Once upon a time, it seems a very long time ago now but was probably only a year or so, I told my mum we were planning to leave Germany and relocate to the UK to run a B&B. “Oooh, it’s hard work!”, she exclaimed, perhaps forgetting that for thirty years I had been a teacher of teenagers, many of whom were more than a little reluctant to learn a foreign language. Needless to say, I laughed. Of course, she was right (mothers always are, I find), but this hard work brings rewards every time someone says thank you for their pot of tea at breakfast time, or compliments us on the comfort of the beds and the size of the bath towels, or the yumminess of the chocolate brownies in their cookie jar. Each time a guest writes a kind comment in our guest book or a complimentary review on line, my heart swells with pride and joy, because I know I’ve got it right. It’s a great feeling, I’m sure you’ll agree, and it makes getting up at 6am in the dark really worth it.
Of course the other side of that coin is when you just know a guest is going to give you a hard time or a rubbish review, because their expectations on arrival are something different to what you’re offering. No, we don’t run a minibus to the airport, and no we don’t do evening meals (although I confess I am re-thinking this one…..watch this space), and no, we don’t have a swimming pool, but we are planning to get bikes and/or kayaks to hire for next summer and, if you turn left out of the gates, there is a delightfully quiet and peaceful walk down to the jetty where you can watch the duck and swans and sail boats, and on a clear evening the sunsets are spectacular.
I was in Irvinestown this morning, getting my sausages at Millars Meats and my fat balls for the birds at the hardware store that sells everything but the kitchen sink. The sun was shining and everyone was going about their business and I just thought to myself how good it is to be alive and living in this absolutely beautiful part of the world. There’s so much to see and do here: the Marble Arch caves, the Stairway to Heaven /Cuilcagh mountain, Florencecourt, boat trips to Devenish Island, and a Geopark with walks and forests to die for. So, if you’re not sure where to go for your next holibobs, there’s always room here for you, and you’ll see that I’m right – there’s a lot to be grateful for!