Tag Archives: holidayhouses in Portugal

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.

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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!

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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 ....

The art of watching

“No, you do not do anything at all! We’re going to do it the traditional way”  I say cheerfully because my maintenance problem is solved – anyway in theory, “You’re there to supervise, I’m there to lend a hand, Kors is there to look at it and to comment. and Broes does the job.”

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We both laugh.
“Oh yes, almost forgotten”  I add,  “and Net comes by now and again to see if things are going well, and to warn that the coffee is ready. Then we get “five from the boss” and then we go on again.”

We’re video-whatsapping about how to handle things with a-wall-with-problems.

As every homeowner knows, you sometimes have to do some work on your house

A thing here, a repair there, a leaking tap or a grubby wall that needs to be painted. We don’t have one but eight houses, so there’s always something going on. Always improvements to make, so we’re nice & busy in the winter.

Now we suffer from a wall that tears. It is not serious, but you have to do something about it. Anchors are involved, has just been decided.

I am happy to be able to consult a technical advisor. My brother-in-law Dik is a handy man, and that is very nice. I’ve learned a lot here, but I still do not know everything!

With more serious maintenance, the procedure is usually:

define the problem – ask various people what they would do – keep using your common sense and keep an eye on your budget – presenting it to the technical advisor (the one you 100% trust) – take time to think – decide which way to go.

Sometimes the latter is very complicated. Sometimes I come to a stage that I think: we break it all down and we start again!

But then it must be very bad. As with the last leak, years ago already, thank god. That took a few days before we could “define the problem”.

No treatment without diagnosis, so that was quite frustrating. In the end it wasn’t so very bad. Just a small leak in a pipe intersection, which needed a new rubber. It happened exactly in the wrong place: right above a ceiling lamp. There was only a plaster ceiling between them.

And yeah, electricity and water don’t go well together.

This wall needs special treatment

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It is mosaiced on both sides. You don’t just hack into it, it has to be done with some more subtlety.

Anyway, the solution is there. And the method.

We’ll do it in the traditional way.

Watch it!

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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 ....

The Flintstone Method

“¡Mira, Ellen! ¡Nos está yendo tan bien!”, Raquel shouts at me laughingly as I watch them, filming from my sewing studio on the first floor. My back sometimes doesn’t want to participate very much, and besides: there is no room. These stones are heavy, but not so big. The three of them will succeed. They are doing so well.

Son Broes is quite big and strong, volunteer Desi as well, even with a difference of 15 kilos and 20 centimeters.

Broes is used to doing all sorts of strange things, such as moving these beautiful stones which always served as a bench under the peach tree. Since the tree has exchanged this world for a better one – in peach tree heaven? – the bench is a bit out of place.

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Literally out of place

With the creation of a Butterfly Garden there is a need for a place where you can put a shallow container with water. Where butterflies can sit in the sun, where they can recharge. Butterflies need solar heat, just like the abundant lizards – with rain and cold they can’t move.

Butterflies want nice flowers where they can suck out the nectar. A warm stone to sit in the sun. A secret corner where they can hide from predators and bad weather. You do them a huge favor with a cut-off spot of a nectarine-with-a-spot and the peels of your apple. A little water, that they can drink but not drown, and then you already have a bee-and-butterfly-friendly garden.

A B&B garden, so to say ….

The plan was there: that stone bench goes to the middle of the garden. Easy to say, a little bit harder to do.

Misfortune – we don’t have a handy strong lifting machine. We can’t even hire one, because it can’t enter in this completely walled garden.

That’s a shame, but on the other hand, it is a challenge for your inventiveness. I just heard the three of them talking about building the pyramids – and I don’t think that’s a bad association.

Those stones are very heavy!

Desi went to fetch a few thick branches of a pruned orange tree. Smart. Now that they have removed the first stone, the second, even heavier one, can be rolled on those. It is even heavier and more massive, but also smaller. And that makes it even more complicated, because you can’t grab it.

With a crowbar, a boulder and encouragements from Raquel, the boys manage to get it on its side. They discuss the next move, and then they have found the way. Crowbar, boulder underneath, tipping, Raquel runs with the trunks around – crowbar, boulder, tipping, Raquel with her trunks … and so on.

They have invented the wheel again with the three of them

I am having such a good time, watching all this from my VIP lounge. The videos that I make don’t make any sense, because you see almost nothing at that distance through the camera. And anyway, it’s mostly backs and buttocks. Doesn’t matter, my filming is just an excuse to be here.

“¡Mira, Ellen, inventamos el método Flintstone!”,  Raquel has a good time so to hear, and dances around while the boys have to rest a bit. They need to have a brief discussion about which direction they’re going.

Of course!

Imagine that you’d take the wrong way with that weight!

After a few hours, one heavy stone is on top of the other, and the butterflies can come. It is a shame that it’s November – so that will not happen – but it’s warm enough. The magnolia in the corner is thinking that it’s spring. It has lots of flowers.

