Tag Archives: postaweek2015

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.

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The Curious Waves


While I was taking the dog for his evening walk tonight I was lured to the sea front by the sound of crashing waves.  IT’s like a magnet, crashing waves, I can’t help but go and take a look as I’ m fascinated by the sea.  Since being a small child I’ve wanted to live by the sea – and now I do. Ok, it took fifty years to achieve my goal but we’re here now. Better late than never.

Anyway, back to the plot. As I walked down towards the prom I could see that every now and then a wave would pop it’s head up over the wall as if trying to see what was on the other side.  Not that there was a lot to see, a few stray tourists, a couple who, like me, clearly enjoyed watching the waves, a couple of cars and that was about it.

Still the sea kept jumping up trying to look over the wall.

I was quietly giggling to myself at the absurdity of it all when a huge waved jumped straight over the wall and soaked a couple who had been quietly minding their own business. Ok. I admit it. I laughed.

It didn’t stop me playing chicken with the waves five minutes later, unlike the other people though, I only got my feet wet. That happens so regularly these days that I’m in great danger of developing trench foot. It’s worth it though, it’s also worth the fifty year wait to get here. As I walk along the prom in the morning before starting work I just can’t believe how lucky we are to live in such a beautiful place. It just goes to show, it’s never to late to live your dreams.

Here are a few photos, taken on different days. Enjoy.

Copyright tripping over pebbles no more
Copyright tripping over pebbles no more
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Supermoon and Lunar Eclipse


I obviously have too much time on my hands.

Since we had a superman and a lunar eclipse in the same night I thought it would be a good idea to get my camera out and shoot a few frames.

First I went with Douggie the doggie down to the beach during the highest of high tides to get a picture of the supermoon and the waves. The plan was to use long exposures to get the sea looking like mist. Unfortunately, from my perch on the steps I managed to occasionally get drenched when an extra enthusiastic wave threw itself at the sea wall.  Poor Douggie, who normally loves the sea was most unhappy. Not only was it dark but it was wet and wild. After I’d got the shots I wanted I drove home with a wet arse while Douggie complained and moaned that he hadn’t got a proper walk and I still owed him. After a change of clothes I was happy to oblige and took him on a lot less eventful but also less stressful stroll round the church grounds.

At bedtime I set my alarm for 3.00 a.m. to try and get a few photos of the lunar eclipse. 3.00? Good Lord! First day off in five months and I decide to get up at 3 in the morning. Bonkers!

The moon, very obligingly hovered in a brilliant position where I could shoot it without having to get dressed and find a better location. Dougie, Lashes, Boofuls, and The Prof all stood on our patio in our nightwear marvelling at the moon. After a few minutes Lashes and The Prof got bored and went back to bed but Boofuls and I stayed up till 4.30 waiting for cloud banks to pass and allow me to get the perfect shot.

Here are a few photos from the evening. Enjoy.

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That was the week that was


This week alone we have had no internet which is a bit of a blow when your diary and booking system is all on online.

We’ve had no  phone.  Useful when you’re running a business.

Also, terrifyingly, we discovered we had no insurance cover. We’d put in a claim for a tv and it was overturned. It seems that due to an item in the small print we’d actually not been covered for weeks. OMFG!!!!

Thank God it was only a tv we’d claimed for and not a major claim. I’m not sure if it was some sort of celestial joke that caused the fire alarms to go off that day for no reason but I can tell you that I nearly dropped dead of fright right there on the spot.

You’ll be glad to know that it’s all sorted out now. I fucking hate insurance companies!

We had a gas leak, that was fun.

It’s a good job I clean behind the cooker at ridiculously regular intervals or it could all have been very nasty. While I was on the floor cleaning the pipes on ‘clean behind the cooker Monday’ which also turned into ‘clean behind the cooker Tuesday’ because I’d slopped food around that day. I heard hissing and noticed bubbles where the soapy water had touched the hole in the pipe.

The plumber was duly called who said he’ d come the following day. “The following day?!?” ” Can you smell gas?”  he enquired.

Well, no but…. “well it’s not gas then. It’ll be fine. Turns out it was gas and a bad one at that. The gas board’s emergency number was called and the genius gas man spent a good two hours fixing it while I made contingency plans about how to feed 26 people with no hob or oven to cook with.

While all that was going on we also had  guests keeping drugs in their room.  Boofuls had to have a word with them. Even he was a bit surprised when they said they’d store it at the parent’s house.

