To the charming blue-haired girl…

We are honoured that you would choose our humble B&B as a base for your Saturday night out in Workington.

You’re booked for 3 people? Oh, your friend is just visiting while you check into your room? Of course she is.

Yes, yes, your payment went through fine. No, it wasn’t declined. Should we be worried?

Yes, of course you can borrow a phone charger. No need to hug me, that’s fine. I fear I may get drunk just from touching your clammy skin.

Oh that’s fun! Yes, it was a bit quiet and boring – some music would liven things up a little. We’re grateful that you thought of us and made it loud enough for us to hear. What IS that that you’re listening to?! You must make us a mixtape!

You’re going out now? You’ll be back to change before hitting the “after party”? How exciting! We’ll look forward to that.

Oh don’t worry about making too much noise, we were awake anyway.

No breakfast? Oh that’s fine. I was a bit too tired to cook breakfast anyway. I didn’t get much sleep. We’ll just sit here and bask in the warmth of the oven, that’s been on for 2 hours, while we waited for you.

Checking out so soon? Hope you enjoyed your stayed. …hope your 2 extra friends also enjoyed their stay.

We’re thrilled that you decided to remodel the room for us. That heater was so last season. It’s great that you helpfully removed it from the wall. Shame about the plaster work but you can’t make an omelette without breaking a bit of plaster, or something like that… And the bed linen? Urghhh white is so boring. Neon pink and luminous green are much more fun but maybe next time we’ll use permanent dyes instead of washable eh?

It was truly a pleasure. We’d be glad to never see you set foot in our home again. Thank you. Goodbye.

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Day Off

Friday 1 June 2018

It quickly became apparent that a day off wouldn’t occur naturally so we planned ahead and booked one in. Of course, the guest from the night before stayed right until check out time (Matt actually had to play bouncer and knock on his to door to wake him up). Finally free, we got on a bus and headed down the coast to Whitehaven. 

There’s apparently a long-term rivalry between Whitehaven and Workington, with the former calling the latter “jam eaters”. This is considered insulting as it meant they couldn’t afford meat on their sandwiches, so had to have jam instead. Personally, I’m quite partial to a jam sandwich…

In St Nicholas’s church grounds we saw a plaque for Mildred Gale, grandmother of US president George Washington, who is buried there. A huge fire destroyed most of the church in the 1970’s and leaves an impressive shell.

We carried on through town towards the harbour, where we met some fellow Pokemon Go players and did a couple of group battles (we are super cool) and had a cheeky little ice-cream.

Our destination was The Beacon museum. Set over 4 floors, this was a great little museum! We caught the last day of two of the exhibitions; West Cumbria on Rails and Pirates! Fact and Fiction. They also had a floor dedicated to nuclear which includes the old visitor centre exhibition from Sellafield. There was loads to do and even though it was half term, there weren’t that many people there, which is a shame for them but not for us! Matt learned how difficult it is to read the weather and I attempted to power a disco ball with a Raleigh Chopper.

We had tickets to see Wes Anderson’s, Isle of Dogs at the Kirkgate Arts Centre, an adorable volunteer run venue in Cockermouth, so we got back on the bus. Dinner at the Bitter End pub before the film, along with a couple of pints of ale. We passed Wordsworth’s childhood home on our way through town. It’s a National Trust property so we might go back one day and have a look inside.

 

 

Cool runnings

So a month in and it feels like we’re getting a handle on stuff and we’re even starting to make a few changes. Yep, it’s stressful cooking for a full house – and even more so when nobody wants just a standard full breakfast – poached eggs?! WHYYYY? but when the plates come back clean, it’s worth it. We even hosted a CBeebies star today!

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We had our custom illustrations back from the lovely Beetle Cherry and have updated our room themes – Herring Gull, Rock Dove, Blue Tit and Kingfisher.

We’re trying to cut back our waste as much as possible so we’ve installed shower gel dispensers and don’t have tiny freebies anymore (which, let’s be honest, just pile up and never get used). We’re also phasing out tiny sachets of coffee, milk, tea and sugar. First up, fresh milk (and if you’re lucky, cake) on arrival and then again delivered to your door in the morning. The first arrivals to enjoy this new addition was a group of burly blokes in hi-viz. I couldn’t stop giggling for hours, thinking about them with their pink flamingo milk chillers!

 

Lost and Found – May 2018

x1 Lynx shower gel

x1 Axe shower gel

x1 Lacura shower gel

x1 Nivea shower gel

x1 Alpecin caffeine shampoo for hair loss

x1 Head and Shoulders shampoo

x1 Clipper lighter

1 euro

2p

Matt will never need to buy shower gel again!

Troublesome guests

The majority of people so far have been considerate and lovely and you would barely have known they’d even been here. What then, do you do, when you know someone is smoking in their room but you don’t have hard evidence?

