Sing it loud, sing it long!


We had a few of the choir round for a ‘practice’ last night.

You know me well enough now that when I say practice you know I mean drunken singing.

The plan, as we had a quitetish weekend at Boofuls Towers Lodging Emporium was to have a bbq with a few choir friends. Of course the weather didn’t play ball so we ended up inside. Quite fortuitous really as rather than have the bbq we planned we managed to use up the box of Indian buffet items that have been logging up the freezer for months. Everyone brought a few snacks and we quite the international buffet going on with bhajis, pakoras, nachos, sausages, pizza and various other items.

It’s amazing really, guests never, ever come into the bar during the day. Ever.

Yesterday of course was different.  The German couple who had just arrived decided to come down for a mid afternoon drink. They walked into the bar and instantly worked out that there was a private party going on. Their faces were a picture but it was too late to back out, they were there. We tried to make them feel welcome but it was a bit difficult as they spoke very little English. Try explaining the English delicacy of mushy peas to a person who hardly speaks English. They practically necked their drinks in one and cleared off.  I did feel sorry for them but I was glad when they left.

Equilibrium, banter and hilarity were restored until, bugger me, the guests from room 1 decided to come into the bar! WHAT?  How do these people know we are having some down time? They must have a bloody alert implanted in them, you know, the one that goes off when we are about to eat our evening meal, go out, go to the loo or have some time with friends. The one that makes guests instantly become demanding and needy of our company? You couldn’t make it up, it works like magic. Every. Single. Time.

At least the second lot spoke the language and even decided to have a go on the karaoke, they were good fun but they too cleared off after one drink.

Anyway, the afternoon turned into evening and then late into the night. The singing became more raucous as the day wore on. What a hoot.

Some of our hotelier friends are envious of the fact that we have friends who aren’t hoteliers. Personally, I think that is vital. Can you imagine what it would be like if all we ever had to talk about was occupancy rates compared to last year, gossip about other hoteliers or the merits of various laundries? My eyes are glazing over at the thought of it.

As I’m typing this it has reminded me that recently someone has commented to me that I tend to compartmentalise various sections of my life. I keep personal, hotelier, choir and other sections of my life as separate as possible and really don’t like them to cross over if I can avoid it.

It’s not a new thing, I have always kept various sections of my life separate. Difficult to do when you work from home and harder still ow we own a B&B but I try my best. Is that a good thing or a bad thing? What are your thoughts on the subject?

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In the buff


I stumbled across this blog post and it made me laugh. I hope it makes you laugh too. Have a great day!

Tripping Over Pebbles No More

So there I was shooting a christening a little while ago. We don’t get so many christenings, in fact we’ve only had the one so it was a bit of an event in itself.

As all the action happens so much earlier in the day than it does at your average wedding the guests were on the beer so much earlier – and it was showing.

One lairy young chap on his third can of ‘wife beater’  was watching me work and then decided to show off a bit to his friends.

He’d obviously made a few deductions in his head, middle aged woman, shooting a christening? Fair game for a laugh.  He thought he’d have a bit of fun at my expense.

“Here, love. Do ya do noods?” he asked tongue in cheek and leering and expecting me to blush and get all dithery.

Well, dear reader, can you…

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A week of onions and roses


It’s been an onions and roses kind of week.

Some things have been lovely, others not so much. Read on, dear reader and discover more about the week that has been mine, wonder about my fortitude and resolve, my ability to keep going in the face of adversity and yet still find time to be gracious… rather than knock someone’s block off!

It’s been a busy few days. We have had far too many guests and not enough staff so it’s fair to say we have been run off our feet.

The staff we have had have driven us to distraction.  One wonders how many times one has to repeat the same training and how many different methods of learning one has to try before one either kills the trainee or fires her. She knows how to make beds, I mean, it’s not rocket science, is it? She’s made many a bed under Lashes’ supervision and on her own. For that reason I was a bit surprised when I walked (ran) past one of our guest rooms to see a sheet laid out on the bed ready to tuck in and find the same sheet in the same state ten minutes later,  with the trainee on her hands and knees looking as if she was going to cry. Being at the point of wanting to kill I thought it might be better if  I hollered down the stairs to Lashes. “Come and give Denise a hand, she’s clearly struggling with this bed.”

“What’s going on with this bed then?” “I can’t tuck the sheet in, it keeps bending my nails back.”

What the actual feck?!?

