Tag Archives: Fátima

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

Just like I thought it was a good sign that they walked into the kitchen to get milk from the fridge, make coffee or tea, and grab an orange (“So good, it tastes really different from those at home!”) .

And who are “they” – if we may ask?

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The ladies of the painting course, which spontaneously emerged last year during the summer holidays, and which is now becoming a reality. Wil was here last year on holiday with her daughter and grandsons, and found it an inspiring environment for a painting course on location.

All her life, Wil has been organizing painting courses, 73 years old and surely not going to stop! Together with her mate Louise, they’re an unbeatable team

Last night I did what I prefer to do at the end of the day: after taking a shower, do a bit of reading in my comfy chair. The whole painting-course-group was chatting at the large table on the esplanada – right under my comfy chair. It sounded very nice. A lot of laughter.

I was enjoying my little alone-time upstairs, with the idea that this painting course is becoming a success

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I couldn’t really hear it, but it was animated for sure. One of them was telling something, and that was apparently hilarious because laughter erupted at various pitches time after time. Laughter is contagious. I was grinning like crazy in my chair.

There is not only laughter, there is also work!

Yesterday afternoon there were people here and there with a drawing pad on their lap. Many flowers are painted, because there are so many of those now. In spring it is a party here for that matter. That’s what the butterflies and the bees think too.

I leave everything alone when I see that butterflies and bees like them. We’ll mow later, when everything gets drier. Moreover, I don’t have time for that now, because I have to cook for 11 people!

But all this didn’t start so well, on the 13th …

The bus to the airport broke down, they had to transfer to another bus. “Hurryhurry, we won’t make it to the plane on time!” Someone nervously left her bag with everything in it in the broken bus, and had to go to pick it up with a (very expensive) taxi, while the others were waiting impatiently because the gate was about to close.

It all went well, but it was a real last-minute!

Two and a half hours to recover and to laugh about all this stress, but in Portugal the 13th still applied. They were delayed on the train; someone had jumped before it.

That is of course quite upsetting – let’s respectfully shut up and say no more about it – but anyway more delay.

Finally in Alfarelos, the destination, there was only one taxi. With hands and feet they managed to make it clear that the group had to go to Termas-da-Azenha.

Unfortunately, only 5 + luggage could fit in the taxi

In the meantime I was more or less informed over whatsapp, that it would take at least another hour before everybody would be there. Once again I was happy with my haybox, where the curry & rice was kept nice and warm. A curry doesn’t get bad by standing an hour longer, so that was no point. The weather was nice, 32º – also not a problem.

I asked the taxi driver if he couldn’t recruit some colleagues, and then the mystery was solved. “It’s the 13th,” he said, shaking his head (yes, we all knew that already!) “All my colleagues are in Fátima.” Ah! It fell on top of me! Of course! May 13th , the first time the three shepherd children of Fátima had seen Maria!

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It is full of people in Fátima on the 13th of May, of August and of October

Not a bad day for Catholics. They’re forgiven for all their sins, if they go to Fátima on these days. For heathens like us it’s a bit different though ….

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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.

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 Pinterest, and on monday on LinkedIn.

Hello Hurricane Leslie

The parking lot is full, and the lights are on half. They no longer have bread, and the bread baking machines are definitely not going to work today.
Halfway through the first path in the supermarket I meet a man wearing a T-shirt with the print: This is only the beginning.

I meet him on every path during my visit at the supermarket.

 

Well, if that is the case, you can sweep me up after the next one

I had bravely gone to bed, like: “nothing wrong, just a bit of wind. Don’t be such a drama queen!”  I felt just like that at the end of the afternoon, when we hastily brought the pool covers, and the various shadow tents to safety, put all the garden tables and chairs inside, checked all the windows and closed the shutters everywhere. We slipped the stuff around the camper van of volunteers Nico and Gerda (who were in Lisbon with their daughter) under their car, and put their bikes in the shower.

Exaggerated? I really felt quite a drama queen

There was not even a breeze in the afternoon, and with some bright clouds a nice sun it was a lovely autumn weather. What do you mean, a hurricane’s coming? And he would land at Lisbon, so probably we got a bit of a strong wind. Come on. We can handle that, right? We can handle a bit of a storm, even if it already has a name – hurricane Leslie.

Ha! Around midnight I was in the kitchen, praying to a god that I don’t even believe in, with a song in my mind: “It never takes long, a hurricane, it never lasts long. It never takes long, a hurricane, it never lasts long.”

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One of the consequences of Lovely Leslie … 2 trees down and 6 roofs damaged!

Son Broes came along, lit a few more candles, but I objected: “Be careful Broes, we don’t know what else happens, we only have 3 candles.”

“Luckily I picked up Bart from Soure!” says Broes, “If he really had to come here by bike, he’d have been exactly in the middle of it.” Bart is “the young Bart” an old friend of the Termas, has volunteered here 12 years ago, and comes back regularly. A sports fan who thought it was a good idea to cycle to Fátima on Saturday the 13th. And back again.

Fortunately, he went back by train (you can take your bike on the train, costs nothing extra, no problem, you don’t even have to book) and that went a bit faster. I’d already received an app halfway through the afternoon: “Can someone next time tell me that after Sobral there’s not one meter flat in this country” – which made me laugh loudly.

Later I was very happy that he was in his room, because hurricane Leslie was violently present, and had chosen Figueira da Foz as landing spot instead of Lisbon. Figueira is 12 km away, as the crow flies, so we were the winners.

“Pffff, don’t you think this is boring?” Broes would have liked to sit at his computer to play a game or watch a movie, but that was completely beyond every possibility. You couldn’t step outside, you could feel the suction upwards – or was that my imagination? And it was pitch-black everywhere. We were of course badly prepared.

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“Boring. You find this boring. Okay. That’s also possible, of course.”

I hadn’t finished my sentence or there were Lucille and Tomas, the French guests, seeking protection in the warm candlelight in the kitchen. Especially Tomas had a bad time. It was difficult to ignore, because a hurricane doesn’t come quietly. It makes a lot of noise. You didn’t even hear the roof tiles fall on the street – it’s lost in the roar.

Mother Nature is angry. And we will know that too

Sorry, mommy! We didn’t mean it that way! We don’t know what we’re doing, we’re still a little stupid. It’s probably going to be a hell of a mess to change things so that mom gets a little more calm again.

So that man with the T-shirt will not be right with his: This is only the beginning!

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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 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.

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.