In the past year or so Tom’s Barn has been the focus of all the attention as far as new purchases and improvements go; it is four years older and right from the start has been very popular. In the recent past there has been a new fridge, washing machine and cooker, we have had the stair gate and new oak tables and bedside cabinets all custom made, and most recently carpeting put up the stairs and in the bedroom.
By the time Douglas’s Barn came along, we had learnt a lot and were also by now on our greenward trail so we kitted it out with the best and ‘greenest’ equipment we could afford, which is all still going strong. We did have lots of problems with the boiler and were going to replace that. However, since our friend Steve Ogan from Blakelow Farm recommended the most wonderful man (Phil Jennings if anyone wants a good tip) to provide us with a new one – I hardly dare tempt fate, but after a thorough repair the original boiler has gone well. There has been little reason to replace anything, in spite of Douglas’s Barn, like Tom’s Barn, being full nonstop.
However, we couldn’t help noticing that condensation had started creeping in between the double glazing in the front door, looking horribly – whenever the sun shone – as if it just needed a good clean! Yesterday the glass unit was replaced by local Parwich man, Roger Cundy, and it now looks as good as new (which of course it is).
We also have decided to have wireless access points fitted in each barn. Up until we now we have relied on a router and booster but although the reception in Douglas’s Barn seems fine, from time to time guests in Tom’s Barn have experienced problems. They have always been very understanding and non-complaining but we advertise free (permanent understood) wi-fi and feel strongly that guests should not ever have any problem that we can humanly avoid. It isn’t just wanting the Internet for Facebook and Twitter either, we know that a lot of our guests have to bring their work with them if they come away at all, so they must be able to do access the Internet without a hitch. So that is another developmen, happening in the next week or so.
The big item I am keeping until last. As from this afternoon, Douglas’s Barn has the full Sky package…! Mike the Sky man who came to set it up was a bit shy about having his photo taken but there he is at the top of the page, working away behind the TV! Both barns have had FreeSat and from time to time we have wondered nervously about providing Sky but the sheer cost instantly put us off. Also, when we asked guests if they missed it/would like it, they always said no. It took us some time to realise that we were not asking the right people, because anyone that desperately felt the need for Sky would not have chosen to come here in the first place!
But recently, thanks to a suggestion by Neil our aerial man, we have been able to apply for an additional ‘multi room’ package for Douglas’s Barn which is next door to the room where our telly (with Sky) is, at a relatively modest monthly rate. We would not be able to do the same in Tom’s Barn for technical/phone line/financial reasons. So that means another choice: log burner or no log burner? Dogs or no dogs? Sky or no Sky? We are pretty sure we know that some wives or partners of sport fanatics will have some interesting discussions before a possible compromise has to be reached on that last point.