Let’s not even mention out latest member of staff ‘Creeping Jesus.’ She keeps sneaking up behind me. I’m going to have a heart attack soon. This one makes me wonder how slowly a person can move and still actually be moving. It’s painful.

So between the staff we have and the staff we have been interviewing and the staff we have offered the job to who haven’t turned up for the job it’s been an interesting week over the bank holiday and half term.

So between staff not turning up, cock and bull stories, outright lies and being full to the gunnels. It’s been a laugh a minute.  Tell me again why I wanted to be a hotelier? Why do people even come for the interview if they don’t want the job?  We had a woman come for a  job and then tell us she’s 25 weeks pregnant and it will be too heavy for her. Why bloody apply then? Gggrrrrrrr. I could go on with these tales but I won’t.

Instead I will give you a nice little series of pictures to look at.

Munki decided to be safe and wear her cycling helmet under her headphones while she was sitting at her desk, eating her breakfast and watching Youtube. So many things wrong on so many levels in this one image. I couldn’t help but laugh, she didn’t find it funny when I took her photo.

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The swans had babies!

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We had some gorgeous sunsets.

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Douggie liked the flowers, the gardeners didn’t like Douggie.

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My plant had babies! So did my niece, yesterday.

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A cruise ship came in. How exciting! Not as exciting as being a passenger on one but it’ll do…for now.

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We celebrated the royal wedding with a suitably grand afternoon tea with prosecco.

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A seal decided to join a swimmer for his afternoon dip. It was amazing to watch them interact with each other.

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Sea mist through the trees.

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It was hot – I melted.

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The beaches were busy. This was one of the dog friendly beaches. How lovely to watch, kids, dogs, families and everything in between all having a lovely time. The dog unfriendly beaches were even busier. Not sure I’d have enjoyed that.

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How I love a good air show.  We managed to get down to watch for a while. I love the Red Arrows, watching them makes me all patriotic and just a bit teary.

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Boofuls imagining himself as a wing walker.

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Our vantage point away from the crowds. We will be right in the crowds tomorrow. Can’t wait!

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Not a bad old view, eh?

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Did I tell you Lashes has a new hobby?

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So.

 

Let me solve all your problems


Bit of a stream of consciousness, this one. It might make sense, it might not…

Of course it’s dead easy to solve everyone else’s problems, isn’t it? I can solve all of your problems standing on my head. My solution will probably start with…”you should”.

Nothing I like better than being, as an old boss of mine used to say, ‘should upon’. To be honest not much will get my back up quicker than someone telling me that I should…

It’s not so bloody easy to solve your problem when it’s right in front of you and you are emotionally attached to the issue though, is it?

I have a well meaning, but somewhat bullying friend who has ALL the answers. At this present moment she is giving three of us the full brunt of her opinion. As we strolled along the beach the other day she told me that she is disappointed with all of her closest friends. Not wanted to engage in another nagging session, I simply replied, “I know.” and left it at that.

It’s not even that her opinion is wrong. Annoyingly, I know she is right.  However, what she doesn’t take into account is that it’s not always black and white. Except that for her it is. ‘Here’s the answer, just do it’, is her attitude.

So. What is it that has become such an issue. Obviously I’m not going to discuss the others, that’s none of my, or your, business. My issue is my big, fluffy, lovely  ball and chain, Douggie the doggie.

You all know I adore the boy and he adores me, he is my shadow. Most of the time it’s not an issue. Occasionally it is.  Occasionally, we have to go to places where he can’t go.  She’ll happily step in to dog sit and when I’d been in hospital she walked him almost daily for me. That was brilliant. The problem is that Douggie prefers to be with me and won’t settle terribly well at her house. That means overnight stays or holidays become difficult. Now, if Douggie was an ordinary doggie, he’d just have to toughen up.

But Douggie isn’t an ordinary doggie, is he? Douggie is an epileptic doggie who has fits when he gets stressed. Like I said, big, lovely, fluffy ball and chain. Yes, he takes medication, yes, I know she would know what to do in an emergency.  It sounds perfect, doesn’t it?

Except that I know any fit could be his last, the strain on his body is horrendous.  His last fit was a humdinger. The sight of a six stone dog thrashing about on the floor having a fit stays with you. He managed to kick me in the face last time as we lifted him off the sofa where his grand mal started. OW!

First, I don’t want to put him in a stressful situation, like being away from home. Second, I would never forgive myself if he had a fit (possibly his last) while I was away. The whole situation makes me feel ill. Even though I know that Boofuls and I desperately need to get some time together and not have a break that revolves round the dog and his needs.

