Thursday, September 23, 2010

Unhappy guests

I have counted up and we have had the pleasure, and I really mean pleasure, of sharing our home with twenty two families in the last two years. Sadly we had one booking that did not quite work so well.

When we receive an enquiry, we always refer prospective guests to our website, and recommend they check it out as we are very rural, and basically a small workng farm, with alpacas, dogs and semi tame cats. We also do not want guests coming and thinking then can walk to a village or bar, it takes twenty minutes by car, but then all your needs can be met with bars, restaurants, banks, shops etc, even though they are quaint and very traditional, there are no fish and chip shops, chinese take aways etc. We are in "real Spain" Well we had an enquiry, and Alan sent them the link, sadly not all of the prospective guests looked at it.
I was in Brighton celebrating Maisies baptism, and we already had guests here. Alan received a phone call from our next guests, that should have been arriving three days later, to inform Alan they were in Cordoba and ready to be met. We always meet guests just off of the motorway as the house can be difficult to find for the first time. Alan explained that there were not expected for another few days, and he was told they had changed their mind regarding their order of their travels. Rather than saying no it was not possible, he asked or them to give him a couple of hours so he could get the apartment ready for them, which they were happy to do, and he promptly rushed aound like a blue arsed fly!

We explain on the website that we have track leading to our house, however it is perfectly fine to drive on, and does n't need a 4 x 4, Alan knew sadly the moment they stepped out of the car and moaned about the track, it was going to be difficult. Alan is n't one for any form of confrontation, and he did his best to make them feel relaxed and welcome. The following morning of which Alan thought had been a good night with the dogs, and Arthur had been pretty well behaved, Alan was met by one of the guests and told in no uncertain terms that "The dogs had to go!" This was rather laughable until Alan was told that the if the dogs kept them awake again (although they certainly had n't kept Alan awake) THAT ALAN WOULD BE KEPT AWAKE! Quite was they were implying we are not sure. Alan rightly decided that we did not need guests like that and gave them back their money, and suggested they find a hotel. Apparantly as the left he was asked "No hard feelings?" A bit late for that I think!

In future we shall doubley check that all guests realise that we have a track, and dogs, which occasionly bark, and yes it does get hot in the summer here!

Thank you to all our other guests for making this so pleasurable!

Maisie's Beautiful Baptism day

Sunday 12th September, it would have been my mums birthday, as from today it had another wonderful special occasion, Maisie's baptism. The sky was blue, and there are few better places to be than Brighton, when it is sunny. It was going to be a hectic day, so Frankie dropped me over to Callie and Mark's in the morning to help a little, although Callie and her mum had made a very good start before I arrived. I had a lovely morning helping a little, and just being there with Maisie and the family.

Maisie 's baptism was at St. Thomas Mores RC church in Brighton, and led by Fr. John. I have met him a few times before, a truly lovely priest, he started the service outside in the sunshine, and we then all followed inside. Frankie was looking after Dilan, who slept most of the time, the Godfathers baby, and Chris was on photography duty, whilst I tried my best to look after a rather excited Kaci who rather liked the sound of her voice echoing around the church.

The service was beautiful and Maisie looked and behaved like an absolute angel. As Mark held her at the font, she did not murmur once but her little head became lower and lower and she slowly and gently nodded off to sleep. She cried just a tiny bit as the priest anointed her with her holy water, that's good - I was always told that's the devil coming out - as if!

After the service we had a lovely afternoon at one of the local pubs where Mark, Callie and Callie's family had put on a beautiful buffet. It was really nice for me to meet more of Callie's family.

What a wonderful day. I am so much looking forward to a repeat when it is Kaci's big day in November!

A handful of my favourite photos

I'm hoping to post a few more photos soon

Brighton :)

My trips to Brighton, were always great, and I love my children so much, but having these beautiful grandaughters as well, makes it doubley fantastic going back. It is so hard not seeing them grow and change every day, or even every week, that when I see them I am totally in awe of how beautiful they are, and what little characters they both are.

This trip was for Mark and Callie's daughter Maisie's baptism, and I shall tell you all about our wonderful day in the next blog. Since moving to Spain our priorities in life are very different. We spend most of the time inside working, or outside with the dogs, or in the paddocks with the alpacas. No need to hair to be straightened very often, or make up to be worn, or even nice clothes to be worn. It came to prepare for my trip back and had not got a clue what I could wear, for Mark, Callie and Maisie's special day. In Montoro there are plenty of shops if you are a size zero up to about size 12.  The young girls / ladies are teeny tiny here, or there is the twin set brigade, that always look dressed for wedding. I don't fit into either of these categories, so my four days in Brighton were going to include a trip round the shops trying to find something to wear- nightmare!

Day 1 - Shopping - We arrived in town, looked in 2 or 3 shops, went into a coffee shop then met up with friends, and babies.............. wonderful!

Day 2 - Frankie and I decided if we went to Eastbourne we could probably shop til we dropped and no skiving chatting to friends. Shame but it had to be done.

I was getting cross with myself, although I must admit Frankie was being very patient with me, then we found something, yipppeeee! Good old M&S! Our poor old feet, we could go home and relax and get ready for the big day tomorrow!

Kaci and Mairead

Maisie, dreaming about her special day!

The boy friend, Freddie with mummy Lizzie

Adios Nigel and Ginny

Our good friends Nigel and Ginny Cobb, have decided to say "adios" to Spain, and "bonjour" to France. The cunning plan by their friends Kevin and Yvonne, was to have a great farewell party for them. The alpaca gang led by Mike and Linda, decided we could help out by getting Nigel and Ginny out of the house for a little get together of our own. The plan was that Ginny could tell us all about her fantastic trip to the other side of the world visiting alpaca friends. Along with of course a lovely lunch supplied by Mike and Linda, and a good ole catch up with us, David and Di, and Jane. After catching up for quite a few hours with the vino flowing we realised, after wondering how on earth we were going to keep Nigel and Ginny there, so long, in actual fact the problem was going to be how are we going to get them back to their place for the party. We had all trooped up to see Mike and Linda's lovely animals, including their notoriously naughty spit machine Lilly. They were all looking stunning, and Alan and I secretly love their donkeys, if they were n't so big they would be in the back of our car, and up on their way to the Cordoba Province by now.

Yvone had rung numerous times, the guests were there and waiting in anticipation and Ginny was in full swing talking about the stunning Lorca (the alpaca not the gay Spanish poet). Eventually Yvonne got through and spun Ginny a tale that some people from England had turned up unexpectedly to see them. Ginny was wracking her brain to think who on earth it could be, and the speedy thinking of Yvonne insisted it was to be a surprise but they had to go home now........ great tactic! Alan and I stayed to help Mike and Linda with their alpaca chores and have a freshen up, and we followed on later.

Nigel and Ginny called us a few choice names when we did arrive, far too rude to be put in print, and we had a super evening.

I think our friends will be moving soon and we wish them all the very best in their new life in France. They will be keeping a herd of alpacas in Ronda, and we hope to catch up with them as often as we can.

Ginny, Linda and Alan get hands on with the extremely
handsome Lorca

Alpaca friends together but a donkey wants the close up shot!

Why lean on a post when you can lean on a donkey?

How gorgeous is he!

Mike and Linda's beautiful dogs, pool and view!