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!
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!!!
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?
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!
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.
Poor old Boofuls, he’d kick himself if he had a leg to stand on. I’ve got one grumpy and angry chappie on my hands, he can’t quite believe that one little slip can cause 3 months of disruption.
He is now the proud owner of a nice metal plate and a few screws in his leg. It’ll be 6 weeks before the cast comes off and then another six weeks recovery.
He’s out of hospital now and struggling to get round on crutches and with strict instructions to put no weight on his broken leg at all for six weeks. That won’t cause us any issues at all, will it (she said sarcastically). How I wish we’d had a downstairs loo put in when we talked about it instead of shelving the idea as being too expensive.
It was great fun when we were attempting to give him a bath yesterday. Getting him in was ok, getting him out was so much more difficult, heart stopping and comical at the same time. Boofuls wasn’t seeing the funny side though as he huffed and puffed and heaved while he waved his bad leg, wrapped in a bin liner, around in the air. It was quite funny to watch. Mind you, if I’d have laughed I might have got a crutch up the side of my head.
Bionic Boofuls, as he’s now been dubbed, has been reduced to watching daytime tv and wearing fat boy pants. It’s fair to say he’s not impressed. Well. There’s not a lot we can do about it now. All we can do now is crack on and make the best of it.
So, I’m not going to do one of those end of year review jobbies that people are so fond of. I can sum up 2014 quite easily in three words. The. Worst. Ever. I’m so glad it’s gone.
It hasn’t been quite the start to the new year I was hoping for but I console myself with the fact that Booful’s accident happened in 2014 so 2015 is still on track to be a great year.
On a different note, Douggie the doggie has been loving the ice. He has taken to running up to his favourite paddling ditch, smashing the ice by repeatedly jumping up and down on it till it breaks and then running off with huge chunks of it in his mouth. It’s hysterical to watch. He was distraught this morning when all the ice had melted.
The second of January saw me back at work for my florist friend. She had two weddings booked and had failed to develop the ability to be in two places at once. That, and an unexpected trip to Heathrow which cost her ten hours saw her at the point of tears so I went along to help, as did another friend of hers. Thank goodness we did. Twenty minutes before we had to set off to our respective destinations to deliver the flowers there were still ten table wreaths to make and four bouquets. You have never seen three people work so fast. Did we manage it? ‘Course we did.
I was glad of the distraction to be honest as Boofuls was due for his operation and it took my mind off it for a while.
I walked into my bride’s house with the flowers and was immediately transported back to my wedding photographer days. It’s an atmosphere like no other, the bridal prep and I didn’t realise I missed it till I experienced it again. It was lovely.
At the church a short while later with all the buttonholes for the groom and groomsmen, I watched the groom paced nervously as he greeted the guests. I saw about twenty thousand photo opportunities and mentally clicked them all.
Now before you start to snigger, I’m talking about this year and the definition of bang in this instance is a surprising or unexpected event not any kind of slang term for coitus. There’s no coitus going on around here at the moment, thank you. I’m talking about 2014.
On the 2nd january the year started on the tack it intended to follow and saw me being bowled over by a galloping labrador and ending up with a hole in my leg that took nine months to mend. 2014 has ended by Boofuls going ear over apex and landing in a most ungainly fashion which has seen him admitted to hospital with stitches and a broken leg awaiting surgery to pin the damn thing back together. It’s no way to spend New year’s Eve.
Not that I’m any great fan of new year’s eve and it’s alcohol fuelled jollity which all too often turns sour and nasty. No, I prefer to spend it with a few well chosen people with whom I know I can relax and not be on a knife edge all night waiting for trouble to start.
It’s a sad indictment of my childhood, that last comment but I’ll save that piece of catharsis for another day.
No, this particular new year I’m sitting here alone writing this and watching Jools Holland on the end of the year show while I drink the dregs of the Christmas advocaat.
The dog keeps sitting by the window and sighing, wondering where Boofuls has been taken to after all that commotion this morning. I know you’re all dying to know what happened. I wish I could make it dramatic but it really isn’t that dramatic.
Boofuls went outside to the workshop in his dressing gown and slippers. Aptly named as it turns out as these slippers did exactly that. They slipped on some ice and Boofuls landed like over cooked spaghetti dumped untidily in a bowl, with his legs twisted at all sorts of angles that God never intended them to go in.
When I heard the scream I ran outside to see blood spurting out of the wound on his leg. Two thoughts immediately ran through my mind: ‘Broken leg’ and ‘artery’. Luckily it wasn’t an artery that was bleeding it was just (just?) a deep puncture wound. Good, I could tell he wasn’t going to bleed to death on the drive. However, I could see that I needed to work out how to get him to his feet without him slipping again and injuring himself even more. My God he’d already thrown himself to the ground in such a way that he’d injured almost every surface on his body. Why could he not just fall on his bum like everyone else does, bruising nothing but their pride?
It didn’t take a genius to work out that he needed a hospital. The leg was swelling before my very eyes. Trying not to panic or scream at the dog who was desperately trying to get in to help, I was retrieving distant memories of my first aider days. How does it go? Oh yes. Rest, ice, compression elevation. R.I.C.E. Luckily we had some ice so I quickly applied a compress and got the leg elevated.
Now what? Think. What do I need to organise? Hospital. Clothes. Dog. Phone work. Ambulance.
Ambulance down our track? No chance.
I could get him to hospital quicker and easier than an ambulance. It’d take them an hour just to find us.
