Posts Tagged ‘Establishment’

A Look At A Busy Bed And Breakfast Establishment

January 5th, 2021

The ‘Dutchies’ were leaving in the morning. They had stayed for three days and were due to catch the ferry from Harwich at about 11.00 so this meant an early start to this traditional day of rest.

‘Dutchies’ was the name these four charming men from Holland had given themselves. They were tall, handsome guys with perfect English and who really should not be let out alone! They always stayed at least three or four times a year, and as a result became good friends as well as valued guests.

After breakfast, they packed or more accurately crammed their cars with belongings. As they drove away, we waved goodbye, with B & B smiles firmly in place – only this time, they were sincerely meant – it was always sad to see them leave. Roll on their next visit.

Work then began in earnest. Beds were attacked, being completely stripped and remade, and the washing machine devoured all of this in several loads. Rooms were hoovered and thoroughly cleaned. All was going well until the first bathroom was reached. Horror or horrors – the septic tank was blocked!

There was nothing for it but to don rubber gloves and set to work with rods, hose and disinfectant! If nothing else, sudden emergencies like this turn any self-respecting guest-house owner into a Jack or Jill of all trades!

After about fifteen minutes of pushing and shoving, going from one manhole to the next, and with the hose on full pressure, the problem was solved. The Dutchies had accidentally knocked a disinfectant block and holder down the loo, with resultant blockage. Did someone mention a learning curve – don’t use these handy little plastic containers in conjunction with a septic tank system.

After a rapid and highly necessary shower plus complete change of clothing, it was time to set off to Writtle Agricultural College for the Annual Open Day. A promise had been given some weeks previous to take two of the sheep along as demonstration animals in the shearing bay. With much bleating from the protesting sheep, plus much pushing and words of encouragement, they were loaded into the back of the van. As it was so hot the sheep had their heads out of the windows taking in the air much to the astonishment of pedestrians and passing motorists. This was prior to the now strict animal movement regulations.

Being a typical early summer June day, lots of visitors were congregating outside the shearing bay, waiting in anticipation. However, within a few minutes of the sheep arriving, the shearer and his student assistant were definitely feeling the strain. Bramble, a small, black St. Kilda Rare Breed sheep, despite having a playful tendency to unexpectedly and most viciously butt, was a patient and uncomplaining little soul and easy to shear.

Isadore, the Texel Mule had a definite eating problem and was grossly overweight. The poor shearer was running in perspiration as he struggled to divest this fat lump of a sheep of her winter fleece. Isadora suffered one or two nicks from the electric cutters in the process, and the mauve antiseptic spray looked bizarre on her now naked flesh. Doubtless the sheep were very relieved to get rid of their overcoats on this hot day, but the shearers were exhausted. The audience were amused and had their cameras clicking and they clapped in appreciation. Perhaps an invitation for next year might be dependent on a slimming course for Isadora.

Back home, the sheep were unloaded and relieved to be turned out to pasture, then the van was cleaned and washed out. The morning had suddenly disappeared and it was time for a quick sandwich for a very late lunch.

The garden had been crying out for attention for many days, and it was time to plant out a few young seedlings. With free range hens around, unless a vegetable plot is caged then hens take the emerging seedlings. A logical and sensible solution was to plant the young plants in large ornamental pots in the front garden, which is fenced and out of reach of the hens. Novel yet productive. Courgettes and French beans look attractive grown in this manner and crop very well.

Then the ‘hired help’ arrived, complete with chain saw. He had come to cut logs for the wood-burner and the coming winter season, so guess who was kept busy neatly stacking the results of his labour in the wood shed?

It was now time to feed hungry mouths – dogs, horses and hens – also to collect and search for eggs. Free range hens have a mind of their own, and laying spots go in and out of fashion for reasons known only to the hens (bird brained?)

Late that evening, supper was prepared, cooked and eaten; flower beds gasping for water were given a drink; all rooms were double checked in readiness for a full house the next day and then two advertising accounts were settled. The dogs had their late-night walk followed by biscuits for a bed-time snack in their baskets. Finally, the chicken shed was locked because ‘Mr. Fox’ never fails to check that this has been done.

Exhausted, there was only one thing left to do. It was time for the second shower of the day – not a fetish but a necessity at the end of a hot and busy day. And so to bed with…..the Sunday newspapers. But being just too tired to read for more than a few words, fell asleep. After all, Sunday is meant to be a day of rest!