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A key position

I put the key in the lock and turn. Nothing happens. In my mind I was already inside, almost outside again; just grab my sunglasses, and go for a walk.

The key refuses to work – or rather: the lock refuses to open

I know the phenomenon. Fortunately, because otherwise you will first have to spend some time making the diagnosis, and you will lose a precious half an hour that – especially according to your dog – could have been spent much better. For example, walking for half an hour. To the fields, where everything smells so good.

Unfortunately, the key isn’t doing anything, even with careful trying you can’t get it to open the lock …or wait … yes, right! Thank to the gods! The lock does open, but the dog is still out of luck, because now it can no longer be closed, because of the broken lock, and you can’t leave it open when you go for a walk.

It’s still early, no one else is awake yet.

“Sorry Mira,” I say, and pet her on the head, “as a dog you have to have a lot of patience, huh! But we really can’t leave now, girl, the lock is broken. I have to do something else first.” I walk to the workshop, and sure enough, there is the result of smart thinking from years ago. A box with the following written on it: NEW LOCK FOR THE RECEPTION.

The reception lock opens and closes very often. There is a tiny cilinder in a lock, a few millimeters high and thick. If that is worn out, you get the stuttering effect. Then it won’t be long before you stand outside, trying your luck with your key. Then you can try whatever you want, but when the lever is worn out you’re just out of luck.

Since it happened a long time ago that we had to break open the door because there was nothing else left to do with the lock, I have made it a habit to go to the shop of “ The Cousin” to get an exactly the same one.

Then you can do what I can do now: loosen four screws, remove the broken lock, insert a new lock, tighten four screws. The shop of “The Cousin” is called that because the boss of the shop was the cousin of the previous owner. We still come there – even if it’s just for a lock like this.

It comes with three keys, one for each of us, but a fourth has to be made. It hangs in the kitchen, with a label BRINGBACK on it. “Do you have the BRINGBACK?” I can ask foster son Hugo, who is quite a slob with his keys, and uses the spare key regularly – but the system only continues to work if you actually bring the BRINGBACK back.

For a new key we go to another reliable shop that also has been there for an eternity

The key lady’s husband came by once because my brother had a problem with the lock on his van. He was passing by anyway, so he came to take a look. He had a look, and a solution.

See, that’s why we are loyal customers to both the Cousin and the Key Lady!


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 houses, rooms and a campsite.

You’ll find mosaics and paintings everywhere.

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

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