I can stop apologising to our guests now. Throughout August as the rain has frequently fallen and the wind chill risen I have welcomed guests with the cheery ‘I think you may have arrived at the right time, it’s burning off’, cue look to the sky, nod sagely and mention the boiler in passing. ‘Not that you will need the heating on’ I chuckle and head off to desperately forage for any old dry bits of wood for the logburner. And then as they leave, I look abject, sigh ‘Well that storm wasn’t forecast’ and behave as if I am partly responsible for the weather. Or am the line manager for the person who runs the weather. Once I actually said, actually honestly said ‘I can only apologise on behalf of the south west for the shocking weather you have had throughout your holiday’.
Guests aside, we have coped with the rain. We have been on the beach in it. We have picnicked in it. We have swam in the sea, sat outside cafes, hung out in friend’s gardens, taken day trips and laughed in the face of it. But we haven’t camped, driven long distances, committed our precious 2 week family summer break in it. And for that I am truly sorry. To all our wonderful west country visitors who have travelled from far and further and braved campsites, damp B&B’s, soggy self caterings, sodden beaches and cancelled events. We salute you because without your fortitude, humour and understanding in the face of the typical British summer many of us, most of us, wouldn’t be able to run our tourism businesses. And the South West wouldn’t be quite the beautiful, historic, creative, culinary gem of the country that it is.
So thank you. And rest assured next year will not be the same. I am personally dealing with the issue and will have a new team on it by the time the summer season starts.