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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…

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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.

A Sunday Giggle


Wonderful translations from Around the World:
In a Bangkok temple:

IT IS FORBIDDEN TO ENTER A WOMAN, EVEN A FOREIGNER, IF DRESSED AS A MAN.

Cocktail lounge, Norway :

LADIES ARE REQUESTED NOT TO HAVE CHILDREN IN THE BAR.

Doctors office, Rome :

SPECIALIST IN WOMEN AND OTHER DISEASES.

Dry cleaners, Bangkok :

DROP YOUR TROUSERS HERE FOR THE BEST RESULTS.

In a Nairobi restaurant:

CUSTOMERS WHO FIND OUR WAITRESSES RUDE OUGHT TO SEE THE MANAGER.

On the main road to Mombasa , leaving Nairobi:

TAKE NOTICE: WHEN THIS SIGN IS UNDER WATER,THIS ROAD IS IMPASSABLE.

On a poster at Kencom:

ARE YOU AN ADULT THAT CANNOT READ? IF SO WE CAN HELP.

In a City restaurant:

OPEN SEVEN DAYS A WEEK AND WEEKENDS.

In a cemetery:

PERSONS ARE PROHIBITED FROM PICKING FLOWERS
FROM ANY BUT THEIR OWN GRAVES .

Tokyo hotel’s rules and regulations:

GUESTS ARE REQUESTED NOT TO SMOKE OR DO OTHER DISGUSTING BEHAVIOURS IN BED.

On the menu of a Swiss restaurant:

OUR WINES LEAVE YOU NOTHING TO HOPE FOR.

In a Tokyo bar:

SPECIAL COCKTAILS FOR THE LADIES WITH NUTS.

Hotel, Yugoslavia:

THE FLATTENING OF UNDERWEAR WITH PLEASURE IS
THE JOB OF THE CHAMBERMAID.

Hotel, Japan:

YOU ARE INVITED TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THE CHAMBERMAID.

In the lobby of a Moscow hotel across from a Russian Orthodox monastery:

YOU ARE WELCOME TO VISIT THE CEMETERY WHERE FAMOUS RUSSIAN AND SOVIET COMPOSERS, ARTISTS AND WRITERS ARE
BURIED DAILY EXCEPT THURSDAY.

A sign posted in Germany’s Black Forest:

IT IS STRICTLY FORBIDDEN ON OUR BLACK FOREST CAMPING SITE THAT PEOPLE OF DIFFERENT SEX, FOR INSTANCE, MEN AND WOMEN,
LIVE TOGETHER IN ONE TENT UNLESS THEY ARE MARRIED WITH EACH OTHER FOR THIS PURPOSE.

Hotel, Zurich :

BECAUSE OF THE IMPROPRIETY OF ENTERTAINING GUESTS OF THE OPPOSITE SEX IN THE BEDROOM, IT IS SUGGESTED THAT THE LOBBY BE USED FOR THIS PURPOSE.

Advertisement for donkey rides, Thailand :

WOULD YOU LIKE TO RIDE ON YOUR OWN ASS?

Airline ticket office, Copenhagen : ( only here ? ? ? )

WE TAKE YOUR BAGS AND SEND THEM IN ALL DIRECTIONS.

A laundry in Rome :

LADIES, LEAVE YOUR CLOTHES HERE AND SPEND THE AFTERNOON HAVING A GOOD TIME.

Introducing the newest member of the family


Ladies and gentlemen, the moment you have all been waiting for.

The one.

The only.

Our grandson.

The first boy born into the family for forty years.

BABY DOUGAL!

So tired but it was worth all the hard work. I’m proud to say that I was there to support Lashes and Beardy Guy all the way through. This was about five minutes after Dougal was born.

Beardy guy and Lashes welcome their son into the world.

A mother’s love

Munki looking after her little brother.

And just so he doesn’t feel left out – here’s a photo of baby Douggie the doggie.

