What a nice surprise I received this evening when I picked up the telephone. Sarah, one of our former guests, had rung from London just to have a chat. The last time I heard from Sarah was in 2012, when she also rang out of the blue to tell me that she was sending me a book that she thought I would find interesting reading. True to her word, I received the book the very next day.
It was so lovely to hear from Sarah again today. Hubby and I always feel privileged when our previous guests keep in touch with us even if they do not manage to stay with us again. Sarah is from Taiwan originally, and hopes to come and stay with us again. I hope it will not be long before she is able to return to the Lakes.
It is some years now since John and Grace last stayed with us. John is almost blind and suffers constant pain due to a previous and very serious accident that almost killed him. Grace, who was a little deaf and now suffers from dementia, was moved into a nursing home. John and Grace were always great company, visiting us for a week or more each time spanning a few years. However, we still keep in touch, and John sent me a whole lot of photographs he had snapped in the Lake District a month ago.
Blenheim Lodge in Bowness-on-Windermere is not so far from Blackpool in Lancashire. Barrie and Elaine have been visiting us for the last six or seven years, and usually stay once or twice a year. Sometimes, however, they drive the 45 minutes from Blackpool to Bowness for the day, and often call in then to share a companionable natter with us over mugs of tea and biscuits. Both are such joyful characters and we always have a laugh together.
I must not forget to mention another couple who have also visited us annually for the last half decade or more. Steve and Sharon always come to stay with us around the same time each year, but they gave us such a surprise last year when we opened the door to them. They were visiting the Lakes on their first wedding anniversary, and remembered that Hubby’s fondness for golf. Steve, a very good golfer, had some golf shirts that he wanted to give Hubby. Now, was that not thoughtful of him? So we shared a lovely hour or more over afternoon tea chatting about this and that and will see them again in July 2013.
Running a Bed and Breakfast can be both stressful and blessed. When times are hard, particularly during this economic downturn, it can be difficult to make ends meet. Everything costs us more but our rates have to be competitive, which means pricing our 2013 tariffs at anything between our 2005 and 2009 rates and promoting Special Offers. Any person with a little mathematical ability will know that this state of affairs cannot continue indefinitely.
However, our blessings come when we meet people like those I have mentioned above. It feels good when guests keep in touch and treat us like friends. It is lovely that they want to stay in touch and make the effort to do so. Hubby and I are ever conscious about wanting our guests to enjoy themselves: we want our place to be their home from home – for them to be comfortable here and to feel valued as individuals. Thus, it is always so nice when we hear from our previous visitors. What a marvellous gift they bestow upon us when they keep in touch. If only they knew!
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.’