Tag Archives: hotel life

Ibble Ibble omnom


What?
Ibble ibble omnom
Sorry, what?
ibble ibble omnom
Ok. I give in, I still didn’t get it?
I’M HAVING A NIBBLE ON ONE!!
One what?
Mushroom
Eh?
The left over mushrooms, I’m having a nibble on one.
Flippin’ ‘eck! All I heard was Ibble ibble omnom. It wasn’t worth all the effort!

And so went the kitchen conversation this morning while we patiently waited for the last two guests to turn up for breakfast.

Art the moment we have a house full of mostly elderly people, it’s a bit like God’s waiting room. The all queue up outside the dining room door to be sure of getting the table closest to the buffet when breakfast starts at 8.15.

The only young couple we have in come down for breakfast just as it’s ending at 9.15 which means we stand around for half an hour not able to put anything away or clean up until they’ve been. The boredom leads to some ridiculous conversations, as you’ve just found out.

You treat this place like a hotel!


No. Wait. Ok, it IS a hotel but you don’t need to treat it like one.

So what am I wittering on about today?

Munki. That’s what.

She’s got into the habit of strolling into the kitchen during breakfast service and ordering as a guest would.

For those of you who don’t know, Munki is our eight year old granddaughter who lives with us here at the Boofuls Towers B & B lodging emporium.

Yesterday she wandering in, looked around disdainfully, walked out again and into the guest dining room. Two minutes later she returned with a giant bowlful of the fruit salad, having taken all the strawberries and blueberries out of it and left the bits she didn’t like for the actual paying guests. Once she’d finished that – and I’d finished refreshing the fruit salad, she returned to the kitchen, “Can I just have two slices of bacon today please?” If I’m not too busy I’ll generally make it for her and yesterday she was lucky.

This morning we only had two guests in for breakfast and only one of them wanting a cooked breakfast. Service was over in about three minutes, long enough to produce two poached eggs on toast.

Munki strolled into the kitchen at her usual time. Her face fell. “What? Have I missed breakfast? I’m not late!”

I explained to her that breakfast was over and suggested she make herself some toast since she isn’t actually a paying guest. Her little face lit up and off she went.

The only trouble with Munki having toast is that she absolutely slathers it in my home made lemon curd. I can’t keep up with her demand for it. Only last week I made a fresh batch and it’s almost gone already. I may have to start rationing it. It wouldn’t be too bad if only I could stop her putting the knife into the jar after it’s been used for butter. Ugh. I can’t serve that to guests now. If I’ve told her once not to do that I’ve told her a thousand times, No exaggeration!

I think it’s a ploy she uses she she can have it all.

Anyway, still on the subject of Munki:

Her mum, Lashes has been picking up her old hobby of doing magic tricks.

She got really quite good at it at one point but then as so often happens at that age she lost interest and moved on to other things, boys, mostly.

Now she has started doing magic again. Please note that I was very careful not to say she was doing tricks. I said that last week to someone and then stood there mystified as they doubled up with laughter. I’m so innocent sometimes it’s ridiculous. I had no idea what I’d just said.

Anyway, I digress.

Lashes had just learned the old ‘coin in a bottle trick.’ She did it using a plastic bottle and we were all mighty impressed when this coin magically appeared inside it. She showed the same trick to MUnki who was astounded, begging her mum to do the trick again and pleading with her to show her how it was done.

Lashes, in the manner of all good magicians didn’t do the trick again but handed the bottle to Munki, “See if you can work it out.”

Lashes walked off smirking as Munki shook, rattled, peered into and generally gave the bottle a good inspection.

Five minutes later she came into see me. “Nanny, can I borrow some scissors, please?” Without giving giving a thought I handed over a pair of scissors and Munki disappeared into her bedroom.

Five minutes later again I heard a shout, “Why would you do that? Why? You’ve completely destroyed it.” Munki had only taken a pair of scissors to the plastic bottle to see the mechanics of the trick. Lashes was LIVID.