Electrical equipment has been falling over and dying like flies. We have about six vacuum cleaners and not one of them works properly.  It makes vacuuming ginormous bedrooms a bit of a pain to be honest.

Poor old Boofuls has spent far too much time this week holding, fixing and re-routing cables trying to make the tv in room 14 work.

We completely ran out of bedding as the laundry has consistently failed to return our linen to us. At one point they’d lost 20 double duvet covers. We suggested to them that we use their contract linen until they find our lost linen and they agreed to deliver it all the following day. Guess what? Yup. No linen.  We couldn’t make up a single matching bed set. Sigh. They turned up two days later at 8.45  this morning while we were serving breakfast. They couldn’t have picked a worse time to turn up. The driver just smirked when I voiced my discontent. I could have hit him round the head with a frying pan!

It’s not all doom and gloom though.  The breakfast order tickets coming into the kitchen often make me laugh out loud when I see the various abbreviations Lashes uses.

Generally we have B=bacon, E=egg, Be= beans, you get the idea, all very straight forward. The perfect breakfast is a FE, full English. Seven items, no messing about with fiddly stuff.

Of course it never goes that smoothly. It still makes me titter like a schoolboy when I get a ticket that says Nom  Nob. Can you guess what it means? This week we also had a Nom Not Nob. Teehee. Then of course we got the cryptic ticket which blew my brain.

Lashes had written:

Table 17

EBTS

FE – no HB/M/Be

OK. EBTS that’s easy,  it’s egg, bacon, tomato,sausage

Next breakfast: I stared and stared at the ticket and the two plates. It wouldn’t compute.  FE without hash browns, mushrooms and beans. This shouldn’t be so difficult, get it together woman!

OH!I’VE GOT IT!

FE no hb/m/be is EXACTLY the same breakfast as EBTS!!! Oh my God! Write it the same way, woman! I was so confused!

Heh.

On Tuesday we decided to have Prosecco Tuesday after we’d finished cleaning the rooms. Our little chambermaid can’t believe her luck! She’s never worked anywhere that has prosecco after work.

It’s not a bad old life, really.

Gi’ ‘n’ tonc dahling


It’s all a bit of a whirlwind lately. Here I am just about to tell you all about Boofuls’ birthday on 4th July and it’s nearly August! 

They weren’t fibbing when they told us July and August were busy, busy months, our feet haven’t touched the floor for weeks!

Anyway, without further ado…

The birthday bash.

Since it was Boofuls’ birthday it seemed a good idea to invite some of the local hoteliers around  for a few drinkies and to make a few new friends. Invitations were sent out and every single person accepted. In our wisdom we thought that we’d make it an afternoon ‘do’ as it was a hoteliers school night and we all had to be up early the next morning.

What on earth was I thinking? This lot can party like there’s no tomorrow.

The sun shone, the patio was decorated with tubs of flowers and umbrella’d tables. It all looked lovely. One by one the guests turned up – heavily laden with bottles of champagne, prosecco, wine, beer and cider. Why oh why did we buy so much booze? They all brought enough to sink a battleship. 

Or so I thought.

As the afternoon wore on I realised that everyone except me had drunk their own weight in alcohol. I’d decided several days earlier that I’d be staying on the wagon for this one. One of us needed a clear head in the morning. I was glad I stood by my decision. Fair to say that Boofuls had a great time.

There was much ribaldry, banter and laughter, the wine flowed like water.

One woman had to be carried home and half an hour later so did her husband.  they run a five star establishment round the corner.  I’m absolutely sure they managed to get a decent breakfast out to their guests as they are consummate professionals but I’m also pretty sure they would have gone straight back to bed after.

The afternoon turned into evening, the music played,  the conversation flowed as easily as the wine and a great time was had by all.  As the evening came to a close, Boofuls and I were sitting in the bar with a couple of German guests having a conversation via Google translate – which was hysterically funny.

Just after the clock struck 11.00 pm  two other guests walked into the bar. Two middle aged, knocking on the door of elderly, ladies who had been competing in a bridge tournament. I’m going to call them Strident and Curly.

Strident burst through the bar door; “Where’s the party? We know there’s a party, we saw it from our bedroom window. Where is it? HAVE WE MISSED IT? Oh Blahddy hell! Never mind. Get me drink!”

Clearly three sheets to the wind, I think it’s fair to say they’d also been partying.

