Termas da Azenha

Vakantiehuisjesverhuur in Portugal

The first and only Bed & Breakfast & Bathrobe in the world

Volunteers: the yard wanderer

Henk comes by in the kitchen, when I’m preparing everything for the nasi goreng for tonight. “Come and have a look, if you can spare the time”, he says, and walks ahead of me to his workplace for today.

Volunteer Henk has been here several times, parks his camper next to the reception, and starts doing good, useful things

blog_volunteers: the yard wanderer

Next project: adapting the kitchen in Casa Palmeira

We like that, because there are always good, useful things to do here. For the large part, we do this ourselves – this is a mother-and-son business – but a volunteer who knows what goes on around here is a blessing.

I lay down my cloth and follow to the terrace of guest room 1. There is a roof over the door. That is almost no luxury, because when it rains (sometimes it does) and the wind blows (at the same time), it pops directly on the back door, and rear doors do not like that. Then they start having trouble, and eventually rot.

At least, if they are made of wood. And this one is

This morning he asked for it himself, because I had already dropped a hint (20 times or so, very subtly, that I would love to have a roof over the door of room 1. That that wouldn’t be a luxury, and that the roof that he made over the door of room 2, is super, great, wonderful! It improves the quality of almost everyone’s life!)

Henk understood the hint, not being stupid, but at first he was busy making a trendy love-seat for the Chessterrace



I immediately jumped up to walk to the spot and started gesturing and pointing enthusiastically. We discussed the action plan. What materials are needed, and what do I have?

“I am going to wander around for a while, then I’ll find what I need”, he said reassuringly, and I know that it’ll be all right. And with a straight face: “I’m a certified yard wanderer.”

And yes, after a few hours, there’s wood there, and roof tiles, poles and screws and everything.

“Like this, two poles, the wood for the construction, starting on this side, covering the whole area – this was your idea, wasn’t it?”

“Yes, exactly! A bit extended on the wind-and-rain-side …this is exactly it. Great!”

“Do you have such a big drill, type cork screw, to make the hole in the ground? Somewhere?”

“Yes, but it only goes 30 or 40 cm deep. I can help you, I can also play a role in the digging of the hole … ” I offer, and Henk of course asks directly:” Hm, play a role, play a role, what does that mean?”

“Well, uh … I could take out my pompoms, and encourage you “Yeah, Henk, you can do it! H-E-N-K-SU-PER-O-KAY! Or something…” I smile widely, “Or, for example … I could possibly also scoop out a little bit of dirt …. it is just a matter of requesting. Filling in the right forms, finding the right tone, having the right connections …. ”

We both have to laugh heartily. The nicest volunteers are those with whom you can make jokes, fantasize, talk about silly things, have a good laugh

Henk pulls a straight face again and says: “I will take it into careful consideration; and later my decision-making will take place.”

And with more laughter I go back to my dinner-preparing, and he goes on with the yard-wandering.

Good to have a yard wanderer around!

Every week on Sunday morning you will find a new blog in your mailbox. Every week you spend a few minutes in Portugal. Just on your own comfortable sofa.

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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 homes, rooms and a small campsite, with a swimming pool, games like pingpong, foossball, pool, boardgames, and a FancyDressingRoom. You’ll find mosaics and paintings everywhere.

The old bathhouse is going to be a museum, where you can see how things have changed. The healing mineral water still runs through the baths, and is still of an excellent quality. Since 2018 we call ourselves the first B&B&B in the world – Bed & Breakfast & Bathrobes. You can buy a unique bathrobe or kimono in our webshop, or order one tailor-made, completely to your wishes.

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. We have some nice special offers on our site.

You can subscribe to this blog. You’ll get it every weekend in your mailbox.

On Sunday morning we publish it on our Facebook, on Pinterest, and on monday on LinkedIn.