Tag Archives: family


Advent is here! Yay!

That means that is officially Christmas. No. Wait. What?

By the standards of some people we have been posivitely lackadaisical when it comes to getting up our Christmas decorations, I mean, it’s the 2nd December. I know some people who have had them up for a month already.

Lashes made a start on our decorations today. Off I went to a Christmas fair and an event put on by the council celebrating Christmas by the sea. By the time I got back there was a hoofing great Christmas tree in the reception area of Boofuls Towers Lodging Emporium, half decorated and with various bits of tinsel, baubles, beads and innumerable other items of Christmas paraphernalia littered all over the floor, the stairs, the landing, the dining room and the living room. Obviously having got bored with the job half way through, it is still all over the place. She left the reception lights left on as well so all and sundry can admire the glittery detritus and half decorated tree through our humongously large glass doors and floor to ceiling windows. Basically, the front wall is made of glass. Good advert, eh?

Moving on to the dining room, that is in a state of total disarray due to the fact that we are having a new carpet put in there next week and I decided that all the woodwork needed a good coat of fresh paint before the new carpet went down. Boofuls and Lashes got to work moving out all the furniture and pulling back the old, disgusting carpet. Not that that room is big or anything but it was as cheap to buy a whole roll of carpet as it was to get it cut to the room size, so we decided to do the stairs and landing with the offcuts.

Those of you who know me or are have read the blog a few times might have noticed something odd.

What’s that? I can hear you saying. That, dear reader, is the fact that I have allowed another person to get involved in the decorating of the Christmas tree and other decorations. Unbloodyheardof. Lashes had to wait till I went out to make a start without my getting in the way and trying to muscle in on the job.

Why’s that then?

Convalescing, that’s what.

On the one hand, having a major operation in November is brilliant as I have all winter to get back to full strength.  On the negative side, it’s Christmas!  So much to do. So many parties to go to. So much Christmas shopping to do. So much decorating and renovating to do.

God, it’s hard handing it over to other people. It’s just not in my nature to let other people do all the work. If I wasn’t so exhausted I’d put up a hell of a fight. As it is, I just look at it all and go “That’s my job….I’ll just have a little snooze.”

It’ll all be worth it in the end. In the meantime, I have to take a back seat and let the other get on with it all.

Right, I’m going to sign off now, time for another little snooze. With a bit of luck all will be decorated and tidied up by the time I wake up.



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?


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!!


Amazingly he did.

So did I.


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?”


” 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.

Joke of the day

Why can’t you hear a pterodactyl have a wee?
Because the p is silent!!
Hooohoohoo, heeheeheee. Made me laugh for ages, that one!
That was one of Munki’s jokes. Not bad for a seven year old, eh?

Dougie the doggie and I managed to while away almost three hours on the beach today. When I realised it was starting to dark I hurried home thinking that Boofuls would think I’d been carried off by the circus or something.

How did I manage to spend almost three hours on a beach in the middle of winter?


The tide was out so Douggie and I paddled all the way round the coast, clambering over rocks, marvelling at hermit crabs scuttling around with their homes on their backs, searching for sea glass and pebbles shaped like penguins. We found a baby starfish! It only had two arms, the others were little nubbly bits just starting to grow. It didn’t look so much like a star fish as a propellor. I put it under a piece of seaweed for safe keeping hoping that it wouldn’t get trampled to death by one of the many galloping hounds on the beach today. Dougie of course tried his best to get to it so I distracted him by throwing stones into the water for him to chase. I have to throw stones because if I throw a ball he won’t bring it back. As a retriever he’s pretty rubbish. I should probably explain to him again that he’s a golden RETRIEVER the clue’s in the name, really.

The sun shone onto the ripples in the sand making the beach glint and shine. I spent far too much time moving around trying to find which way the light gave the best effect. Some of the other beach walkers must have though I was doing some weird yoga exercise in my wellies and waterproofs and I crouched low and moved left and right, bobbing and weaving while I stared at the ground. The buildings high up on the hill were reflected in the puddles on the sand. Again, I moved this way and that trying to get the best image. I would have taken a photo but my phone died a watery death a couple of weeks ago and I don’t want to lug a big, professional camera around with me…

Wait…what…did I say my phone died a watery death a few weeks ago? Why, yes, dear reader, I did.

But…didn’t your phone die a watery death just a few months ago? Why, yes again, dear reader. My, what a good memory you have.