New family

Up, down, up down


Just a little housekeeping note:

I keep this blog as my own diary.  For my own amusement.  If you are reading this as an email it is because YOU have set your settings to receive it.  Please feel free to alter your settings.

Moving on before I start a full on rant.

Emotions have been up and down so much in the last few weeks that it’s hard to keep up.

As you know, dear reader, Boofuls has been ill.  Not only ill but on death’s doorstep. Having been diagnosed with COPD, atrial fibrillation, a buggered ventricle ( medical term) and pulmonary fibrosis we have been expecting the worst to happen. The poor chap has been struggling to cope with just breathing. Anything beyond that has been impossible.

So. The COPD, well, not a surprise there. The atrial fibrillation, ok, it’s not responding to treatment so a quick plug into the mains to jolt his heart into submission will hopefully sort that out. The ventricle, well, that’s been working so hard for so long no wonder it’s tired. With a bit of luck that will recover a bit after the heart has resumed normal service. What about this pulmonary fibrosis?

Dropped into the conversation casually by the practice nurse.  She made it sound fairly innocuous. Obviously, I googled it.

Well, that’s a killer.

Combine it with a good dose of COPD and a heart that’s already struggling and that is not good news.

There’s a heady mix of emotions right there. Keeping the game face on in front of guests isn’t always the easiest of tasks but on the whole I’ve managed it.

I deliberately kept it all very low key. Only immediate family and a couple of friends knew the seriousness of the situation.  There was enough to deal with without the phone pinging every few minutes with people wanting to know what was happening. I didn’t have the brain power, time or strength to be placating anyone it didn’t immediately effect.

To my amazement, people came out of the woodwork. Word spreads fast in our little B&B community. Hoteliers popped in or phoned or texted  to ask if I needed shopping doing, the dog walking, help with the rooms, washing up, cooking,  even painting and decorating.   Considering all these people are our competitors and it’s the height of the summer season,  we were blown away by their kindness. What a lot of pressure it took off our shoulders while Boofuls was unable even to walk upstairs never mind work or while I had to take him to a hospital appointment. I could go knowing I was leaving the place in safe and experienced hands.

Boofuls had to have a high resolution ct scan. While he went in for his scan I sat on a bench outside. A man who’s wife had also just gone in for a scan came out. “Do you mind if I sit here?” I did but thought it might be rude to say so so I invited him to sit.

We sat in silence for a minute. Then he said, “Is it a tumour?” I knew instantly he was referring to Boofuls. I filled him in with the diagnosis. The man just nodded. After a moment I asked him if his wife had a tumour. “She’s riddled with it.” Again, a nod of the head said all that there was to say. Hanging in the air was the sadness and acceptance that we were both going to lose our loved ones.  There were no tears, no anger, no need for a brave face or platitudes.  Just acceptance.  It struck me after that I’d just had a hospice type conversation and the sadness of it all affected me deeply for several days after.

My melancholy was swept away by the imminent arrival of baby Dougal. Lashes was summoned to the hospital to have her  labour induced. What a palaver that was. Without sharing all the gory details  let’s just skip straight to: After three days baby Dougal finally made his very dramatic entrance into the world. Beardy guy and I supported her all the way through it.  25 hours with no sleep was worth it for the look of love on Lashes’ face when she met baby for the first time. We all wept like babies with joy and relief while the actual baby slept through all the excitement.

Boofuls had to back to hospital for the results of his ct scan.

We were dreading what they were going to say.

What they actually said was:  “They made a mistake. It’s not pulmonary fibrosis, it’s fluid on your lungs. We can fix that.”

There are no words, just more tears of relief.

That was the best present ever for Boofuls’ birthday. It was also the day that Lashes and Baby Dougal got home after five days in hospital.   We quietly celebrated while Boofuls and Dougal both slept the day away.

Now that the imminent danger had passed for Boofuls I decided to share on Facebook the good news without going into too much detail and to thank those who had stepped in to help, often at a moments notice.

