It all started with the widows.
I was trying to work seriously and concentrated at the computer when I heard a car coming, stopping next to the office. The driver gave it another good push on the gas, backed up again, and parked across the street. Typically the way of an older driver.
I was preparing for a passerby – a passing portuguese who came by to ask about the Termas and the water
But no. The car accelerated again, again with big dabs of gas, and took off. Apparently wrong address. Anyway, I’m distracted, so I decided go to the kitchen and get something to eat.
“Olá, bom dia!” I exclaimed in surprise when I stepped outside and recognized the ladies, “então, que surpresa!”
These ladies – the widows – regularly come for a week in the summer to rest from their busy lives at their quinta, and they love our dog. Maria often takes friends with her, who are all widows. Hence the nickname.
Maria had a mysterious smile on her face and both had a yellow paper bag in their hands. Maria held out her bag to me: “Olá dona Helena” she said, “this is for Dona Helena, and already a bom Natal.” The widow-her sister-in-law was laughing encouragingly, they were clearly having fun. “We’ll leave a package for Fernando in the house, he’ll find it,” they said, and a little later we said goodbye.
I went back to the office with my yellow bag. A bottle of Moscatel and a box of chocolate for us, and a treat for Donkiedonk. Sweet!
Back to my concentrated work.
It was written in the stars that this day I wouldn’t do any concentrated office work at all, but instead would receive all people. Next: the postman with a complicated package, and not even for me.
Try again … or just a little YouTube video in between? I deserved a break…
I just had my headphones on; another car stopping. Visitors, sent by my ex, who gave his musical friends a tip when he heard that they were going to Portugal to learn a bit about the winter. Campers, with a nice Volkswagen van.
A discrete van. You don’t see that it is a camper. I want one like that when I grow up!
Maatje makes the videos with the music of the band where Peter is the pianist. My ex does the bass, and some other stuff (kind of a musical jack-of-all-trades), and they regularly email the results to their entire customer base. Nice! Look at it.
They also like it here. Maatje has filled her entire phone with pictures of the mosaics. They stayed for a few nights – nice variation on the winter theme. “Whose is that music?” Peter points to the music fence on the balcony above the office. “Haha, yes, that’s Satie, but I had to smuggle a bit with the space”, I laugh, and he looks again: “Ah, too bad, so I can’t play it?”
Cosy, to have fellow townspeople / campers around.
When I deliver them back to their van after an extensive tour with a lot of anecdotes, there’s another gray car there. An elderly couple stands at the top of the stairs, with a festive package. They explain that they were sent by a friend of mine, also named Helena*. I nod and smile happily, but in the meantime my brain is trying to figure out at top speed who I know called Helena. No one!!
Fortunately, they do what more long-weds do: they talk right across each other, complement each other, until the whole story ends in his attempt to call “Helena”. “Then get that piece of paper out of the car, this number isn’t right,” says the man, thwarted in his pursuit of “Tadaa!!” to call that it worked, and look here we are…
The woman comes with a scribble, on which I soon see “Eline”. Ah!! Helena-Eline! Sounds more or less the same … “From Nijmegen!” I say relieved that it is fortunately clear from whom this beautiful package comes. “Simsim, Elena, Naimiegge” but they still can’t connect.
I’ll take a few pictures, because this is of course a very nice surprise!
When they’ve waved goodbye, I’m staying behind, a bit dizzy with my festive package at the top of the stairs. A bit dazed by all those passers-by, campers and cute surprises.
A van stops. A work van with two men in it. “Termas da Azenha?” asks the driver. “Sim, está cá” – I answer and point to the mosaic on the facade where our name is written in huge letters. “Somos de EDP – we are from the electricity company”, says the man, “we come for the solar panels. We’ll come and have a look at the roof.”
This day couldn’t get any better. I wouldn’t be surprised anymore if Santa would come too!
* Portuguese translation of my Dutch name – that makes life a lot easier here.
We moved here in 2000 from Rotterdam, Holland to the Termas-da-Azenha, Portugal.
A big step, especially with two small children.
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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