This month Jim and I marked our sixth anniversary of innkeeping. Six years since we left our city life behind, bought a bed and breakfast "up north", and embarked on this wonderful adventure.
We knew we'd love living here in an area where people come to play. And I was confident we could be good hosts, providing a comfortable place to relax while helping visitors experience the best of the region. I also knew I'd love feeding people!
What I didn't realize was just how much we would enjoy meeting our guests. We welcome people from all walks of life, of all ages and vocations, from (literally!) around the world. They come in singles, couples, families and groups. Some come to relax and unwind, escaping for a bit from "real life". Others come for adventure, heading out each day to discover and explore. But they all have interesting lives and—here's the neat part—they share a part of those lives with us.
Our guests often tell us about where they've been or where they're going, what peaks their interest or what gets their goat. They share the silly, sappy and sensational vignettes that make up their personal history. Even the things that seem mundane to them are interesting to us (who knew that England had television police?).
Whether we're entertained, enlightened or inspired, we always feel lucky to meet these people. It's one of the perks of doing this job that I never expected: we get to see people at their best, when they're relaxed and happy on their holiday or little getaway.
Some guests we only see briefly over a coffee as breakfast is winding down; others we have the chance to sit with around a bon fire, starry sky overhead. It's amazing how many of the worlds problems can be solved (in theory, anyway!) over a cup of coffee or a glass of wine. I don't know how it came to be, but we get the best guests here!
I guess this is why I often find a certain song in my head, especially after a busy spell. The song is from my favourite movie of all time, the original Muppet Movie, and is sung by that little blue weirdo, Gonzo. The lyrics, I think, are perfect for this place but one line in particular sums up how I feel about so many of our guests.
There's not word yet for old friends who've just met.
I hope you know who you are. And that you enjoy this song as much as I do. :)