Home » April, Aromas and a Revolution of Carnations

April, Aromas and a Revolution of Carnations

I stand on the dirt road next to the fields of neighbor Senhor Cavacas and take a deep breath. Through my nose.

April is a month full of aromas, and of the Revolution of Carnations

“I would like to have your nose, now,” I say to Mira, “but not your interests in scents.” Dogs are notorious perverts and love sniffing dead lobsters, sniffing sheep poop or chewing on a three-week-old cow bone.

I’m not jealous of that, but if you smell ten times better than people, it wouldn’t be a bad thing in this beautiful spring month! It rained last night, a thunderstorm even, and it seems like that only helps to bring all the scents out. “Oh, mother, you smell so wonderful,” and I’m glad no one can see or hear me, because I seem retarded, standing there, sniffing around.

You have to be careful with that at my age, because before you know it, it will be judged incorrectly!

April is not only a party for your nose, it is also a festive month for Portugal

Especially the 25th. When Zeca Afonso sang his famous song on the radio as agreed, which was the starting signal for the Carnation Revolution. And when the famous flower seller on the square in Lisbon prevented a massacre by putting a carnation in the barrel of a gun, thus giving the revolution its name.

flowergirl Celeste, 50 years later (Thanks to Correio da manhã, Sérgio Lemos)

It’s a beautiful story, and a beautiful name. Just like the Velvet Revolution in Czechoslovakia at the time. Also a nice story. We already have quite a number of dictatorships in Europe, if you think about it! Fortunately, most of them didn’t last long, and I’m also very happy that I can write this in the past tense.

Portugal is still in the lead, in terms of duration. Salazar and his followers lasted 15 years and 12 days; in the end it was involuntarily ended when Marcelo Caetano was in power. There are still admirers of Salazar, especially in his hometown of Santa Comba Dão, but most portuguese have a positive image of the (consequences of the) Revolution.

The fans have a story like: at least the trains ran on time and so on. The rest of the portuguese had to suffer, as happens in a dictatorship. Keep your mouth shut and do what you’re told and nothing else. Talking to your neighbors is already a very dangerous undertaking, because who knows whether you say the wrong thing in your innocence, or whether they want to get back at you because your cat keeps coming into their garden.

It is now the 50th time that the Revolution is commemorated and Democracy is celebrated. Spring has a tradition of a zillion years, and is a lot more consistent in its appearance, but we’re still happy with it!

Democracy may be complicated, and you have to keep discussing things until you’re blue in the face, but it is the only way that everyone gets what they want and need. In a dictatorship this is always only a very small group that gets what it wants (and most of the time much more then it needs), and the rest are allowed to salute and shut up.

A dictatorship may seem nice and simple, but it certainly doesn’t have a nice aroma!


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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