This time it was somewhat more dignified than last time when it fell out of my back pocket and into the loo. This time it fell out of my coat pocket and into the sea. Nonetheless, the ed result was the same. Instant death.

Still, let’s not dwell on that. Let’s return to our afternoon on the beach.

The sun cast warm, long shadows, the clouds turned pink and the sea lapped gently on the shore shining blue, pink or green depending on how the light hit it. I stood fascinated by it all while Doggie found himself a nice little spaniel to flirt with. people strolled up and down. As I so often am, I was stuck by how many people wear black. It look like a funeral director’s day out. The dark clothes looked at odds with the beautiful, dancing, ever changing light that the elements had treated us too but it seemed like I was the only person to notice.

Eventually the sun dropped down behind the hill and the gorgeous light changed to a soft, violet grey. At that point I shivered and realised I must have been out for hours.

So there you are. That’s how easy it is to spend a whole,afternoon on a beach. A bit of imagination, the company of a dog and some lovely weather. Not a bad way to spend the afternoon.


Munki set off for school this morning,  her usual chirpy self. On the way she happened to see a dead mouse lying in the road. Poor Munki was beside herself. She has obviously stayed upset all day because as soon as she come home she made a cross with ‘Mousy’ written on it so it could have a decent send off. I was also instructed to engrave a piece of sea glass with Mousy’s name  as a lasting tribute.

She can be so sweet sometimes…sometimes.

On the phone to ‘Nana’ earlier Nana asked her if she was playing a game. “A what, Nana?” “A Game.” “It’s not a *insert strong northern accent here* gaaaaaaaaaame, Nana,  it’s a game.” I think it’s fair to say that Munki is now officially a southerner with the accent to prove it.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you all.

Ok, I know it’s a bit late but..


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.




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.


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!







A what pie?

Butter? A pie made of  butter? Are you making this up?

So went the conversation between Lashes’ new beau, The Prof and his colleagues at the school where he teaches.

It seems that they’ve been inspired by the great big bake off, or whatever that programme about baking cakes is called, and every week they have a bake off.

Usually the cakes and pastries are light, fluffy and delicate. The Prof mentioned about butter pie and all hell broke loose.

Is this a northern oik thing? Is it  a lard pie? What does it contain, just butter? The questions kept on coming until one bright spark suggested that there was no such thing and The Prof was simply making it up, therefore backing him into the corner of having to prove that such a thing existed. “Right! Right!  I’ll bring one in for you.”

That, dear reader was when I entered the plot.

” Lesley…..do you think you could…?

So that was how I came to be making the  Lancashire delicacy, butter pie. Although the word ‘delicate’ is a bit of a misnomer really as you can feel the fat forming on your hips as soon as you look at the thing. Nothing with  name like ‘butter pie’ was going to come under the heading of healthy eating now, was it?

The pie was duly made and delivered for judgement. It was judged to be a success!

So what exactly is a butter pie?

Pretty much as the name suggests. The principal ingredient is butter, along with potatoes, pepper, onion and a puff pastry crust.

Just in case you feel like making this deliciously naughty, once a year treat which melts in the mouth and lands on your bum, here is the lazy person’s recipe. You may note that it isn’t the most exact recipe you’ve ever followed.

You will need: A few potatoes, an onion or two, a huge dollop of butter, plenty of salt and pepper, ready made puff pastry.

Method: Peel and chop the potatoes and onions.  Add copious amounts of salt and white pepper.

Boil together until soft with a huge dollop of butter.

Strain most of the liquid off and transfer the mixture to a pie dish, using  a potato masher squish it all down a little bit to crush the potatoes, just  so it is nicely mushed but not smooth and dot with yet more butter. Season a bit more if needed.

The picture isn't mine. It belongs to: https://spacecudette.wordpress.com/2012/01/31/vegan-butter-pie/
The picture isn’t mine. It belongs to: https://spacecudette.wordpress.com/2012/01/31/vegan-butter-pie/

Add the puff pastry lid, brush with milk and cook in a hot oven until the pastry crust is lovely and golden.

So there it is; delicious butter pie. Don’t set the healthy eating police on to me, I’m not suggesting you eat it every day. Enjoy!



What to do today…..?

If you’ve ever wondered what hoteliers do in the winter when they aren’t doing so much hotely-ing I’m now in a position to tell you.

They eat, drink, drink a bit more and get very, very merry. Often. Almost daily, in fact.

