Category Archives: family

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.

Copyright

The swans had babies!

Copyright

We had some gorgeous sunsets.

Copyright

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

Copyright

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

Copyright

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

Copyright

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

Copyright

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

Copyright

Sea mist through the trees.

Copyright

It was hot – I melted.

Copyright

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.

Copyright

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.

Copyright
Copyright
Copyright

Boofuls imagining himself as a wing walker.

Copyright

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

Copyright
Copyright
Copyright
Copyright

Not a bad old view, eh?

Copyright
Copyright

Did I tell you Lashes has a new hobby?

Copyright

So.

 

Advertisements

The kid’s way too clever


“Nanny! Nanny! Come here a minute, I want to tell you something.”

I popped my head into Munki’s bedroom with a sigh thinking it was more bedtime procrastinating.

“Yes, what is it? Why aren’t you in bed?”

“I’m doing an experiment but it’s a secret, I can’t tell you what it is yet.”

That was how we left it, I didn’t push for details and she didn’t offer any. In fact, rather than try and keep me talking as she normally does, she hopped straight into bed.

Fast forward to first thing this morning when she greeted me with a big smile telling me that her experiment was now complete.

“Did it work?”

“No Nanny.”

“Oh, ok. You look very happy about it. Can you tell me what it was now?”

“Yes. My tooth finally fell out yesterday and I wanted to find out if the tooth fairy was real or if you grown-ups just made it up so I decided not to tell any grown-ups about it to see if the tooth fairy still came. She didn’t. I proved she’s not real, didn’t I?”

Dammit! The child is too clever. What to reply?

After a moment’s deliberation, I decided that the game was up and trying to brazen it out was probably not the way to go, she’d proved her point.

“Ok you clever little Munki the tooth fairy is nanny shaped and here is a pound for you.”

Her little eyes lit up as she eagerly accepted my gift. “Thanks, Nanny!”

She’s so clever to have worked out a plan and carried it out as she did and I’m really proud of her…and just a little sad that that little piece of childhood magic has ended for her.

Why do they grow up so fast?

Crazy Golf


A couple of weeks ago I had an itch that I really needed to scratch. As I’m writing this I’ve realised it was substantially more than a couple of weeks but just go with it…Stupid thing, I really, really wanted to go and play crazy golf after dark so the course would be all floodlit. Why? No idea. Crazy golf is nowhere near the top of my list of things I want to do, in fact I’m not sure it’s even on the list but it sure was at this point.

It was just before Christmas, a couple of weeks before Munki was due to go off up country to see her northern family.  The idea of going for a game of crazy golf was floated, “Anyone fancy a game of crazy golf after tea? I’ll be fun.”

Silence all round. “Oh, go on, it’ll be fun.”

“Maybe tomorrow”, Lashes piped up, much to my irritation. “Don’t patronise me or fob me off, I’m not six. That’ll be a no then.”

The itch got stronger and stronger. Every night I walked past the floodlit course with Douggie the doggie and really wanted to go in and play.  It is on our normal evening stroll route, I wasn’t getting all weird and going out of my way to gaze through the railings like Tiny Tim through the sweet shop window. It’s amazing how many people don’t play crazy golf at night and in winter. The course was always deserted.

“Pleeeeeeease can we go and play a game of crazy golf? Pleeeeeeeease?”

Eventually Boofuls caved in and nine year old Munki felt sorry enough for me to tag along because I lured her with the promise of photos with the lions, tigers and monkeys on this jungle themed course.

Off we trotted. It was fun! We had the entire place to ourselves on a  cold, clear and bright evening. Parts of it were a bit tricky as the flood lighting didn’t reach every part of the course. Watching Munki try to retrieve her ball from the water in the pitch black was brilliant, highlight of the evening – well almost but I’m coming to that.

Eventually, we got to the end of the course,  I was tired.  At that point I was still post op riding round on my buggy so being on my feet for the best part of an hour was hard work. It’s fair to say I’d got the crazy golf well and truly out of my system.

It was with a great deal of relief that we finally reached the final hole. This is the one where you return your ball by whacking it into a huge shed like construction with a slope and a small hole in the middle. If you manage to get the ball into the hole you win a free game, it’s almost impossible at the best of times. It was pitch black. No chance of getting this in there then I thought to myself. Skill and finesse had no place here.  I gave the ball an almighty whack and sent it flying into the black void. Two seconds later a loud bell rang out! I’d only been and gone and done it!

