I drag out a dusty box from under my bed.
Inside are seventeen year’s memories of Cricklewood Cottage, all the richer for maturing another five.
– A breakfast menu – as enticing as ever
– Magazine articles about the garden
– Our first business card – rustic in the extreme
– A sketch map for Garden Open days
– Lyrical descriptions of where to eat locally
– And the fattest prize of all – a thinning, brown A4 envelope, bulging with torn-off reminders of people and peculiarities:
- the weird, wonderful and downright wicked;
- the good, bad and decidedly ugly;
- and the sad or straightforwardly silly.
Now all brought together in my charming and humorous Bed and Breakfast memoir:
A jagged page torn from a small, lined notebook said: ‘48 hours – they haven’t stopped’. As you’ll see from the extract, this amorous couple found their way into the chapter called Love Nest:
Another time I received a lunchtime call from a man wanting a double room. Pushing aside my helpful information about room and price, his only concern was did it have a double bed and was it free now. It was a quiet time of year, and with all three rooms unoccupied his trade was welcome. Arriving at three o’clock, the couple retired directly to the Bow Room and, apart from one brief absence for pizza, didn’t emerge for forty eight hours. Apparently the man was a builder from across the hills in Church Stretton and had a reputation for “finding” women and whisking them off at short notice – although how Geoff knew that I really don’t know. The cottage resounded to their special brand of entertainment, and I was honoured to have been part of his exciting lifestyle.
Paul Costello © November 2012
Utterly Undiscovered Out early spring 2013