So, my friend’s solution is to stop letting the dog follow me everywhere. Stop taking him up to bed when I go. Stop considering his needs. Basically ignore him so he doesn’t care if I’m there or not so he will then happily stay with her.

Um. No.

I really don’t think I can do that. I like being the centre of his world. I am aware of the strength of that sentence. I know, I know,  I am my own worst enemy in this situation.

We made a commitment to him when we took him on and I take that very seriously.  We are leaving him more often and trying to build up more independence in him but it’s very difficult for both of us. Since we took him in six years ago he has never really been left alone as he used to come to work with us.

It might be a while before we get this one sorted. In the meantime I’ll just have to put up with the sighs, complaints that I treat my dog like a baby, dirty looks and snide comments from Mrs Black and White

 

 

 

Fun with flags


What an exciting life we lead here at Boofuls Towers.

Recently, Boofuls decided that if he couldn’t beat them he was going to join them and so he has joined the choir that Lashes and I joined last September. Now we are all walking round the house mumbling songs at our various pitches as we try to learn them for the next practice.

Actually, it’s quite nice to have a bass, alto and soprano in the house. In theory we should be able to put on a passable performance of any of the songs in our repertoire. In practice it doesn’t quite work like that. The trouble with being a soprano and some of those high notes is that I have to sing louder to be able to reach them. Boofuls and Lashes tend to be a bit quieter so I’m having to work hard not to drown them out. More voice control needed. There is more to hitting those high notes than just hitting them, people might like to actually hear other parts sing as well.

Anyway, moving on before I start screeching to Hallelujah again: we are forming quite the little community in the choir and it has been suggested that we might like a flag. Any volunteers to create it?

Of course not.

Eventually, I offered to design it and a couple of other people who can sew offered to make it. Lashes offered to paint it (?).

Putting out a call for suggestions for the design I was hit by a wall of apathy, so much so that I just got on and created it, putting forward ideas for approval at various stages. Well. Funny how all those people who didn’t want to get involved have suddenly turned into flag design experts. ‘Do this, put that, it needs to the the other, What about the reverse? I don’t like that, use this logo, you have to use a palm, it’s iconic.’ And so it went on.

Of course I ignored them all and went with my own design. I must say Im rather pleased with it. For the purposes of anonymity and not wanting to be stalked I won’t be posting it on here as it gives away way too much information so you’ll just have to take my word for it, it’s pretty smucking fart!

Five minutes ago I posted the final version online for review by the group. I kid you not, one person has come along and suggested I change the whole format of it and make it a long, thin flag instead. I suggested that she do one.

 

Jump on the bandwagon!


It’s not often I get on a bandwagon. Normally I’d run the other way when I see a bandwagon coming along but this one has got me right on board.

Now that we live by the sea and Douggie the doggie and I take our daily constitutional on some beach or other, we notice things.

We noticed, for instance, when a dead dolphin was washed up on the beach. We noticed stupid people coming to take selfies with it to post on Facebook. We noticed them prodding it with their feet and laughing.

No one noticed me, crying quietly at the indignity of this wonderful creature rolling around on the water’s edge and being laughed at as a spectacle, a tourist attraction.

Even I was amazed at how profoundly it affected me.

With the benefit of hindsight, and much mulling over, I realised it was a reaction to the death of my brother, the realisation that death can come swiftly and unexpectedly, robbing you and those you leave behind of any dignity in your passing.

Anyway…*shakes to remove maudlin feelings creeping in* that’s not what this post is about.

This post is about the things we notice on the beach. The plastic, the litter, the cigarette ends, the dog poo, the coffee cups.

Recently, I have taken to picking up a dog poo bag’s worth of rubbish every day. Some days two. Some days I could use a giant sack. One day last week, I happened to be on the beach as the tide was coming in. The amount of litter left behind by people was appalling. I looked at it, scowled and walked on. “I’m not picking it up, why should I pick it up? It’s not my litter. The council should do it. People should take their litter home. IT’S NOT MY PROBLEM!”

The tide came in a bit more.

I continued to walk up and down the rapidly disappearing beach scowling at all the rubbish and thinking that it should be tourists banned from the beach in summer, not dogs.

Eventually, I gave in. DAMMIT!! I couldn’t leave all the rubbish there knowing that within half an hour it would be floating around in the sea for some poor dolphin, porpoise or any other marine animal to ingest and be killed by ( I’m focusing on that today, not the pollution, I’ll save that for another rant).

