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.


  1. I really want to come and stay!

    Could I put money in a pastel envelope and fill in a survey too like they do on the telly?

    I could base it on things like, did host offer gin with breakfast? Was gin on offer on the tea making tray?


  2. LOL! It may be important to note that I don't share my gin! As for four in a bed, don't even get me started, have seen 10 minutes of one episode and vowed I would rather eat my own off-spring than participate! Actually diabetic in Room 3 (see "fat rolls" above) asked whether we had considered it, she reckoned we'd be "in with a shot" apparently!!

  3. Loved this Debbie, you should write a book about it! I have to confess I'm probably not much better. We stayed in a beautiful B&B in Norfolk two years ago and whilst having breakfast, I became confused about whether the dish in front of me was a bowl or a plate (weird shape, kinda flat, long etc). I assumed it was a bowl as there was a box of cornflakes on the table, but didn't want to take the risk of B&B owner catching me eating cornflakes from a plate. When I asked him, he looked at me for a long, long time and then, in a slow drawn out tone, said "It's a bowl". OH died a million deaths beside me and then for rest of stay owner would inform me of what each dish was for, ahahaha!

  4. Oh my god Simone that is classic, would love to have seen B&B owners face!!

  5. Love your stories, can't wait for the next one. Loving the name drop at the end too, had me creasing up!


  6. I live in fear that a guest will now google us, find my photo blog and then stumble across this one!! And I have to now admit that Room 5 - guy with the car and the attitude - has written us a lovely review on Trip Advisor, so biting my tongue paid off!!xxxx


Would love to hear from you, I always read comments and reply and I love not feeling like I am talking to myself! dx


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