As I suspected would happen, my phone ping, ping, pinged none stop. Messages wishing him well poured in. Dozens and dozens of people sent messages. People phoned. People asked for more information. It was bonkers. It was lovely to see how much everyone cared but exhausting. Thank God I didn’t do it sooner.

Warning!!  Playground brawl alert. Feel free to ignore this next section. I just need to get it out of my head.

Out of all the messages of goodwill was one snarky comment. I’ve got quite used to snarky comments from this person but even I was surprised to see one about this.

It was from a person who was aggrieved that she hadn’t been informed about what was going on and furious that we had accepted help from others but that I hadn’t asked her. For the record, I didn’t ask anyone, they all came to us.

For my part, I was furious when I discovered through a third party that she already knew about it all because she had read my previous blog post here but chose not to react in any way. She just gossiped about it.

Is that really what a friend does?

When I got accused of emailing the post to her because “You wanted me to see that.” I was incandescent.

Do you really think I have the time, energy or inclination to play such stupid  and childish games? ( my comment at the top of the page makes sense now, eh?)

So it is with a great deal of sadness and a fair amount of relief that I have finally ended what used to be a very close friendship.  We go back almost fifty years but in recent times it has become just too exhausting to continue with.

So, all in all it has been a week of high emotions, swinging wildly from one extreme to the other.  Up one minute and down the next.

All the time the guests at Boofuls’ Lodging Emporium have been oblivious that anything at all has happened.

We have managed to hold it all together and Boofuls is even a tiny bit better. Today is a good day. Let’s hope tomorrow is as well.

We’ll laugh about it in the future


We’ll laugh about it in the future. It’s all for the best. Something better is round the corner. The universe knows what it’s doing. Everything will be fine…

If I hear one more fucking platitude I swear to God I’ll scream and punch the person uttering it right in the tits.

You may or may not have noticed that I’ve been a bit quiet on the blogging front for a little while. If you have noticed well, thanks for noticing.

Now, my inclination is to go quiet when things go wrong and that’s exactly what I’ve been doing but then I reminded myself that I keep this blog as a diary and really enjoy reading my previous posts a few years down the line. Since I am pretty much my only reader, I might as well tell it like it is and then in a few years I’ll read it and laugh about it…shit..I have to scream now and punch myself in the tits.

So. What’s occurring? Brace yourself for a full on bitch fest and pity party.

Well, as you know we got sued. What a palaver that was. We won but at a cost to time wasted, stress and mental and physical health. The person who sued us wasn’t happy at losing and having their appalling behaviour caught on our cameras, so decided to appeal. They lost that too. They decided to have another go. It was swiftly dealt with by someone far further up the food chain than us. This person with the major bee in its bonnet is, in the words of an esteemed judge, totally unhinged. We do believe that it’s all over now but I’m not holding my breath. we are after all dealing with a person with huge issues.  A  year this little lot has been going on.

A year in which we decided that enough was enough, it was time to sell up Boofuls’ Lodging Emporium and retire. Sure enough after a few months, along came a buyer. Searches, reports, mortgage offers, more reports, certificates, you name it, it had to be produced. Retiring is so close we can touch it. The new owners came to visit, face timed their kids showing them all round the house, talked all about their new menus, what they are going to change. It’s all so exciting. Boofuls and I are packed, ready to move to our little house with stunning sea views. Lashes has moved out and now lives happily with beardy guy.

Two days later an email turns up. “We’ve changed our minds. We aren’t buying it.”

What the actual FUCK?!?  I’ll leave that there.

Next, Boofuls became more tired, more breathless and more grey than normal.  I suspected the start of emphysema, after all, if you smoke for the best part of fifty years there will eventually be a pay back at some point.  After much nagging he decided he would go to the GP.

The doctor did an ECG and told him to go straight to hospital, do not pass Go, do not collect £200. It turns out that his heart was beating at a ridiculous speed and was dancing to its own bizarre tune.

