Friday, 2 August 2013

A Day in the Life of a Bed & Breakfast owner

In my continuous quest for things to blog about it became apparently clear to me that I haven't actually told you what I do all day......well I just lounge about and drink G&T's all day if the truth be known! and from my blogging you must think I spend every day cavorting about the countryside with my dog taking photographs, sadly neither of the last two statements are true. Ok, I run a b&b by myself and it has 3 letting rooms which means a maximum of 6 people and this is what I did today.
6.45am woke up after a few hours sleep, I don't sleep all that well but surprisingly function quite well on only a few hours.  I then got dressed with the attempt to make myself look presentable, have no wish to scare my guests first thing.  I then made a cup of coffee which I always have and set up for breakfast which involves putting milk, butter etc on the tables and setting out the help yourself buffet sideboard, which today had strawberries, raspberries, grapefruit, melon, compote, cheese and cake. There is also the usual selection of cereals.  I love the buffet at this time of year because of all the fresh berries available. I have a small fridge as well in which the juice and yogurt is kept.
Next job was to let the chickens out and then I switched on the computer and checked the e-mails as most of my bookings come in now via online booking.  Had my usual morning twitter fix and attempted to be amusing, but failed.  For me despite the total rubbish I say on it, twitter is a very useful social media tool as I actually generate bookings through it and find out a heck of a lot of local information which I would otherwise not have a clue about.  I admit I struggle with my facebook page and my finger is always hovering over the delete button, but then again I have quite a few people who have stayed here 'like' my page. I have been attempting to find 'things' to share on it as all I ever do is stick a photo up and I feel as if I am saying 'hey look at the photo I just took' in an attention seeking kind of way, which isn't how it is.  The jury is still out on facebook although I have deleted my personal page as I never used it.  Anyhow back to my day.  I was full last night and everyone was leaving today which meant I had to write their bills up, I'm afraid you have to pay for my scintillating company! Back into the kitchen to get everything on hand for cooking and awaited my first guests who came down at 8.30am - they have been here for 5 nights and have stayed several times before.  1 tea and 1 coffee, 1 full Scottish and 1 mushroom, tomato, bacon and scrambled egg.
Next guests both had tea and 1 full with no fried bread and 1 full no fried bread but with haggis. They had been camping further North and were on their way home.  The final couple from the Netherlands had 1 tea and 1 coffee, 1 full and 1 tattie scone only, they had been here for 2 nights and were heading to Edinburgh for a few days.  It's quite straightforward cooking breakfast when you have a slight gap between guests, it's when they all come down at the same time it can get a bit frantic juggling everything.  Once everyone had eaten and left the dining-room everything has to be cleared down, dishes in dishwasher etc, kitchen cleaned down in between checking guests out.  Once that is all done and everyone departed it is upstairs to strip down all the beds and get the washing machines going.  After a rainy start it cleared up so was a good drying outside day, which I can assure you in this job is a real bonus.  I remake all the beds before I start cleaning and Room 2 had to be made back into a twin after being made up as a double.  Then it is on with the cleaning in between running down stairs to reload washing machines and hang out sheets.  Cleaning is cleaning, but it has to be to the highest standards.  Tea trays need replenished, clean towels etc then round with the vacuum cleaner and on my hands and knees to wash over the en-suite floors.  I then work my way downstairs, lounges and dining-room, give my part of the house a quick going over and that's that done. 
Dishwasher now has to be emptied and I always re-set the dining-room straight after doing this. The flowers on the tables also had to be refreshed today, so picked some from the garden. I think by now it was about 2.20pm so I sat down with a cup of tea and then my first new arrivals arrived at 2.50pm. They are here for 2 nights and are attending a wedding tomorrow. I chopped a couple of branches of a tree and kept the cycle of washing machines going and laundry out on the line.  I then started on my ironing as you seriously need to keep on top of it and then had something to eat and next guests arrived, they are here for 1 night and are heading North.  Continued with the ironing and poached some pears and final 1 night guests arrived about 6.40pm, they are from France.
I then nipped down to the supermarket to stock up on a few things to keep me going through the week as I will be without transport for a week from Sunday.  After the supermarket run I took the dog out, late today, but he has been mooching about enjoying the sun in the garden and we enjoyed a lovely sunset on our walk. Back to the house and shut the windows in the lounge upstairs and shut the outer house door.  I then shut the chickens in for the night, with dusk coming earlier now they are off to their bed earlier, I then had a shower and here I am telling you about my day.  And basically it is the same tomorrow and all week/month.  August is 'bad' for 1 night stays as so many overseas guests doing their tour of Scotland, although Sunday night I have all my rooms taken for 3 nights by regular fishing guests who are always no trouble at all. They are out early and fishing all day then out all evening.
There you go and not a G&T in sight. Today was a particularly long day and I do get finished quicker on day's that people are not departing as obviously although you clean their rooms etc it doesn't take nearly as long and you don't have the huge amount of washing nor do you have to wait in for arrivals as all guests are given a key for the front door so they can come and go as they please, and I have 'touch wood' never had a problem with this, although occasionally people will go out during the day and forget their keys, but 99% of the time I am here so not an issue.  I occasionally go out in the evening for my beaver watching and when the kids are here I have to run them around to their activities/friends.  Generally I don't have a social life anymore although a regular guest did take me out for dinner a few weeks ago, think he felt sorry for me! and no it wasn't a 'date'! so that was nice and I have had a few regular guests staying last month that I can go and sit with in the evening and chat to and be myself. I'm not complaining it is just the nature of the job and having worked in hospitality all my working life I know what the hours are like.  I would say a possible disadvantage of doing B&B is that it is both your work and your home, so you never really switch off and are available 24/7 and are continually conscious that if you do go out during the day you need to be back for new arrivals etc. And as I said at the start of this exceedingly long blog I run the B&B myself, I am the initial contact etc and people expect to see me and regular guests expect to see me (that sound's a bit big-headed, but not meant to be) In case you think I am moaning, I love doing the B&B (most of the time)! and I get the opportunity to share this lovely area with anyone who wants to read about it or look at my photos.


kristieinbc said...

Thanks for letting us "journey" through a day with you. Running a B&B is definitely a lot of hard work. I could see that when I stayed at Gilmore House. I hope the rewards of doing it continue to make up for all the hard work. You have a lovely place!

Gilmore House B&B said...

Thank you very much :-)