The chap sitting behind the counter looked up, shocked. Probably half as shocked as the rest of us. If I hadn’t been so tired I’d have done a happy dance. Munki anted to go and do the free game immediately, I told her we’d save it for a post Christmas treat.

Here are just a few photos of the evening. One of those simple and uncomplicated family times that are so precious. Even if I did have to beg, plead and bribe to get it haha.

Copyright
Copyright
Copyright
Copyright
Copyright

 

A bit of sprucing up


The year is marching on at Boofuls Towers and we have been busily decorating, tidying, rearranging and generally sprucing the place up before this years massive influx of holidaymakers.

We have toned down the pink, shiny, heavily patterned, 1980’s granny’s bedroom wallpaper teamed with mushroom coloured woodwork that clashed horribly with the predominantly blue and red heavily patterned carpet on all the corridors and stairs by painting over it.

Ideally we would have got rid of the whole lot and started again from scratch but since money is very much an object we decided to paint it. We picked out the neutral colours in the carpet and played the rest down. Now we have a nice, gentle sand colour below the dado rail and a warm and welcoming ‘bisque tint’ (warm white) above it. The blue and red have receded into the background and the gentler warmer colours make it much more welcoming. My eyeballs thank me for the change every time I step onto the corridor. My nerves no longer jangle when I see it. Altogether much nicer.

However. It came at a price.

Normally, it would be me who does the decorating but since I have been out of action (recovering nicely, thank you) we decided to get in a decorator.

After making and re-arranging his plans to start work several times he eventually turned up. He tied his horse, Trigger up outside and adjusted his stetson before entering the building. That was my first, second and third clue. I should have called a halt to it there and then but desperate times call for desperate measures. We were due to host a coffee morning for 50+ hoteliers and there were jobs we needed completing before they arrived.

Roy set to work.

He stripped two walls in a bedroom ready to put the new, contrasting wallpaper on. I was amazed at how fast he worked. Oh dear. Another clue ignored.

He put the lining paper on and then went to start work on the corridors while the walls dried in the bedroom. He got all the paint and brushes ready, cut it all in with a large brush and then proceeded to fill it all in with a roller. Brilliant, he’ll be done in no time, I thought as I strolled down the stairs.

What? Wait? STOP!!!!

“What are you doing? My carpets!! Put some dust sheets down!”

He was happily painting the corridors using roller and failed to protect the carpets, pictures, mirrors and any of the woodwork. Great big splatters of paint were all over the place.

His response? “Oh, well. I can leave if you like.” Delivered in an aggressive and confrontational tome of voice.
“Leave? I don’t want you to leave but neither do I want my house destroying. Please put some dust sheets down.”

Next thing I know he’s downstairs, having walked paint right through the house, and saying to Boofuls that he wasn’t going to be spoken to like that and he was going to leave. Attack being the best form of defence, I suppose.

Boofuls, being the diplomat that I am so obviously not, encouraged him back upstairs to continue wallpapering the bedroom. When he left at the end of the day he was back to his winking, joking, jolly, Jack the lad usual self.

Once he’d got back onto Trigger and rode off into the sunset I went to inspect his work.

Let’s just say that the quality of his work was such that we have just paid another decorator £500 to undo and redo everything he did.

It took me hours to remove the paint splatters from the mirrors and pictures and as for the carpet, I should have shares in Vanish carpet cleaner as I’ve used gallons of the damn stuff.

I wish we’d found the new chap in the first place, he’s brilliant.

Calm, efficient, clean and tidy with no flirting, winking or tantrums. Also, no photos taken of my daughter while she lay asleep on her sofa. Don’t even start me off on that one!!!

As for the hoteliers coffee morning, we were left with no option but to put signs up saying “please excuse us while we change.”

Rant over.

In other news… Munki strode into the lounge today and demanded to know, “Where’s your squirtle?”

Not quite sure what to answer to that one I hesitated and she continued. “It’s in this room somewhere. You need to find it and throw a Pokeball at it.”

Phew, the relief as I realised what she meant and it all became clear. Clear? Really? I can hear you saying.

Well, yes. It’s obvious if you live with an eight year old Pokemon maniac.

She’s spent the whole morning creating Pokemon out of paper and sellotape and hiding them around the house so we could have out own private Pokemon hunt. Bless her.

It really boring for her when we are all busy with guests. We are so lucky that she entertains herself and creates all manner of weird and wonderful things from paper and sellotape. It keeps her amused for hours. I have a feeling that this little girl will end up working in some kind of creative industry when she’s older, all the signs are there. She’s a creative genius with a vivid imagination, she’ll go far with her talents.

