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My Casa is Your Casa...(Just Ignore the Kids)


I had this image of me as a B&B landlady. Probably based around the 1970’s with me looking a lot like Felicity Kendall, basket over arm dead heading a few roses, wafting around with a glass of chilly Pinot, anecdotal, relaxed, expansive. Pull up a cane chair to the aga sort of a girl.

My casa is jolly well your casa and reminisce about my marvellous times hanging out with the Biba girls on the Kings Road. I would probably be painting quite a bit of Art and serving early Delia around the scrubbed pine table to late London guests. Or if they were even later then an omelette, home grown rocket and a glass of rough red with a bit of chat about Melvyn Bragg.

Nowhere in this bubble did I remember that I have three children who at the drop of a school bag can scatter in all directions but generally not together. I have been known at the home time point of events to capture them one by painful one, buckle them firmly into the car, lock, give stern looks and then head back inside for the next one. Once, after a party in a field, it took 2 hours for me and The Husband to leave after saying our goodbyes. I mean seriously, 3 children, a large field, a whole load of their friends and a bonfire. We didn’t really want to leave either. So with this as our current mode, welcoming guests has become something we need to work on. The Husband and I bob around the kitchen around the time of check in scooting out at each car that whizzes through, vying to be the one to meet and greet. Him holding his homebaked bread aloft, me muscling him out of the way with a basket of my fresh scones, jam and clotted cream. Mostly ok until the actual arrival which is still a novelty for the  children. Squeezing out through the door one by one generally looking like muddier, dustier, tanglier versions of their usual selves. Throwing tricky questions at the guests with squinty eyes and sticky fingers. Then just as quickly one or two are missing, generally the smallest one with the curliest hair. They may be hanging out of a tree or dragging an ancient bike out to show and tell or, worst, showing their sweet haul and asking when their fish fingers will be ready. This week I managed to catch the curly one in mid hurl as he tried to get on the B&B bright white Egyptian 600 thread count bed sheets. Just as the guests had turned their backs to admire the view. So complete rethink needed. In the meantime sending eldest son up with provisions, messages, restaurant confirmations and taxi timings is proving awfully useful…  

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