I feel a little like Alice in Wonderland - my life has a surreal quality, it has become so cirumscribed that I feel as if I am looking down a rabbit hole and in the far distance, is my old life slowly slipping away.
Originally, I loved sitting down to write, the words spilling out about my life, what I had been doing, and my thoughts from day to day. Unfortunately my life is no longer interesting, as the financial noose tightens and I am no longer able to do most of the things that I love. My days seem filled with preparing the house for yet more viewings, which never produce a buyer, and long spells sitting at the table in my kitchen, working out how to stretch my budget in order to pay the bills on this enormous house.
This weekend I have had the house full of B & B guests which has kept me busy and the wolf from the door. In a way, it has made me feel as if this house is a family house again. As usual, the guests have been delightful and it has made the house come alive. Unfortunately, the boiler broke down, again, on Friday so I was worried about the house being cold and the prospect of yet another large bill. However, the weather has suddenly warmed up, and I breathed a sigh of relief. I slipped into the three bedrooms whilst the guests were out, drew the curtains and put hot water bottles into the beds hoping that they would be so merry when they returned, that they would not notice the lack of heating.
The guests wanted me to order them a taxi to take them to and fro, but it would have been impossible, we are too isolated, and the journey too short as the wedding was barely 10 minutes away. So - I offered to drive them and collect them. I sat by the fire, reading with the dogs curled up by my side, until they called me at 11.30 When we all returned, the dogs thought they were in heaven, four more dog lovers, who sat with a drink by the fire, making a huge fuss of them.
It is quite amazing, but every single booking I take for B & B produces such interesting people, all very different, all delightful, and luckily, all besotted with Maud and Billy.
Which is just as well, because Bill hovers, unseen by me, waiting to pounce on the unsuspecting guests enjoying their full English breakfast in the dining room. I have to be very firm with him indeed. Maud just lies in her bed and eyes everyone balefully. Nose twitching, tail occasionally flicking, as if to say, "Time to go - I need my mid-morning nap"
I feel huge regret that I was unable to stay in this house, I could have expanded and run a very successful B & B business from here. The configuration of the house lends itself to it beautifully, and I really enjoy meeting such a diverse mix of people. I shall continue until a buyer materialises - it is a lifeline for me financially.
Sunday morning, only 10 am, and I have already done the breakfasts, tidied up, and now, have the whole day ahead of me. The sun is out, the wretched sheep are baaing for their breakfast and a dog walk beckons. Bill wants to go and find the fox that sleeps halfway up a fallen tree - more of that another time.
17 hours ago