Tag Archives: group holiday

Single vacation

Sometimes you have moments you think …. Ooooo what a life I want to go on vacation !!
You reached the point that it’s enough.
I had such a moment last winter.

As a comfort, I began to think what kind of vacation I would like to go on. I have no relationship, and live with my adult son in our village. I don’t see it happening that we are going on vacation, because he likes very different things than me.

So I would be going alone


Now that’s not a problem, because I can enjoy myself very well and I like being alone, but on holiday it’s a bit different. I did it a long time ago, looking for The Place here in Portugal, but to say that that was fun …. not really.
Alone in your car, on a journey is fine. But you have to eat something too. Then there you are alone in a restaurant. Doesn’t have to be a 5 star restaurant – it is a bit uncomfortable.

Add to that, that a portuguese woman will never eat alone in a restaurant, and there you are: a strange womanperson. That they peek around the corner of the kitchen door to look especially at you.

You don’t feel very comfortable

I soon came across the phenomenon “group trip”. Now, sometimes, you can see those huge insects driving on the highway with darkened windows and probably a bunch of people in their stomach, but that doesn’t attract me. On the contrary, that seems to be the worst thing I can think of.

What is a fun group trip?

Going on with my comfort-thinking, it didn’t seem very relaxing if it would be a mixed group, just aside from where it should be. Only women is much more easy. No one has to keep their belly in. You don’t have that annoying giggling – or worse: men who are going to explain whatever and women who act as if they’re interested.

With only women, you can debate the benefits of pyamas or sleeping naked, without anybody making rancid jokes. You can rub unobtrusively over your belly after dinner when it’s been nice and loosen your pants. You can have a relaxed breakfast without putting your bra on first, and thén shower. You can talk about your childbirths and other gynaecological things without anyone getting creeped out. (Well, there was a single woman who didn’t have children, and there & then lost all her doubts about that.)

So only women

And then what are you going to do? Read magazines all day doesn’t seem like fun. Anyway sitting around is not really my thing. You get a butt-ache if you sit all day. A little gardening, little mosaicing, a little walking, strolling a little through a town, on the beach, going for a little italian icecream …. that kind of thing. Keep busy with this or that, not too complicated but sufficiently challenging.

A good massage would be pleasant. And a good book as well. Nice food, little rumbling in the kitchen, all of which can also be very cozy. A nice glass to go with it – what else could a person want more?


Who, what, why and how are covered, now where

Somewhere near the Middle East, I doubt it it’s not really my thing, I could hear the bombs in Italy already, as a figure of speech.
Up north? Ireland? I’ve never been there, but my sister says it’s beautiful. Easy also that you can understand the people. More or less then. Denmark, the most peaceful country in the world? Hm.

Difficult decision.

And suddenly it struck me. Why go anywhere? All I want is here. Much more relaxed, no suitcases, no stress, not expenses … and I am a homey person, confessed that already in a previous blog.

Then it was a short way to think of a holiday for single women of 45+

And it was great. Every week was very different, because of the different groups – read: little groups because it is not mass tourism!  It was cozy, where everyone could do her own thing. If you want to sleep until 10, 11 o’clock: fine. Would you prefer to get up at 6, also fine.

Feel at home and do your own thing

The last week in June was warm. Liturally and figuratively. It was only a small group, but there were 2 returners. For a few years, they have been refreshing for a few weeks and are completely at home. A good example!

The photos probably illustrate how relaxing a week of single women is!
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.
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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.

It’s all in the family


“Come on Korstiaan! We’re going!” Dick shouts, “start your red van!”

“Yes, ok, we’re going”, my brother Korstiaan says mysteriously , and slowly stalks off towards the stairs, “we’re going on a secret mission. So we’ll be gone for a while.”








My brother-in-law and I can have conversations that go somewhat like this:

“It’s going well, isn’t it, with assembling that toilet. But do you have to pee without a pot, right in the little whole?”

I have to laugh: “No, no, of course not, it’s coming along, I first want to make a plank to put stuff on, behind it. And then the pot would be very much in the way.”

“I see. Useful. But the water tank is leaking a little.”

“Yes, the tank is leaking a little. No idea why. It has a new tap, new hose and it’s a brandnew tank … ”

“Yeah … thin water probably.” Dick says, and the next ten minutes he’s wrapping tape around the tap. Afterwards it doesn’t leak. Of course not. When Dick does something, it will be there for a thousand years.

At least.

My family is here


At least a part of my family, since I have quite a large family. I’m the youngest of 8. The youngest is the best place in the posse, I can assure you, which I can recommend to everyone.

“I was given by God, not everyone can say that.” I sometimes say jokingly, since we come from a christian household. Which is no longer the case, no matter how much our honourable parents tried.

Looking down from heaven

They’ll be looking down on us regularly, shaking their heads, but I think that the last few years they’ve been sitting hand in hand with tears in their eyes, as a lot of beautiful things have happened in the family.

Dutch invasions

They all came here, over the last decade, in different formations. With children and grandchildren, alone, with their daughters, with friends; cousins, nephews, nieces with their families – you name it, it’s happened.

One sister already passed away, one doesn’t want to have contact anymore. It happens in the best families. The oldest sister stayed home now, since she just returned from Greece with her husband. So there’s just six of us, four sisters, one brother and a brother-in-law.

The only volunteer we have at the moment, sometimes is completely flabbergasted by the fast and witty conversations.

“The Rotterdam invasion”, he calls it, he has to laugh when my sister drops something and reacts by saying: “Ok, nothing wrong, the pieces are still intact!”

And I find it very amusing when he describes his experience with pruning the fig tree-with-brambles as:  ” …. my muscles started singing the GodSaveTheQueen …”, to indicate he’s had enough for today.

They’re here for two weeks, and they’re at home here

Everyone does his own thing for breakfast, but they always chat a lot, with the volunteers, the guests, with each other … I’ve been thrown out my own kitchen because: “We cook, so in two weeks you may do your thing again, but tonight we eat gado-gado. So you know. And we do the shopping, so get out of here. Go mow the lawn or something.”

As the youngest you learn to listen to your sisters, so there I go

Yesterday afternoon, at around 5 the bell rings. Which means tea/drink time. Those who don’t drink have tea, the others say: “It’s 5 o’clock. Pour!”

I just want to take a sip when one of my sisters shoves her phone in my hand and says: “Look, isn’t that a good looking stove?”

I nod, yes, it’s a very good looking stove. It would be a nice replacement for my old one, since the oven just broke. Which is very annoying, you can’t do much without it. Yes, you can cook, roast and bake, but an oven dish … a homemade pizza … a lasagna … a portuguese grilled chicken …

Next she shoves an A4 in my hands. Huh?

“From all of us” it says, so also from the two that are sitting in Rotterdam, presumably giggling. Underneath is the header from a magazine: “Brothers and sisters: so different. And yet you can’t do without eachother.”

I’m looking around, quite surprised, at all their smiling faces. “Get up”, my grinning sister says, “Come along!” I get up, already suspecting something, because it’s not the first time they did a thing like this.


They take two packages out of the red van, one bigger than the other. A stove. A beautiful stainless steel stove with enough space for 4 large pans and an oven plus grill. And a beautiful red vacuum cleaner.


I’m stunned. If all families would be like this, we would not need a social security system anymore!