Friday, 30 March 2012

Our first season comes to an end

Our first season really went very well. We had just one party which rather let the side down, a family of four, of which the father was a clergyman. When they left, there were coffee and tea stains on the floor alongside dollops of jam and marmalade, a china ornament had presumably been broken as it was no longer in evidence, the terra cotta umbrella stand had been broken and glued back together rather badly, and one of the smoke alarms had been dismantled and left on the floor.

Fortunately we had taken a security/damage deposit as well as the hire charge, so a reasonably substantial deduction was made before the balance of the deposit was returned. The clergyman then wrote telling us that his wife had had to go into hospital while they were there and he had only a little time to collect her before dashing off to catch the ferry, leaving him with no time to clean up properly. That really didn't cut much ice with us: we thought he should have controlled the children better.

I took two friends over with me for a week in the hope that the three of us could concentrate on scraping the screeding off the hall floor, which had been covered with a rather sad looking piece of lino which was definitely past its best before date. On reflection, I suppose it was expecting rather a lot - they could hardly have the same interest in the job as I had - and we did find the screeding in the hall harder to remove than it had been in either of the bedrooms. As a result, we only managed to clear about half the hall floor.

But we did get sidetracked - we noticed a rather pungent aroma in the courtyard. At first I thought that our neighbouring farmer had been muck-spreading, but it gradually dawned on the three of us that, despite its agricultural properties, the smell was emanating from under a concrete slab in the courtyard. Steps would have to be taken.

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