December catch up and Merry Christmas one and all!


It’s been a long Christmas this year.

It started around the 1st of December and since then it’s been a party of one kind or another every other night right up until the Christmas Day. Along with the parties we’ve earned ourselves a few God points by attending a carol service here and there as well as some festive lantern and wreath making. It’s a good job we’ve had very few guests in, we’ve been far too busy having fun to work!img_3944

img_3941

img_3936

25_02

25_01

In between all this we managed a few days ‘up country’ as they say down here and had an early Christmas with family and friends in Lancashire. That was lovely but hectic. Two full Christmas Days and half a dozen meals out, lots of laughs, cuddles and catch ups. It was fantastic to see everyone but I always get more than a pang of sadness when it’s time to leave. We used a fairly central pub as a base for our entertaining. By the end of the trip we were on first name terms and exchanging B & B tips with the landlord. I’m pretty sure he’ll remember us haha.

On our way back from there we stopped overnight in the midlands for a dog show. Dougie the Doggie and me danced in a heel work to music competition and managed to come third! Get in!!!

Copyright
Copyright

Straight from there and still in Christmas leggings we went for a lovely posh lunch and catch up with little sis and after that we headed off home.

It’s exhausting having all this fun!

On Thursday night Boofuls and I left the last party of the season, high fived each other and said “We’ve done it! We got through all the parties and survived.” Of course we had forgotten about the dog walker’s cocktails at a lovely bar near the beach. Oh well, one more night out won’t kill us!

Christmas has been a blessed relief. We’ve been glad of the break from all the parties! Mind you, we’ll be kicking it off again in the next few days as it’s our turn to host the ‘bar club’ meeting for all the B & B owners who have bars on their premises. After that we have a murder mystery dinner party planned.

To be honest, I was a bit worried about Christmas Day. Last year we went back up north for Christmas business as usual but this year it was just the four of us here in Devon. Would it be too quiet, tense, grim? Nah! It was bloody brilliant!

We changed the guest dining room around and basically sectioned half of it off to give us our own dining room, a luxury these days. We trimmed it up, ok, when I say ‘we’I mean ‘I’ with the gaudiest, tinselliest, sparkliest decorations I could find along with all the new and gaudy laser lights that Boxfuls has been investing in this year. The dining room glittered and twinkled like a magic grotto. Tacky in the extreme. It was BRILLIANT. I’d never let a guest see it. So far as they are concerned our restrained and tasteful decorations are the standard by which the bar is set. Haha little do they know what goes on behind the door of our little flat. Here’s little visual of our Christmas. Munki has grown a lot, hasn’t she?

Copyright
Copyright
Copyright
Copyright
Copyright
Copyright
Copyright
Copyright
Copyright
Copyright
Copyright
Copyright
Copyright
Copyright
Copyright
Copyright
Copyright
Copyright
Copyright
Copyright

Let’s talk for a moment about the word ‘tacky’. In my day tacky meant slightly sticky. When did it start being used in place of the much more elegant word ‘vulgar? One of my mum’s favourite words, vulgar.

Oh yes. I know when it was. When our American cousins imported it into the UK via popular culture. I don’t like it. In this house ‘tacky’ will continue to describe not quite dry paint or nail varnish and anything else that is slightly sticky. Ostentatious, poor taste displays of well, anything, will henceforth be known as vulgar.

Anyway, back to Christmas. The day passed in a merry and laid back blur of jollity and laughter. By the time Dr Who came in we were starting to flag a bit but rallied round for a nice game of Pictionary. After that it was choccies, port and telly before bed.

Boxing day morning rose clear, cold and bright. A perfect day for a swim in the sea. Wait? What? Swim in the sea? In December? are you mad?

Apparently so. I donned the fetching wet suit that my lovely friend bought me as a gift, the Santa hat, a belt of tinsel and some fetching red and green bauble earrings and joined a hundred other swimmers in various stages of fancy dress for ‘The Boxing Day Dip’ Several hundred people lined the steps of the promenade to watch as we all ran into the sea whooping and laughing. It was so much fun, I could hardly stand for laughing. Still I carried on and got up to my shoulders in water before swimming back to the shore. I was so excited I went back in for another dip. Fair to say it was a bit bracing but I’ll be doing it agin next year. I love a bit of festive eccentricity and it certainly got rid of any cobwebs!

It’s almost two years since we moved to the bay and on an almost daily basis I am still amazed at how our lives have changed.