Our lives seems to be a constant flood of invitations to lunches, dinners, quiz nights, intimate soirees and ‘fun’ activity days.

I’ve had to buy a diary just to keep up with them all.

Of course we aren’t attending even half of the things we are invited to. Mostly because we are still enjoying a bit of down time after a busy summer and secondly because it would cost a  king’s ransom to attend everything.

So instead we are whiling away our days by decorating, doing maintenance, keeping everything ship shape and catching up on a bit of telly and generally not running round like headless chickens. More like partially beheaded chickens which don’t run quite as fast.

How lovely it is in the evening to just be able to put our feet up and watch a couple of hours of telly.

Douggie the doggie and I slope off for our daily walk to the beach which  keeps us occupied for another hour or two.  And that, dear reader is that.

At some point I’m sure we will run out of jobs to do and then start to get bored but I wouldn’t put money on it. The general consensus around here is that we have enough in the way of jobs to do to keep us occupied till spring when it all starts again.

The town has a different feel to it. More relaxed and laid back. Now when Douggie and I go for our walks we are met with smiles and conversation as the people we meet realise we are locals and not ‘grockles’.

Moving on. Boofuls and I celebrated our 30th wedding anniversary last week. Thirty years! How did we get here so fast?

Anyway, before I start off down the road of ‘how time flies, it only seems two minutes since we…’

To mark the great occasion we decided to take a week off work. The we decided that might be a bit rash so we decided we’d work the weekend and have four days off. Then we work three of the four days. On the actual day though we took a whole half a day off!

After a bit of “Where shall we go? What shall we do? We decided we’d go up onto Dartmoor to see the ponies and have a ride out to Widecombe which is very quaint and olde worlde.

When we got there it was cold, windy, raining and we were almost out of petrol  – the nearest petrol station being 6 miles away, in the direction we’d just come from!

We walked miserably across the car park with our coats pulled tight around us against the weather and went into the nearest public building which turned out to be a very nice cafe staffed by very, very nice people.  A chat, a cup of coffee and a huge chunk of cake later we were feeling much happier as we set off in search of petrol.

That evening we had planned to go to a very nice restaurant in town. Boofuls phoned up to book to be told they would be closed that night. Sigh.

He phoned the second choice of restaurant. “Can we have a table by the window?  No, Sir, we don’t reserve window seats, it’s first come first served.”


“Ok then. I’ll book a table for two, please.”

We turned up at the appointed time and went to the restaurant upstairs. To our delight there was a window table available.

“Can we have that table by the window?

No, Sir. That table is reserved.

But you told us window tables couldn’t be reserved.

The couple are already here, they are down in the bar.”

We were seated slap bang in the middle of the restaurant. I bloody hate that. But never mind, we were looking forward to a good old slap up meal. As we perused the menu, a couple seated by the window left.

“Can we have that table?

Of course, Sir. I’ll just reset it for you.”

Delighted we sat down at the window table.

“Do you think you could lift the blind so we could see the sea view and the harbour?”

No, Sir, the blind is broken.”

For God’s sake, we might as well have been sitting against a wall. Oh well, at least it wasn’t in the middle of the room.

The food lived up to its reputation. Well. Mine did.

Boofuls, who as normal had ordered medium steak and chips, took delivery of a steak that a good vet could have revived without much difficulty. His face turned a funny colour. “I don’t think I can eat that. Well, send it back then, it’s not what you ordered, is it?”

The steak went back and was quickly replaced by another steak from an anorexic cow that died of old age. Tough and stringy, Boofuls once again looked a funny colour. “I’m not sure I can eat this, it’s all gristle and sinew.

Once again the steak went back. By now Boofuls was well and truly fed up.

“Let me get you another steak, Sir. Oh no. I can’t, we’ve run out of steak.

It’s ok, I’ll just eat the chips. Sigh.

So that was our anniversary. It sounds like it was awful but the reality of it was that we just enjoyed spending some time together and although it wasn’t what we’d planned ( or more accurately, failed to plan). It was still lovely.

Happy anniversary, darling!




Prawn Porn

The pace of life has slowed down a little bit at our holiday emporium on the English Riviera. Now we still roll out of bed at stupid o’clock to cater for our guests but instead of there being two dozen of them we are down to a much more sedate 10-15. I can cater for that lot standing on my head now I’ve had a few months practice.

Now that we have some spare time we’ve been actively creating a social life. Well. We would have been had it not been for Boofuls who seems determined to get back in kind every penny he’s ever paid into the NHS.

