Holiday Lessons: Two

Time is a relative concept.

We have a funny attitude to time in the UK. We micro manage it. We love our routines and we like our children to be in bed at a particular time (then we can, apparently, relax). In many respects this is very sensible: especially when it’s school time. But it’s definitely a Northern European approach.

In Portugal (and I’d imagine in much of Southern Europe) ‘time’ is a relative concept. People don’t build their lives around time; they live their lives and what’s time got to do with it anyway? Lunch is sacred. Shops close. The streets clear. Everyone values good honest food. It’s too hot to be outside, anyway. Our children reckon the Portuguese only want to earn enough money to have a good lunch. They’ve got a point.

Children are out and about in the evenings, living their lives alongside the adults. The Portuguese don’t tuck them away in bed early, because family is everything. If there’s a party or a family meal going on (which there always is) then the children are there, alongside the grandparents, and the cousins, and the aunts, and the uncles. If there’s a new baby in the mix, everyone has to have a cuddle and that takes a while.

What time are we going to the beach?

After lunch.

When’s lunch?


And what time are we coming home from the beach?

Just whenever. Let’s see what happens. There’s no rush.

Time is a relative concept.

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4 Responses to Holiday Lessons: Two

  1. I agree! Stop the rushing.. 🙂


  2. papaalpha says:

    Sue, I recommend the Azores – Portugal with a twist. Have no idea what time it is or even what day it is. Food is expensive if you can’t rear or grow it yourself and a meal is an occasion – never eaten on the hoof or walking along the street.


    • suecowley says:

      Thanks, we’d love to go there, we understand that the landscape is amazing too. Which island do you recommend? Or just all of them!?


      • PapaAlpha says:

        There are nine islands. I would recommend starting with Sao Miguel (the largest and seat of power for the Azores). It has good, largely traffic free, connections to most parts of the island, useful if you don’t particularly like driving on the ‘wrong’ side of the road. Scenery is amazing and you are never far from the rugged, Atlantic coast whichever direction you take. At the risk of sounding like an Azorean marketing rep, the Azores are fantastic, if you really don’t like holidays where you sit by a pool sipping cocktails for two weeks.


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