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Involuntary Christmas gift and a handkerchief

Right. The Christmas shopping has already been done. Completely against my habit, I put the money in the pocket of my warm wintercoat. I still have to walk the pugs, and it’s almost dark, so it’s time to move on.

All Christmas gifts have been bought and wrapped so no worries anymore

As usual, I always have a handkerchief in my pocket. It’s not that I have an old runny nose, it’s more that I’ve had to blow my nose all my life as soon as it gets colder. One has this, the other has that – I have to blow my nose in the winter. You can live with it, but you should always carry a handkerchief in your pocket.

The pugs are a bit laborious to walk with, and it is also the end of the working day for a whole team who are doing something hopefully useful further away with very large pipes that they dig into the ground, so more cars than normal are passing by. I have to pay attention to the Pugs family and my own sweetheart Mira, who is running around loose.

Back home I find out that I probably blew my nose, because my pocket is empty

When I pulled my handkerchief, the money also fell out. Thunder-and-lightning! One hundred and sixty-five euros – I thought at the supermarket to be smart and pay with my card instead of money, then I would still have other groceries that you cannot pay for with a card. On the market, for example, with organic honey. Or at the cobbler’s. The pastelaria is completely focused on money, and I really need to get some bread. The washing machine in the lavandaria also only accepts coins; there is even a working change machine.

Check, check, double check – nothing. Nowhere. I check the hallway the kitchen, even the toilet … feel in all recently used trouser and jacket pockets, but nope. Nothing to be found anywhere. Broes and I walk along the road, brightly lit by all the lampposts, with an unnecessary flashlight. “Did you walk this far?” “Yes, and this is where I went up the hill… but I’ve been there twice, nothing either.”

“Then maybe it was blown into the grass by a passing car,” says Broes, and jumps down into the tall wet grass. “I think it was picked up by a passing car instead,” I answer somberly, “let’s just go home, it’s just gone. Just bad luck.”

I pour ourselves a glass, which seems appropriate, as a consolation

As usual, I automatically start looking at how we can give this a silver lining again. “I saw a trace of a tire on the roadside,” says Broes, “it was probably seen and picked up by one of those workers.”

Well, let’s just leave it at that then. Then one of those workers is lucky. They probably won’t earn the top prize by digging pipes into the ground, so hey, maybe he’ll buy his wife a nice Christmas present for it. Or for his child. Or for his mother. Or for all of them.

Let’s just leave it at that. Someone has a big smile on their face because you don’t find one hundred and sixty-five euros on the side of the road every day. Another silver lining: we received two raffle tickets in El Gordo de Navidad out of gratitude for looking after the doggies from the Mother of the Pugs.

Who knows, we might win a zillion euros (They don’t call it “The Fat One of Christmas” for nothing).

And then would we still care about one hundred and sixty-five?

Merry Christmas everyone! See you next year!


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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