Firstly, the saga of the broken leg continues.

Taking himself off to bed for a nap, he awoke sixteen hours later complaining of a pain in his leg. When I say complaining, what he was actually doing was rambling like a madman and showed no sign of being able to dress himself or function as a normal, rational human being.

Oh my God! He’s had a stroke!

We called the doctor who was with us in minutes. My God, where we used to live it would have been a case of making an appointment for six days hence. Anyway, let’s stick with the plot…

The doctor came, took one look at his leg, which by now had swollen to a most peculiar shape, three times it’s normal size and red as a freshly boiled lobster, and demanded he go straight to hospital. The reason being that he had a ridiculously high temperature and that was causing his mental confusion and  also that infections of the type he had could quite quickly turn really nasty.  Since we lost my brother to exactly that type of infection last year we were taking no arguments from Boofuls about whether or not he was going to hospital. Not up for debate, mate. You’re going .

Having assured the doctor that we could make it there under our own steam, she left. Five minutes later, Boofuls took a turn for the worse. Lashes, bless her. Didn’t mess about at all, she simply called an ambulance for him.

That was the start of a month of it. A couple of days in hospital, daily visits back to the hospital for intravenous antibiotics, scans, blood tests, doctor’s follow up visits. None of it seemed to be doing the trick. Poor Boofuls remained in as much pain as before as his leg refused to respond to any treatment.

Eventually, it began to recover. It took about five weeks and it’s still not right yet but at least he can walk rather than shuffle and the pain has subsided to a more manageable excruciating.

Since he was clearly on the mend, we accepted an invitation to go to our friend’s house for  supper.  They also have a hotel, although it’s a fair bit grander than ours. “Are you ok with prawns, chicken wrapped in bacon and fruit tart?” “Ooh, lovely, I replied.” Boofuls’ response was a bit less enthusiastic but to be honest he doesn’t really get much of an opinion when it comes to food as he’s so incredibly picky. If it was up to him we’d have pate, steak and apple crumble with custard for every meal. Not that there’s anything wrong with pate, steak and crumble but I prefer a bit more variety.

We turned up at the appointed hour, clutching a very nice bottle of wine. Our hosts were delightful. As I’d hoped we got the full tour of their hotel and it didn’t disappoint. All decorated in a  colonial style that perfectly matched the building, it was beautifully done.

Eventually we sat down for dinner. The spicy prawns were served. I gave Boofuls a warning look. Don’t start complaining about the food.   There were only four on the plate and he ate two of them, cutting the rest up to make it look  like he’d made an effort.

Next came the main course. Just as I like it, lots of vegetables and lovely, juicy chicken. Very tasty, our host is clearly a very good cook. Quite handy really when you have to feed lots of people every day.

The evening flew by in a blur of anecdotes about guests, chat about family and general congenial conversation.  Before we knew it we were a bit wine fuddled and ready for our taxi home.  What a great way to spend an evening.

Off we toddled to bed. Of course we don’t really do very late nights now as we are always up stupidly early to get breakfast service on the go.

I went out like a light. Only to be woken up in the early hours by the sound of Boofuls calling Hughie on the big, white telephone.

Oh no! Poor old Boofuls. I wonder what’s upset his stomach,  I wondered as I drifted back off to sleep. Shortly after I was woken again by the sound of….well. Let’s not go into that one, use your imagination.

Oh no! I wonder what’s upset him? It can’t be food poisoning as I’m absolutely fine. Oh. The prawns.

Poor old Boofuls vommed and pooped his way through the night.

I left him in bed when it was time to get up to work. He did argue a bit until I pointed out that food service, sickness and diarrhoea  we a bad combination and he wasn’t getting anywhere near the kitchen, dining room or guests.

I took Douggie the doggie for a quick walk and when I came back Boofuls was standing on the patio. He looks a bit funny, I thought. Closer inspection revealed that his mouth and face were swollen, he had big purple lumps all over his face and he was a lovely puce colour. Not a pretty sight.  Added to that he’d had very little sleep  and felt terrible he didn’t look at all at his best. He certainly wouldn’t have won a beauty contest.

“I might be wrong, love. but that looks like a shellfish allergy to me.” Mr Google confirmed my suspicions. A few antihistamines and a couple of days later he was pretty much back to normal.

Poor old Boofuls, he hasn’t half been through it lately.



Prawn allergy.