I began to pick up armsful of rubbish. After several trips up the overflowing rubbish bin ( take note council, you are part of the issue), I noticed some other locals had joined in with the clean up. It restored my faith in people, just a little bit.

Some time ago I picked up some postcards from a display on the beach. It was the Marine Conservation Society. It was about flushing wet wipes down the loo and where they end up.  I took a stack of these postcards and put one into every guest room. I’m not sure if it made any difference but if it helps to raise awareness it’s got to be worth a go.

Here’s the link to their website. Take a look, it’s interesting and a bit terrifying.

http://www.wetwipesturnnasty.com

Now it seems to be becoming a little bit fashionable to avoid using plastics. Pubs are switching from plastic straws. Bottled water in plastic bottles is becoming a no no. I like this.  Genuine efforts are being made to reduce the amount of rubbish going into our seas and ending up on our beaches. This makes me happy.

So. For the sake of our marine life and our planet, please, jump onto this bandwagon and jump onto it right now. If we all just did a little bit, what a difference it would make.

I’m in with the in crowd


I go where the in crowd goes.
I’m in with the in crowd
And I know what the in crowd knows

The truth is, I’ve never been in with any in crowd in my  entire life. The geeks, fruitcakes and uncool people are the ones I tend to hang about with.

Our lovely next door neighbour is very much in with the in crowd. In fact, she’s the queen of the in crowd. She keeps inviting us to things and we’ve been to a few but the fact is we are simply just not cool enough to fit in. A classic case of square pegs in round holes. We were uncomfortable and we made others uncomfortable by changing the dynamic of the group.  After a few attempts at joining in with the in crowd we decided we aren’t cut out for coolness.  Photograph taking, dog dancing choristers do not cool people make.

One day last week we decided on that nice day (remember that one?)   to have a barbeque. We invited a few choir members and also our lovely, cool  neighbour whose husband was away, we thought she might enjoy the company. No one was more amazed than us when she said yes.

As it happened she had quite a nice time, she is very got on very well with one of our other guests. It was all going swimmingly until her husband arrived back early. Don’t get me wrong, her hubs is a great bloke but too cool for school. Just as he started tucking into his burger and coleslaw one of the choir members decided we were all going to have a sing.  Of course all the others immediately jumped up to join in.

Poor Neighbour’s face was a picture. He really thought he was going to be asked to sing. The relief when he realised he wasn’t going to have to was palpable.

Instead, he had to sit and listen as eight semi drunk choristers went into a shambolic performance of all their latest songs. The poor guy looked mortified. He sat so far forward in his set that his face was parallel to the ground. I couldn’t help but laugh, which was mean of me as he was clearly uncomfortable.  He finished his burger and was out of the door before we finished the final note.

Lashes decided to show off her new circus skills. I keep thinking she’s going to run off and join the circus one day. To be fair, I think that fire juggling is quite cool. As her mother though I have to watch through my fingers and have a fire extinguisher ready.

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Eventually, long after the sun had dipped over the horizon, we decided to take the party inside. Then it got really silly.

You know what? I love my silly, geeky, funny friends. You can keep being cool. We have so much more fun. Drinking, clubbing, golfing and going on ladies lunch dates where the bitching is rife isn’t my idea of fun anyway.

Kung Fu Canine


It’s been a bit quieter down in darkest Devon this last couple of days. Why’s that? I can hear you ask. Well, it’s because I got kicked in the face by Douggie the Doggie and every time I opened my mouth my jaw clicked. I can tell you it cuts right down on that chat when it’s all interspersed with ‘click, click, clicking’.

He definitely knocked my jaw out of alignment, I could feel my teeth weren’t sitting in their normal position. You’ll be glad to know it all seems to be in the correct place again now.

I never thought I’d get drop kicked by the dog but that very thing happened on Monday.

So how did all this come about? I know you’re dying to know. Well. Here we go then…Douggie the Doggie has got an impressive array of tricks in his repertoire but Kung Fu? That’s a new one.

In the early hours of the morning he woke us up to let us know he was going to have a fit.  As normal, we stumbled bleary eyed downstairs and waited for it to happen. Experience has taught us that there really isn’t a lot of point in trying to stop it as he just tends to have a really nasty fit a few days later if we don’t just let it happen. So, as much as it goes against the grain, we just wait. We snooze. We listen. For his part Douggie the Doggie usually goes back to sleep for a while. Then he paces. He whines. He bobs his head.

Then it happens.

This time he jumped onto the settee just before it happened. He leaned into me and his head went down. “Here it comes”, I thought. I was right.

