Seventeen years ago, on 4th September, we embarked on an adventure. We left Edinburgh where my husband and I had met, and our children had been born, to make our way to Blenheim Lodge in Bowness on Windermere. It was an exciting, yet scary, move. We had never done anything like this before, and prayed fervently to know whether it was the right thing to do or not. It was a step of faith.
Now, almost at the end of 2019, our two boys have grown into young men, and we have met some wonderful people who have visited and continue to visit us at Blenheim Lodge. Some of our Bed and Breakfast guests have become more like friends and family, and it is always a joy to see them. Of course, as in every cautionary tale, (and just to spoil this narrative of all good things), there are the usual manmade business obstacles that delight in making life difficult simply because . . . .
2019 has seen its share of ups and downs, as had 2o18. Last year, we lost a parent, and this year, we lost another. Last year, we also lost our well-beloved dog which I have not ceased to mourn. But, last year, we also welcomed to our B&B again a guest from Japan for the fourth time. It was so lovely to see him again especially since he was one of our very first guests in 2002 when we had just begun on our B&B journey. Meanwhile, this year, we welcomed a Northern Irish couple for the 19th time since we first began our adventure in the Lakes too.
We now have a Great Dane rescue, as well an adopted Alsatian which our older son rescued. It has been an interesting and not always easy road trying to train the Alsation. His nature is vastly different from the Great Dane’s and the three Great Pyrenees which owned us when we decided to adopt them. It has been a sharp learning curve, and we are still adapting and learning.
2019 will come to an end in a matter of days, and then it will be another year that we have weathered despite the heartbreak of losing those we have loved; whilst also, in bittersweet memory, remembering the happiness we once shared with them. However, the latter end of December is also a season of remembrance of another kind: Christmas – and, more importantly, the reason for celebrating this day. Christmas will be here in just two days’ time. I think that this year, more than ever, I have needed handholding for many reasons. Faith helps.I hope that next year will herald only good things to come for all. Meanwhile, may I wish you all a very blessed Christmas and happy New Year.