Once we got to the hospital they did another ECG and then took him straight into resus for six hours. It was terrifying. Almost a week in hospital and various tests and drugs, all of which failed to work, they eventually sent him home with instructions to do nothing and wait for an appointment to have his heart shocked into resuming a normal rhythm.

Can I just point out at this point that it’s June?  June. The month when hoteliers traditionally get really busy for the  summer season. There we are, one man down. Poor old Boofuls can only watch while we run around like headless chickens trying to keep everyone happy.

One the subject of June, can I also say WHAT A BLOODY STUPID TIME FOR A HOTELIER TO HAVE A BABY! Lashes is due to give birth to baby Dougal any day now. That’d be us two men down. Or to put it another way, I’m now doing the work of three people.

Pregnancy has not been kind to Lashes. She has developed gestational diabetes. What sort of a stupid condition is that? Become horribly diabetic to the point of having to test her blood sugar several times a day and inject insulin four times a day and then the second she gives birth it’s all over and she is no longer diabetic.

How mad is that?

So. There we are. Are you laughing yet? No. Me neither.

Snory Story Revisited


Heres a story I came across while I was looking back at a few old posts. It made me laugh out loud as I remembered it. I hope it makes you chuckle too.

Here’s a little snory story for you

Since weeknights have become a no alcohol zone in our house in an effort to economise, lose weight and generally get healthy, I’ve noticed a welcome but totally unexpected side effect. Boofuls no longer spends most nights snoring and I no longer spend most nights cursing, digging him in the ribs and shouting at him to ‘”Turn over and SHUDDUP!!” Usually followed by, “Right! That’s it! You’re p***ing me off now. Go and sleep in the spare room.”

Peace, perfect peace. I’m loving it. I’m loving getting up in the morning and not spending half the morning trying to get my poor brain out of it’s sleep deprived fog.

Weekends, however are the perfect reason to open a nice bottle of sauvignon blanc and partake of a wee drinkie.

Last Friday night, sauvignon blanc-ed to a nice fuzzy level, Boofuls and I retired to our bed.

Sure enough, within a few seconds – yes, that wasn’t a typo I did mean seconds, how that man can fall asleep so fast is beyond me. It’s like turning off a light – Boofuls was asleep and snoring gently. I’d decided to read a couple of chapters of my latest Harry Potter.

Within a few more seconds the snore fest had begun and the volume level began to rise. Soon it was reverberating around the bedroom and I was starting to suffer from sense of humour failure.

Now you may or may not know that I’m not a woman known for my tolerance. I let the cacophany continue for a few minutes with the occasional “shuddup” or “turn over”.  It was obvious he was dreaming by the twitching and muttering that was going on in between the snores but I soon got bored of listening to it and as normal announced. “Right! That’s it. You’re p***ing me off now, go and sleep in the spare room.”

He jumped, grunted and in the most pathetic voice you can imagine said, ” I can’t. I don’t know where it is.”

Oh how that tickled my funny bone! I was apopleptic with laughter and stuffing the duvet into my mouth in an attempt to not laugh out loud and wake him up too much.

” Well, love. Get out of bed, turn right, open the door and walk up the landing and it’s the first door on the right.” By now I thought he’d be fully woken up and noticing my sarcastic tone but instead he thanked me gratefully for my directions, got up and went on his way!

I laid there laughing till the tears poured down my face and my stomach ached. The following morning he didn’t remember a single thing about it.

Who knew?


Who knew that heart attacks and panic attacks have EXACTLY the same symptoms?

Not me!

Want to know how I found out?

Well. Make a brew, pull up a comfy chair and read on…

There is a lot about this story that I can’t actually tell you for legal reasons but suffice to say that it’s been a very stressful year and in the end WE WON. Or to put it another way: common sense prevailed and the law wasn’t an ass.

Anyway… in the run up to the final events we can’t mention for legal reasons it’s fair to say that I’d been feeling the pressure a bit. One final set of legal papers arrived before our court date. I looked at them quickly and then took Douggie the doggie out for a walk/training session in the pouring rain to try and clear my head a bit.