The Germans looked at me unnerved by the somewhat wild and dishevelled looking woman shouting at me and staggering across the room.

Curly, waddled unsteadily behind her on her chubby, inebriated legs, collapsed on the sofa, and in a manner amazingly like Patsy Stone from Ab Fab, leaned off the chair arm, almost sliding to the floor and said wearily, “Gi’ ‘n’ tonc,  Dahling’.

“I’m sorry ladies. It’s gone eleven, I can’t serve you.”

Strident  answered, “Don’t be ridiculous. It’s only us, no one will know.  Just get us a drink!”

“Sorry ladies, can’t do it, we are only licensed till eleven.”

“Well don’t sell it to me, then  just GIVE me the blahddy drink” announced Strident stridently.

Once again I refused to serve them, at which point they took great umbrage, got unsteadily to their feet and declared;  “Oh, we might as well just go to Blahddy bed then, THEY’VE  (the Germans) have got a drink! So unfair!” They staggered angrily out of the bar. 

The Germans, who’d managed to get the gist of what was happening, and we ignored the complaining as it faded into the distance and carried on with our chat.

Before too long we trotted off to bed ready for a bright and early start the next morning to prepare breakfast for all of our lovely guests. Funnily enough, two of them didn’t make it down for breakfast. I wonder why?

 

 

 

May we photograph the strawberries?


You couldn’t make this stuff up! Our amazing and lovely neighbours came round for drinkies a  few days ago and suggested that we start to write down all the stories as by the time we’ve retired we’ll be able to write a book. Well, just to kick it all off, here are the tales from the last few days:

Last week Mr Creepy booked a double room at our lodging emporium. He turned up on his own even though he’s booked a super king size room. Odd.  One person. Maybe he just liked to spread out a bit, I mean they are six foot beds.

“Are you on your own then?” “At the moment.” came back the answer with a little smile. he didn’t offer any more information and we didn’t ask.  We didn’t think anything about it, we just thought his companion/friend/partner would be along later.

Around 10pm Mr Creepy came into the bar for a bottle of wine and two glasses. “Looks like his companion/friend/partner turned up then.” Didn’t think any more about it. Mr Creepy didn’t come down for breakfast.  Didn’t really think too much about it. People quite often don’t make it down for breakfast.

After we’d finished service, Boofuls was sitting at his desk and watching the CCTV monitors – as he does. You have to love cctv. Boofuls was watching and calling me in a stage whisper: “Be quick! Look! LOOK! LOOKA’ THAT! He’s ‘ad two women in their all night.” Boofuls watched with incredulity as Mr Creepy sneaked two young, attractive black girls out of his room and into his car.

Mr Creepy came to hand in his room key. Boofuls asked him in a completely deadpan manner if he’d enjoyed his stay. Mr Creepy smirked and ensured him that he had indeed enjoyed his stay. *shudder*

As the summer has progressed we’ve discovered that our garden provides an abundance of luverley fruit. Strawberries are growing faster than we can pick them and now the blackberries, raspberries and plums are joining in. We’ve got so much fruit I’ve had to start making jam. First I made some jam with the rhubarb. It was delicious, if I do say so myself. We put it out on the breakfast display along with a bowlful of strawberries freshly picked from the garden that morning.  Obviously we told all the guests that they were our own. Well. What a to do that caused.

The chinese people wanted to photograph the strawberry plants in the garden.  They were told that they could go into the garden directly after breakfast ( the real reason for that being that Lashes had time to puck up the poo from the lawn).

The Chinese family finished their breakfast as fast as they could and then asked us  if it was ok to go to the garden now. They were almost bouncing in their seats with excitement.   Lashes escorted them round to the garden and they oo-ed and ah-ed and photographed every single plant. There’s nowt so queer as folk.

Then we had the Canadian couple. Well, I’m going to call them Mr & Mrs Enthusiastic. They enthused at length about EVERYTHING. You’d think they’d never eaten an egg before. The man would talk your ears off and all the time he talked he laughed and enthused and cheered up everyone in the room – except for the old couple who sit quietly at the back. I could tell he pissed them right off.

That brings me nicely to last night. Boofuls and I had been out for most of the day. We’d gone to Cockington Country Park with Douggie the Doggie for afternoon tea. Then we went out for an early dinner at a local steak house and after that we went to the theatre courtesy of Lashes and an early father’s day gift. Thanks, Lashes.

