A good neighbour is better than a brother far off

I meet my new neighbour when she just throws a garbage bag into the big container, and I’m on my way to the washing machines.

It’s not the ideal place for a conversation, right next to the container, but we meet here, so let’s take the opportunity. Both Ruth and I are always doing things – she has her family, her business, arranging their emigration and all that comes with it. And what I have to do, dear readers, you know that more or less, isn’t it?

I have news! We have longterm-rental-neighbours!

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They’ve been around since the beginning of September, but there were so many other things to write about that it has not yet happened. It is a German family with three young children, who have had enough of Germany and want their children to grow in a more favorable climate. In every sense of the word.

They’ve been drawn to the big house – Casa Principal – the house where it all started for us so many years ago. Funny coincidence, or the friendly hand of the gods, or a nice twist of fate – choose your option.
We made a great deal. Until the end of this year the rent is the renovation of the upper floor. A few new windows and doors, a refurbished bathroom, some paint, and most of all: attention for that beautiful but neglected house!

It feels very appropriate for me. I feel like it’s right, this long-term rental

Jens showed me his work – wooden figurines, beautiful drawings, gorgeous photographs. See for yourself. Seeing these, one gets confidence that this upper floor will be wonderful.

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We all have to get used to it a bit. We have talked about it a number of times, there has been emails back and forth, but things happen that you never thought of.

The above-mentioned chat near the container is about how we make the combination “their children” and “my guests” at the pool. In summer it is not a problem because then there are always many children. That’s always enthusiastic & happy noise during the day and mysterious whispering plus the secretive running that comes with that in the evening.

After the high season we get a different kind of guests. Restseeking couples

They are not waiting for screaming children when they’re reading in the sun by the pool. Ruth and I briefly discuss how we can best solve this. That’s going very well – we all know that you can stumble over such things, and that you have to talk about that. It’s quickly solved.

We all want to be good neighbours.

The next day, at the end of the afternoon, I see their eldest running to the pool to see if anyone’s there. The deal is that they can splash and play as much as they want when no one’s there or will arrive, and when there are rest-seeking guests, they will make themselves scarce.

Meanwhile, our good old faithful long-term rental house is radiant – just like the family

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Houses don’t like to be empty. Now that there is a lot going in there again, it looks like it’s standing more upright, like it’s getting lighter and embracing the new company.
This is a good plan.

Life can be so simple if you all want to be good neighbours!


So yes, we have neighbours. Good plan, good experience till now. But er … keep in mind that there are 2 holiday homes less for rent. If you have plans – book on time!

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We moved here in 2000 from Rotterdam, Holland to the Termas-da-Azenha, Portugal. A big step, especially with two small children. We are busy to rebuild one of portugals cultural heirlooms: Termas-da-Azenha, an old spa which has been turned into several holiday homes, rooms and campsites, with a lots of fun things to do: swimming pool, indoor and outdoor games like pingpong, petanque, a FancyDressingRoom and a small café. You’ll find mosaics and paintings everywhere.

The old bathhouse is going to be a museum, where you can see how things have changed. Since 2018 we call ourselves the first B&B&B in the world – Bed & Breakfast & Bathrobes. You can buy a home-made unique bathrobe/housecoat with us.

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