All posts by Lesley

Teeny tiny drag queens

This little catch up post is a veritable smorgasbord of snippets. Any one of them would make a full post on its own but I haven’t got the time or energy for that, it’s been busier than an eight lane motorway at rush hour. So, it’s snippets or nowt, I’m afraid.

Munki and I were taking Douggie the doggie for a walk the other day.  Out of the blue Munki suddenly said. Nanny, how many times a day do you walk the dog.?”  Me: “Three. At 7am, a long walk mid afternoon then about 8pm. Why do you ask?

“Why aren’t you dead, nanny?

“Excuse me?”

“You must be exhausted. All those breakfasts to cook, all those  rooms to clean and guests to look after and now you sew every night as well as all the other things you do. I don’t know how you do it all every day. I couldn’t do what you do. I don’t know why you aren’t dead with it all.”

Aw. Bless her. It’s nice to be noticed.

On Saturday while Douggie and I were on the beach during the mid afternoon walk I got a phone all from Lashes. “Mum, baby has a rash.” “Don’t worry, love. Kids get rashes.”

“It doesn’t go away when I press a glass on it, he’s just screamed for an hour and a half  and he’s really hot.

“Phone the doctor, right now.”

I start to rush home, Lashes phones me again. “Can you pick the kids up? There’s an ambulance on the way.”

Off I went to pick up the kids to find a paramedic outside the house. My God, that was quick. Baby was all hooked up to various machines and looking very pale and sorry for himself and with a rash that was developing before our eyes. “Right, I’m not messing about, I’m getting him in,” said the paramedic. Five minutes later up turned an ambulance. Lots of curtains twitched on Lashes quiet, uneventful road.

Poor little baby underwent two days of tests, prodding, examinations, ruminations and injections while they ruled out meningitis and an autoimmune disease called HSP.  The end result was a non-identifiable viral infection that his little body wasn’t able to fight and it mimicked meningitis with it’s symptoms. Pumped full of antibiotics he was discharged from hospital this morning, not with a clean bill of health but with a clean enough to go home bill of health.

While all this was going on and we looked after Munki and her two step brothers, Ben and Jerry as well as the dog, fleabagpeebag.

The sleeping arrangements were a bit of a challenge. Although we live in a stonking great house, our part of it is really quite small and all the letting rooms had been let. So, time to get organising. “Boys sleep downstairs, girls sleep upstairs.” That meant that the boys had to share a single Zed bed and Boofuls got the sofa. Munki and I shared a double bed upstairs.

I quickly discovered that Munki has limpet tendencies. “Oh my God! Back off, child, I can’t breathe!!”

“Nanny, I’m going to pretend I’m a sheep and then count myself till I go to sleep.”

“Good idea.”

“One…………I’m still awake”

Cue twenty minutes of giggling.

While all this was going one we played mine host to competitors in the International Irish dance Championships. Twenty four girls and mums rocked up with dress carriers, huge cases and even bigger cases for their make up.

If you’ve never played host to a house full of excitable and nervous preteenage and teenage girls you’ve never lived. The breakfast orders were bizarre, I felt like I was on Four in a Bed, they couldn’t have been more difficult and picky if they tried. Two girls were vegetarian for three days and then decided they were vegan on the last day. Never in the history of B&B-ing has so much food been wasted.

After breakfast they drifted off to get ready for their particular rounds. As we did the rooms we were transfixed by the metamorphosis of little girls into teeny, tiny, identikit drag queen lookalikes. Every one of them had stupidly long eyelashes, mahogany tans and curly wigs and of course the obligatory short dance dresses. It was hard to tell one from another. Bizarrely, or maybe not considering all the exercise they get, they all had legs like sparrows.

It wasn’t hard to tell which side of the bed the dancer slept in. Want to know how we could tell? Its like the Turin shroud.


The bathrooms and towels looked like a crime scene:


As if all this wasn’t fun enough. Boofuls, full of a cold that had gone straight onto his chest, got a call from the doctors surgery. “Would you like a flu and pneumonia jab?”  “No thank you, I’ve never had flu. Goodbye.”

I looked at him bemused. “Are you sure about this?”  He phoned them back. “I’ve changed my mind.” They got him in that very evening, obviously thinking that if they didn’t catch him quickly he’d run away.

They duly gave him the injections, one in each arm. Over the next couple of days he developed flu symptoms on top of his cold. “Noooooo, not now, Boofuls, we’re too busy.” Poor Boofuls, coughed, sneezed, snuffled, ached and wheezed his way through the whole, full on weekend.

