Even before the purchase of the house had been completed, we had started advertising for our first season. There had been considerable thought put into just how we should advertise and we had finally decided to place small lineage advertisements in two weekly religious newspapers to run for thirteen weeks. I had, before my retirement, worked for one of them and knew that their holiday classification was reasonably successful from the advertisers point of view. And I had a pretty good idea of the readership profile. By advertising here we would, we reasoned, avoid letting our pride and joy to the hoi polloi, lager louts and others who might not take care of the house and contents quite as well as we would like.
On the whole this worked quite well. We received a steady trickle of telephone calls and, in response, sent out fully illustrated booklets that I had prepared. It was pleasing that out of about sixty enquiries we obtained five bookings for a total of eight weeks.
We were a bit flummoxed by one of our earlier guests when we received a postcard which simply read, "Do you have a key to the post box?" (Unlike the English system, in which the postman pushes letters through a slot in the door, the French have lockable boxes positioned at the edge of their properties.) We thought of replying with a one-word answer - "Yes" - but realised that our guests would not be able to retrieve the card from the post box even if it reached Les Lavandes before they departed for England!