All of this of course meant that Lashes was holding the fort back at the hotel. At some point in the evening one of the guests, a young man, came down to ask how to get on the internet. Lashes showed him but he seemed not to understand her instructions. “Come on, I’ll show you where your instructions are” and she followed him up to his room.

Ladies and gentlemen. This is the point where we have to decide if there was any ulterior motive on the part of the couple. The jury is still out. You decide based on the testimony I am about to give you.

Lashes followed the man into the room. At this point a lady’s voice cried out from the bathroom, “Excuse me!” Lashes turned round to apologise for disturbing them, only to be greeted with an eyeful of stark naked female. “I’m so sorry!” Lashes said as she turned away and hurriedly showed the man the internet instructions before leaving  the room as fast as was humanly possible. The man seemed unperturbed by the whole event and the woman continued with her ablutions. Poor old Lashes was mortified. However, I must ask: If you were in a hotel bathroom and a stranger walked into your room, would you not just close the bathroom door rather than stand there stark bollock naked? Add to that the fact that the lady in question spoke and caused Lashes to turn round makes me feel that the there was more to this close encounter than meets the eye. Again. There’s nowt so queer as folk.

So there we are.  It’s often knackering, it’s frustrating, it’s challenging but it’s never boring being in the hotel trade.

Fancy a quickie?


Have you got a mo? I’ll quickly fill you in on what’s been happening at Boofuls Towers Boutique Guest House. Last week we got through 45 pounds of bacon and 45 pounds of sausages, hundreds of eggs and many, many changes of bedding. That’s what’s been going on.  We had to do an emergency bedding shop and spend £650 at Dunelm to restock before the next guests arrived. It’s fair to say the season has started with a vengeance.

I thought they were joking when these seasoned hoteliers told us to brace ourselves for a 16 hour working day. Smart arses, I thought. Trying to scare the newbies. How wrong can you be?

It’s non stop from the second my feet hit the floor at 6.30 in the morning till the minute I lay my head down to sleep around 11pm. I’ve worked out that if I don’t roll out of bed and get straight into the shower then the shower doesn’t happen because before I know it it’s bedtime again.

Once we’ve cooked and served breakfast then we clean the kitchen and dining room. Lashes and me then go and service the rooms, then we can start on the washing. Then the guests start to arrive and we spend we next little while settling them in and getting a bite to eat. Then one of us mans the bar while I get on with prepping the next day’s breakfast.

Boofuls spends his days being handyman, receptionist, telephonist, waiter, and anything else that comes up on a daily basis. Boring it is not. Don’t take all that as meaning we aren’t enjoying ourselves because we’re having a ball! Jus for now though, we have a quiet few days to regroup and recharge our batteries. Bliss.  I might even fins the time to get to Exeter to get my phone fixed after dropping it down the loo. I’ve been without it for three weeks now.

Munki is settling in a her new school. The other day she came in and asked us how to say ‘ball’. lashes looked at her a bit bemused and said ‘ball’ how else can you say it?

Well, it would appear that there is more then one way. Munki told her that her teacher pronounces it as ‘bawl’ and so does the man next door. Once we sat and thought about it we realised that we would say it more like ‘barl.’ Munich’s accent has been changing by the day. Suddenly she has become terribly well spoken. I love it!

Right. That’s the end of the quickie. I’m off to put the washing machine on for the umpteenth time today. Have a great day, folks.

Sunday Morning


It’s a peaceful Sunday today. A light misty rain is falling and it feels calm and relaxed.

As you’ve probably guessed, we have no guests in at the moment. It’s been a scarily quiet week, let’s hope we don’t get too many of those.

On the plus side, we’ve got loads of jobs done. The awful smoked glass, light sucking in an already dark room, mirrors have come off the pillars in the dining room. It used to be a coaching hotel here with 30 bedrooms. You know, the pile ’em high and sell ’em cheap  type of hotel. The dining room/bar/dance floor were all located in the basement.

Some years ago a wise person decided to halve the number of rooms. Now we have 15 large and comfortable letting rooms of which Boofuls and I use one and three others are used for storage. What the wise person didn’t do though was change the basement. It still has its 1970’s brown mirror wall, its brick wall and its dark, mirrors on the pillars, along with the shiny white and pink 1980’s bedroom paper which adorns the walls and the, make your eyeballs roll round in your head, busy hotel carpet which is probably at least thirty years old but has another thirty years left in it.

