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“Home of Heating and Hot Water Comfort”

So much – and mainly good – has happened since our last update, but we’ll start with the bad, and it was bad.

We welcomed our guests on Friday evening, the Friday of May Bank Holiday weekend, both couples having had protracted and exhausting drives here. As John and I settled down for a relaxing evening ourselves we agreed, as we so often do, how lucky we were that we always have such really nice people as guests. Little did we know how lucky it was going to prove.

At 3.30 am on the Saturday morning the telephone rang…a frightening sound at that time of night. With a real sense of panic – could it be our daughter Sara in Australia or grandson Tom? I answered the phone. A frightened voice said, “There’s water everywhere and we don’t know what to do…”.

“Where?” I asked. “Who are you?” With sinking heart (but at least nobody had died) we discovered it was our poor guests in Douglas’s Barn who had been wakened by the sound of water (almost) gushing from the boiler.

We spent the next two hours mopping up but of course had to turn the water off (not before someone had the presence of mind to fill the bath!). So there our poor guests were, at the start of the Bank Holiday weekend with no water and no heating.

John tried to ring the boiler manufacturer’s helpline – nobody in the office until 8am… Thereafter for the next two days, our repeated phone calls to the “Home of heating and hot water comfort” achieved nothing but vague assurances they’d do their best to send someone, sometime.

Help eventually arrived at lunch time on Monday. Meanwhile, our poor guests, having bravely elected to rough it out in spite of offers of alternative accommodation from friends and colleagues, had survived on borrowed baths and bottled water. They deserve a medal; they have our very real gratitude for their understanding, their recognition that it was just one of those (ghastly) things, and not anybody’s fault, although as the owners one does feel horribly responsible even if completely helpless.

It is quite frightening how these disasters seem inevitably to strike on the eve pf prolonged business holidays.

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