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Emotionally neglected guitar

A large bird flies into my airspace. Of course, it’s not “my” airspace, it doesn’t belong to anyone or to everyone, depending on how you see it, but I happen to walk under it, and if the bird hadn’t been so noisy, it would never have been mentioned anyway.

But he is, he screams and screams and is clearly bothered by something

It could be a heron. They are generally not in a good mood, and if you disturb them they always run up shouting grumpily. Shitting even, whilst they fly away screaming. And then it’s very clear that they’re not happy about you walking there and depriving them of a next meal.

I look up, because the shouting continues, and say encouragingly: “You’re absolutely right honey, just let it out. That helps.” The bird keeps swearing, because that’s what it sounds like. As if a frustrated but driven beginner has been given a violin and starts going on the lowest string.

That is exactly what Koos does

Not so much throwing out his chagrin or going wild on the lowest string, but letting the more beautiful, softer sides of life come out. On the guitar. Koos is like a migratory bird that comes to Portugal every winter. It was a bit of a struggle during the Covid years, but now he’s back.

“I’m quite late, I come all the way from Mértola,” he texts, and I reply: “But you’ll join us for dinner, won’t you? Or will it really be Very Late?” No, it doesn’t get that late; at the end of the afternoon he suddenly appears in the backyard of the hotel rooms, where Broes and I are busy with a guest’s constipation.

Not a private constipation of course, because for that she would be better off seeing a medical specialist. My only solution to something like this is to offer the sufferer a few dried apricots – that usually works like a charm. Unfortunately, that doesn’t work with drain pipes (if only it were true!) so after I show Koos his room and he’s enjoying a glass of wine in the watery afternoon sun in November as best as he can, we continue with the garden hose in the tubes.

Fortunately, we soon have a breakthrough, and the whole shebang can be cleared up, and we can join in enjoying the watery sun et cetera on the terrace. “I have been here so many times,” says Koos, “and experienced a lot here, but I have not yet experienced any blockages.” “Lucky you” I answer ironically.

Koos was here for the first time at least ten years ago, as a volunteer, and mowed the grass of the entire village. He did many other useful things, including killing all the woodworms in the beams of the big house. A dusty and lengthy job for which I am still grateful. It was already clear then that he is a gifted guitarist, and that has only gotten better after his retirement.

I immediately took out our guitar

which is lying alone in a room upstairs, looking very sad. It’s been months since anyone played it, and she’s clearly feeling emotionally neglected. “Come along,” I say encouragingly as I grab her by the neck, “I have a surprise for you!”

It takes a while to get her in the mood, but then things really take off. A mixture between a public rehearsal and a private performance. A bit of conversation in between, a nice glass of wine, a full belly and warm feet – and then one beautiful song after another. Koos can’t only play very beautifully, he can also sing very beautifully.

One song got stuck. (Just click … and it sticks with you as well.)

A perfect song after a day full of (emotionally) neglected herons, tubes and guitars.

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.

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