Marrows and No-shows

Monday, August 27th, 2018

These oversized courgettes from the garden caused a bit of amusement to counterbalance my annoyance at a weekend of no-shows and under-occupancies. I shall be living off fruit salad for the next day or so, and I will have to throw large punnets of strawberries out for the chickens and compost the mushrooms, as none of these things freeze well. As for the marrows, the only thing to do with them is stuff them!

No-shows are an inevitable hazard, but I’d only had one until this weekend. One booking for yesterday was for three people in two rooms. This changed during the course of the evening to four people, then three, then two! I had enough breakfast mushrooms for three but not for four. Mushrooms can’t be bought in bulk or in advance as they don’t keep. A ten-mile round trip to buy more on a Sunday after the local shops have closed, only to have to turn the now surplus fungi into compost, is a waste of time, money and petrol.

I wouldn’t mind so much if people would have the courtesy to let me know that they have been delayed or will not need a bed for the night. It’s not as though getting a mobile phone out of one’s pocket to make a call or send a message is a particularly difficult thing to do. But in each case I had to do the phoning. One lady answered her house telephone (!) when I phoned at 10pm and said she couldn’t find Bressenden at 4pm in the daylight in spite of there being four signs at the roadside saying “Bressenden”. And so she had gone home. Another non-guest was at a reception when I phoned. He said that he and his partner would arrive at 10pm (thus disregarding my checkin times and instructions for notifying me of any delays). I waited until 11.30pm before giving up hope and going to bed. Did they get lost too? Or were they perhaps too inebriated to remember the address, let alone find it in the pitch black of a deep-country byroad? I will never know.