stuff and pass over a box or carrier bags full of all sorts of oddments.
Right Said Fred
A sunbed went to her house too after my son had failed to sell it or get anyone to take it away. It took hours for me and Jess' boyfriend to manoeuvre the massive contraption out of my son's room and get it down the stairs over the wall and then reverse the process next door. We both needed a well-deserved beer after that and it reminded me of the old song Right Said Fred by Bernard Cribbins, which tells of the problems some removal men are faced with.
I had friends who worked in Troutmark Books, a secondhand bookshop in the city centre, and I was told they would give me a price for everything I brought in. I remember struggling with boxes and rubbish bags full of books and took over a dozen there but only got just over thirty pounds for the lot, and that included expensive Scientology books.
I had hundreds of vinyl LP records that I really didn't want to lose but there was no way I could take them with me or pay for sending them overseas. Fortunately several of my friends were willing to buy most of them and others I gave away.
I sold guitars and an amp to a neighbour and gave other musical gear and another amp to my friends Leonard and Matthew.
I had an entire bay window full of exotic plants including a pineapple plant, a two-year-old Dragon tree and a six foot Jacaranda. They went to friends and neighbours and then there were the exotic pets - stick insects of an Indonesian species that only had an identification number rather than a name that I had got from the Phasmid Study Group, a stick insect organisation I belonged to. I had had them for many years, generation after generation. I also had some Oriental Fire-bellied Toads and some Clawed Frogs. They were entrusted to friends as well.
In Cardiff there is a green-bag recycling scheme so I was able to use that to get rid of a vast amount of paper, plastic items and clothes. I remember covering the top of my large privet hedge with full rubbish disposal bags with black ones for unrecyclable trash and green ones for the other stuff.
Eventually I did it - I got the council house I had been a tenant of emptied and all my possessions got rid of somehow. I put a lot of personal archives like magazines I had reviews in, copies of past music releases and photos, in a cupboard at my dad's house and I sent a few parcels of books and CDs over to Cindy.
King Arthur Pendragon
Besides the Feng Shui advice that helped motivate me, I thought about something King Arthur Pendragon had once told me in answer to the question what material possessions do you think you need in life if you had to make a decision as to what you really wanted to keep? Arthur said you must choose whatever you could carry with you and that's it. I knew that he had done this once in his life when he abandoned everything he had - a house, car, relationship, job and possessions and got on his motorbike to ride off into his new life as King Arthur.
I ended up taking my semi-acoustic guitar and a hold-all full of clothes, books and CDs and that was it. That was what I took on the plane to Tenerife to start my new life.
The singer Sananda Maitreya, formerly known as Terence Trent D'Arby was another inspiration for me at the time. I had read an interview with him in which he was talking about being reincarnated into a new life within the one you are already in. He had done this when he gave up being Terence Trent D'Arby.
I liked that idea and so when I first arrived in Tenerife I was looking at it all as a new life within my current one and a leaving behind of a lot of stuff I no longer needed. Having been through all the problems of getting rid of belongings though, I said to myself never to end up hoarding a load of stuff like that again. So far I have pretty much managed not to.
But having said that, I have felt a need for albums from my old record collection and have bought a lot again on CD. One of the ones I felt a need for was Van Morrison's Tupelo Honey, which just happens to have the song Starting a New Life.
© 2009 Steve Andrews
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