Our lives bear no resemblance to our old life up in Lancashire and every single day I thank God for the life we have now.

Ok, it’s bonkers. Working eighteen hour days in summer and struggling to get any business in at all in winter. Would I change it? Nope. My only regret is that we didn’t do it years ago. If there is any sadness at all it’s that I miss my family and friends. If only I could get a few key people to move to Devon, that’d be perfection!

Now we have opened the doors to the public again and are gearing up for the new year celebrations. So far working has been a lot less tiring that all the partying we’ve been doing. I’m glad to get back to work for the rest.

May I take this opportunity to say I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and may the new year bring you health, wealth and above all happiness. HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Bingo!


It’s official. Munki  now sounds posh. Well, to northern ears she definitely sounds posh. It’s amazing how quickly children can pick up a new accent.

I took her for a riding lesson on Saturday and she referred to the little pony she was riding as a ‘hoarse’ rather than as she would have done a year ago as a ‘hoe-iss’. I love it!!

However, it’s only on a surface level, as I realised recently.

If you live in the UK and have watched tv at any point at all in the last little while then you can’t fail to have seen that irritating advert for Gala Bingo. You know the one:

The one with amply proportioned women  singing Gala la la. Gala la la. Gala la la hey hey hey BINGO!’

Sorry. That will be in your head all day now. Irritating but effective advertising.

Anyway, Munki was singing it in the bath. I was listening and chuckling away to myself. The I heard THIS:

“Gala la la. Gala la la. Gala la la hey hey hey BINGAW!”

Haha. Not quite so posh after all then.

She went away on a school trip week last week. Not exactly a safari adventure, they were about half an hour away but they loved it. Trying to make the most of child free time we suggested a grown up meal in a grown up restaurant.

Lashes of course had other ideas. She and her dad, Boofuls are partial to a game of bingo and have been out a few times to our local bingo emporium since we’ve lived here. I have been happy to babysit and get the house to myself. Bingo? I’d rather put pins in my eyes.

“Let’s all have a grown up night at bingo. It’s not often we all get to go out together”.  Not wanting to be a party pooper, I agreed, having been assured that it’s different now and it’s LOADS of fun.

We turned up at the bingo hall. Right mum, we have to get you registered. Me, Boofuls, Lashes and Lashes’ beau, The Prof, all stood at the enrolment desk. Who’s enrolling then, is it you?” the chap on the desk enquired to The Prof. “Actually, it’s me.” I volunteered and then laughed out loud as his eyebrows flew up so high they nearly fell off his head.

“I’m the last one you thought it would be, aren’t I?”

He agreed that I was and enquired as to how had I’d got to my age without going to bingo. Easily, I thought, it’s more painful than pins in my eyes. I didn’t say it out loud as I didn’t want to offend him or upset Lashes who was clearly enjoying having us all there.

It’s changed a bit since I last played bingo many, many years ago when my bezzie forced me to go as birthday treat. Birthday punishment more like! I remember spending the afternoon terrified of speaking too loudly and incurring the wrath of the assembled matriarchs, or calling out ‘house’ at the wrong time, getting all hot and bothered about  keeping up with scanning and marking my tickets quickly enough to keep up with the caller who spoke at a speed I didn’t even think was possible. The whole event was terrifying and not one I’ve been keen to repeat. How on earth could that be called entertainment?

Now they have electronic screens and you don’t have to do anything except watch it and press ‘claim’ when you  win. Exciting, eh? NOPE!

There are the big money games though where you have to tap the screen when a number pops up. Ooh, that must be exciting, eh?

SNORE!!!!

The chicken and chips were quite good though and to be honest, it all became a lot less boring when I won a tenner. Shame I didn’t win the four grand, I might have been persuaded to go back for a second visit.

It’s my birthday this week.  Happy birthday to me. I’ll be 21 and a few months old. How many months. I don’t know – I can’t count that high.

My natural inclination has always been to moan and bitch about getting older but I don’t do that any more as that’s an option my little brother no longer has and it seems a bit crass to complain about being alive when he isn’t.  So now I enjoy life to the full (except for bingo) and make loads of new friends, explore the beaches and learn new skills.  Life is good, enjoy it while you can!

Flop, flump, sigh, fart


Lying in my bed the other night trying to get a bit of shut eye, and failing dismally I might add, I was struck by how much noise and activity there is in our bedroom.

Stop it!! You have such a rude mind! That isn’t what I meant at all. Wash your mind out!

