Tag Archives: holiday rentals Portugal

Surprise! Pet chicken fall from the sky

All of a sudden I sit here as an informal caregiver for a pirate chicken on one leg!

Strange things sometimes happen in Termas-da-Azenha. My son Broes and I walked to “the little houses” (next to the ElephantHouse is a refurbishment that serves as storage for anything and everything) to get something, when unexpectedly we saw a chicken lay in the grass.

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A real live chicken. With a panickey look in her eyes and her feathers all messed up

Aah! Hello you poor dear! How did you get here? Who? What? How? And especially: why?

I have a vague idea. It must have something to do with a dog. I thought I just saw the shadow of a tail disappear around the corner. Not really paying attention of course, because not prepared to find a chicken at my feet. Anyway, something had to happen here, because you don’t just step over the animal and go on to do your thingy.

Moreover, we had already forgotten the thingy we were going to do, so I carefully picked her up.

You don’t have to be afraid of a chicken, because they don’t bite. That’s for sure

Always loved chickens. They are so cozy. If they’re clucking softly among themselves; or if they loudly singing out their joy over a (finally!) laid egg; if they take a sand bath or if they run away for a rooster with obvious intentions – they’re cute and give you the idea that life is good.

Just. Good. No more. But back to the reality: there’s a chicken in my arms!

Fortunately we still have enough straw. And we still have a cot that, conversely, can serve as a henhouse. It looks like she hasn’t been damaged very badly. I bought chicken food at the grocery store in Vinha da Rainha, and asked on the way at the cafe and at the pastelaria if someone had accidentally lost a chicken.

No one. So far, no one has reported him- or herself as the rightful owner, so Chickie Carolina has been in her cot for a week. She has recovered well, but her right leg doesn’t want to do what it has to. I carefully checked, but there’s no broken bones or something else obviously wrong. We do physiotherapy together every day, when I have breakfast on the terrace behind the kitchen.

Chickie Carolina is studying for flamingo

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I try to talk cackle with her, but she’s the silent type. And I suspect that my cackling is not very good, because I regularly see her frowning when I try to say something. Yes, chickens can frown! Their eyes may be turned upside down in their heads (look carefully, they close their lower eyelids; the upper ones stay in place), but they can express all kinds of emotions.

If you now feel inspired and want a few chickens, here are a few things that are useful to know:

  • chickens are not so fond of being petted;
  • learning to cackle is not that easy;
  • chickens drink very little but kill for a leaf of lettuce;
  • they’re not vegetarians;
  • your dog will most likely not become close friends with your chicken(s);
  • when they feel threatened, they dive to the ground, spread their wings a bit and make themselves bigger and fluffy. Very moving.

I say: every depressed person a few chickens, and Big Pharma’s lost an important branch of its business in one fell swoop. It is impossible to stay depressed if there are a few chickens nearby. (Roosters aren’t necessary, by the way, so you can avoid that annoying cock-a-doodle-doo.)

I’m going to do physio again with my chickie. See y’all next week!

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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.

Hunting for a house in Portugal

I sat here 20 years ago, on top of the stairs that lead to the bathhouse. Weird coincidence.

It was the end of October, on a lovely sunny day. I was not used to that, in October – being dutch, and used to the Big Gray luring around the corner around this time of year, not to leave for the rest of the winter.

I was enjoying the view, the sun, the silence that hung in the saturated sky

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Foto: thanks to Georgina Noronha

A tractor passed by. Twenty years ago, this was like: puf-puf-puf-puf-puf-puf-puf-puf, 15 miles an hour maximum. It was green, I remember, ’cause I thought: “Yes, you see, tractors must be green, or red maybe, but green is the best.”

It was a typical abandoned house in Portugal. Or rather: a deserted little village. Broken windows everywhere, crooked doors and a mattress somewhere in a corner. A bit hidden, with some dirty blankets around it. Some tramp? Secret lovers?

The only difference with other abandoned buildings was the absence of woodworm (because of the many tiles and concrete) and the water flowing exuberantly through the baths. An old spa.

During that time I was hunting for a house in Portugal

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I worked for an estate agency to find houses outside of the city, and there were a lot. Many of these beautiful country houses, sometimes with family weapons above the front door, were deserted a long time ago. No longer inhabitable, (grand) parents dead, maintainance too costly, and also: why would you maintain it?

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Usually there were too many heirs involved – in one case there were even 64! – and they all have to give their consent for sale. If one says no, it’s over. And to trace all these people, in most cases, is not doable. They have moved to France, Luxembourg, Switzerland, Brazil.

The Termas was another case

All 6 of the children, the heirs of Dom Henrique, wanted to sell. They didn’t want to see their heritage go to pieces, and they would also like to collect some money from it. But after a couple of decades they were no longer very picky and they wanted to go down with the price.

When I sat there a long time ago, there was not one thought in my mind that I could tell the agency about this, nor that I would come to live here. I wondered about that later. In the end I was looking for empty houses for sale, and a whole village was empty!

I just ate my sandwich, enjoyed the ambiance, and went on my way.

And now I have been living here for 17 years, and with great pleasure

It was quite a task to get everything back to life. It’s an interesting history – and I’ve never regretted it. Over the years, things have changed, of course, my first enthusiasm has somewhat changed. But with that enthusiasm, most of the village has been rebuilt and improved, and a lot of mosaics have been made.

Let’s say that my enthusiasm has become more mature, as there still are nice plans. I’ll be telling you about these plans in the coming months – the gradual perfection of holiday village Termas-da-Azenha.

Look out for the next episodes of this blog! Every week on sunday with your morning coffee.

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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.