Not the standard service?

“Holy Moly!” I plop down on a garden chair on the terrace behind the kitchen and watch with satisfaction the three-storey high scaffolding, which son Broes has just built, completely on his own.

“Half past three. I’m going to have lunch first, and then I’ll help. Can I stay on the second? ”

I have vertigo – so why am I doing this?! – but you can’t call the contractor for everything

After Leslie we have some small things to arrange. Still some broken roof tiles, slightly wrong-hanging gutters, although everything that is in sight is now done. We were not in a hurry with this. We’d done the worst things, contractor Eduardo had done the worst things we couldn’t or daren’t do (read: I daren’t do), so this could wait.

But now it’s their turn, watch out, tiles and gutters, here we come!

I’m hungry, but Broes is waiting on the 3rd floor, and he can’t continue if I don’t help. “Well, come on with that gutter!” I call boldly. He looks like a monkey, as fast and easy as he climbs into it. I stop at the 2nd, and say, “If you measure, I’ll cut it, okay?”

I haven’t yet said it when my phone rings. Ah! Guests have arrived and they’re at the reception. “Estou pertinho, até já”,  I say, put the phone in my back pocket and start to climb down again.

An elderly couple waits in front of the reception and alerts each other about various details


“Olá, boa tarde, bem-vindo!” I greet them. They start immediately about those various details and about the mosaics, and over the music fence, and that they like it so much, and that they have reserved through

Nice to hear! I take them to their room, show them around, and go – as always – with: “If you need anything else, then I’m behind this on the scaffolding. You can see it from your garden.” I point out where that is, and climb up the scaffolding again.

The gods on the Olympus have different thoughts though. The phone rings again. The mailman, with a package. I have to sign for receipt. Yesyes, I’m coming

For the third time I climb to the 2nd floor, and yes, almost predictable: a ringing phone. If I could help with getting the television to work – a couple that arrived earlier in Casa Oliveira. They don’t know to choose between the two remotes.

This time Broes has to climb down, because I have no knowledge of televisions. And I would like to keep it that way.

I take the chance to make a sandwich, and eat it on the back terrace. I barely took the first bite, or the senhora from room 2 passes by. Do I have a good bottle of wine? Certainly I have a good bottle of wine!

A Grão Vasco from 2017, DOC Dão, – a very tasty soft wine


The senhora says that they’ve already had lunch, and they don’t want to go out again, so they’re going to make their dinner in the kitchenette on the terrace of the room. Now I know that most Portuguese people eat late, so then it will be dark at this time of the year. Sure, there’s light, but it gets a bit colder … “You can also stay in a house”, I offer, “maybe it’s nicer to cook?”

Mwah … the senhora is good, this is fine, but she would like to see the house. Just out of Interest, and possibly for later.

“Do you mind if I finish my lunch?” I ask – I’m hungríssimo – a bit shaky even. It’s already hours later than my usual lunch time. The senhora makes a very civilized impression, I suspect that they normally stay in a different type of accommodation, where the staff immediately takes action at any question.

No worries! You also get everything you want here, but sometimes, very rarely, you have to wait a few minutes!


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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.

Each week a little blog about what is happening around us. An easy read. A few minutes in another world. A little about what it going on in Portugal. If you plan your holiday to Portugal, it might be a nice preparation. We have some nice special offers on our site.

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