Tag Archives: campsite

Happy birthday, we wish you a long life

“What do you actually sing in Belgium?” Maddy asks, after blowing out her candle, “long may she live” –  as well?”

“Yes, I believe it’s the same all around the world,” Anne replies, our polish/belgium guest, “in Belgium and in Poland we sing the same song.”

We have a birthday, including birthday dinner

 

It happens a few times every year, that someone has their birthday when they’re here. For children we hang slingers, make a ball of balloons and sing it The Song. With adults it can be a little more complicated …

For adults, the Big Day already arrived so many times, there isn’t much excitement about it left. And many people also don’t like to grow older, but – very inconsistent – do like to celebrate their birthday. Now I’m a fan of inconsistency, because otherwise life becomes too straightforward, but this is a bit strange, isn’t it?

“How does it feel, being 50?” Anne asks Maddy, “do you like it?” “Oh, it’s no different than yesterday,” she laughs, “I’m not in trouble, it’s still fun to grow up. LongmayIlive!”

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Happy birthday, we wish you a long life

Do you know much about “having a long life” when you become 5? Only if you add a zero, you may think about it.

The family of one of our camping guests have probably said that to him too often –  that they want him to have a long life. He has grown over 2 meters.

He took it literally

Over 2 meters is tall even for a Dutchman. In a country like Portugal you become very noticeable. I always see people on the Sunday market in Louriçal with astonishment respond to our guests; especially the smaller, older portuguese are impressed by our length. Me too – I had to get used to it, towering over everyone, but I’m average height, 1.76m. In Holland, it’s nothing special.

In the beginning, I tried to go by unnoticed by keeping my knees crooked, without anyone seeing it. Of course, that works only for a few centimeters and a short period of time. And if you exaggerate it, it is particularly noticeable – surely for your much shorter and therefore sensitive male conversation partner!

The previous generations of Portuguese are around 1.60 or a little more. On the market, you can easily pick out the Dutch.

The best reaction ever

Our guest “Father Longlegs” was waiting for a little bit with his slightly less tall but still impressive partner in a pastelaria, when a mother and her little boy came in. All people present had been very busy to pretend not to watch the tall guy, but they had never seen such a giant of 2.12 in their long-lasting life, so that was very exciting. They did so much their best not to stare.

The boy broke that tension by looking up at Peter without any shame. “What’s this? you saw him thinking, “Beautiful! So giants really exist!!” And by his unconfined admiration for such an incredibly tall man, everyone broke into a liberating laughter.

Of course we didn’t attend this scene, but we tried to reconstruct it. And I think we succeeded. My first thought to this photo was:

happy-birthday-blog

“Oi, how small can you be?”

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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 portugal’s cultural heirlooms. Termas da Azenha, a old spa which has been turned into several holiday homes, rooms and camping ground, there’s also a swimming pool. You’ll find mosaics and paintings everywhere. The old bathhouse is a museum, where you can see how things have changed.

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.

You can subscribe to this blog:

 

You’ll get it every weekend in your mailbox.

On Sunday morning we publish it on our Facebook Page, on Google+, on Pinterest, and on monday on LinkedIn.

 

You like? Please like! And sharing is not forbidden ....

Retired in another country

“That was quite something, packing everything” says Marian, taking of her glasses, “I’m still tired from it all. We first have to get some rest.” She rubs her eyes. “We have to make decisions about everything. Do you know how hard that is? I thought it was easy to be retired!”

Yes, I can imagine that it’s not easy. Usually we have so many things. And to many of those we have emotional attachements. “It seems nearly impossible”, I reply, “I don’t even want to think about having to empty the entire village …” We both laugh: “You can’t! Thát is impossible!”

The other side of being retired

You can have nice dreams, good plans, but one day you have to face the consequences. Then you have to empty your house, since you sold it, and you don’t have a new house to put all your stuff.

That means you have to decide whether or not you store that colorful little statue you bought in Italy on your first-shared-holiday or are you have to throw it out. If your mother’s old jewelry is going to be packed. Or if your grandparents bible, on which they swore their wedding vows, is going to auction. Are you going to throw out your favourite shoes? And your ivory letter opener? And that keyboard that still works?

Some people buy a camper

In which you can take your favourite shoes, but taking that colorful statue is madness. This may save you in several decisions, but so not many.

This is the what you have to struggle through before retirement, if you decided to live in another country. But then …. imagine! Being able to do whatever you want … always! Not just a few weeks, no, for the rest of your life. We normal people can only dream of that….

Now you have to be ready for it

When I try to imagine what it would be like, I think I would be bored regularly. It can also be nice to have to do something, and well, the worst is has passed.

The worst was all the running and the flying with small children. Always being in a hurry, always being late because that’s what happens when you have small children. Who don’t comprehend time. They have plenty of of it.

For their parents it’s the exact opposite. They never have time. Moreover, they are usually in the most ambitious phase of their lives, in their thirties. We are hard workers, we go on day in day out.

You get so tired of it

But if you are retired, you can give in. “I’m going to sleep so early,” says Anton, “I’m so tired of driving, and tomorrow we’ll go again. Again a long day.” Anton and Dora came along unexpectedly this afternoon, in their camper. Sold the house, bought a mobile home.

We had a chat and a drink on the terrace. How it’s like to be retired-with-a-camper. “Still, I would like to have a home again,” he says, “but the bureaucracy is definitely serious here?”

Termas-da-Azenha-blog-two-campers

Well, I can not deny that. When you buy a house, you will come across everything and something, and you need to know exactly what it’s all about. And, another consideration: “I’m afraid I can not do much later on, and then I need medical help … I do not speak the language … how would that go?”

Real worries. I’ve seen it more often

People buy a house with their sixty-something, and after a year or ten it’s going wrong. I have been sitting at a hospital more often to explain the physical situation to a Portuguese doctor. And it can really be a drama. I could tell your stories of a woman who sat alone in her home for years because her husband had passed away and she could not leave, because nobody bought the house. It was a beautiful house, but far too expensive. Not something that you sell easily.

“You can rent something here for a few years”,

I suggest enthousiastic, “you’ll always have someone nearby, someone who can translate, someone who can help you with this or that, and you can just leave. If you want to go back home for a visit to your children, family or friends, then someone will take care of your house! And: you don’t have to sell it again!”

“Hey, that’s not such a bad idea …” Anton’s taking that in, “say, live a year or 10 here without worries, and then you’ll be back again without problems. Yes, I’ll sleep on that! Maybe that’s not a bad idea at all! “

We say goodbye. Isn’t it nice, if a girlfriend’s sister sends her sister’s friend-with-new-loved one to you? You never know what will happen next.

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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 portugal’s cultural heirlooms. Termas da Azenha, a old spa which has been turned into several holiday homes, rooms and camping ground, there’s also a swimming pool. You’ll find mosaics and paintings everywhere. The old bathhouse is a museum, where you can see how things have changed.

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.

You can subscribe to this blog:

 

You’ll get it every weekend in your mailbox.

On Sunday morning we publish it on our Facebook Page, on Google+, on Pinterest, and on tuesday on LinkedIn.

You like? Please like! And sharing is not forbidden ....