A few years ago a guest wrote in our guest book: Fairview = Philda. Initially I thought: “what an odd thing to write in a guest book”, but then I realized that this man actually understood the essence of what it is about when you stay in a B&B opposed to a hotel: that  personal touch added by the owner. Whenever I show guests through our garden I feel such a fraud because if I am the one adding the special touch to the guest house, then our garden = Desmond.

Yesterday I asked him to move his activities to the front garden as we had two sets of guests arriving and I wanted him to let them in as I just quickly wanted to go to the grocery store. My instructions  that it was a couple for Room 1 and a family for Room 3 was met with:  ” which one is Room 3 again?”. So I patiently (or not…) explained for the millionth time: Room 1 is the yellow room to the right as you enter, as it has been since the restoration 17 years ago. Room 3 has been Room 3 since the boys left home more than 12 years ago…

When they arrived he told them he was not sure which rooms I had allocated and that it was best to wait for my return. The one guest told him that they were in Room 1, on which he asked if they knew whether that was a yellow room? In his defense I must add that he invited them into the lounge and offered tea and chocolate cookies! Our guest  came up with a super solution: why not ask him to name the rooms after flowers – the yellow room could be Sunflower Room, the orange room could be the Pincushion Room etc.

The incident  reminded me of another occasion when he was working in the front as guest arrived.  It was pouring with rain – not that the rain has ever  prevented Desmond from gardening. When I opened the front door it was to find Desmond and the guests  in a fit of laughter ; as he explained later –  he did not notice the guests initially and wearing  his bright yellow rain suit he must have looked quite a sight – they rang the front door bell and then asked him if the proprietor was in? He answered: ” She’ll be  down presently. I’m just the gardener, but I do sleep with the proprietor”. subscribe to posts