Tag Archives: coronavirus

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 move to block hundreds of billions from the European emergency fund now.

Hopefully you will be sitting on a southern terrace again. Then you praise all those friendly, relaxed southerners with their attitude to life that you (secretly) would like to have. But not now. Now the crickets may not knock on the ants from the north.

This was a letter sent to the Volkskrant from mister Gerard van de Laar.

I copied it without permission, thinking that it is an excellent representation of the current political situation, and that those involved will not mind since it is an open letter, and de Volkskrant will not object to get a little extra advertising.

As former prime minister of Italy Enrico Letta delicately remarked recently:

“To all countries that still have doubts about aid to the worst-affected countries: who will buy your tulips again – hopefully soon?”

And António Costa – our prime minister – probably has a reddish haze when he hears something about that “holandês”

antonio-costa-gives-a-speech-with-the-portugese-and-the-european-flag-in-the-background

– and well, are they right or what? Now is not the time for warning fingers – yes, you are right, then what?

Who’s accounting was not completely in order – now is not the time. That’s for later. Now it is important to keep Europe together, because if “they” – our honorable leaders – set a bad example for us, we might go at each others’ throats again. Our parents already experienced that. And our grandparents already 2 times. This Corona war is bad enough.

I thank all the gods that I’ve been alive for 58 years and never experienced a war. Well, except for this one then.

Because you know – it’s not about “the big boys” at all

They all remain out of reach. Well, except for Boris Johnson (who has it), but that’s more a case of evil lasts for ever. And besides, the British are no longer part of Europe.

It is about all those “small” people, all small self-employed people, one-person companies that in a country like this didn’t earn much already, but now nothing comes in at all. And Portugal is not as rich a country as the Netherlands or Great Britain; where billions are allocated for first aid to anyone who needs it.

I had a bit of solidarity problems with the football championships (European Championship – semi-finals Portugal – the Netherlands) but it is not getting any easier now

Both sides have a point. Southern point of view: this is nobody’s fault, and we now need help from the European support fund or the economy will fall to zero. Then we’re all in trouble, because then we’ll soon have no money to buy those tulips from you!

The Dutch point of view mainly boils down to the fear that this’ll make the nationalist forces much stronger, that the call to leave Europe will become too loud to be ignored, and then we will all be in trouble. Imagine that the Netherlands wants to leave Europe. It’s more and more complicated with those tulips.

And you can’t keep on going making nice pieces of art with them

artwork-with-tulips-let-hope-bloom

Fortunately, they’ve recognized (and heard from all sides) in The Hague that this isn’t a pleasantly compassionate position. Portugal is never mentioned in the comments, by the way, it’s always about Spain and Italy, but I can assure you that in a country like Portugal, stopping the economy doesn’t make life easy for a lot of people!

In any case, there’s already a lot of silent poverty, and generations go abroad to find their salvation there

Now that is also the case, because the Portuguese think driving an expensive car is very important, but it’s mainly motivated by the emphasis for decades on Big & More, Flex & Fusion.

This means that all small self-employed persons, shops, businesses, offices are gone, for the benefit of large supermarkets, multinationals, chains and franchise companies. And there we are. We also won’t be able to sell our tulips, here in Portugal … because we don’t have them.

All we can do is sell the land. The space. The light. The sky. The sun. The beaches. The forests. The hills. The mountains. The charming towns. Lisbon. Porto. The fado. And smiling people everywhere & always.

But unfortunately they don’t smile so much anymore …

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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 https://www.termas-da-azenha.com/en/recreation/: 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.

You can subscribe to this blog:

You’ll get it every weekend in your mailbox.

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

The world upside down

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 couple, a Portuguese couple, the two students, Paul and the three of us.

Nice group to survive the crisis

Honestly – I was last grocery shopping 4 days ago now – life just goes on here the way it was. We don’t necessarily have to stay inside, we can go out, into the vegetable garden, go cycling, walking, petting the dog, exercising – especially the part of not having to stay indoors is great.

I would really have a hard time in a few days, continuously inside

I always find the Netherlands (I visited recently – just back in time) very nice, but then I’m almost always indoors because of the season and the weather, which I find difficult. I sincerely hope that you all hold up well and have a little fun.

Paulie arrives on his bike at Termas-da-Azenha

Paul, “Paulie” – because he always refers to “The Godfather” – would move to the Alentejo. He loves heat – but that is doubtful now, because in Portugal the mandatory isolation is also obligatory. Plus, his car broke down, and it’s not the best time to hunt for another one.

