31.05 On the bike to the dentist

I don’t think it was Tour de France material, but it was not bad. Pain in my bum, yes. And pain in my head. From the sun. And clasped hands from squeezing all the time. 10 kilometers … Read more

24.05  A future ex-expat e Pepe Kebab

Too old. Suddenly you’re too old. Strange, because it doesn’t feel that way inside. And if you trained yourself (like me) to keep the looking-in-the-mirror to an absolute minimum, ditto … Read more

17.05  Escape room in Portugal – cinematographist of Gardener

Frank Gardener is here since the beginning of March. Stranded because of the C-risis. He could go home but he bought a property here, to start a new life on a new farm … Read more

10.05  Thirty eight masks. That’s quite a lot. Cut 38 pieces of fabric, lock  …. Read more

03.05  Celebrating your holidays in 2020 – question mark or masquerade

Well… a question that’s on everybody’s lips: how will it be, our holidays in 2020? I suspect that in many cases it’ll preferably not be a staycation. Most people have seen their houses … Read more

26.04  Using chicken power according to Cruyffian logic

It’s April. It’s spring – but you had already noticed that. There is reasonable weather in the north, like here, so if you have a little farmer’s wisdom, you know that it’s time… Read more

19.04  Forensic studies: the mystery of the weaselmeerkat

“Hey, there you are again!” I greet the blonde intern Esra as I turn my office … Read more

12.04  The portuguese way of dealing with the C-crisis

In Portugal it’s actually going well with corona – if you can say it like this. There are two reasons for this: the government announced measures early, and the population … Read more

05.04  Europe – aid from north to south

Gotspe How can you, as prime minister of a country in need, abandon other countries? How the minister of finance currently is lecturing other hard-hit countries! What a … Read more

29.03  A writer’s challenge during the lockdown

No guests – plenty of time to study a few things. What we’re doing: cryptos, writing, marketing, growing your own vegetables, enjoying beautiful fabrics for the kimonos … Read more

22.03  uʍop ǝpısdn pןɹoʍ ǝɥʇ

Togetherness – that is the predominant feeling here in our village. We are with twenty, and they all have a special name: the German family, another German family, an English … Read more

15.03  Lisbon and blogger José Cabral

You can find everything on YouTube. And you often don’t remember how you got there. Oh well, doesn’t matter. This was a great documentary – I never watched … Read more

08.03  Amiable portuguese, but favourably not with corona

There. I thought I had it well under control. Everything perfectly planned. The new students would arrive mid-March. Mid March is on my calendar towards the 15th … Read more

01.03  What’s first, the chicken or the egg? And what does that have to do with holidays?

I put the crate in front of her nest on the terrace behind the kitchen, and make an inviting gesture: “Come, Carolina, just pop in!” No reaction. She looks curiously … Read more

23.02 Things caused by word-of-mouth recommendation

“The poorer the soil, the more diversity” says Ellen cheerfully. We have the same name, and we have more in common. I get a master class in “What to do with a wild garden” … Read more

16.02  Spring cleaning and other details

You probably don’t need to read a blog about spring cleaning, dear readers, but that is actually the only thing we’re doing now. This doesn’t only apply to the accommodation; we’re also … Read more

09.02  Moving to Portugal – how does that work?

Stephanie has the time until June 30 – Portugal has given all english emigrants a few months time to get their things in order. If that was the only thing you had to do, then it wasn’t too bad! … Read more

02.02  Nocturnal dandy in the portuguese winter

It’s a mild Portuguese winter; it has been raining for a week. You know it too well probably: gray skies, hanging low over the fields, and you can’t walk anywhere without your glasses … Read more

26.01  Finally! The mosaics in our holiday village are ready

The first phase of the entree of the bathhouse is finally ready. Four mosaics together – as a representation of what’s waiting for you in the rest of the village … Read more

19.01  Typical snowbirds

“I can’t help you with this,” Myrjam says apologetically, holding her arm up to show. “I am stuck with this, I have to undergo surgery.”  “No problem,” I answer, “you can’t push … Read more

12.01  B & B with flowering vegetable garden

We had an unexpectedly visitor (happens a lot, especially for camping): a lady with a camper. She was happy to do something on a day. “You know, all good and well, being free and able … Read more

