Thursday, 27 December 2012

Some Fantastic Place?

As dog owners (really?!) and dislikers of flying, sailing and very hot climates, my good lady and myself are avid fans of the British Cottage Holiday. In fact after many years of such mini-breaks we are veritable connoisseurs.

One of the first things we do on arriving at a new cottage is to seek out the Visitors Book. These little volumes are normally a source of much useful hands-on local knowledge, plus fascinating insights into different people's values and priorities. They are a much more truthful indicator of quality than trip advisor, albeit less useful as the holiday has already been committed.

The best books have running stories where a visitor makes a particular comment and then the next person to stay takes umbrage and contradicts them in the start of a long literary running battle. We once found a 2 year argument about a sofa in a cottage in South Cornwall.

The comments really say more about the authors than the residence and are a wonderful insight for a social psychologist such as myself. Consider the following comment we found a couple of weeks ago at a log cabin in Yorkshire (transcribed word for word):

"Superb lodge - best hot tub we've ever come across - must be used under a clear sky night! Lovely shower nice and spacious (at expense of small kitchen - unfortunately our only gripe!) certainly plan to return!

Recommendations!!!

1. Toilet roll holders within easy reach
2. Wok in kitchen!
3. General selection of knives and slotted serving spoons
4. Bin bag supply (had to use one from another bin for kitchen!)
5. Non creaky headboard on double bed!
6. Spot lamps/ reading lamps on lounge
7. More clothes storage (drawers etc)
8. iPod dock?
9. Wifi

PS all in all fantastic place!"

16 comments:

Scarlet Blue said...

That sofa obviously needs its own blog.
Sx

Macy said...

Is it just me, or does that complaint about the creaky headboard read like a boast???

dinahmow said...

Now why, I wonder, would a non-creaking headboard be important...

Tim said...

So - was the sofa creaky ...? Or what? The plot has thickened ineluctably already, and we're only on episode one.

Rog said...

Scarlet: "The story sofa..."?

Macy: I think he was far too tidy to attempt anything messy

Dinah: So he could hear himself thinking through the toilet roll tissue issue?

Tim: I wish you wouldn't keep using the word "ineluctable" as I have to keep looking it up. I assumed it applied to Milliband.

Z said...

Not too many clear night skies when I've been staying in Yorkshire, mind you.

What do you write in the visitors' books, Rog?

Oh, and I note the tongue-in-cheekiness of dog *owners*. Not in the dogs' opinions, I'm sure.

Rog said...

Good point Z - dark satanic mills and all that. I once wrote a poem in Morwenstowe and our owners sometimes dogalogue their exploits but normally mrs R just writes something sweet and pleasing to the owners in the hope they won't notice the paw marks on the sofa.

janerowena said...

We used to holiday in a NT cottage every year in Cornwall when we lived in Winchester. The visitors' book was full of stories about Henry the Seagull - the same seagull for the past 30 years apparently - and making pies with the crabapples and blackberries that grew behind the cottage. I got so fed up with reading about Henry's exploits every year that I decided to combine him with the piemaking activity and signed it 'The Wicked Witch of Winchester'. I have felt hugely guilty ever since.

Rog said...

Hello Janerowena and welcome! I like your style - Henry Pie would put a stop to such nonsense!

Zig said...

Don't know if I'd fancy a dip in that hot tub after that comment. Like Macy, I think they were showing off.

mig bardsley said...

I had to look up hot tubs because my experience of holiday cottages suggested something like a hip bath. Now I understand that it doesn't have to be lugged outside and filled with a kettle I can see why they thought it was fantastic even with all those things missing.

Nota Bene said...

I've never read a visitors book before...I feel that is my literary loss..

Pat said...


Do you ever go back to the same one? Only once did we find one we returned to 3 or 4 times but eventually it changed hands and wasn't the same.
I'm finding it increasingly difficult to find one to fit in with our restrictions and limitations. One in recent years ticked all the boxes apart from drowsy wasps which tended to drop on you of an evening.
A bit off putting.
BTW we have almost finished a scrabble game!

Rog said...

Zig: The owner was very meticulous and had cctv cameras on each tub. That put me off.

Mig: It was actually like a branch of Ikea inside - not old school at all.

Nota: You'll find a rich source of amusement!

Pat: I bet your restriction list is shorter than ours! Mrs R is champion researcher of our properties. We've only been back to one....I think the real appeal of cottage holidays is the serendipity and exploring new areas. It's why I can never understand the appeal of time-share or buying a second property - familkiarity breeds contempt. Will go and check Scrabble.....

MorningAJ said...

We're regular holiday cottage visitors. Whenever we find something's REALLY needed (like knives, bin bags etc) we buy it and donate it to the cottage. We make a point of saying so in the visitors' book, of course!

Rog said...

Afternoon AJ: you are a cottage holiday Saint! I hope you don't stretch to new sofas though...