Well, you did tell her to see if she could work it out. You didn’t say she couldn’t destroy it to find the answer.

She’ll go far, that kid!

Tursey and tinkle


Somewhere along the line I seem to remember someone saying to us that summer’s were busy in B&B land but we’d have the winter to count our millions and have a few months off.

I WAS MIS SOLD!

I haven’t noticed any millions and we’ve had a total of four days off in eight months!

However, every morning I walk Douggie the doggie along the sea front and thank my lucky stars. I love my new life and I’m truly grateful for everything we have.

Not that I’m tired or anything but I was chatting to my friend on the phone the other day and I mentioned about the tursey and tinkle weekends.

“The WHAT?” She hollered down the phone before descending into cackles of derision.

At that point when I mentally replayed the conversation I realised what I’d said.

Oh bloody hell. Turkey and tinsel.

While I’m out I’ve noticed that the coaches I see are decorated up for Christmas.

Yup. It’s that time again, folks. Torbay is awash with pensioners enjoying their annual tinsel and turkey weekends. A guest was telling me he’d stayed in another hotel recently and was astounded to see dozens of inebriated pensioners having a good old Christmas knees up. “It was their Christmas day”, he told us. “Christmas dinner, party hats, crackers, the lot!”

You should see them round town, scores of rowdy pensioners with zimmer frames coming at you like drunken, belligerent snow ploughs. You’d better get out of their way because they sure ain’t getting out of yours. Bless ’em.

I suppose it will break us in gently for the young farmer’s conference next year.

Now things have calmed down a bit and most of the guests have gone home we are getting on with some decorating and revamping. I missed my way, I should have been an interior designer. I love it!

On Tuesday we are having a table top sale of all our old curtain, pictures, lamps, shades and all manner of other stuff we need to get rid of.The other hoteliers will descend like a plague of locusts in search of a bargain. It’s very true what they say, one man’s junk is another man’s treasure.

Here are a few random photos from this summer. I think I might get a few together and put a little slideshow on of beautiful Torbay just to give you a little taste of how lovely it is here.

Bye for now folks.

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Bloody hell


We’ve done it!! We’ve survived the summer season.

On the diary I can now see without scrolling across the screen the great big blacked out space that means we are closed for five whole days.

Five days of not getting up at 6.30 every morning. Five days of not frying eggs or any other breakfast related stuff. Five days of not having to smile and wish everyone a good morning.

Yay!

It’s been a fantastic season, we have knocked spots off last years figures but now we are totally exhausted and ready for a break. Since April we have had two days off. Once to go to a dog show and once to go to a funeral.

I’m so looking forward to waking up in the morning and my first words not being ‘oh, bloody hell’ as I have myself out of bed and stand in the bathroom brushing my teeth with my eyes closed and my head leaning against the wall.

Do we regret buying a mahoosive B&B now that we really know what it’s all about? Not at all. It’s been great but now need to slee…..zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

“It was very good” “Damn you”


It’s been a bit of an eye opener the last year or so as our new career as hoteliers has really taken off.

We’ve discovered that guests, or would be guests to be more precise, are totally driven by rating and reviews.

We have worked our little tushies off to make everyone’s stay here as comfortable as we possibly can. We have spent all our time since we moved in making it as clean, cosy and pleasant as possible.  It really does matter to us that people have a nice time, not only for the ratings but it’s fair to say that most hoteliers live in fear of trip advisor.

You know how it works, guest leaves, guest leaves review, end of story. Yes? Nope.

After months and months, about twelve to be exact, of hard graft we managed to get our little establishment into the top ten in our area on Trip Advisor.  YEAH!! TOP TEN!! Hearty back slaps all round!!

Next along comes a review from a guest who left that day. The review pretty much said everything was fine, they enjoyed their stay. Perfect. We’ll take that.

The guest rated us as ‘Very Good’. YEAH!! Very good! Well done us.

Next thing you know is that we have dropped FOUR PLACES in the ratings. WHAT? Why?

It would appear that being very good is not good enough. It’s so not good enough that you will get penalised for only being very good.

