My last blog post at the start of the year marked ten years of owning our West Bay Cottage. No one would have guessed what Year 11 was about to bring. A trip to the cottage in early March and then lockdown meant we didn’t go back until July. We decided in May that if we could open the cottage in the summer at all it would be safest to leave big spaces between bookings. Once I’d arranged and rearranged bookings with that in mind it meant there were no gaps left for ourselves! So it was very nice to get down there again last weekend. Plus it gives me a few cottage related bits and pieces to update on here (which is a good thing as I’ve almost forgotten how!).
We had a lovely long weekend at the cottage in July, checked all was all fine, and gave it a late spring-clean. During lockdown we’d had all the windows refurbished by a local sash window company. They’d sent pictures of our renovated windows but it was good to finally see them in real life. They make such a difference to the cottage. A pleasure to open and close and no more rattling on windy evenings.
Another happy sight was outside the cottage. I was so pleased a lovely gardener had started to look after the front and back gardens last year. I hate to think what they would have looked liked left untended for so long. Luckily she loves gravel gardens and has made it much nicer and more colourful than my efforts ever could.
Why the badger picture? During our July weekend we looked out of the front window late one evening and saw three small badgers running around. They were easy to see as they’d turned on our sensor light. How lovely we thought. Perhaps not so lovely we agreed after we’d got a message from one of our August guests saying badgers were getting into the bins. We hoped it was just a phase they were going through. This Sunday we woke up to find a bin turned over and fish and chips leftovers scattered. I’m hoping two bungees now secured on the lids will put a stop to this unruly badger behaviour. If you stay on our cottage please keep them on the bins and do let me know if you have another messy badger invasion, although we don’t have a Plan B yet.[NOTE ADDED – Our first guests after this reported that the determined badgers made a such a racket in the night they had to bring the bin inside, two big chunks had been taken out of a lid. Bungees not a success. We have a new plan, we are putting the bins in the garage for now.]
That weekend in March we ate at The Hive Beach Cafe. They have a shop in the cafe and I couldn’t resist this poster. In July we got to hang it up, half way up the stairs. What is especially nice is that a local Lyme company makes them using seaweeds collected at our beaches in Dorset as well as Devon and Cornwall.
Did you indulge in a little lockdown retail therapy? I told myself it was good to support some independent businesses in a small way but frankly it was more for my own gratification. The excitement of a parcel arriving! So I bought a couple of very tactile additions for the cottage. First, a super soft sheepskin rug. I put it in the cottage’s back bedroom this weekend and your feet just sink into it. I was tempted to bring it back home again. Also, a gorgeous feather duster. Why use a dreary duster when you can be cleaning the cobwebs away with one fashioned from ostrich feathers? When William Morris said his ethos for domestic life – “have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful”- he might just have been talking about these two lovelies.
Well, that’s our cottage news. Fingers crossed we can remain open over the coming months, and for now we’ll be continuing with the big empty buffers between bookings for the peace of mind of guests, cleaners and ourselves too.