We quite like training in the rain. No tourists walking all over our training area in the park (how very dare they?!) and no one stopping to interrupt our training to chat and tell us we should go onto Britain’s Got Talent. In fact, there wasn’t a soul to be seen, just the way we like it.

Anyway, I digress. Armed with my usual pocketful of tasty sausages we went to our usual training place and practised some of Douggie’s latest dance routine. Douggie was having a ball while I began to feel decidedly unwell.  ‘Ignore it’ I thought.

I felt worse. Can’t breathe. Ooh, ground’s going round and round. What are these pains? I’m going to faint. Oh. My legs aren’t working. Why am I on the floor?

Douggie, of course, thought I was teaching him a great new trick and jumped all over me while I knelt on the ground thinking  I was dying.

After a couple of minutes it dawned on that I was getting very wet and on the ground in the pouring rain was no place to die. I slowly got to my feet and made my way to the nearest bench, clutching my chest and crying.  Once I got to the bench I sat and googled heart attack symptoms in women. Yes, yes, I know. A more sensible thing to do would have been to phone an ambulance, or Boofuls, or 101. I didn’t think of any of that. I didn’t want to make a fuss. I’ve learnt since that women not wanting to make a fuss is the cause of lots of us losing their lives through heart attacks.

Anyway. Let’s have a read of Google. Oh crap! I’ve got that. That. That. That. That. That.

I don’t want to die on a park bench!

After sitting for a few minutes I  decided to get home and the only way to do it was to set off walking – so I did. Slowly, sobbing, breathlessly and holding onto my chest to keep the pains at bay I walked up the hill to home.  Douggie didn’t once pull me, he must have realised that something was amiss.  The second I opened the door Boofuls looked at me horrified, “What the hell’s happened to you?”

Despite my protestations, Boofuls phoned our GP who said go straight to A&E.  Quick tip: If you ever want to jump the queue at A&E just mutter the words ‘chest’ and pains’ you’ll be whisked straight through like royalty.

Staff swiftly attached wires, took blood, did lots of other things I wasn’t aware of.

You know, we complain a lot about the NHS but when you really need it, it’s there and it’s amazing.

Cutting an extremely long story short. I was admitted overnight to hospital to be on the safe side.  In the morning a really lovely consultant come to see me and told me I had not had a heart attack and was anything bothering me?  They thought that what I’d had was an anxiety attack.

Mortified at having wasted their valuable time and resources I apologised profusely and repeatedly, only to be told that they would far rather keep me in and send me out alive that have me arrive too late and not go home at all. The only thing I was to do differently if it happened again was to not chuff about (my words) and ring an ambulance immediately. I could have cost myself my life.

So there we are. That was my brush with death. Since the event my GP has referred me to a counsellor and given me some bloody amazing magic pills. Has it happened again? Yes it has. The difference now is that I know it is anxiety and I’m not going to die from it. That on its own is a great calmer.

Isn’t it awful that life can get so stressful that your body has to make you think you are actually going to die before you’ll pay attention to it?

.

I know he’s here somewhere


Nothing much has changed since I wrote this. The more things change, the more they stay the same.

Tripping Over Pebbles No More

Mr Douggie the Doggie managed to break the penultimate rule a while ago and was allowed to start sleeping in our bedroom with us. The ultimate rule is ‘no dogs on the bed’ which he tries to break on a regular basis but gets met with a sharp ‘GET OFF!!’ Every other rule in the book went by the board a long time ago. “I’ll never let him on the furniture”,  for instance. Now he just jumps up and gets settled wherever and whenever he feels like it, usually using me as a pillow. Ok, I admit it, I like the doggie snuggles while I’m watching a bit of evening telly.

To be fair, we only relaxed the bedroom rule so he could alert us if he was going to have a seizure but I have to be honest, I hate him being in the bedroom.

As if Boofuls doesn’t…

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