It took me a long time to start writing about me.
I am not famous but I created one of the most beautiful gardens in my family home in Durban South Africa. But, that's all in the past and I don't own it any more.
My name is Gabriele which was spelled Gabrielle when I lived in Paris for 2 years and Gabriela during my 3 year stay in Lisbon Portugal. I am German by birth and upbringing.
We had bought a little atico (penthouse) in the north of the island in 1997. I went there in 2001 to sell it but, encountered problems. They were not only of a financial inheritance related nature because, I had to clear the 50% still in my late husband's name who died at age 51 in 2001.
Several experts told me to rather wait out 4 and a half years, as this is the time in Spain, when inheritance tax elapses, which made lots of sense, as I had a half share already.
I ought to mention about me that it helps much to know other Latin languages to start with, I admit.
Tenerife which is part of Spain has its own laws.
Firstly, at least, one local needs employing by a company. The fact to be past 50 didn't help me at all. Some, even told me straight into my face, they were only employing 'blondes' below 35.
Needless to say is that age related Tenerife work discrimination made me often feel older than I was. More so, foreign companies told me that they would get into trouble if they employed somebody without a residence permit. Unfortunately, this issue with me only disappeared when employment had become virtually impossible when I was close to retirement age.
During the 8 months of 5 hour morning classes I learned more Spanish than IT. The school was called Centro de Estudios Tecnológicos ARBOL in Los Realejos Avendida de Canarias,14, Los Realejos.
This episode about me is still something I am proud of but, also, feel some regrets for at the same time.
I am sorry, I couldn't get more out of it because of inferior language skills at the time and no previous IT skills.
What didn't help me with my studies was the fact, I had no PC at home in those days, either.
Nobody in my family was allowed to meddle with the company PC, except my husband. My son and daughter could use it on occasion, much later, however. My company still exists but, is dormant.
Everything related about me or you is normally not a priority in a marriage, you know...
Just figure, how I was feeling in Tenerife, when I didn't find work. After I had lost much weight until the scale showed 47 kg with a size of 1,65 m, this became a handicap. Grief and worries were something, which didn't hit me instantly after my husband's passing away.
I, suddenly, had so many problems which didn't only include a 2nd inheritance a while later but, queries for clinic payments in Malaysia, where my husband stayed before his death. This situation was a hard nut to crack also because, Spain insisted on apostille (spell: uposteej) a document Malaysia was not using.
That era about me is not one I would like to go through again.
The Honorary German Consulate Santa Cruz as well as a Spanish Public Notary and a Spanish Social Work lawyer called Macarena in Los Realejos town hall helped most.
Succeed I did despite limited financial means but, with the ambition to tackle everything myself.
Soon I realized, the best for me would be being my own boss, especially, as I could never find work with a proper contract for social security. This has become a wide spread norm today in Tenerife.
All the jobs, I had, were temporary work including public surveys called encuestas where I walked for miles knocking on doors to have Spanish and foreigners answer my questions. I had to fill in sheets of paper, where people had to sign.
I got some insight into their social conditions, into their life and culture. The inquiries were of a social and not of commercial nature.
Oh yeas, what a way to learn Spanish by doing surveys...
After my family's 2nd inheritance incident we decided to purchase a holiday home in Tenerife for the kids to have a place to stay when visiting as the little atico penthouse has limited space. I tried my luck to rent out to tourists but, gave up quickly. This is a long story.
Rent this Tenerife property, a Tenerife apartment, a studio in Los Realejos, 5 minutes by car from Beach Playa Jardin Puerto de la Cruz... It is up for long term rental. My last renter, who, finally, enjoyed living there for more than 2 years, lost his job due to the 2009 recession. He moved in with his parents in Tenerife South by Adeje.
What about me and what am I up to now?
Traveling an exciting multi-faceted island in company is what I enjoy greatly. Writing about it gives me great pleasure and fills my days.
My son Marc made himself a name as ENG Cameraman for News for the South African national TV channel. He won first prize for best South African TV documentary for 2014 together with another Cameraman. He also worked as editor.
Many of his shoots are sold to CNN and BBC. He is artistic as well and a great handyman.
Obviously I wish, my kids were not living so far away from me. However, working online makes me feel less alone and keeps me going.
Please mind that the comment box below is meant to help others. In case you have a question or want to tell me something, kindly use this contact form.