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Just wait. A few more months, and then the time has come. Then all the butterflies in the area can come and dance around of joy!

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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.

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

Country life

It comes to me when I’m in bed in the evening. I can’t help it, the images are coming. They must have been incredibly scared. First transferred to a strange environment, where everything is different from what you’re used to. Country life instead of living in a huge shed.

Better, but very different.

Running outside is not an option. First of all, stay together in a safe dark corner for the certainty. You never know.

These are disadvantaged youth, all girls in this case

They weren’t treated well during their short life. With us they would get a better life, they’d live in  paradise, they could develop themselves, they would finally be secure and safe …. oh, we were full of good intentions! We did our best to make their accommodation as beautiful and comfortable as possible, the volunteers and us.

Raquel and Desi were cutting bamboo to make a nice fence, I had bought a lot of food and Broes had taken care of the rest.

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But a hunter was on the prowl

She knew she had to stay away. She was told very clearly again and again. She behaved, that first day, but that was mainly because we were in the neighbourhood, at work with the upcoming archery track.

She was curious, interested, but we thought it was safe. We know her well enough, we know she has a dangerous character. Not for us, we don’t run any risk.

That afternoon I saw her in the cot, when I came back from my lunch break

“How did you get in here?” I cried angrily, “away with you, you nasty creature!” She was already through the door, which I had difficulty going through. We made it that way on purpose, that it wouldn’t be possible for her to get in. Ha! Apparently it was the other way around.

I checked on the girls first and then went looking for a hole

She betrayed herself by sneaking back to her secret entrance when she thought I was gone again. But I’m not stupid, I was around the corner, ready to catch her.

She did not wait for a long time.

“Ha! Caught red handed”, I cried triumphantly, and started the repair work. Everything safe, I thought, well worth the effort. The next morning there’s no one in sight. No chicken, that is.

Ai! What is it … ? How is this possible? Who has … ?

“No, I do not want anything to do with her,” I say disappointed, sad and angry. Gentle Raquel, the Spanish volunteer, tried to talk me into forgiving Donkeydog.

“She’s a mass murderer, and she did it on purpose. She just waited until it was dark, she’s a  sneaky little devil. ”

I didn’t talk to her for a week

I kept on chasing her away: “Just go, you nasty girl! Killer! “” I did give her food (why I don’t know, she had 7 fresh chickens!), but for the rest I ignored her.

Yes, I know, it’s instinct, it’s nature, it’s country life, and I knew the risk in advance, but it’s a disappointment. Most likely, I have to give up the idea: a cozy little group of chickens, walking in the orchard, taking sandbaths in the sun, and fresh eggs every day.

My so-called punishment has little to no effect

She gets more and more an air of: “Well, okay, if you do’nt want me any more … then not!” I have to get over myself and forgive her.

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Thanks to: hondenblogo.nl

I’m not giving up yet! This must be possible. There must be a way to get a dog and a few chickens to live in peace? If you have ideas, if you’re an expert on the matter, pass it on! Any advice is welcome!

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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.

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

JC was here

In my half-sleep, I hear a car start. I recognize the engine, but I’m still busy trying to prevent a baby from falling. The baby is pregnant, so it certainly may not fall! In addition, I’m at the edge of a very deep swimming pool, so it’s all very exciting.

Rental cars all have the same engine noise. New cars hardly have their own typical sound. They haven’t developed any character yet, and maybe ’cause they’re built by robots they’ll never have that. This one has its own character …. just as grumpy as his boss …

And there’s the familiar beepbeepbeep

Six o’clock. Rise and shine. Many people are shocked by the time, but I think it’s great. In winter it’s a bit later, but in the summer it’s light around around five, so at six the day has already started. All birds are busy, busy with singin’and flyin’, and the people are still comfortable sleepin’.

On holiday everyone is sleeping long

Whatever you want. I get up early because for me that’s a luxury. To have time for breakfast, take a break from all that hassle at night (struggling to prevent pregnant babies from falling into a pool is hard work!) and then do all kinds of things quietly without being disturbed by questions, chats, serving breakfast or the heat.

My fellow early-getting-upper is motivated by the heat. Meanwhile, my suspicion has been confirmed; the car of JC has indeed disappeared. JC is busy building his house and mowing his site. He has just bought a motor mower that is currently puffing off the heavy work. Two hectares of neglected land with a demolished house made habitable is not a small task, and JC only has 3 weeks. During that time, it’s meant that he’ll make the house habitable for his wife, who will come with him for a while.

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The first time they will travel between Portugal and France

and after that they will definitely settle here. Fortunately, they do not have plans to rent rooms or start a camping, like just about all emigrating compatriots, who apparently do not realize that you can’t live from renting out a few rooms or tentpitches. Or that it makes the life of the people who do want to live of it a bit difficult.

But JC is not crazy

He realizes that he can not, and in addition, he isn’t suitable for it – in his own words. And his wife is not as well. He’s continuing to inspect homes on energy friendliness, and begins to build his business here. He is going to import conveyor belts.

