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Well, It’s that time of year again. Our decorators have been and given lots of TLC to Ruby Cottage. Next week they will turn their attention to Kernyk Cottage and finally our smallest, Dingley Cottage. In the meantime, I turn my thoughts to our guests. Will the retired guests, who visit, be as relaxed as they have been for the last 12 years and will the young families arriving be as harassed as has been known in the past.
I put myself in their shoes. It is the first time since their last holiday that they have spent 6 hours odd in a car together. Dad is frustrated with the traffic, idiot drivers & screaming kids, Mum is trying to keep the peace, is wondering if she has chosen the right cottage, will they all love it, what will the weather do, did I turn off the cooker….and the kids, say no more. I just pray when they arrive, set eyes on their holiday home for the week, that they can switch off and relax…….
I bound up the drive. What will I find, relaxed, relieved, happy faces that say to me, we like what we see, the kettle getting filled, scones being eyed up. Ah, excellent all is good. Cheery hello’s all round, and breath. Or, do I get, “I can’t turn the car round, how am I supposed to park up here?” or perish the thought, “where is the WiFi code, we can’t find it , we need it now”. No sign of a greeting of any sort! Do I sigh, give the information and drop the cheery hello, do I remember I have something else I must do right at that moment and come back later when they have chilled or turned the place upside down looking for “the Code” to life as they know it. I can’t say, every time is different, it’ll have to be a surprise.
We couldn’t offer WiFi for the first 7 years after we started letting the holiday cottages. Speeds never got past .256mb. I do not jest. After a year of bugging the big wig, Gavin Patterson, a petition signed by most of the village, fibre optic finally entered the village. And stopped at the Pub. I’ll admit though, even with copper still running from the pub to us, speeds were now greatly improved. I was still reticent at offering the WiFi though. Guests loved knowing that their kids couldn’t be nose to device, wives loved the fact they had more chance of getting their husbands’ attention, as work, answering e mails, social media, were all out of the question. But all the other cottages were offering it, guests wanted it. So, there you have it, WiFi. The guests now have what they think they need and want, I think it’s not so ideal. Do the board games ever get played, does our play area get used so often as in the early years, do the kids want to say hello to the goats and horses, do the families talk and listen to each other, does it really make for a proper holiday? Yes, it means the guests can look at everything there is to do in Cornwall, but could that not have got done before they got here or over coffee and cake in a cafe or in our local pub, before dinner, not during! I think there has to be a strict holiday rule, device use during holidays are cut to the very minimum.
Go on, give it a go.
P.S. WIFI code is in the ………