Poor old Douggie started trying to shake himself apart. Boofuls and I have a routine now, we just calmy lift him onto the floor so he can’t fall and hurt himself. Then we wait quietly, timing the duration of the fit and trying not to panic. It never gets any easier. Every time he has a fit I think it’s going to be his last, it terrifies me. Anyway, let’s not dwell on that.  This time I had the back end. Just as we lifted him off the settee his foot shot out and he kicked me straight in the jaw. Oh my Gawd! That made my eyes water.

They say that humans have an unnatural strength when they have a fit and I can tell you it’s the same for dogs. That was a  kick and a half. I spent the next day nursing my clicking jaw and cut chin and Douggie spent most of his time getting his brain back in order. You’ll be glad to know that we are now both absolutely fine and looking as gorgeous as ever.

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cold tits and warm tits


I came across this post just now and it made me smile. I hope it makes you smile too.

Tripping Over Pebbles No More

Winter’s here!

Well, I say winter’s here but it’s been a balmy 9 degrees for the last few days. That is all set to change later in the week though when the wind from Siberia is set to swoosh its way down at a rapid rate of knots bringing its pal, snow with it.

That’ll turn a few warm tits into cold tits.

Rude?

I’m not being rude. Let me explain, dear reader.

Many years ago when Boofuls and I were trainee microlight pilots our instructor was the late, great Tony Wells, otherwise known as Uncle Dumper.

The name came about when Boofuls gained his pilot’s licence, I was still circuit bashing,  and we would want to go off flying together, which of course we couldn’t do in a microlight with a baby in tow so we’d say to Tony, “Can we dump her her on you for an hour?”…

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And the special today is…


Munki is away for a couple of weeks. She’s gone back to that land of perfect potato pies and flattened vowels. It’s been a bit quiet here at Boofuls Towers without her. Quiet but strangely liberating.  I’d forgotten how simple life is when there are no children to consider. Feeling  a bit lightheaded  at the freedom we are enjoying, Lashes and I decided a night at a grown up restaurant was in order.  There is a very good fish restaurant in town that is so expensive you need to sell a kidney to afford to eat there but we decided that as a special treat we’d go. Who needs two kidneys anyway?

Boofuls was somewhat less keen to go as he has a well known allergy to prawns and was scared of dying. I assured him that he would be perfectly safe as a restaurant of that calibre probably has some stringent food hygiene procedures in place and are well used to dealing with allergies. Just to be on the safe side we mentioned his allergy as we went in. You’ll be glad to know he didn’t die and wasn’t even a little bit ill.

Lashes and I ordered a magnificent starter of mussels, prawns and scallops. Boofuls refused to kiss me just in case I contaminated him. He opted for stuffed mushrooms, always a good choice.

Main courses were more mussels for Lashes, monkfish for me and cod and chips for Boofuls, we thought he’d be fairly safe with that.

As my monkfish was placed on the table Lashes began to smirk. “What are you laughing at?” “Your fish, turn the plate round.”

Curiosity got the better of me and I turned the plate round to see what was causing so much hilarity. I saw it instantly and burst out laughing. My monkfish looked exactly like..er…um…lady parts.

Quick as a flash Lashes said,” Mum, it’s the snatch of the day!” I nearly choked on my sauvignon blanc.

That fuelled a very silly discussion about the restaurant putting up a specials board.

SNATCH OF THE DAY 

Mermaids Minge or Triton’s Tuppence

We laughed till we couldn’t breathe. So much for a grown up and sophisticated child free night out.

On a different note, we had a family from Brazil stay with us last week. Really lovely family, the father is an A & E consultant and heart specialist.  I literally bumped into him as I came running out of one of the bedrooms singing,  thinking that I was in an empty house. We both nearly jumped out of our skin. He composed himself as I stood there holding my chest and said to me, “You no worry, if your heart break I can fix.” Hahahaaa what a star.

I reminds me of the murder mystery party we had a few weeks ago. What a disaster. One of the guests, a chap from Thailand who doesn’t speak much English and reads even less really threw himself into his part as an English vicar. He was hysterical and hammed it up brilliantly for his audience.

One of our other guests, an English man, highly educated and well travelled behaved like an absolute moron and ruined the game for everyone, at one point throwing down his character booklet and storming out.

It just goes to show, a language barrier does not need to be a barrier to communication and being a native speaker does not mean you will be able to communicate with your peers. It’s all about attitudes and respect.

Rants, raves and ramblings about whatever takes my fancy

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