Tag Archives: family holiday

Stresslevels, before and after

I’ve been accustomed to stressed faces for years.

When people arrive here.

For the good observer the price of the year-round competing, running and hurrying can be seen on the parental faces. The children are not yet that far, and usually they also have something to swipe in their hands, so they’re sweet.

I always think it’s a revelation to see the difference after a few days

I have sometimes thought of making a photo series: “before” and “after”. That’s of course not possible.

You can’t ask that of people you never met before.

“Hello, welcome to the Termas! It’s nice to have you! Can I take a picture?”

That’s a bit strange, right at your arrival.

And it’s not only the stress of the whole year, but also of preparing everything, packing everything, thinking about everything, and arranging everything.

blog_stresslevels-before-and-after-representative

left: before – right: after (a few days)

There’s still a lot on the shoulders of women

Mother is still usually the one who arranges for the cat to be accommodated somewhere, that the plants get water, that the passports are okay-ed, that the children pick out the things they want to take with them, etc. etc.

The list is long. Differs per family, of course. Differs per holiday

If you go skiing you take other things with you when you go to a 5 star resort on a tropical island.

I don’t have any idea what to take when you go skiing (nor even 5 star resorts on tropical islands), but I do know what you have to take care of as an average family on an average holiday, what you have to arrange and what to think about.

And to serve you, there is a list here

Hopefully it’s useful, and it helps against small scares in the middle of the holiday as: “Oi, my anti-allergy wasp set is still on the table. Forgotten!”

Perhaps a reassurance: we have such a set here. Because well, here out in the fields there are sometimes wasps between all the butter- and dragonflies …

blog_Butterfly_Garden_Buddleia

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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 and mini golf, 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 Page, on Google+, on Pinterest, and on monday on LinkedIn.

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

Broken mower? Doesn’t matter

There is a big stain on the floor of the adega under the mower. I pretend not to see it. I grab what I need and go.

Then I leave it back in the workshop

There is a big stain under the mower on the floor of the workshop. I pretend not to see it. I take what I need and go.

But if the mower doesn’t start, it stops. Then it can no longer be ignored. Two stains means: leaks. He’s leaking. Oil or petrol. Both not good. No matter what, because he doesn’t work either way.

“Doesn’t matter”, I say to myself, “we just go to the mower repairer, and then I can take a meia de leite and a bolo as comfort in the pastelaria on the way.”

“Doesn’t matter” becomes more and more my motto

If you have a village to maintain (6 houses, 4 rooms, a bathhouse and 2.5 hectares of land) then it’s nice if you can remain somewhat stoic. So I train myself to be unaffected and positive.

Tablesaw blunt? Doesn’t matter, we just bring it to the carpentry workshop on the other side of the valley. And wait for a week.

Those nice shoes, which I ordered on the internet, just a bit too small? Bad luck, but doesn’t matter, they can go to the FancyDressingRoom.

A reservation of 3 weeks will not happen after a long correspondence with many questions (“After long hesitation, we have chosen for France“)? Too bad, doesn’t matter, it was for the end of July so there will be other candidates.

blog_broken-mower-doesnt-matter

After a wet spring finally time to mow, but then the mower is broken? Doesn’t matter, we have three of those, so I’ll take another one.

And then I’ll go to Senhor Mário the mower repairer, a very nice man, who knows a lot about those things

I am not enthusiastically greeted, and I can understand that. The floor of his workshop is littered with broken mowers. Senhor Mário apparently has enough to do. “Não tenho pressa – I’m not in a hurry”, I say reassuringly, because I don’t want to burden the man more than he apparently already is. He also has problems with his health, he says; all those broken machines and he himself as well.

blog_broken-mower-doesnt-matter

He must apparently vent a bit. That’s fine, we all need that sometimes

The “no rush” approach always works. It’s also true – I can take another mower, so I’m really in no hurry. After a week I get a call that he is ready.

“It was nothing”, says Senhor Mário now almost radiant, “the screws of the tank were a bit loose … vibration of course …. and I have … a very technical story that I don’t understand at all .... the carburetor is now also re-sharpened …”

It was nothing, and it doesn’t cost anything, despite the fact that Senhor Mário apparently was busy with it for a while.

That doesn’t fall in the category “Doesn’t matter” – that is great class!

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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 and mini golf, 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 Page, on Google+, on Pinterest, and on monday on LinkedIn.

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

Game field

We are very excited about making the playground!

I can already see it: a few teenagers playing volleyball with the accompanying cheering; a father who shows his daughter how to golf; Broes teaching someone how to handle a bow and arrow.

blog_games-field

And behind that, a few children are busy building a hut and dressing it with colorful cloths

If you go into it, there are so many nice things to do.

Doing games is a great way to connect. I noticed that families with pre-teenage children often play games. Last year they even spontaneously played pim-pam-pet, with the original old cards. And they had a lot of fun too!

That brought me ideas for expansion, more games and: the playground

The ping pong table has been a great success for years, just like the table football and the pool billiards. The changing room provides hours of fun, pain-in-your-belly-laughs and good photo moments, which you take home as a memory.