I think that’s a good plan

His wife is going to start a large vegetable garden, and he has already planted fruit trees. I think that is very brave, because if you have to leave in a week, who will water the trees? No problem, JC will handle that. The neighbor, who will take care of his pig too, will do that.

What? Have you bought a pig?

Well, he was at a village party, and there was a girl born in French speaking Luxembourg. An “emigrant” who goes around in an expensive car in August with an L on it. There are quite a lot of those. They come to visit their family and their birthplace during the holiday, although there are a lot of people who don’t speak Portuguese anymore and don’t see Portugal as their country. They come with their father and mother, they come for a cousin’s wedding or the christening of a family member’s baby, they’ll see everybody again, but at the end of August they go back from where they came from.

At the village party, JC came into contact with such a French-speaking Luxembourgian who complained that she had won a piglet in the village lottery. What did she have to do with that?
And, there he wanted to help her out, and bought the animal for a almost nothing. Then he made a nice deal with his neighbor, who has a life time experience in farming. She’ll water the trees, and will take care of the piglet.

What JC is going to do with it, I do not know. I suspect he’s a little less peace-loving than the better known JC. He had many visions of an incredible amount of huge pigs, and I suspect that deliciously smells of roasted pork.

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But now he has disappeared

Back to France, for the time being, at least. He’ll take quite a long time to come back. I’m pretty sure he will pass by the Termas to say hello. Maybe he’ll bring a gift …  a little piglet …

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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.

 

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

Lucky bastard

Ooooo, why things always happen at the same time? You can be bored for an hour, and suddenly there are the expected guests, someone wants to rent towels anyway, someone else who wants an information, someone comes up with some questions and another one wants to settle the bill and leave. Plus an UNexpected guest.

Then I’m so happy that my youngest son also works here

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He joined the unexpected camping guest to show the campsites. I always call it a campsite, not a camping – to stress the difference. Calling it a “camping” you may associate it with olympic pools, snack bars, sunbathing meadows and animation teams, but we do not have those things at all.

We have a terrain on the hillside, and an area adjacent to the village square. That’s it. Both have their own toilet building. Below is called “ToiLetBuilding” and on the hill you find “The Bunker”.

You have to give it a name here, otherwise you’ll go mad explaining where to go

The unexpected campers made the choise for the hill. Good choice, if you ask me, but a little bit a challenge for the drive-up. It’s quite steep. You have to take a run-up, and never again brake before you’re there. Even a little hesitation in your gas can make the difference between easy-to-go or have-to-go-back-and-start-over.

They came with a pretty big, very beautiful yellow van

And we had not had that before. After a while she returned, she and her daughter, a bit stressed, clearly wrinkled by the experience. “I can’t move forward, and I don’t dare to go back anymore,” she said, stuck on the bench before the reception.

“If you trust me with your van, I can do that,” I answered, happily free from further commitments, “I can get it down.”

Relieved, she handed me the keys

“What a beautiful bus!” I said enthusiastically, “I will be very careful with it. If you stay on the road to stop traffic, I’ll come down slowly. ”

“Yes, sure,” she already laughed again, “all that traffic, surely! But okay, it’s true, there could pass a car, indeed … I’ll stay there. Besides … I don’t want to miss this of course! ”

Never drove in such a great color. I started the engine for the certainty, and put it in geer. And then many times on the brake. Slowly but surely we went down.

“Oh fine, thank you, powerlady!” Irma called her daughter next to her, “Now, I guess, we’re going to be down there!”

Then they stayed for a day or 10 and it was as if they always had been there

Then, on a beautiful day, she came down with a black and white dog on a rope. “Look at this, what happened to me!” She called to me, “now, isn’t this a sweetie?”

I immediately understood what this was about and responded very spontaneously with: “Oh no, please! I do not want another dog! ”   But she answered right away: “But I do!” And that was the signal for me to immediately let go of all resistance.

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Yes, you can think: gosh, what a hard cold bitch with such a reaction, but in the past 20 years I have picked up /saved from fatal death / taken from the dump / adopted when left behind as foundlings at least on average 1 dog per year and put up for adoption with corresponding effort, so I think I did my part. I’d like to make a little break.

In addition, a stray dog is not a good idea to combine with (sleeping) guests

You can only teach stray dogs with a lot of attention and love. Love – okay …. attention – fine, but there’s no time. Just ask my sons. They know everything about that. Love – no point, attention – sure … but time … hm …

Now this dog is going to live in the rich north

If a Portuguese dog could realize, he’d think: “What? Your own sleeping place with a mattress and a blanket? And they bath you? (Brrrr …. but well: no fleas anymore.) They want to cuddle and play with you? Play? Can you play? And you get enough food every day? Yeah …. heaven! ”

The only price that this pointer (because it appears to be a purebred) has to pay is a visit to the vet, after which he will go through life as a you-know-what-dog.

On the basis of the latest data, you could say that the title of this blog is completely untrue, but I stick with it: he’s a lucky bastard!

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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.

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