“The girls” – the students who will study wildlife here – have arrived just in time

They were here just before it escalated, and were in tears until the university sent a message to all interns that everyone should return immediately. Fortunately, we all managed to avoid that, thanks to a very understanding supervisor, who started to list all the advantages of staying here. The photo demonstrates how they are at the moment:

the two students sit on their veranda enjoying the sun

The German family – “the Germans”, standard designation of my foster son Hugo – is in voluntary isolation

A week already, because “the German” had a cold, maybe flu. He had been nowhere, not in touch with anyone, but they would rather be sure in this case. Typically German conscientiousness!

The “New Germans” – a family of 5 who have just flown in from Florida and interrupted their world trip, are trying to recover from their jet lag. They had been here for a month last year and thought this was the best place to go in isolation. They have been lucky: they have just been ahead of the virus all over the world. Despite this, they also voluntarily retire in Palmeira for a few weeks.

“The Couple” – Portuguese lovers, now that everyone also has to stay in Portugal, are staying in their room. Our dog Donkie, popular with everyone, is on the doorstep, because she’s BFF with Maria. The dog just feels that Maria is coming, then she’s already waiting along the road.

Last but not least, goldsmiths “Padephanie”

A combination of both names, because where one is, the other is too. Fluffy cat Fizzy spins in their orbit, and has a great life – she’s allowed to go out through a hatch especially made for her, up the hill, and hopefully catch a lot of mice there.

Padephanie-the couple of goldsmiths standing in front of their DIY mailbox of Casa Oliveira, Termas-da-Azenha

Perhaps “the girls” will see her on video, because they put down bait at night to capture images of all wild animals with their wildlife cameras. Donkie has already stolen 4 of their bones – maybe Fizzy is also participating in this special sport.

Life is actually not much different than usual, except that the topic of conversation has changed a bit …

For all of you: we send you light, air, space, sun and health. Stay positive, stay healthy, keep smiling. Fun jokes are circulating on the internet. Thank God we have all that technology!

And hopefully until later, everyone. Later in the year, here in the Termas. When this is over, the Termas is a great place to meet other people again. At a safe distance, that is …

Stay safe in this crisis, and all the best!

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<< previous

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 https://www.termas-da-azenha.com/en/recreation/: 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.

You can subscribe to this blog:

You’ll get it every weekend in your mailbox.

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

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.

Not so strange that I think: fine, then I can easily go to the Netherlands from 7 – 14 March. Cuddle with my oldest son, and visit family and friends.

Great planning, but suddenly there’s that stupid corona virus in between me and my plans!

photo of the corona virus

The students, they’re 2 new interns who come to stay here for a few months via Leeuwarden College. Among other things, they will study the effects of forest fires. The previous team had brought a burned-out tree home, and there was a lot of interest in it. That seems to be very special, a hollow tree that survived a severe fire. I think so too, but more from an artistic point of view.

These two interns will continue with their mysterious activities (see the previous blog).

What their activities are – I don’t get involved in that

I only take care of the conditions around all that – a clean, cozy house; information about the environment; they can hand in and pick up the laundry – those things. If there is a thingey with a car accident or a problem with health, then I’m there to help.

These two couldn’t wait until mid-March.

They’re already on their way. There I go with my perfect planning! Exactly when I leave, they arrive. Now it’s not that bad, because son Broes is there, and foster son Hugo as well. They’re perfectly capable of receiving and guiding those two. And I assume they are tough girls, because they’re driving all the way from the Netherlands to Portugal.

An adventure if you’re not even yet 20 …

But now there’s another story – the corona virus

Shoot! That’s less easy to arrange. An airport, and especially an airplane, is probably an amusement park for a virus. They jump excitedly from person to person – plenty of fresh supplies. You can’t see them, so you don’t know if they come with you. And a few of my family members are already around 80. Then you run a bit more risk, it seems. My cousin is pregnant. Same thing.

the writer of this blog of Termas-da-Azenha with a magnifying glass

It would be a shame if I brought corona as a “gift”!

I’d rather bring a corona beer. All though my pregnant cousin may not have that as well …

Until a few days ago I had the comfort that there were no documented corona virus cases in Portugal. Unfortunately, that reassuring feeling has been grounded, because we now also have 5*. Now, of course, we are fine in the countryside, we are already isolated from ourselves! At the moment there is little turnover of guests, because winter, so I will not take it from home.

And I’m not afraid of myself either, because my resistance has even suppressed a tetanus infection a few years ago. We can beat everything, the resistance and I!

It’s more that you don’t see those things. If they were now as big and colorful as those pictures they always show on the news, but unfortunately … you don’t know what you are carrying.

But I found a solution! Look at this:


the writer of this blog in a hijab because of the corona virus

* That was 5 at the time of writing, thursday afternoon. A few hours later: 9. Oi. It’s probably because portuguese people are so warm and friendly. They always greet each other with handshakes or abraços. Dangerous, in 2020!

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<< previous

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 https://www.termas-da-azenha.com/en/recreation/: 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.

You can subscribe to this blog:

 

You’ll get it every weekend in your mailbox.

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