Over the years, we have enjoyed the company of some truly appreciative guests at our bed and breakfast in Bowness-on-Windermere. Some of them pass through and hope to return. Others promise to re-visit and do come back to stay time and time again. Yet others know that age, distance, and circumstances will likely conspire against them despite their desire to visit us again. All, however, show their appreciation for their stay with us in many lovely ways. And Hubby and I are often very much touched by the gestures of kindness they display towards us.
Two people that come to mind immediately is an elderly Canadian by the name of John and his friend, Grace. John and Grace first visited us in 2007, the occasion of which is indeed unforgettable. They had been caught up in flight delays caused by the terrorist attack in Glasgow although their plane was actually landing at Manchester Airport. Due to the broken flight connections, they were unable to make their original taxi service which I had arranged for them from the airport to Blenheim Lodge. Keeping in touch with both the airport’s customer desks located in two separate terminals and the airport transfer service, we finally welcomed a tired couple to Blenheim Lodge at well past 2 am.
Ushering our two tired guests and their luggage to their room as quietly as I could, I asked whether they would like something hot to drink to settle them. Tea and biscuits were produced and served to two very appreciative people, who were just so thankful to have finally reached their destination after a few eventful flights. From then on, we were friends.
John, an almost blind amateur photographer, was kind enough to offer to take photos of our guest house that we could use for advertising purposes when he left. Both returned another two or three times to visit us from faraway Canada. And the last time they came, they kindly gave me a silver chain and pendant as a token of their affection. Unfortunately, John’s sight is now so bad that he cannot fly, although I think he means to make one last trip if he can. Grace, meanwhile, is in even more desperate straits, as she now resides in a care home, having been diagnosed with severe dementia.
Every year, for the last ten years, we have welcomed a Northern Irish family to stay. Often, we will take time out to sit with them and catch up on how each other has been doing over the past year. And each year, without fail, they would either present us with a small gift from home or an edible gift from the local chocolate shop. One of the visitors in this trio is an elderly lady. Despite her age, we hope that she will still manage to continue visiting us over the coming years. Meanwhile, we are looking forward to having them to stay with us again at the end of this month.
Our international crowd of visitors hail from many countries, and one of them comes from Japan. Takuyah has visited us three times now and we enjoy having him with us as much as he enjoys staying at Blenheim Lodge. As a guest visiting on his own, we have tried to make him feel as welcome as possible in our Bowness guest house. In return, he likes to bring us little mementoes from Japan, which we think is very thoughtful of him indeed. Takuyah never travels with more than a smallish backpack, so the fact that he takes the effort to search out little gifts for us and then packs them into his limited luggage space, is a testament to his thoughtfulness.
Another couple who visits us regularly is more locally based. They live no more than an hour away, and are always a joy to have with us. Elaine and Barrie are great fun, and we spend hours exchanging anecdotes about what we have been doing inbetween visits. Barrie also teases me mercilessly; whilst I, like the gull that I am, never fail to fall for his straight-faced deliveries.
More recently, we had a lovely couple to stay from London and Kent. Hubby and I were particularly touched because we didn’t feel that we had done anything special, yet they presented us with a box of chocolates and a bottle of wine before they left, along with a heartfelt ‘thank you’ card. I suppose that I had helped with arranging tours for them, but Hubby and I do not expect people to gift us with anything. All we want is for our guests to enjoy themselves while they are staying with us.
Perhaps, sadly, and also as recent as last week, we had an American lady to stay with us, who needed a little help because she had had a septic toe and needed to be taken to A&E. As travel to the hospital and back would have cost her at least £50-£60, I offered to drive her instead. Robin contributed to the cost of the fuel and even bought a bunch of carnations for us which are still going strong. But the reason why I used the word ‘sadly’ in my opening sentence above, is the unhappy fact that during Robin’s last night of stay, she received a phone call from her husband to tell her about her father’s passing. I could do nothing but to comfort her, and felt most inadequate because she really needed her own family during such a sad time.
After Robin left us the next day, I went to clean her room and found a little bag which I thought she had forgotten to take with her. When I picked it up, I noticed a card addressed to me as well as a few odds and ends, including £5 in coins. In the card, she expressed her gratitude for my being there and giving her a much-needed hug when she received the news of her father’s death. It was no more than what any human being would do for another when bad news arrives. Despite her own sadness, Robin had taken the time to thank me for something that I felt really needed no thanks at all.
Robin has said that she would like to visit us again in October with her husband and daughters. It will be so nice to see her again: to see her bright twinkly eyes and participate in her even brighter laughter. I do hope that she manages to make it back over here from the States.
Of course Blenheim Lodge is not for everyone as we all have our own tastes and preferences for the types of places we enjoying staying in. My hope however is that people who do contact us to check availability as well as those who use our new online booking facility will choose their accommodation wisely, and will book Blenheim Lodge Guesthouse only if it is the right type of accommodation for them. And then, wouldn’t it be great as we will be meeting more lovely people when they visit?
Blenheim Lodge . . . panoramic Lake views, peace and tranquillity, nestled against acres of beautiful fields and woodlands, in the heart of the English Lake District National Park.’
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