A hotelier’s lament: On guests

     

Katrina Le Saux                           

Katrina Le Saux runs Bryniau Golau in Gwynnedd, Wales, with her Austrian partner, Peter Cottee. Here she writes about what it’s like to be a hotelier looking back at some colourful guests.


A new season of B&B begins. Unsullied it stands without the blot of a blunder, the smudge of a mistake.

Companionably we sit in the kitchen discussing stains of previous years.

“Do you remember when our first guests arrived and you lit a welcoming fire in the sitting room filling the house in a blanket of smoke?

“In the morning you went to check how they liked their breakfast, wearing no shoes and with holes in both your socks. You didn’t even understand how to cook a kipper.”

 “Well fry, simmer or grill, who’s to know? Anyway what about that cake you made? When you opened the refrigerator the top sponge had stuck to the door and you had to scrape it off before serving.”

“Do you remember those Scandinavians who spilled a whole pot of coffee over the cream rug and wouldn’t let us in their room for two days?”.

‘The Americans who boiled hot chocolate and Ovaltine in the kettle…”

“The couple that sneaked a dog cage and two English Setters into their bedroom for the night.”.

 

“You shouting over the garden wall to the French family as they climbed out of their car, ”There’s been a terrible mistake.” You were covered in mud and dressed in Lycra if I remember rightly.”

“I was gardening and not expecting them until the next day. Anyway I think you’ll find that I shouted ”Il y a un gross erreur.”

“I don’t think you did.”

“Well it was awful, I’d double booked their room.”

 “What about when the sign blew off the tree and no-one could find us and we couldn’t work out why everyone arrived grumpy and complained about our rotten directions.”

“The man who had an attack of palpitations when the television fell off the wall.”.

“Those people who built a snow penis on the lawn . . . right outside the dining room window . . . before breakfast. Then came down dressed in ‘onesies’. View from Bryniau Golau in the snow

“Was his name Roger? He was wearing an elephant outfit, with the trunk hanging down over his face.”

“And when he ate his porridge he had to push his trunk sideways.”

“Yes, that’s right. How could I ever forget?”

“The time you shut the cat in the dining room for the night and she used the Persian rug as a cat litter tray.”

“Well at least I didn’t wrap myself up in the rug and sleep on the floor all night.”

“I’d forgotten about that man. I found him there in the morning, when I went to lay the table. He didn’t even wake up when I put the light on. It makes you wonder doesn’t it?”

“How we ever managed to get five stars?”

“No. How we ever got the creases out of the rug.”   

Two door bells ring simultaneously disturbing our game.

The first is the postman who opens the kitchen door to tell us that a sheep is in the garden.

The second is the front door heralding the arrival of our guests.

“I’ll get the sheep,” I say running through the conservatory, “you get the guests.”

“Where’s the cake?”

“Normal place.”

“Darling.”

“What?”

“Welcome to this year’s first blemish.”