05.01  Expectations for 2020, with special offer

You have to admit, it’s a nice number. I don’t know if I’m the only one who is (always) pleasantly surprised when I look at the clock and it’s 11:11, if the Bitcoin is at … Read more

29.12  Kind of fired up

My hands itch, figuratively speaking: there’s a kimono waiting to be sewn, a blog to be written, a video to be recorded, Christmas presents to be wrapped; the new mosaic wants to be … Read more

22.12  Guess what this one is about?

15.12   Spilling the beans: we’re full of them

“Nah … às vezes, mas obrigado” Hugo replies when I ask him if he ever eats tremoços. I bought some for the photo but I don’t eat them. I find them a bit bland but they’re still … Read more

08.12  Portuguese nature, part 2: Deforestation?

If you walk around in all that noise, it seems as if all the trees of Portugal have been brought here. Huge piles of large logs that are ready for processing, trucks full of … Read more

01.12  Surprise! Pet chicken fall from the sky

All of a sudden I sit here as an informal caregiver for a pirate chicken on one leg! Strange things sometimes happen in Termas-da-Azenha. My son Broes and I walked … Read more

24.11  Surviving a computercrash

I am sitting here rejoicing behind my “new” PC. All computers were broken! Well, not all, but first the laptop, then the desktop. Man, that was a nice surprise, but-not-really. The laptop … Read more

17.11  Computercrash

10.11  Traffic in Portugal: bumper stickers and priority givers

Traffic is traffic you’d say. Yes, true, but it is just a little bit different everywhere. And because you (probably) don’t drive your own car, you naturally drive a little more carefully … Read more

03.11  Jogging volunteers and other pleasant things

“Did you know that I was almost arrested for harassment?” Paul asks with a mischievous look in his eyes. “Oh,” I almost recoiled, “do I have to worry now, lock my door at night?” He … Read more

27.10  Student forensic investigation in the house!

“Forensic” is a bit of a mysterious word for me. It is probably because it’s full of forensic teams as soon as a crime has to be solved … in the thrillers that I like to read from time … Read more

20.10  Tai Chi Chuan has landed in Portugal!

If I were a cook, I would probably be the thinnest cook in the world. After a whole week of cooking, I am full of food smells. It already starts in the morning after breakfast, because … Read more

13.10  Portuguese nature, part 1: chicory

It doesn’t often happen that I think on Friday: “Oh dear, the blog, what should the blog be about?” – but that is the case this week. Usually the subject presents itself …. Read more

06.10  Portuguese culture, part 1: the shutters

We drive through small villages, all known territory. The road to Coimbra has been driven so often, but not so often at night. Between the small villages it’s pitch dark … Read more

29.09  Nice read: Portugal! Portugal! Portugal!

I always read. In the evening before going to bed, to dive into a fantasy world already, before the dreaming starts. In the morning, to start the day calmly, and to … Read more

22.09  A fairy as inspiration for a new mosaic

Some guests are having such a good time that I spontaneously shout things like: “Oh, and I love you for it!” That was the answer to: “We couldn’t get ourselves to go. So we stayed.”  And that Read more

15.09  The portuguese take good care of their children

It’s well arranged here, with maternity leave and so on. All other European countries could follow the portuguese example! Mother was allowed to stop …. Read more

08.09  The Mother of the water and a misunderstanding

The engineer beckons us to come in. That’s not too bad, it goes smoother than we thought. “We” in this case is my field-neighbour Josué and I. We’re on the road to clear up  … Read more

01.09  Flow, let go, and now: hold tight, holidaymakers!

“I feel my nerves tighten again,” says the mother of two beautifully dressed daughters at the breakfast table, “that is the approaching departure. The end of our lovely camping holiday … Read more 

25.08  What do you actually need on vacation?

It’s clear: most children need water. And the adults often too. It is something soothing, sitting by the water. Every fisherman can confirm that (when (s)he’s awake again) … Read more 

18.08  Mother of mosaics

I love a challenge. It is only a piece of 42 by 95 centimeters, but it feels very decisivefor the rest. Where writers sometimes suffer from writer’s block and stare anxiously … Read more

11.08  Last-minute holiday – a favourable opportunity 

It’s high season, but it’s a bizarre quiet high season. That’s because you lot have a great summer up there in the north. The second time already! It’s not fair! We had the option on great … Read more

