Posted by: Elm Cottage Camping | August 1, 2011

Getting ready for our first guests…

Our lovely friend Hugo called last week to see whether the ‘campsite’ would be available for him to bring his family down to stay for a couple of days, hopefully along with some other friends. They are new to camping and having completed Phase One (camping in their own garden) they are now keen to move on to Phase Two (camping in a friend’s garden). We really love Family Tinkler (or Team Tinkler as they are more commonly known) so were obviously thrilled at the proposal. Fortunately Family Lockyear are also up for it so it will be quite a gathering.

Our listing on campinmygarden.com clearly states ‘no children’ and ‘no dogs’ so our first guests will be breaking both rules, but we’re willing to let it slide as a) they are friends and b) we know where they live.

I’m not quite sure how best to prepare for this. Obviously we must mow the grass. The other main ‘area’ is the downstairs loo, which is open for use by our guests. Not much to do in there really, it’s just a loo and a washing machine. Rather than wallow in this disappointment my husband and I decided to set about the rest of the house. Early on Saturday morning Jimmy declared that he would be mucking out the shed. I use the term shed in it’s loosest possible sense as it would look more at home in a Shanty Town, however, it is all we have at the moment and it really needed sorting out. I was reluctant to leave this activity unsupervised but my youngest and I were due at a birthday party for 10.30am and we still hadn’t got the birthday boy a present. A little while later we set off, armed with a card and a selection of little gifts. About half way through the children’s entertainment I realised, with complete horror, that my card and presents were totally age inappropriate as it was not his 3rd birthday but his 2nd. Clearly my mind was at home.

We returned, having had a lovely time, to an exhausted and very dirty husband, who declared he was taking the children off to Dani Slatter’s Ice Cream Factory (www.cotswoldicecream.net) as he couldn’t do another thing without a milkshake. This was my chance, not only was I totally motivated but I also had an empty house. Jimmy returned a little while later to find the ‘home office’ relocated from the sitting room (which was getting crowded) to the play room (the theory being that if I am in the play room there is a chance the children will be too, rather than dragging everything out to the rest of the house) – all without scratching the floor. In addition I had also taken the opportunity to put all my sewing and crafting stuff in a chest of drawers, all present wrapping stuff in another little chest and, to his particular joy, highlighted a wall under the stairs that could do with a couple of shelves.

Clearly, our guests will not notice the majority of these changes when they come and stay in the field next to our house but I feel much better for it and, so far, the children are playing happily in their designated room. Plus, when I feel ready to finish the job I recently started (home made bunting) I will know exactly where to find it!

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