Home, sweet holiday home
13 Aug 2009
At this time of year, readers are familiar with the instructions they receive on arrival at their rented holiday cottage.

“The mains electricity will have been switched off by the previous tenants. The switch is in the attic, which you reach via the step ladder in the spare room. Look out for the missing rung near the top of it. You will see a box of spare fuses next to the switch, which you may need as the wiring is antique. For safety, wear rubber gloves when flicking the switch. While you are up there, empty the bucket underneath the hole in the roof.

When you want a hot bath, turn on the immersion heater and hammer the hot pipe with the mallet 30 minutes later.

Flora comes in to clean each morning. Her probation officer will sometimes be with her. It is best not to leave any valuables lying around and the key to the drinks cabinet should be removed.

We recommend The Ship for an evening meal out. They say the lobsters are freshly caught in the bay; but we prefer their lamb.

The refuse is collected each Tuesday morning. The yellow sack is for paper; the black sack for kitchen rubbish; the green sack for bottles; the pink sack for garden refuse and the white sack for plastics.

Newspapers can be bought from the shop in the village. The owner, Mr Williams, is LibDem and only sells the Guardian. Watch out for his Jack Russell and check your change.

Our neighbours, the Bradshaws, breed Indian Blue Peacocks. In the breeding season – spring to autumn - the cocks can become combative and solitary. They call loudly to advertise their presence and defend what they regard as their territory. They have been known to attack cars. Pop round and have a chat with Mr Bradshaw if they are a problem. If he is not in, try the Ship.

Videos. If it rains, there is a collection of videos in the box by the TV. Some are for adults only, and a few have been misplaced in the covers for Wallace & Grommit. It is worth checking the opening scenes before leaving your children to watch them

Church. The family service at St Martins is at 10am. On third Sundays, the lay reader takes the service and preaches for 40 minutes.

Septic tank. We are not on the mains. If you notice a smell, ring Mr Jenkins on 354 and he will empty the tank. (As he is an undischarged bankrupt, you need to give him £50 in cash. We will re-imburse you) Don't believe him when he says the house is haunted.

Some people who rented last year left owing money to the local wine merchant. He has sold the debt on to a collecting agency who ring up from time to time. Tell them to get lost.

Help yourselves to fruit and vegetables from the kitchen garden, but make sure a hen peacock hasn’t laid her eggs there.

When you leave, go into the attic and switch off the electricity. We hope you enjoy your stay.”
 
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