Moving on…

The dog regularly sighs and walks round the room before flopping down with another huge sigh, sometimes stopping for a loud and slurpy drink from his bowl.  Unfortunately, I’m always on epilepsy alert and when he gets restless I’m always watching out for signs of an impending fit. Last night he did one of his nightly rounds of the bedroom and then flopped down on the floor at my side of the bed with his usual massive sigh. Suddenly the most horrendous smell wafted up from the floor. I can’t even begin to describe it. Oh my God! I turned over and put my hand over my mouth and nose in a vain attempt to  keep the sickening stench from assailing my nostrils further. God. It was horrendous.

Boofuls slept on, blissfully unaware of the gas attack going on in our bedroom. As he slept he snored gently like a little lawnmower. Eventually Douggie the doggie stopped farting and flopping round the room and settled down. That was Boofuls’s cue to take the snoring up a gear.

Good Lord! It was like lying next to a pneumatic drill singing a duet with a cow! DDDDDRRRRRRRRRRRRRMOOOOOOOOOOO!!

SHUDDUP AND TURN OVER!

Amazingly he did.

So did I.

CAWCAWSKREEEEEEEE!!

What the …?

Someone forgot to tell that screeching seagull that it’s called a dawn chorus because it happens at dawn, not the middle of the bloody night.  It’s no wonder I’m always exhausted. What I wouldn’t give for a peaceful nights sleep!

Munki on the other hand…

was in the bath and Lashes was putting clothes away in the next room. As usual, the telly on and she was watching hoarders. Munki shouted for her  to turn it off as she didn’t like it, “I don’t like ghost stories,  I’ll have nightmares”. “It’s not about ghosts, its about hoarders.” ” Oh right. Are they nobs?”

Lashes, shocked and trying to keep a straight face asked her to repeat what she’d said, Munki duly obliged: “Those people, the hoarder, are they nobs?”

Poor old Lashes  was shaking with the effort of trying not to laugh.

“Where did you hear that? From Youtube?  Nob is a swear word, it means you’re and idiot, don’t say it again and don’t watch that you tube channel again.”

Munki: “How many ‘o’s does it have in it?”

“One.”

” Oh. Then it’s not the same word.  I meant noob.”

Lashes collapsed on the floor laughing.

I’d forgotten how unwittingly entertaining a young child can be.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you all.


Ok, I know it’s a bit late but..

MERRY CHRISTMAS & HAPPY NEW YEAR!!

It’s far to say that the celebrations took a very different turn this time. 

Many months ago we decided that it would be too weird having Christmas down here without our friends and family around so we hired a cottage up north so we could spend Christmas with our nearest and dearest.  The cottage was located at the highest point in the highest village in the country. We didn’t know that we we booked it but we certainly knew about five seconds after we arrived and got out of the car. Good grief! Windy? It nearly blew my socks off!

The cottage itself was lovely, not the usual “dog friendly ‘ cottage which usually means lino floors and furniture that has been discarded from the local old people’s home. This place was warm, comfortable and a lovely base for our stay.  It was a 200 year old weaver’s cottage end the kitchen was down three steps. Even I had to limbo to get in there without bumping my head. They made people small 200 years ago! Still, we managed to enjoy ourselves.

Copyright

Copyright

Copyright
Copyright
Copyright
Copyright

Unless you’ve been on a different planet, or a different country, you can’t fail to have noticed that there have been  few floods up and down the country. Well, to be honest, if you listened to the news you’d think that it was only York that had been flooded but where we were was badly hit as well but that place isn’t wealthy or famous.

We stayed in the last cottage of a row of four which put us slightly down the hill. As I walked up to the hill and came to the end of the row it was intersected with a farm track. The wind was so bad up there that it blew Douggie the doggie straight into the road and blew me five steps sideways.  Here’s short video to give you and idea of what it was like, listen to that wind howl

Once our friends discovered that we were back up north, as as they say down here, ‘up country’,  we were getting text messages every five minutes inviting us here there and everywhere, it was lovely. Lovely but a bit stressful, we couldn’t fit everyone in so we had to allocate two hour slots.
The day before we came home we managed to get all the family together (mostly) to scatter my brother’s ashes. In the end we decided to put him on the same remembrance plot where we scattered dad’s ashes. You know, so they could keep each other company.  It was surprisingly moving and emotional. I was glad that we’d taken the time to get together. My older brother said a few words and then seemingly from thin air produced a bottle of sherry, some small bottles of beer and glasses so we could all have a final drink with Rick. It was a fitting way to finally lay him to rest. Especially bearing in mind that he’s been in the back of Alec’s car for over  a year, he’s been to Scarborough twice since he died. He travelled more since he died than he ever did when he was alive!