Now that Baby is out of hospital, the grandchildren and dog have all gone to their respective homes, the guests have all gone. The house is so peaceful I did wonder for a while if I’d gone deaf.

Boofuls and I are taking a day or two to catch our breath and recover. It’s peace perfect peace.

Listen……nothing. Aaaaaahhhh.

The Devil’s Grip

MInding my own business in the linen room I was unpacking and putting away the seven million tonnes of sheets, duvet covers and towels that the nice man from the laundry left for me.

I bent down to pick up a bale of towels I was suddenly and unexpectedly kicked in the ribs by a horse. What the fu…..? Fell out of my mouth as I dropped to my knees with the severity of the pain. I turned to see where this horse had been hiding as I hadn’t noticed any horses in the linen room when I went in. Sneaky little bastard packed a hell of a kick. Strangely, there was no horse, just the pain in my ribs that came from nowhere.

After a minute I got my breath back and gingerly carried on putting the linen away. Too scared to bend much in case it happened again.

When everything was away I went downstairs and told Boofuls what had just happened while I examined my aching ribs convinced that there should be a rapidly developing bruise there. No bruise. How odd. The rest of the day and the next couple of days I hobbled around clutching my side and waited for the pain to ease while still inspecting my side convinced that I would see a massive bruise there.

On the third day (Oh, it’s sounding a bit biblical now, isn’t it) I got up to cook breakfast for our many guests as normal, aware that my poor ribcage was feeling much, much worse. By the time we went up to service the rooms I could hardly walk upright. I would take a deep breath, hold on to a door frame and give the staff their instructions. As soon as they were out of sight I would slump down and cry with the pain.

This is bloody stupid, thought I as I hobbled into one of the bedrooms out of sight of the staff. At that point common sense kicked in and I phoned 111 giving them all the details and explained that I could hardly breathe never mind walk or work. The nice lady listened and then said, “Right, based on what you’ve told me I’m phoning an ambulance for you.”

“What? No! Ambulance? Why?”

“Chest pains.”

“No. Rib pains. It’s not a heart attack.”

She asked me why I didn’t want to go to hospital so I told her the whole sorry saga about how I thought I was having a heart attack in April and wound up wasting valuable time and A&E services for nothing more than a panic attack. I was mortified at the time and didn’t want to repeat that experience when I absolutely knew this wasn’t my heart.

“Ok. I’ll get a paramedic to talk to you.”  Anyway…long story short. After a chat with a lovely paramedic I waited all day for a doctor to phone me. That’s after being told to be ready to go immediately to an out of hours appointment. Eventually I saw a doctor.  He told me I was suffering from something that used to be called the Devil’s grip.  That’s dramatic but it did bloody feel like the devil had a firm grip on my ribs.

As it turned out I had torn one of the muscles between my ribs and that had become inflamed. Hence the sudden pain and burning. I was prescribed some fanbloodytasticIcouldselltheseforafortuneintown pain killers and told to rest. Ha! Rest. Doesn’t he know I run a lodging emporium? Actually, no, he doesn’t.

Lashes came and helped me as much as possible. In between tablets and sleep I eventually managed to get moving again but even now a month later I’m moving quite carefully.

Honestly, Boofuls and I have really had our money’s worth out of the NHS this year. We have practically been taking it in turns to be ill. On every one of the many occasions that we have needed help the staff and treatment we have received has been amazing.  It’s very easy to criticise the NHS but we have seen first hand how the staff cope under ridiculous pressure put on them from further up the ladder.  It’s time we realised what a fantastic resource we have there and start taking better care of it.

You couldn’t make it up. Chapter one

I saw this from five years ago and it made me chuckle. Hope it makes you chuckle too.

Tripping Over Pebbles No More

The first chapter starts way back in the mists of time, other wise known as last week when I popped into B & Q to pick up some  colour charts to help me find the perfect colour for my bedroom wall.

I pinned all the charts onto the wall against my lovely sparkly ‘feature wall’ paper and eventually decided that the best colour was one called ‘bumble’. Why it was called bumble I can’t imagine. It didn’t look anything like a bee or honey, it was just a very pale champagne colour and it blended in with the wallpaper beautifully. Just perfect.

Boofuls and me picked up the paint along with a few brushes and various other bits and bobs as you do when you go into B & Q. You know how it is – go in for a screw and come out with a full load.


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Is it me?

Here’s a post from 2012 when life was a lot simpler.

