Steve (Stubbs) and Michael, electriciansWILL the last man out please switch off the lights . . .Or, in this case, on, as it’s Michael the electrician and his boss Steve. Fifteen weeks yesterday since the project started and suddenly – and amazingly, given the scale of it – it’s all over. David’s been and gone, this time for good, and today Michael replaced the non-illuminating stair lights and completed the final test of the electrics. The intercom works a treat, the model railway room resembles NASA’s main control centre, and Edward’s newly-carved Bottom Chapel sign looks so authentic that three old ladies come to check the service times. As Paul and Matt put the finishing touches to the decorating I institute a new rule: no dogs. Especially scruffy, wet, border terriers with an uncontrollable urge to dry themselves on the white – sorry, jasmine white – walls. 

As it all draws to a close I feel a bit like Beth who’s just finished the last ever essay for her degree course. It should be a mighty relief, but instead there’s an odd sense of anti-climax and even a bit of sadness. How odd. I must pull myself together and start preparing for our first paying guests. We certainly need ’em . . .

Alison in the gardenAlison, Maud and HarryMeanwhile my good friend Alison reports that she’s had a stressful few weeks, working as she does for NHS Direct. Training people to answer questions from a panic-stricken public who’ve been whipped into a state of frenzied  hysteria about swine ‘flu, and frequently dealing directly with their calls, not unnaturally she feels in need of a bit of R and R. She’d like to stay for a couple of days in the Dales. “Just relaxing,” she says in her email. “Reading, eating, maybe a bit of dog-walking. Nothing too strenuous.” Perfect – I can organise doing nothing quite effectively. By the time she leaves 48 hours later she’s transformed the garden – digging, weeding, planting and re-siting – lugged several items of furniture up the spiral stairs, furnished two bedrooms, left me a week’s supply of vegetables from her own garden, and a bottle of wine. She waves goodbye looking surprisingly happy and relaxed – it must be the prospect of a quiet weekend a home.


4 thoughts on “IS THAT IT THEN?

    1. Hi Jules – thanks for the offer but I’m afraid the answer from your non-business aware aunt and step-uncle is no, we don’t have a website – yet. We’re working on it, as they say. Give me the URL for your cottage/chateau/gite and I’ll write a piece for the blog and put in a link. I don’t get quite the traffic that Facebook does but yes, I’m working on that, too.

  1. I will put up more pics just as soon as it looks presentable enough! At the mo it still looks like a bomb site which is why we’re still up at midnight trying to get it ship-shape.

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