Something to address

The sequel to Lockdown started and just like first time round, the cancellations arrived. Our farm holiday cottage has been a busy bee since 4th July, when the freedom to travel made us all so hysterically happy that I greeted our new guests (we never met before) by squealing ‘Oh my god, you’re here!’. Yes, I sounded slightly deranged but so did they.

Autumn in our vineyard. Thanks to Mick Rock for this amazing picture.

So what to do with all this time and an empty holiday cottage? Well, if you haven’t had time to update and repair in the first round (was the weather just too nice?), this is your chance.

Display important info

I have written about property information on the Running a farm holiday cottage page but our last pre-lockdown guests taught us a new and very valuable lesson. Let me paint a picture for you:

A sunny Monday afternoon and a lovely, friendly and welcoming couple (us, obviously) are just finishing their lunch. He is a farmer an she… she runs a farm holiday cottage. Suddenly there is banging on their front door. The farmer looks up and behind a frosted glass door he beholds… a pair of breasts. Normally this would make him smile, however, the stark naked vision is screaming ‘Get an ambulance! Get an ambulance!’ She has ran across the leafless blackcurrant field and her legs are cut from the sharp sticks. She is suffering from a panic attack, that lasts half an hour or so, while being calmed down by her partner (luckily he wore jeans when he chased her down to our house) and the farmer’s wife. The ambulance arrives eventually and all is well in the end.

notice board
Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

And the lesson? Turns out that when the guests need a medical or other emergency service, they are likely to panic and forget where to direct the help. Our visitors were in such a state that looking into an information book or on their booking wasn’t an option. So – make sure that you display the address and even what3words somewhere visible. I will be printing and laminating a sign to stick by the main door.

Muddy feet

We like dogs. In fact, if you’ve read my ramblings before, you know that we love dogs. And we welcome them to our holiday cottage. Our tiny house boasts newly varnished wood laminate floor that is as beautiful as it’s precious (to me). So a good rug by the door is a must. I swear by Hug Rug, that I received as a Christmas present a couple of years ago. Yes, I can hear you ‘easily pleased’… But this rug is a miracle!

Two dogs sitting with a newly washed rug.
The hounds are helping to straighten the creases in the freshly washed rug. Well, one is.

It truly absorbs all the mud and rubbish that the dogs and humans in our household trail in. So much so, that I shiver at the thought of all that stuff making its way around the whole house. The lovely Hug Rug is machine washable and always comes out of the wash like new. And even better, when I needed to place it by different door, narrower one, I cut it to size with a standard pair of scissors and it didn’t fray. Love it.

That’s in our house though. Now I am thinking bigger. I am thinking tiny house!!!

Cosy up

The next thing to improve while the holiday cottage sits there, all by herself, are the curtains. Or more precisely a curtain.

When the evenings draw in, these make the living room incredibly cosy.

The glass double door is brilliant to take in the views of the surrounding farm and to prevent views of relaxing or indecently clothed guests, the lovely Hillarys installed a vertical blind. It is simple, easily fixable when visitors tangle it and best of all, it matches the other blinds exactly. But I feel a heavier covering is needed for the long winter evenings.

Today our friendly local Hillarys man returned my call and we talked curtains. For cosiness. And for darkness when guests want to have a lie-in. ‘Of course I will come and see you,’ he said cheerfully. ‘See you on Thursday at one.’

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