Tripping Over Pebbles No More

is it me? Am I missing something? Is everyone in this little town going stark staring bonkers?

A few days ago I coaxed Boofuls away from his favourite restaurant into a local pizzeria for a change. Not much of a change in all honesty as we just swapped one Italian eaterie for another but hey ho – it was a change of scenery.

Since it was dog training night and I knew I’d be driving later I asked if they had a non alcoholic beer. The answer came back in a dippy, dozy, the wheel’s spinning round but the mouse has buggered off kind of way; ” No, we have this cider though.”

“Is it non alcoholic?”

“Um. No, but it’s only 4.5%.”

“Oh, a normal cider then, I won’t bother, thanks.”

“Right. Ok. Here’s the wine list then.”


Later in the week I was driving from A to…

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…and take a deep breath

Just a short three months ago I was looking at the prospect of a long season in front of us and thinking I can’t do it! I can’t do it! I can’t do it!

With Boofuls on death’s doorstep and Lashes about to give birth and the disappointment of losing the sale of the business, and the consequential change of attitude towards paying guests, the business as a whole and life in general I really couldn’t see how it was going to happen.

But it did.

Yesterday morning we were sitting outside with the staff having an apres breakfast service coffee and it suddenly struck me that that we’d done it. The season is over. Hundreds of happy guests have gone home having eaten a sizeable mountain of food between them and had a jolly good time doing it. I have to say my game face is damn good! No one realised anything was or had been amiss.

So here we are on the doorstep of September. Boofuls is still alive and kicking. The staff are returning to school/college next week. Guests have been drifting away and the rooms aren’t filling before we’ve even had time to service them. An air of calm has returned.

Now we can take a deep breath, slow down a bit and enjoy what’s left of the summer.


I found this blog post from a few years ago. Bless my Boofuls, he’s always been a diplomat 😀

Tripping Over Pebbles No More

Being born and bred in Littletown as she was I suppose that it was inevitable that despite half of her family coming from outside the area Munki was going to pick up the local accent.

It wasn’t too bad while she was at nursery school but once she started at ‘big’ school the full Littletown accent has come to the fore. Oh Dear Lord.


Only last week she was telling me about a beautiful hoe-ass she’d seen.

“A beautiful WHAT?!?!?

“Hoe-ass, Nanny.”

“Did you mean ‘horse?”

“That’s what I said, hoe-ass.”

“No. You said hoe-ass. Try saying horse.”

Quick as a flash she replied, “Ok Nanny, I know what to say: “Pony!”

Clever clogs. Had she not pronounced it as pawny it would have been hysterical.

She really has a a veritable smorgasbord of witty and clever comebacks. Not bad for a five year…

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August people

When I talk about August people I do mean ‘August’ people and not ‘august’ people, people that are greatly respected and of the highest social class. We don’t get many of those at any time, (although we did have an Arab princess once), and we definitely don’t get them in August.

So. What exactly are ‘August people’?

They are the people who go on holiday in August. They’re the ones who leave their brains behind when they lock their front door. The ones who stuff their faces till they feel sick because the breakfast is ‘free’ and then sneak out with bananas to eat later although they never do, they leave them in their bedrooms rotting and stinking. The ones who ring the bell in reception causing us to stop whatever we are doing so we can answer some inane question like, “Is the sightseeing bus running?” The ones who disrespect other guests and the property they are staying in, which happens to be our home.

This week alone we have had a man knocking on the door at 10pm. “Hello, he said brightly, I have a reservation.”

“Have you really? I replied, that’s a bit of a surprise because we are full.”

“Well I have a reservation somewhere round here and I can’t remember where and I can’t check it because my phone has died so I just knocked on the first hotel door I came to.”


“Come in, we’ll see if we can work it out for you.” We did.

A couple came to stay with their son and his girlfriend. The couple, very nice, spent the whole week moaning about their son and his partner. When we walked into their room we found out why. They had broken the headboard, the chandelier, got stains all over the carpet, the walls, the walls in the corridor, the mirror, let’s not even discuss the bathroom. The mattress was hanging off the bed. It took a team of us two hours to clean that room and make it fit for the next guests.

On the flip side of that. We have laughed. A lot. Most of the guests are just lovely. Now we are up to the bank holiday weekend and the end is in sight I’m almost sad that it’s coming to an end (almost). In a few days, the Brits will be back at work, the kids will be back at school. The foreign tourists will have gone home and the summer season will be over. Peace and normality will be restored.

Only a few more days to go and We’ve done it. We survived the season.

