A guest recently said to Paul, ‘I follow you on Instagram. You lead such interesting lives.’ Well for your information… that’s just our Instagram lives…our real lives are mainly watching Game of Thrones and eating curry.
On reflection though, ‘interesting’ is probably the word which best sums up our 5 years and counting here at Dale Farm. Of course there are great highs and lows (often 2 sides of the same coin) such as…
- Seeing the development come together – especially when I am working away and come back to see what Paul has been up to during the week (this can be quite astonishing – I still don’t know how he moved that staircase). On the other hand there was that time when he put a screw through a central heating pipe (heating engineers will understand)
- Watching the business grow, meeting some great people, enjoying people appreciating what we are doing, reading their lovely comments. Conversely bad or average reviews can pitch you in to a trough of despair…goddam you Tripadvisor. And we have had our fair share of tricky guests. Oh and in August there is zero work/life balance.
- Living close to a spectacular beach is fantastic. On the other hand sea frets are incredibly annoying and for some reason during high pressure coastal living affects the signal on your digital radio/TV??!!!
- Picking flowers for the tables on summer’s mornings and eating meals which come entirely from our own garden is brilliant but I sometimes do a mental groan when I have to go and pick the veg for dinner
- Living in the Yorkshire Wolds is proper country living and is on the whole a wonderful experience but the winters are not for sissies… short winter days, long black nights, empty pubs and restaurants. I have also watched mice scampering up my bedroom wall (actually that didn’t even bother me)
- Grappling with the new IT skills which are vital for running a business like ours has been both hellish and rewarding. BT’s general uselessness is unmitigated irritation however.
- Dealing with all the red tape of running a business, health and safety, rates, insurance, land registry, planning departments, tax…..nightmarish…no upside
- And finally five years of getting up at 6 to make breakfast for strangers does put a strain on a marriage (more of this in my next blog) but can also be really rewarding when everything goes smoothly and people are nice and enjoying the food.
So yes, highs and lows, but mainly, that guest was right, never boring. Maybe we haven’t ended up quite where we intended (and believe me it’s not finished yet) but with a few tweaks here and there, I think we can stay here for quite a long time (inshallah), running our business, living a good life, hopefully having some great times.
After a long journey, it used to be that when Emley Moor mast was in sight I knew I was home. But 5 years on, coming over the brow of the hill and seeing Filey Bay glinting (or brooding) in the distance and then turning on to Bartindale Road and seeing the big skies open up in front of you…. this place finally feels like home.