It’s fair to say that the dining room is my least favourite place in the entire house.

We have got rid of the twee burgundy and pink tablecloths and the frilly,  more than a little bit dirty net curtains. Boofuls has moved the kitchen worktop from its previous position in the middle of the dining room to make an actual bar with it as there wasn’t one in the ACTUAL bar. It already looks a whole lot better and this week it’s going to get the paintbrush treatment. I’m looking forward to that.

I really should be taking before and after photographs shouldn’t I? The trouble is that all may cameras are still in storage. we’ve been over several times to get things out but still haven’t been able to get as far as the cameras. I only got my clothes last week.

Talking of last week: I only went and dropped my phone down the loo. I never put my phone in my back pocket but on this occasion I did. I  completely forgot about it and down it went. Before rather than after the onset of micturition you’ll be glad to know. Even though I fished it out, dried it off and put it straight into a bowl of silica, my poor phone has died. All I can get from it now is a picture imploring me to plug it in to iTunes. When I do it tells me it has an unknown error. It’s not unknown to me – I know exactly what the error was.

Ok. That’s enough chat. Time to get the dog walked and then get back to the painting. have a nice day y’all.

Aaaaaaarrrr


We’ve done it!  Young farmer’s week has finished. Actually, that was well over a week ago but this is the first chance I’ve had to tell you about it so pretend it’s about ten days ago. *going back in time * wOOooOOooOO Our group of twenty three  young farmers, male and female descended about two hours earlier than expected on Friday. Rowdy lot. I opened the front door to see one chap bending over and with half his arse on show. He looked like a baboon. Actually, he kind of acted like one too.

I invited them down into the bar to fill in their registration forms. They didn’t need asking twice. Lashes was in her element. She ran the bar and ran the farmers with military precision. Don’t mess with Lashes in barmaid mode. She was a natural. Funny, efficient and definitely in control.  Boofuls and I pretty much left her to it.

At one point I went in to hear her telling one of them off while he gazed at her all doe eyed and agreeing to behave. One in particular took a  massive shine to here. Every time he looked at her he blushed – and he looked at her a lot. He’d have agreed to anything she said. At one point I walked into the bar to find two farmers dressed as hula girls with multi coloured grass skirts and leis asking Lashes to dye their hair blonde. She was happy to oblige. Half an hour later they were sat drinking beer in the bar with shower caps on their heads as the dye took.  I pretended I hadn’t seen anything, turned round and left. I did however fall about laughing when they came back to show off their new ‘do’s’,  both of them a fetching shade of ginger! Apparently the girlfriend of one of them wasn’t best pleased.

On the second night Lashes was busily making pitchers of cocktails for them all and  I popped a bowl of peanuts on the bar in between washing glasses and generally keeping order. “Nuts! Nuts! These nuts contain nuts!” They didn’t hang around for long. The farmers devoured them instantly. Ten minutes later Lashes came looking for me. “Mum. We might have an issue. One of the farmers has eaten the nuts and is going bright red.” “Oh crap!” I went in to see for myself. Sure enough, this young farmer was going blotchier and redder as I watched.  “Giles, are you allergic to nuts?” He answered me  with a negative. “I’ve been eating nuts all my life, I’m not allergic to them.” Hhhmmm I begged to differ. While we were having the conversation one of his friends had picked up a peanut and was writing on Giles with it to see if he could get his name to come up in red.  Bloody hell! Friends like that you don’t need. As a precaution I phoned 111 for advice. After waiting on the phone for ten minutes I decided that if anaphylaxis was going to strike him down it would have already done it so I gave up. After half and hour or so the redness started to subside, with the help of some ice packs and a lot of fussing from Lashes and myself. I thing Giles quite liked all the attention.

The doorbell rang in the early hours more times than I could count. Of course every time it ran I had to get up to answer it. They’d either forgotten their key, had left it with their room mate or  were simply too drunk to manage the lock. I went to reception for about the eighteenth time one night. It was about 3.00 a.m.  A female guest was standing there with the door wide open.  I confess I may have suffered sense of humour failure at that point   “Are you bloody kidding me? What did you ring the bloody bell for?” The girl looked at me horrified. “I didn’t.” Her companion,  Spiderman – complete with mask, put his head down and quickly walked off . “See you then.” Culprit found.