Anything less than an excellent rating isn’t deemed as good at all. Anything less than an excellent rating is essentially a poor rating.

That, my dear reader, is why hoteliers live in fear of Trip Advisor.

Get one of those people who say to your face that everything is lovely and no, there really isn’t anything you can get them, they are having a lovely time – and then leave a stinking review are absolutely the worst kind of guest. We’ve only had one of those, luckily.

So. on behalf of all the bed and breakfast and small hotel owners, the  people who live, breathe and sleep their jobs, who’s whole livelihood depends on the income they get from their guests, I beg of you. Please play fair. If you have a complaint, give the hotelier a chance to put it right rather than lie sweetly to their faces and then leave a stinker review.

Generating too much heat


You know when you have what seems like a really good idea at the time but you quickly realise you’ve made terrible mistake and can’t then back out?

That was us a month or two ago.

The hoteliers group hold a monthly coffee morning in winter. The idea is that you put on coffee and cakes and provide entertainment of some sort and it’s a nice social occasion but not totally pointless.

Last month was a talk from a tax inspector. Riveting stuff.

Anyway. They asked for volunteers  to host the next coffee morning.

“We’ll do it”  I heard.

Mad fools, I thought. What? Wait! Was that MY voice? What the hell…? Have I  gone stark staring bonkers?

It seemed like a great idea at the time. We’ve done loads of work and I was keen to show it off.  We’re  really proud of our place now.

Still a few more jobs to go but we have bags of time, I thought. Four months. No problem.

Four months ago we had bags of time.

My, how time flies.

It was yesterday.

Fifty five hoteliers turned up for coffee and cake and to run their critical eyes over my soft furnishing and their wandering fingers over my dados.

In the last week we have ramped up the decorating, furniture painting, cleaning, polishing, and general sprucing up.

By Thursday of last week the pressure was getting to me and a migraine was building up – it was probably over exposure to paint fumes now I come to think of it. I’ve breathed in so much paint that I don’t even notice it any more.

Why the hell did I agree to do it and especially on bloody Valentine’s and half term week.

What a fool!

We had house full of loved up couples for Valentine’s weekend and by Sunday my migraine had me threatening to rip my eyeball out. Way beyond being able to cope and with the cocktail of pills I was taking failing to work I announced to Boofuls that I was off to bed to try and sleep it off.

Our bedroom used to be one of the guest rooms. We have room one.

As I drifted off to sleep I suddenly heard a wailing coming from room two. Oh my good God! Ooh. Ooh. Ooh OOOOOHHHHHHH!!!!!

I thought bloody Lassie was in the next room!

I put my pillow over my heard and tried my best not to listen. Difficult above all the wailing.  Eventually it all calmed down and I drifted off to sleep.

RIIIIIIIINNNNGGGGGG!!!!!!

The fire alarm went off!

I leapt out of bed. Slipped on some shoes and proceeded to work my way round all the rooms, banging on the doors and shouting that it wasn’t a drill and it was time to go. I worked backwards round the corridor, starting at room 8.

Boofuls checked the fire alarm console and established where the fire was.

Room two.

We went and banged on the door and it was answered by the chap, zipping up his trousers. As soon as he opened the door it was obvious there was no fire. So far so good. Bear in mind that Boofuls had no idea about what had been going on in there just a few minutes before. “Have you been smoking in here?  Nope.  I struggled to keep the smirk off my face.

I wanted to save them further embarrassment at having literally been caught with their pants down and suggested that if they’d had the shower on it might have caused the alarm to go off.  At this exact point Boofuls said,  “You’ve obviously been generating too much heat in here.” Their faces were a picture.

Unable to contain myself any further I just walked off up the corridor stifling my guffaws while Boofuls looked at me in total bewilderment at the cause of my mirth.

It was blummin’ priceless! oh, how I love being a hotelier, it’s a laugh a minute.

We never did find out what actually caused the alarm to go off. Maybe it really was because they were hot stuff.