the unwanted guest

The Unwanted Guest

This is my favourite time of year when the nights get lighter and the bookings start to come in for the summer season.  The batch baking of the Shortbread and the cake baking, and just the general preparing for the busy season ahead.  Meeting new people from all the different parts of the globe and hearing all about their journeys and the things they want to do and where to go next it was all soon to begin. Meeting guests that were returning from the year before is always the greatest of compliments and gives you the satisfaction of knowing that you are doing it right.

Then suddenly it all changed it was going to be a very different start to this season!  We were going to have a new worldwide visitor.  One that was going to make history for my Bed and Breakfast, it was going to be our first unwelcome guest and one that was going to stop the start of the season in its tracks!!!

This new unwanted guest had arrived it was like no guest we have ever had before.  It was forcing people to stay away and cancel their holidays with us.  It was the guest you never ever want again and its name was COVID 19.

This guest had made us all shut our doors for an uncertain amount of time. We cannot book in any guests because COVID 19 shows no mercy or respect for anyone.  COVID 19 will also not keep to itself this guest just wants to spread itself around and because of the guest we and all the other businesses have had to shut our doors to keep him out (yes I do refer to him as a male rather than it; no rhyme or reason why it has become him but it has). Unfortunately, COVID 19 comes in many disguises so we now have to lock our doors for an indefinite amount of time.

So we have had to all unite and close our doors until we can be rid of this awful guest.  Dave and I are very lucky as our business is our home and Woodburn Lodge sits in beautiful peaceful grounds of 2 acres of breathtaking views and scenery.  We can sit out on our decking and see the River Kyle and the mountains and hills beyond.  Hopefully, we can all stick together and get rid of this guest permanently.  We all want to be able to stop worrying about our friends and families and to be able to be with loved ones again To get back to a state of normality however long that is going to be we can only watch and wait and hope that we can all stay safe.  We put our hands together to thank the many people and services especially the NHS staff who have worked tirelessly with so much heartbreak and sadness they have battled on.  Even putting themselves at risk fighting this unwanted guest.  We all thank you a million times over; we thank you.

As I am writing this blog I pause and look out at the river the sun is shining on me and the isolation is so much easier with all this beauty in front of me.  I’m wondering how long it will be until we and all the businesses can open our doors again and welcome everyone back in again.  My reason for writing this blog is because I believe this is something that should never be forgotten nor do I think it ever will be.  Several times I thought no don’t write this, but my head and my heart have united; I feel it’s like a crusade to stick this out it’s been a part of my life.  It has made the future of my bed and breakfast uncertain.

What’s not uncertain is that I will reopen one day and I will reopen with the joy of welcoming new and old guests.  It will be just like opening for the first time.  Then we will suddenly fall back into the continuity of times gone past; with the guests coming and going and telling us all about their experiences and what mesmerising scenery we have in the stunning area that is the Scottish Highlands.

We will once again welcome all who come to Woodburn Lodge.  I will never forget this unwanted guest and the impact he has had in our lives and an experience I hope we all never have to go through again and look to the future when he has gone.  My final words are good luck everyone and be safe.  I look forward to seeing many of you and welcoming you back into Woodburn Lodge as soon as we can and thanks to all my guests for your kind letters and wishes.

Susan Bate

Also known as Biba by many of you