Tuesday, 29 May 2012

A day in the life of a guest house owner

The other night at 6pm as I was cooking dinner and OH has disappeared to have a shower having just got back from the gym; he is embracing a healthy lifestyle.  Which is great.  Means that I get to finish my day job, sort out the breakfast room for the next morning, see in guests, cook dinner and answer the phone.  He is getting fit, I am trying not to drink gin neat from the bottle.  

So, this phone call.  Its from Jim*, he is going to be arriving at 10.30pm this evening, is it OK if he comes through the back door?  I confirm that it is.  Can he have the telephone number for the local taxi firm?  I get the card and asks me to wait whilst he fishes his pen and some paper out of his bag...........I suggest that perhaps it would be quicker if I text him the number (as I lift the now boiled to a mush potatoes off of the cooker, burning my hand in the process).  He agrees that would be best.  "I am OK for breakfast tomorrow at 7am aren't I?" he asks.  I mention that actually we don't start til 7.15am but of course 7am is no problem, whilst straining the mushed potatoes and making a mental note to set my alarm at 5.30am instead of 5.45am for tomorrow.  

I finally get Jim off the line as the "chip repair" man pulls into the car park.  Before he went out in the morning the complete and utter fucking wanker gentleman in Room 5 informed me that he had someone coming out at 6pm to repair some damage to the front of his car, this person would need access to an electrical socket, he was going out for the day and doubted he would be back so I would need to make sure their car man got what he needed.  I smiled.  Because had I tried to speak anything I said would have included the words "you utter twat".  He then went out.  Three hours later when I am in the house on my own I went downstairs to the basement, where we live, for a wee.  I came back upstairs and jumped out of my skin - there were two complete strangers standing in the hall.  Having put the front door's Yale lock on the snib to save himself the tortuous inconvenience of actually having to use the key to unlock the door when he went to get something from his car Room 5 had gone off out for the day without taking the lock off the snib.  Considerate.  Having got over the shock of finding someone in the hall, which makes us look incredibly unprofessional - the doorbell is our call to arms - I also realised that by leaving our door unlocked he had invalidated our insurance had we been burgled an hour earlier whilst we were all out.  Its on the insurance: "if a burglar arrives at your property and finds that you have left your front door unlocked for him and he steals all your shit, well frankly that's your own damn fault" or words to that effect.

So long story short, chip man sorted out Rm 5's car, shame the attitude couldn't be fixed with a quick buff, and the rest of the evening passed in whirl during which I longed for gin, took a tin out of the oven using a cloth, put it down, spoke to my husband turned round and picked the tin up again, without a cloth, I cried, ran hand under cold tap, longed for gin, served dinner, longed for gin, fought with husband about the fact that the dogs were barking, longed for gin and went to bed at 8pm.

Next morning up bright and early to serve Jim his breakfast at 7am.  He came down at 7.15am.  Now this is no big deal.  It really isn't an issue, but when you work 7 days a week and have to get up incredibly early every single day and rarely have a morning when the alarm isn't going to go off getting up 15 minutes early is a bit of a pisser.  But a fact of life in this job, it's OK, I got over it.

Room 3 (young couple her: very short, very fat, very tattooed, him: very tall, very thin, very scared looking) plumbed new depths of appalling guest breakfast room etiquette when she hoicked up her grimy t-shirt to expose a massive roll of fat (please note that is the correct technical term, I should know I have several, I just don't share them with unsuspecting fellow diners) and with an elaborate flourish swabbed the area and gave herself her insulin shot, complete with gasp and sharply inhaled breath lest anyone had missed her cracking out her Greggs' legacy.   

And then finally at 8.15am breakfast was finished. Breakfast room cleared down, lights off.   At 8.30am Room 5 and his wife appeared and sauntered into the breakfast room.  When I explained that sorry but we had finished breakfast he suddenly turned into "angry thug".  You know that chest-puff thing that aggressive men do to one another, arms out to the side, chest pushed forward fronting up to one another like rutting stags? That.  At me.  In my own home.  I was tempted believe you me, but the little voice in the back of my head kept saying "Trip Advisor, just remember Trip Advisor" so I smiled (again, same reason) and offered them tea and toast, which they accepted with the good grace of a pair of stroppy two year olds and then left, having had half a cup of tea and half a slice of toast.  Sometimes I want gin before 9am you know.  But I can't because at 9am I start my day job......

One day all of this might find its way into a book, this was a genuine period of 6pm one evening to 8.45am the following morning, not even a full 24 hours and this sort of stuff happens day in day out.  Remind me to tell you about Mr English, Idiot Boy and Knobber sometime.

*I changed his name. His real name is Ben.

Thursday, 24 May 2012

Lancome Baume Eclat Cleanser

You may know that I have been a fan of Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish for ages.  I also love a balm cleanser and I am powerless to resist anything that Caroline Hirons suggests - I have ditched my muslin cloths and stocked up on flannels for example!   

