Needs must. Not the most exciting way to start a new business but there we are. Having often stayed in B&B’s, hotels and self catering accommodation in my meandering 40 and a bit more years most of the time I have stupidly thought I can do it a lot better. Very rarely has an overnight stay measured up to my expectations unless you count Babington House and I wish I could count it again and again and again.
Running a B&B was up there with retraining as a midwife or becoming a master of wine on the Who I Could Be If I Wasn’t Me list. Great because each profession represented a part of my personality, even greater because the daydreams never had to be a reality. Not like the What To Be In An Emergency list which tackles an entirely different selection of options. And now here we are at Emergency. We have bought a derelict country house we can’t afford and we are Panicking. Hardly unique (particularly living in the south west) and obviously foolhardy, as the mother-in-law points out not to have Done Our Sums before purchasing falling down hovel.
But houses like ours, that we can barely afford, are scarce and I can always sell a painting. Actually, that’s not true but I have always wanted to say that. So anyway, here we are. Without drainage, heating and functioning bathroom. Without bedrooms for our three small children. Without Hockneys or Banksys to cash in. But with nerves of steel… at least while we have the single malt open.
‘The solution is staring us in the face,’ says the Husband. ‘Yes of course’ I exclaim, ‘let’s open the first single malt distillery in the South West using seaweed instead of peat and trying to do a play on the word whisky, maybe with frisky…’ ‘A B&B in the outhouse,’ he says taking the bottle out of my hand.
And just like so many before us the heavens open and the God of Hospitality shines a light down on us and so we begin. It’s a marvellous idea and I am really quite excited by it. There’s just one teeny little problem before we start. We are currently living in the outhouse.