04.08  Termas-da-Azenha from a different angle

They can say as much as they want, but I know what I know, and that’s it! I tell you that! It’s cat. I’m never mistaken about that. And I’ve already seen that cat … Read more

28.07  Mosaic-making queens

Not only do you have two volunteers, you also get half the Dutch royal family, a Belgian high brow, a clone from Arnold Schwarzenegger and a drag queen. Not surprising, because … Read more

21.07  Cool Camping Guide and the ANWB

We are writing 2005. A gray past. How exactly do I no longer know, but I still see the man in front of me in the office. Jonathan. At the beginning of his thirties, a bit ruddy, and very enthousiastic … Read more

14.07  Run for your life – an epic marathon

The petition was offered to the minister last Thursday. Let’s hope it has an effect, because the effort has been great. Three-hun-dred-fif-ty-ki-lo-me-ters of running. I’m very impressed. I’m already … Read more

07.07  … comes a dog at the doctor’s …

She sneaks away when she sees me coming. We won’t fall for that again – be very nice and kind, and then suddenly put you in a closed space that moves, and makes you extremely … Read more

30.06  We’re having a heatwave

Sorry. Wrong title. YOU are having a heatwave. Here in Portugal it’s lovely weather – that is to say: I like some clouds in the morning, and sun in the afternoon, around 25 º with a breeze. Read more

23.06   Bookkeeper in the spotlight

In 2005 we changed. The first bookkeeper was all the way in Porto; our adventure once started there. I had the idea he wasn’t very reliable …. Read more

16.06 Student orchestra – music on holiday

Just 3 years old, and she already knew exactly what she wanted. Little Viola saw and heard someone with a violin and at the same time knew: I want to play the violin. Read more

09.06  Spiders on holidays

I find the spider that I tried to save in the little bucket with bleach where I always immerse the washing-up brush to keep things nice and fresh.She was suddenly there. That is a typical … Read more

02.06  Making mosaics in our BnB

When this one’s finished (well, it is, almost! Just some finishing touches), I thought it was time to do the whole facade of the bathhouse, village-square-center-side. Read more

26.05   Requiem for the eucalyptuses

I bought the eucalyptuses when they were still tiny with only a few little leaves for 10 cents each. We had talked about it extensively: how much water eucalyptus suck up. While working for a real estate agent, in the preparatory phase of our emigration … Read more

19.05 The painting course started on the 13th …

– They even wake up laughing, I think, as I sweep up the leaves of the nespereira, and I hear the laughter from behind the hotel rooms. How special is that! Yesterday afternoon Wil, the teacher of the painting course, came into the kitchen with: “Now we all get the giggles” – which I thought was a good sign … Read more

12.05  What’s going through you before breakfast

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05.04  Family visit and golden rain

Nobody knows how many times it has been. We’ve all lost count in all those years that we’ve been living here in Termas-da-Azenha. And it’s all caused by fear. O yeah? What’s up? Read more

28.04 The volunteer who came in a Volkswagen van

Her son Olle is sitting on a stool in the kitchen, radiant and at ease, and chewing a chocolate easter egg. Sixteen years ago, when his mother was sitting here in the kitchen just as radiantly and at ease, he didn’t yet exist. Read more

14.04   Dark clouds above Termas-da-Azenha

We are doing well, thank you. We’re doing the spring cleaning. Cleaning inside and out, throwing away, planting little flowery plants, pruning trees. Washing curtains. Cleaning walls with high pressure, paint, scratch, paste … Read more

07.04    All dolled up during your holiday   

All my theater clothing went, long ago, in that big truck that brought all our belongings to Portugal. It spent the first year in boxes, because it took a while before all those things could be distributed throughout our little village. Read more




About everything that happens in the Termas-da-Azenha, with guests, volunteers, animals, portuguese culture and much more. Termas-da-Azenha is a holiday resort, but please don´t associate this with beige luxury. We do things a bit different – in a homey way, so everybody can feel free to do what he or she likes. We like to make big mosaics and wall paintings, so there´s a lot to see everywhere.

This blog is published every week on sunday morning, here on the site and on You can also find it on Google+, Pinterest and LinkedIn.

If you want to read more, click here – you can read all weekly blogs from January 2016 till the end of March 2019.