Now I am looking forward to September and all the lovely things we have planned.


I’m soooooooooooooo busy!

Crikey! August is here.

It’s been a funny old season so far.

Nationwide, in fact world wide, according to the B&B forums, it’s been a far quieter year than normal this year.  Then it started to pick up. First it was the Scandinavians and the Germans. Usually here in May and June they arrived in July and August. Is this a sign that the season is shifting?

Then we got the school holidays.

Then we got busy. Soooooooooooooooo busy!

We’ve been meeting ourselves coming back, we have been so busy.

This morning, right after service and as we’d just about finished cleaning the kitchen and were about to stop for a well earned coffee, Boofuls pooped his head round the door. “We have a visitor.”  Of course, my first thought was that it was a surprise visit from family but the smiling face that greeted me was not family but the environmental health officer.

“Oh hello! I’ve been expecting you. I’d give you a hug but I’m all greasy and sweaty.”

“I’ll have a hug anyway, she replied.”

Our younger staff looked on terrified and also slightly bemused that we greeted each other so warmly. Mostly because every time they do something wrong I say, “What if the environmental health officer walked in now and saw that? Do you think she’d be impressed?” Little do they know that we have worked very closely with her ever since we moved in, organising Q&A sessions with new B&Bers, promoting her training courses and basically working together to take the fear out of her visits and spread the word that she is not the enemy. We have a fantastic relationship with her.

Anyway, inspection completed and found to be completely satisfactory on all counts, in fact, our fridges were declared to be ‘perfect’, we got awarded another 5* rating.  Happy days!

After she’d left I went to find the staff to see how they were going on servicing the rooms. They all looked at me and said, “Well?”  I just laughed and told them that all was well. They all breathed a sigh of relief knowing that they hadn’t inadvertently caused a problem with something they’d done. Obviously, I trained them well.

Bless ’em. They are so conscientious. I’m going to miss them when they get back to college next month. These staff have been the best I’ve ever had. When Boofuls was on death’s doorstep they rallied round brilliantly.

That’s not to say I haven’t got a whole host of funny stories involving them to tell. Ask me about the instant coffee incident…

Two tone dog is back!

I mistimed our walk to the beach today and although I’d checked the tide times before I set off the tide had come in much faster than I expected (rookie tourist error). There was no beach and the sea was too rough to risk a swim from the steps so Douggie the doggie and I  went for a walk to a local country park instead.

Douggie found a muddy stream. It reminded me of when we used to walk on the moors and he’d go bog snorkelling.

He found a lovely muddy ditch to wallow in and then he pushed his way through a bunch of nettles and weeds, getting himself tangled halfway through so I had to delve in to help free him. He came out covered in those little sticky balls that get tangled in his fur. What a mess. Every time anyone walked past us, always with a big grin on their faces, I silently prayed that he wouldn’t shake.

There’s going to be a lot of grooming going on when he’s finally dried out. Yuk!It was funny to watch and I loved watching him wallow, he was having a great time but it’s fair to say that I don’t miss two tone dog. Give me the beach any day.

two tone dog

Talking of the beach. We had a huge Irish family staying with us at Boofuls Lodging Emporium a couple of weeks ago. One of the family stopped me to ask if there was a beach nearby. I was a bit surpirsed that she asked becaseu they’d been withh us a few days and I thought she’d have sussed it out at this stage. “Yes of course, we have a huge beach, just down the road. I’m surprised you haven;t already seen it.”

“Oh yes”, she replied, “there was a beach there the other day but it’s gone. It’s all covered in water now.”

It took everything I had not to laugh out loud but it got even better.

“Ok, it must be high tide, let me check my tide tide app for you. Oh yes, it’s high tide right now.””Well. All I want is to lie on a beach. Sure, is there not another beach here I can lie on.”

“Ummm. No. I’m pretty sure it’s high tide on all the beaches just now. Best try again in a couple of hours when the water has receded a bit.”

You know, I should play poker. My poker face is BRILLIANT. When I got to the pricvacy of the linen room though I laughed and laughed till the tears ran down my legs!

Indulgence Fest

Ok, I’m a proud grandma. Indulge me a bit while I show off a few photos I took of baby Dougal, Lashes and Munki. It’s beena while siunce I did a photo shoot of any kind never mind one with a new born baby. What a lovely way to spend a couple of hours.

Just in case you are wondering, Beardy Guy was at work while this impromptu shoot was going on, it’s his turn for photos on his next day off. I have some great ideas. I miss photography.