What a day! It started at 6.45 am and ended at 11pm. Running a B&B is not all fun; a lot is work. We had three rooms occupied by a Singaporean family – husband, wife,father, and mother, plus two energetic boys about 5. They arrived at 11pm as the plane was delayed. I met them at the door and went to bed. I allow over an hour to prepare for breakfast; the table is set the night before, but the bread, croissants, fruit, yogurt, milk, orange juice, fresh fruit, butter needto be laid out, the kettle boiled, and coffee percolated. And we try to eat before opening the door at 8, so our fruit, yogurt, cereal, eggs & tea to be prepared too.
Then we often wait for the guests to arrive – today was no different. The husband came in first at 8:45, and the others came and left for the next 90 minutes. The boys were everywhere, the husband played the piano for 10 mins (asking afterward!), but they were, as usual, a pleasant family. Hilary usually provides scrambled orfried eggs, but with a large Asian family, boiled eggs are often easier, kept warm in a basket and towel. The croissants I warm in the small oven when required.
Then we rushed upstairs to turn the three rooms before I left at 11.15 for my Monday meeting in town. I managed to clean all three bathrooms (always my job), and we made the beds together, but I could only vacuum one room required tonight. The bus into town and back plus a one hour meeting, sees me back at 2pm for lunch, followed by completing the cleaning, and then washing the many dishes.
Then it’s dinnertime. Guests often arrive between 5 and 7, but not tonight. We leave a key outsidefor the regular (mining) guys, however we wanted to check his next night as it falls on Christmas, hence the 11pm wait-up.
- So there it is. Why do we do this? Because it has several benefits:
- A steady income to augment the pension;
- An interest in retirement (other than a hobby);
- Sharing travel (and B&B) stories with the guests;
- Physical and mental exercise (cleaning upstairs, keeping accounts)
- A reason to keep the property in good shape (things cant be left for another day); and
- On occasion sharing our faith – its always a delight to meet Christian guests.