The only time I got really annoyed though was when I realised that one of them had learnt how to disable the automatic lock on the door and left it unlocked all night. I was totally unimpressed with that. Luckily Boofuls caught her red handed the next day and registered our discontent. I think she may have got the message. Doorbells, doorbells, bloody doorbells at all hours of the day and night. I got about three hours sleep a night – when I finally got to sleep on Saturday, Boofuls then decided to start snoring. After all that I was expected to get up at 6.30 to cook breakfast for 23!

When we went in to service the rooms  we walked into one room to find half a dozen condoms on the floor. “OH NO!”  Closer inspection revealed that there had obviously been no women involved with these condoms. It turned out that the lads had been blowing them up with the hairdryer. I can only wonder why.

A hotel in town got spray painted.  A bar in town was closed for the evening after a tosser made threats. It was noisy, rude, lewd and awful. Doors banged, voices were raised. Friends were sneaked in to our hotel, much alcohol was consumed – including quite a bit in our own bar.

Now we are all so tired our eyes are looking at each other. The farmers are leaving in the morning and I can tell you without any shadow of a doubt that they won’t be coming back. We will belonging the 40% of local hoteliers who won’t touch them with a barge pole.

*Back to present day* WOOooOOooOOO

Since then we have have had a full hotel of real guests and done a comparison.  It was so much nicer. The people were lovely and polite and  didn’t keep us awake all night. Even though Boofuls did have to sit in the bar with one chap and discuss Iraqi politics all night. We didn’t feel like we were under siege. It was exactly how we thought it would be and we all enjoyed it immensely.  Have we changed our minds about taking the farmers again next time now that we’ve had time to reflect on it ? Nope.  My nerves wouldn’t stand it.

Well that was an interesting week


We  took the no vacancies sign off the door and we opened the doors for business this week.

Blimey.

Our very first guests, two business men on a one night stay, turned up at the appointed hour. We fawned and faffed over them like they were royalty. They must have wondered what the hell was going on.

Bright and early for breakfast I got everything ready. Boofuls and Lashes fluttered around nervously while I paced up and down the kitchen and barked at anyone who came too close.

How many times have I cooked breakfasts for many people at once? Hundreds. Have I flapped about it? No. Yet here I was a total nervous wreck. All I had left to cook was the eggs. The rest of the full English  was ready to be plated up. Bob came in with their order.

Poached eggs! Fecking poached eggs!  Not only that they wanted tinned tomatoes and I’d cooked fresh.  Awkward sods.

Dammit. My brain switched off and I went into full panic mode. How it’s possible to use so many pans to make breakfast for two men is beyond me but use them I did. What a mess the kitchen was when I’d finished. Still the guests were happy so that’s ok.

Off they went on their way. Phew! We did it!

A couple of days later we  learnt a valuable lesson.  We’d decided that once we had no one booked in we’d all go out for a meal. Lashes wanted to try the Mexican restaurant near the harbour.  Boofuls was mightily relieved when it was closed and we ended up in the Italian across the road instead.

Just as the wine was served Boofuls took a phone call.

” Hello, we have a reservation at your hotel and there is no one here.” Boofuls went a funny shade of puce. “I’m so sorry, I’m not aware of any booking for tonight.”

“We booked on Late Rooms a few minutes ago.”

FECK!

We asked the waitress to keep our wine aside and we’d be back in an hour. Back we dashed back to the hotel to find three men standing on the drive. They wanted three single rooms. Dammit. I haven’t finished deep cleaning all the rooms yet. We had to put them in a single, a double and a superking. The chap with the superking was well happy.

The single had been on the days list for deep cleaning and apart from a few bits and pieces it was all ready. Lashes and I dashed to finish it off and put the hospitality tray, towels  etc. in while Boofuls kept them talking. That was a manic 10 minutes.

We got them safely into their rooms and then went back to the restaurant to finish our meal, wide eyed, breathless and shell shocked. That will be the last time we leave the hotel totally  unattended for a while. Lesson learned.

We got back after our meal and the chaps asked if they could have an early breakfast.  “Of course, what time?” Seven o’clock. Oh well, early start for me.

Again I had all the full English ready. Working men will want  hearty breakfast, I thought. Totally faff and stress free I might add and with minimal use of pans.  Boofuls came in with the orders. Scrambled egg, bacon and beans and poached egg on toast. Not a sausage or full English  in sight.Bloody hell. Boofuls and I are going to end up eating a lot of sausage and bacon at this rate. Oh well. At least the guests were happy.