Deflated, utterly deflated, I’d lift my bucket having lovingly packed it with sand and tapped it on the bottom with my little spade but it would crumble at the edges , less like a castle and more like a disaster. Then the tears and tantrums would come, a bit embarrassing as I was 29 at the time. maybe that’s why I am so impressed by the Tenerife sand sculptures that appear by magic on Las Vistas beach in Los Cristianos.

Good old King Neptune may be a fish out of water but he still seems to have got the girl. These elusive artists used to leave a blanket out for appreciative passers by to throw coins but the police have cracked down in recent years, that makes it even more pleasing to see that they are loyal to their art. I have seen some of the creative masters at work, it starts with a large mound of sand that slowly evolves like an alien pod in Invasion Of The Body Snatchers, careful moulding and moist droplets strategically placed produce the finished effect.

The crocodile seems pretty popular and keeps snapping back into place but the weird cuddling couple above only made one appearance, maybe the sculptor turned over two pages in his book by mistake. It’s a tough job for these artists as even if some snotty little kid doesn’t decide to kick lumps out of the works they have to break them up themselves to start again on a new creation.

The mermaids are one of my favourites, just look at the detail, they look quite alive in the faces, I believe I proposed to one when staggering back along the sea front after a pleasant Dorada fuelled evening. It would never have worked out, she was too emotional, one problem and she just went to pieces. As for the monkeys, some would say they represent the local planning committee.

Full marks to all the sculptors, their creations always attract attention and put a smile on so many faces. Maybe the council could hold an open competition on the beach some time and give the artists a little bit of fame and legitimacy, it’s just a thought.

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