For me using a cloth and water, irrespective of the type of cloth, has made the most almighty changes to the clarity and tone of my skin.  For years I was convinced that my skin was "affected" by water so I used tissue of cleansers.  Very luckily I also wore very little make up or my skin would have been in a shocking state.  I suffered from red, blotchy skin that was very dry and reactive.  I genuinely think using a cloth and a proper, wash off (non-foaming, god forbid) cleanser has eradicated pretty much all the redness and my skin is way less reactive.  I love the feel of a balm cleanser they are so comforting to use and generally smell divine.  In the past I had used the Botanics balm cleanser which I liked although more knowledgeable bloggers didn't, I suspect that now I know a little more about balm cleansers I wouldn't either if I was to try it again.  I also tried the Champneys cleansing balm, twice.  Lord knows why.  The first time I bought it I loved the smell but loathed the texture, it was really gritty and scrubby and not at all what I wanted from a daily use cleanser.  Quite why I bought it again is beyond me, I think I wanted to try a balm cleanser again but still don't have the necessary spends to go for broke and buy the much raved about Emma Hardie balm cleanser, one day when I have £40 and absolutely nothing else on my wish list I just might!  This time it was gritty and horribly oily, I ended up using it as a bit of a body scrub.  I was aware that neither cleanser really emulsified which is apparently what you are seeking ideally in a cleanser.  Initially it should be an oil on your face to draw out oils and loosen your make up and then, with the addition of water, it should turn into a milk that can be easily wiped off with a flannel leaving no greasy, waxy residue, apparently.  I am only repeating what I have read from very much more knowledgeable people here!

As I was flying to Cornwall I decided that I'd have a bit of a google for a Balm cleanser and see if I could find one that I could purchase in Duty Free.  After a good old search the one that seemed to tick all my boxes - easily available, not stupidly expensive and more importantly actually sited in its details the transition from oil to milk - was Lancome Baume Eclat.  You can imagine how disappointed I was that they didn't have it in Duty Free!  Luckily it was on the Lancome counter in Boots later in the week so I nabbed one.

The cleanser comes in a tube with a flip top so no tricky messing with lids, or un-hygenic dunking of mucky fingers to contend with.  When you squeeze it from the tube its a very pretty pearlised gel.  I have found that you need about a pea sized amount for a normal face full of slap, unless you have a super huge face!  

Because I wear make up like a clown! (note Sleek mattes - post to follow!)

You apply it with dry hands to your dry face and massage it in, very quickly it turns to oil and quite literally dissolves  your make up.
I do use this on my eyes but a word of caution, this stuff stings like a bitch.  For ages. So used with caution on the eye area!!  Whilst I am massaging in the cleanser, which smells lovely btw, I am running the hot tap with my flannel sat in the sink.  

Once my make up has smeared all over my face I dampen my hands and massage again to turn the oil into milk, this bit gets drippy! 

Then I wring out my now nice and hot flannel, open it out fully and slap it onto my face.  I kid you not, this feels like heaven and you can feel the day slipping away.  I have a good rub around with the flannel, rinse, wring and repeat.  Sometimes for ages it feels that good!  When I have finished cleansing my face looks bloody amazing.  Really clear, even toned, un-blotchy happy skin.  

It then gets my night routine, which reminds me the Avene Ystheal that I reviewed here has now all gone.  I have used it every evening and my skin has completely loved it, couple of pumps of this smoothed in and allowed to soak in and then a smidge of Dr Nick Lowe The Secrets Out night cream, which I am still crazy about, also about to run out and again also about to be replaced - I am on my second bottle of the serum and the day cream is due to be replaced very soon too, loving this whole range too for mature skin that needs some proper help. Those of you that follow me on twitter may have seen panic stricken tweets about my hideously spotty face.   I was really concerned it was the cleanser causing the problems. Turns out it was a combination of time of the month and a nasty reaction to some medication that I have been taking long term.  Phew!  Would have been so upset if I couldn't use this as I love how it works.

This costs £20 and I bought mine from Boots and I would recommend it happily!

Friday, 18 May 2012

Stuff I have to blog about

This is my way of ensuring that I stop ignoring this poor little blog!  I have the following that you need to know about:

Lancome Baume Eclat cleanser
Dior Extreme lipstick
Tresemme split end repair
Laura Mercier blush
Sleek Matte eye shadow palette
UD Straydog eye shadow
Glass nail files with Swarovski crystals

And probably a couple of other bits too.  You have my word dear reader that some, if not all, of these things will be blogged about next week.  Thanks for bearing with me.

In the meantime here's a cute baby photo from the shoot I did last week.
I shoot, she eats leaves.

Sorry couldn't resist! Isn't she adorable and clearly enjoying the tastiest leaf ever.

Monday, 14 May 2012

Shit my parents say

It's my birthday today and as usual my Mum has just rung to wish me Happy Birthday.  The call started as usual with her singing a rattle-trap version of Happy Birthday, always hilarious in itself.  She then said "I can't believe your are 46, that's so old, are you sure you aren't 36 or 26?" Way to make me feel really good mum! 

So I told her that what I am hating about 46 is how near it is to 50 and that even by the most conservative of estimates when you hit 50 you have definitely had more than half your life, to which she replied "God yes, in fact its way more than half your life, realistically 45 is half your life so actually you have already had half".  Bloody hell!  

She mentioned that she wasn't loving 66, but hoped that 67 would be much better, then she paused and said "What year is it?" When I told her 2012 she said "shit, I'm already 67 - well thats blown that theory"  Seriously you couldn't make this up!

And then, she walked with the phone to find my Dad so he could wish me a Happy Birthday "Ron, say Happy Birthday to Debbie" and from my end of the phone I heard *big spitting sound* "Happy Birthday Debbie" like an Italian father forced to acknowledge the child he loathed!  Apparently he was cleaning his teeth and had to spit out toothpaste before he could speak!!  

Mum and Dad, you have cracked me up today thank you! xxx

Sunday, 13 May 2012

I've been away!

But am back, sorry for the lack of response to comments and the total lack of new posts, LOADS to blog as soon as I get a mo!  In the meantime, some photos?


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