Anyway…back at the ranch. For new year we had a full house. Among our guests were The Incredible Hulk and Storm from X Men. Unfortunately Storm’s super powers didn’t extend to sewing up her costume when the zip went. Imagine my surprise as I went into the bar to find The Incredible Hulk holding Storm’s costume and politely asking me if I could possibly fix it for her. Heh.

Copyright

We saw in the new year with a few of the guests. It was fabulous, we had some lovely people stay with us and it was a privilege to see in the new year with them. I hope it’s a taste of what the rest of the year has in store for us.

Whatever new year holds for you I hope it keeps you happy, healthy and blogging. HAPPY NEW YEAR!!

Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, How the devil are you?


Another year draws to a close.  What a roller coaster it’s been. Unlike the previous few years when I’ve just been bloody glad to see the back of it, I’ve actually enjoyed this year’s ups and downs. Most of ’em anyway.

I’m not a massive fan of end of year round ups. I refer to look forward rather than back but this year I’ll make an exception.

January: Boofuls started the year on the leg he broke on new year’s eve. Worst new year ever. Me at home on my own and Boofuls in hospital having pins put in his leg.

February: One day after having the cast off his leg, Boofuls and I drove to Devon to try and find somewhere to live after the chap who’s property we were going to buy changed his mind. Having sold our house we were technically homeless. Marvellous.

Also February: Found a place to live! At this point we thank God that the previous property had fallen through.

March: Moved to the other end of the country. This month saw us living in a holiday flat while we completed all the legals on the B & B. What a great time we had, a pocketful of money and time our hands. We called it research but we really spent the month having fun.

April: Now the proud owners of a B & B in Devon. Our new life consisted of cleaning, cleaning, cleaning and more cleaning. Then we opened the doors to the great British public.

May: Wow! Talk about a baptism of fire.  A full house of young farmers here for their bi annual conference. Conference? A three night stag night for 5000 people is more like it.

June: Learning the ropes and a nice steady trickle of guests.

July: Got busy.

August: Got busier.

September: MAKE IT STOP!

October: Phew! We survived!

November: Enjoying the peace and quiet. Decorating commences.

December: Merry Christmas!

Ok. There may have been a bit more to it that that. Booful’s has been doing the accounts. I handed him a receipt from my trip to the hairdresser, he filed it under repairs and renewals!

We’ve just been up north for Christmas. I’ll tell you all about that in a day or two.

Merry Christmas!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Is there anybody there?


Some of you may remember that it’s roughly a year ago since my little brother shuffled off his mortal coil and put on his angel wings. Funny that, our Rick putting on angel wings because he was a little devil as a kid and a proper sod when he grew up.

The exact date of the anniversary of his death is the 9th September. As the date got closer it loomed over me like a dark spectre, I was dreading it.

Ideally we’d have had no guests in that day but as money is very much a consideration I didn’t think it would be prudent to close for a day so I could feel sorry for myself. Instead, I decided that I’d go to a local beauty spot and at the exact time we turned off his life support machines I’d listen to the music we played as he died while I reflected on his life, his death and the time since.

As I was cooking breakfast for the guests that morning  I was absorbed in my work ( it requires a lot of concentration turning out two dozen full English breakfasts with all it’s variations). I was standing at the grill watching the bacon turn crispy. There is a fine line between crispy (brown) and buggered (black) and there’s only a minute or so between the two. Anyway, as I watched the bacon I saw the light on my right hand side change – as if someone had drawn a curtain.  That’s a good trick on it’s own as we don’t have curtains or blinds at that window. I turned to look and of course there was nothing there and everything was normal. Shrugging my shoulders I carried on with what I was doing and the rest of breakfast service passed uneventfully.

A little while later I was in the middle of servicing one of the bedrooms. As normal I had my music playing on my iPhone. The music in question was ‘Down the dust pipe’ by Status Quo. Rick liked Status Quo, you can’t go wrong with a bit o’ eight bar blues. The track ended and the music stopped instead of moving straight onto the next track. ‘Odd’, I thought. I walked over to my phone to see why it had stopped and the next song was cued up ready to play  – on the screen in large letters read, “I’m not dead.”

WHOA!

WHAT!? RICK?

That was all I needed to cheer me up for the rest of the day. As a firm believer in life after death I can now happily say my little bro has moved onto better things. Happy days.