And now we’re expanding outside.

We already have the space. It had to be arranged differently, and that was the biggest work last winter. If we now control the reeds, we also have a playground with a grand view!

It is said that children no longer play enough, and parents have too little time and are tired

Playing outside, that is. It will matter – if you live in the middle of a big city, it will probably be more difficult than if you are somewhere in the countryside or in a residential area.

And yes, a job plus a family is top sport. Although I do have the idea that people get a bit more experience with that. That the tasks are better distributed, and as a whole after the first few years it’s not too bad.

In the holiday, things like that are often corrected. Then you have the time to hang around with each other, so you can easily go for an hour or so to play sjeu-boats or build huts.

And if you as a parent do not feel like it then you sit down on the side so you can keep an eye on them, but you can also browse a bit in the Volkskrant Magazine or something.

(I always liked to read a good book when my children were busy in the playground)

For children and teenagers it is great if you have the space to do things together.

Have you already practiced golfing? Hole in one!

blog_games-field

Soon we will be working on the mini golf course.

There will be one very serious course for the real golfer, who wants to practice his / her swing and endgame. The rest is free. After months of study (= surfing the net) we came to the conclusion that you can do anything with mini golf. You have to know yourself what you do and how you do it.

Fine. That is exactly what we are going to do.

And then we immediately continue with more outdoor games where pipes, rings, balls, cones, hoops and circles are involved. Relax and play in your holiday, and you do not have to leave the house. Well, you have to walk to the playground behind the pool …

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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 and mini golf, a FancyDressingRoom and a small café. You’ll find mosaics and paintings everywhere.

The old bathhouse is 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 Page, on Google+, on Pinterest, and on tuesday on LinkedIn.

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

Mosaic queen Astrid

“Yes, that one is still the best”, Astrid concludes and points to the earlier train. We have talked about it extensively and counted back: 2 0’clock flying, arrive an hour before departure (it’s January, not crowded, no endless queues at customs – right?), 1 hour by subway …

She’s here for a week, but now she has to go back suddenly and unexpectedly

blog_mosaic-queen-Astrid

The father of the children has died, just suddenly, and so suddenly a lot of things must be taken care of. “The girls” can’t just be told with a phone call.

Even though they are pretty much grown-up, they still live with their mother, but yes, their mother is here now. It is their father and her ex – 16 years ago they split up, and after that they didn’t have so much contact anymore. About the children, and about his contribution for them.

I’m amazed by the way this communication goes

That’s different, if you’re a girl’s mother, you’ll notice. There is plenty of messaging going on, especially after “the girls” have been rashly informed by trusted friends. There is also a lot of going back and forth messaging with these friends going on.

I am a boy’s mother, with an introverted youngest. That’s different! Now we – thankgod – have not yet experienced that their father / my ex suddenly died, but otherwise the communication is very different. Very brief. And how you feel about something is never asked.

The travel insurance does not cover the return journey

What else do you have insurance for? To have the illusion that they will assist you in bad times when everything is running smoothly? Anyway, we are familiar with that grumbling, and it is pushed aside. Too bad, but there are more important things in the world. Most importantly, Astrid have to return to assist her girls in processing their grief.

After 16 years no longer together, but need to arrange practical matters because of the children, you are no longer sobbing in your pillow. It is a shock, an unexpected death, certainly – but for Astrid it is also a pity that she has to interrupt her week of refueling.

Astrid has been coming here for years – first with the girls, then without

One of the regular guests. Long, long ago she came as a volunteer for a week. She liked it so much that she came on holiday with the girls, and since then every summer. A pleasant destination for a single parent family, that certainly is a basis for a relaxing holiday.

The girls enjoyed themselves in the pool and the FancyDressingRoom, and with the other children. The funny thing is, that I have seen them grow up a bit too. And Astrid and I started to work together on some mosaics, and that has actually become tradition.

Before she comes, I often send an inspiring picture: “What do you think of this?” I ask, “for that corner above the cafe?”

“Do you have enough red?” She sends back, “and where exactly will it be?”

She’s left behind several masterpieces

blog_mosaic-queen-Astrid

This time I wanted to keep it modest. In a week you can not make huge mosaics, and then I’ll have to go on with it alone – an unfinished work, which still needs a lot cutting and glueing. This can possibly be done by enthusiastic volunteers, but you do not always have them at hand.

I don’t have time now. I want to make a mini golf, and a webshop for the bathrobes, and a lot of windows need to be sanded and painted, and a couple of bath cubicles need to be turned into a museum, including 3-D mosaic. Plans and ideas enough, but 2018 seems to be the similar to 2017.

If you do not pay attention, the day passed by like that

We say goodbye to Astrid. I’ll finish the mosaic. No problem, it’ll be done in no time. Strength with all this, and we keep in touch. Long live whatsapp!

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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 and mini golf, a FancyDressingRoom and a small café. You’ll find mosaics and paintings everywhere.

The old bathhouse is 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 Page, on Google+, on Pinterest, and on tuesday on LinkedIn.

 

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