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! P  ortugal! 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.