So. How to get a large, shocked, injured man dressed and up to the nearest hospital? I phoned The Rev. “We’re having a spot of bother.” The Rev came and helped me to fold Boofuls carefully into the car but then had to go and take Gembolina to the doctor’s as she was having problems of her own but he managed to take Douggie the doggie to Lashes so that was one less thing to worry about.
Eventually I got Boofuls safely into the hospital and into the care of professionals. It turned out that he needs the bones in his leg pulling back in together so they will have to pin it. Of course they can’t do any of that until the swelling goes down so it’s going to be a few days in hospital before they can even do the operation and then it will be six weeks before he can put any weight on it.
Deep feckin’ joy.
Timing, Boofuls, timing. It could not be worse.
So that’s our new year. I hope yours gets off to a better start. Happy New year to you.
It was quite a nice end to the year. Not at all as I expected.
Dance teacher, having been sent home from hospital to die, is showing signs of his kidneys starting to work again and seems to be a bit better. We’ve got high hopes that he’ll make a recovery.
The obligatory party at our neighbour’s house was nowhere near as dire as normal and we actually had a brilliant time. We left just before midnight to come home and greet the new year on our own. We put the telly on for the countdown and watched the firework display at the London Eye. Oh my God! It was amazing. Now of course I want to go to London for next year’s display to experience it at first hand. I love fireworks
During the wee small hours of January 1st I woke to see that the heavy, dark and gloomy clouds that have been with us for weeks had disappeared . I laid in my bed and gazed at a lovely, clear, starlit night for a while before nodding back off to sleep. Of course by morning the clouds were back and we’re back to the disgusting wet and windy weather but I enjoyed that little taster of things to come.
If the year carries on as it’s started then it’ll be a good year. We’ve even had a little bit of snow this morning, yay!
Now that I’ve started the new year fat as a barrel, I’ll need to get the old weightwatchers no points soup on the go again. Boofuls is even talking about joining a gym! He’s only been in a gym once in the 27 years I’ve known him, that was last year on a cruise. He lasted about five minutes, declared it boring and buggered of to get over his exertions over a cup of tea and a biscuit so I’m not holding out much hope for that one.
As for me I’ll be dragging the Wii Fit out of the cupboard and getting myself back into my walking routine and zumba classes.
The Rev and Gembolina are coming up with the clingons this morning, after that it’s off to bezzie mate’s for lunch (Thinks: maybe I’ll diet tomorrow) and then that’s it. Christmas over for another year.
I won’t be leaving tree up till twelfth night, it’s been a lovely tree this year but it’s looking a bit droopy and tired. The star on the top has a definite list to starboard to it. Maybe I’ll take it down tonight when we get back from bezzie mate’s, if I’m not too squiffy.
In among the flurry of New Year greetings came one from Littlesis, “Happy new year I left my boots at your house.” Apart from making me laugh at the randomness of it, I’d probably have sent it in two messages rather than one sentence, I already know she’d left her boots behind as she’d left them in the stupidest place and I’d fallen over them twice before I had the presence of mind to put them away
Littesesis is known for being a bit forgetful. Boofuls and me usually have a little bet with ourselves about what she’ll leave behind this time and where we’ll find it. Tissues in the bed is the favourite one.
Just for the record Littlesis (I now she reads this) YEEEAUCH!
She’s can be a bit scatty, just like my mother.
It reminds me of the time (don’t know why ) when I was driving Mum home from somewhere, can’t remember where but it’s not important. Half way back on a busy, rush hour M6 motorway she began to have an angina attack. “It’s ok, I’ve got my tablets, carry on driving.” Was her reply to my instant attempt to pull over and ring an ambulance.
As I continued to drive in the rush hour traffic, Mum began the scrabbling in her bag . She always reminded me of a little mouse with the scrabbling. She was never able to find anything in her bag quickly because of all the junk in there so retrieving anything involved a five minute scrabble. On it went;
Scrabble, scrabble, scrabble, wheeze, gasp, clutch chest, scrabble scrabble. Clearly getting more panicky by the second she scrabbled more and more frantically in her bag. Of course the more panicky she got, the less chance there was of her actually finding anything
“Oh my God, Mother! I’m pulling over.”
” No, no, I’ve got them, I can’t get them out. You try.” And with that she flung the bag at me so I could find her tablets. The floppy bag landed on my lap with a soft ‘phluuuump.’ Inviting me to try and find anything with one hand in the myriad folds of fabric.
Keeping one eye on the traffic and the other on my Mum I steered with my left hand and scrabbled with my right, praying for a small miracle to happen.
I finally located the bottle but could I get it out of the bag? Could I hell. I could feel it, I could hold it but I couldn’t for the life of me (or Mum) get that bottle out of that bag. What the hell..?
Eventually I worked out that the lining in the bag had ripped and Mum had inadvertently dropped the bottle inside the lining. Once I’d worked how to get to the bottle it didn’t take long to get a couple of tablets out, steering with my knees as Mum was shaking too much by this time to do anything that involved fine motor skills and would have dropped them all over the floor, which would have involved yet more scrabbling.
She managed to take the medication and quickly began to feel better. If only the same could have been said for me, I was a gibbering wreck by this time.
” Bloody Hell, Mother! I could do with a couple of those myself, now!!!
The rest of the journey passed uneventfully, it’s a good job really as I’m not sure my nerves would have stood any more excitement.
Life with Mother was always a roller coaster ride, she had more lives than your average cat and I’m certain she used up every one of them with escapades like this one.