We had a phone call for a last minute booking, they didn’t want an email confirmation so the only contact details we had were a mobile number. It was getting dark. We had the patio doors open and a waft of ciggie smoke made it’s way to my nostrils. Out to the back yard and I could see their bedroom window flung wide open but was too late to catch them in the act, and yet I was convinced. The following morning and we’d agreed a late breakfast but they didn’t show and it was creeping ever closer to check-out time – 11am. While cleaning the room above I noticed butts in the gutter that definitely weren’t there before. Still not sure what to do we ate the unclaimed breakfast and Matt geared himself up to go and knock on the door only for the guest to materialise, 10 minutes before check-out was due. What do we find in their room? A lighter, left behind on the window sill. Feeling vindicated but still unable to actually DO anything about it, we set about thinking of how to mitigate such a scenario happening again in the future…

Saturday 19 May 2018

Onto more fun things. We headed off into town on Saturday to check out an annual event called Workington Go!. The aim is to get people out and about and trying new sports and activities. There was a bunch of stuff to try but most of it was pre-booked and aimed at children. It was a nice day though so we went and had a look at the climbing wall, bowling green, skate park, orienteering and archery. One thing that wasn’t booked up was the raised model railway track at Curwen Hall where the West Cumbria Guild of Model Engineers meets once a week to run their locos. We, of course, had a ride.

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Bored? Games

There was nobody booked in yesterday but as we were waking up a reservation for 3 popped up, then a 4th telephoned after 8pm. When you’ve mentally prepared for a “day off” it’s difficult to change gear but also hard to complain too much when they’re paying the bills!

If you’re a nosy parker (and I am) then B&B is the biz for you. There’s something very satisfying about cleaning up someone’s room and trying to piece together what they were up to in there. The 3 lads were having a rare old time upstairs, whooping and hollering. We’d put a bunch of board games out on the landing that afternoon – surely KerPlunk wasn’t that much fun?! I snuck up under the premise of taking some washing to our room and could hear the unmistakable sounds of Mario Kart travelling down the corridor – that explained it!

There’s definitely a fine line between friendly and weird. “Morning lads, how was your Mario Kart session – I mean, your stay? How was your stay?” *a-hem*

Yeah…

Anyway, I also found a Battleships peg on the floor the next morning so the board games did at least get a look-in.

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Burns and Blisters

Sunday 6 May 2018

Nobody checking in this afternoon so when last night’s guests had gone we decided to head out for a walk, what with it being a nice day and all. Our destination was Broughton Craggs Hotel (7 miles) and our prize was a very reasonably priced carvery. Armed with raincoats and drinking water, we set off towards the River Derwent and followed it North-East past Seaton Mill and the outskirts of Barepot. We went a bit off piste and ended up going through a farm and almost some gardens.  It was already pretty hot and stupidly we didn’t have sun cream…

After about an hour we realised that hugging the river (beautiful as it was) meant we were detouring from Google’s directions and thus adding time to our journey. It was sunny, we were burning and we were starting to get blisters on our soft, Southern feet – plus lunch was only served until 2.30pm so we had to make haste! When we reached St Peter’s Church, Camerton we diverted back to the main roads – still an hour and a half to go…

I suppose it didn’t help that I kept stopping to take photos and talk to ALL of the animals (including bumblebees, butterflies, beetles and LOTS of cows and sheep).

Part of the reason for doing this walk was that I had spotted a weird area on Googlemaps and wanted to investigate. After some digging it turned out to be a decommissioned Royal Naval Armaments Depot – RNAD Broughton Moor. Too scared to actually go in, we just went along the perimeter (the massive fence and warnings about un-exploded bombs was enough to put us off).

RNAD Broughton Moor

We carried on past Camerton Hall, Nixon Farm and RNAD Broughton Moor before we arrived at Great Broughton – civilization at last! The village was very pretty with a few pubs and a small post office.

By this point we had decided that we were NOT going to walk home, despite our original plan – so we looked up bus times (did they even exist on a Sunday?! Yes, yes they did.). After a brief re-hydration break we pushed on to Broughton Craggs and claimed our reward after 2 and a half hours walking – and it was delicious.

Another 30 minute walk to the bus stop meant the chance to catch a few more Pokémon, hatch an egg and a quick stop in at St Bridget’s Church, Brigham to get on the gym. Then home to nurse our burns and blisters…

 

New Adventures…

Thursday 3 May 2018

After an eventful few months and the best part of a year’s worth of planning (much longer daydreaming!), we are doing it.

Q. Occupation? A.Hotelier”.

It still sounds silly!

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The sun was shining when we collected the keys in Cockermouth.

n.b. usually when you collect the keys for your new place you might get a bunch of 4 or 5, maybe some extras for the garden shed or something? We had around 40(!) and some are still a mystery. 

It was Friday at 2pm when we arrived and our first guests (a couple) were arriving on Saturday from 2pm – 24 hours. Time to get this show on the road!

Luckily all of the guest rooms and dining room were ready to go, so we just had to get ourselves together. Unloading, unpacking, cleaning, Ikea flat-pack (big-up to Matt’s mum!) – we were a whirlwind of activity! By around 6pm the next day we were getting antsy. The guests were checking in 9-9.30pm but we couldn’t relax…

They arrived (eventually) and the next morning we were up early to do breakfast. It was the most nerve-wracking 2 hours of my life but we got through it (me in my pjs in the kitchen while Matt played host).

Now unpacked and feeling more relaxed, we were more confident when the next two arrived last night. We left them to it and headed out to the pub quiz at The Rift (where we did appallingly but the beer is CHEAP).

Positive feedback about breakfast and clean plates – we got this in the bag!

 

 

http://workingtonhouse.co.uk/