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Happy birthday, we wish you a long life

“What do you actually sing in Belgium?” Maddy asks, after blowing out her candle, “long may she live” –  as well?”

“Yes, I believe it’s the same all around the world,” Anne replies, our polish/belgium guest, “in Belgium and in Poland we sing the same song.”

We have a birthday, including birthday dinner


It happens a few times every year, that someone has their birthday when they’re here. For children we hang slingers, make a ball of balloons and sing it The Song. With adults it can be a little more complicated …

For adults, the Big Day already arrived so many times, there isn’t much excitement about it left. And many people also don’t like to grow older, but – very inconsistent – do like to celebrate their birthday. Now I’m a fan of inconsistency, because otherwise life becomes too straightforward, but this is a bit strange, isn’t it?

“How does it feel, being 50?” Anne asks Maddy, “do you like it?” “Oh, it’s no different than yesterday,” she laughs, “I’m not in trouble, it’s still fun to grow up. LongmayIlive!”


Happy birthday, we wish you a long life

Do you know much about “having a long life” when you become 5? Only if you add a zero, you may think about it.

The family of one of our camping guests have probably said that to him too often –  that they want him to have a long life. He has grown over 2 meters.

He took it literally

Over 2 meters is tall even for a Dutchman. In a country like Portugal you become very noticeable. I always see people on the Sunday market in Louriçal with astonishment respond to our guests; especially the smaller, older portuguese are impressed by our length. Me too – I had to get used to it, towering over everyone, but I’m average height, 1.76m. In Holland, it’s nothing special.

In the beginning, I tried to go by unnoticed by keeping my knees crooked, without anyone seeing it. Of course, that works only for a few centimeters and a short period of time. And if you exaggerate it, it is particularly noticeable – surely for your much shorter and therefore sensitive male conversation partner!

The previous generations of Portuguese are around 1.60 or a little more. On the market, you can easily pick out the Dutch.

The best reaction ever

Our guest “Father Longlegs” was waiting for a little bit with his slightly less tall but still impressive partner in a pastelaria, when a mother and her little boy came in. All people present had been very busy to pretend not to watch the tall guy, but they had never seen such a giant of 2.12 in their long-lasting life, so that was very exciting. They did so much their best not to stare.

The boy broke that tension by looking up at Peter without any shame. “What’s this? you saw him thinking, “Beautiful! So giants really exist!!” And by his unconfined admiration for such an incredibly tall man, everyone broke into a liberating laughter.

Of course we didn’t attend this scene, but we tried to reconstruct it. And I think we succeeded. My first thought to this photo was:


“Oi, how small can you be?”

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