Monday, 17 August 2009


I feel like a frazzled housewife. Summer is here again, and again I have guests. It is exhausting - probably more exhausting than staying with someone - and I understand both sides. From my point of view, it's like this: I have the best intentions and will stay calm, so I won't tell my guests I hate smoking and drugs. But facts are facts. I hate both.

The messiness of these people is quite vile. It's as if smoking gives them a license for selfish behaviour. There are fags stubbed out in orchids, ash all over the place, glasses and coffee cups used as ash trays - and nobody clearing up. It is an occupational hazard having them to stay. Last night, I found a candle dripping wax everywhere, which the smokers had lit that they could keep puffing on their poison. The night before that, I heard one of my best friends say to another: 'You're not still smoking, are you? It's so 2007' - and I agree. It's out in the open now. In future, I shall only have non-smokers and non-roll-uppers to stay.

But why stop there? What about the guest who wishes to be entertained when you are trying to run a house? It's like being a hotel keeper, or a matron. All the time, they're on the telephone, asking you if you want lunch, or to learn surfing, or to go shopping. Well, I have shopped until I dropped - and I prefer tango to surfing.

Then there is the guest who likes to cook bacon and eggs in the middle of the night, leaving the fat smouldering for me to clear up. Or the guest who gives my poor housekeepers thirty dresses to iron, and then wears only one, leaving the others on the floor. (As for leaving the housekeeper a tip, that seems to have gone out with the equal opportunities act.) And then there is the guest who gets up at lunchtime, never helps, leaves a trail of dirty washing, and screams if they have lost something. And the one - so infuriating - who doesn't tell you when they've broken something.

Oh dear, then there are the neighbours. Your guests are playing tennis at 2am and the lights on the court are keeping everybody awake! Well, we are in Beverly 'Positive' Hills, where everybody has been asleep since 10pm, so they can make that t 4.30am call to London...

I am off to buy a smaller something that looks big and where nobody can stay.

1 comment:

Julie Anne Rhodes said...

I feel your pain. I closed Bates Motel in June...sick to the gills with waiting on everyone, and gasping for some quiet and space of my own.

Having said that...I just imposed on friends in London for a month...much longer than anyone ever should...and they are still speaking to me! I must have learned a thing or two about being a good guest from my exhaustion over being the hostess...or at least I hope so.

I don't want to put you off, but a smaller abode does not seem to dissuade people from wanting to just means you have fewer places to hide from them.

BTW, doing the tango sounds far more glamorous than surfing.