Tales of Our Holiday Lets. Or … Is it Really Worth it? Or … Tales of the Unexpected!

Well, yes it is worth it – we love it, despite the unexpected. Having a holiday apartment attached to our house has brought us many friends; visitors who return year after year in the summer to enjoy the lovely Pembrokeshire coastline and all the other attractions this part of West Wales offers. We love seeing them again. And we are fortunate to meet many new people as well. But there have been downsides. Or should I say, occasions that made us think again about sharing our home.

Such as the Hippies.

old hippie

One of the first lot of visitors in our first year (nearly our last!) I’d almost forgotten about them until Husband dug up a string of bells in one of the flower beds the other day. Here I must hasten to add that, no, we didn’t do away with one of them and bury  the body in the garden. In fact I’ve no idea how the bells got there and so can offer no explanation. Which is all besides the point.

There were just the two of them when they arrived in a small battered car, decorated with brightly coloured swirly shapes. Having always yearned to be ‘one of the beautiful people’ , and knowing I’d no chance, I thought they both looked wonderful in their colourful clothes and long flowing locks ( him and her). Our three children were very young at the time and were mesmerised, especially when, before even unpacking, the man sat cross-legged on the front lawn playing his guitar and she sat alongside banging on a tambourine. Being a conventional type of chap Husband was wary. ‘Hope they don’t stay in every day making that racket.’ (obviously seeing his quiet weekend and evenings pottering in the garden quickly disappearing). ‘Oh, live and let live,’ said I, wistfully.

 Words I needed to remember later that day.

Thinking discretion was the better part of valour I persuaded Husband to take us to the beach; giving the couple a chance to settle in.

Five hours later we piled three weary kids into the car and went home.

We could hear the noise as we drove up the lane to our house. ‘What the …! Husband, looking forward to a quiet beer after his strenuous Family Day of playing football, keeping three kids from drowning in the sea and being being buried in the sand, stared at me with horror.  It was extremely loud. ‘It’s actually music,’I said. ‘It’s coming from our garden and it’s actually too bloody loud,’ said he.

hippies dancing

As we turned onto the drive we were faced by a large camper van. We parked the car next to it and got out. There were half a dozen dancers on the lawn. One of them waved to us. I half raised my hand in reply before I heard Husband’s sigh. (I think I should add here that when we moved into the house the acre of land around it was a field and it had taken three years to get it anything like a garden. He’d worked hard on transforming it and it’s the only thing he’s precious about )  Two of the women were holding small bunches of flowers; Dianthus, I realised (and hoped Husband didn’t)  from around the edges of the garden. No such luck; I watched with interest as his face turned puce. ‘Oh dear,’ I said, suddenly aware that I was tapping my feet to the beat.  The kids, ecstatic, joined in with the dancing. One woman picked up our daughter and twirled her around. Seeing Husband looking at his churned-up grass, and seeing our original woman holiday-maker amongst the others, I thought I should say something.  ‘They’ve got visitor… our visitors.’ ‘We’ve got trouble,’ he growled, pointing to the back of the van where  a pile of rucksacks and sleeping bags lay on the ground

van

Just then four men appeared from around the corner of the house and gathered up the bags. They walked away from us. For the second time Husband said,’what the …’. And followed them. I followed him. I wasn’t too worried, after all their van had ‘Peace’ written along the side. We knocked on the door of the apartment. The man who answered wasn’t our visitor. He looked to be around forty-five; an original hippie. ‘Hey, man,’ he said, holding up a hand. He actually said ‘Hey, man,’ like someone out of a third rate film.

‘Who are you? ‘ said Husband. I noticed his ears were bright red, a sure sign of an impending explosion. (oh, dear, I always make him to be so angry in these posts)

‘Friends are staying here,’ the man said. ‘We’re going to kip down for a couple of days with them.’ The other men looked on from inside the kitchen, bottles of beer in their hands. There was no sign of ‘our’ visitor.

‘Just going to stay a couple of days,’ said one of the others.

‘Got a problem with that?’ said another.

‘You got a problem?’ The first man again..

 I felt the first tremor of trepidation. ‘Should I call the police?’ I whispered, poking Husband in the back.

He didn’t answer. What he did say to them was, ‘No,I’ve not got a problem. Because what you’re going to do is…you’re going to leave.’There was a long silence, then some mutterings. The men bunched up behind the older man. I was really worried by this time, Husband was no match for them.

Then one said,’ we come in peace.’ He did! He really did say that!

‘Then… in peace, you’ll leave,’ said Husband. I had the urge to giggle; I think it was nerves. ‘From my count,’ continued Husband, ‘there are ten of you. Eight too many. Eight have to leave.’ 

‘No way, we’re doing no harm.’

 It was a stand-off. We all stared at one another. Then Husband said,’okay, then that’ll be fifty pounds each.’ I knew he didn’t mean it; we’re only insured to take two people in the apartment and he’s not one for  flouting the law. It was a gamble.

 I’ve never seen people move so fast! They last we saw of them was the billowing of smoke from the exhaust of the camper van.

 Until, that is, Husband dug up the string of bells the other day 

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73 thoughts on “Tales of Our Holiday Lets. Or … Is it Really Worth it? Or … Tales of the Unexpected!

  1. This was hilarious, and vividly painted. After spotting you in thr reader this morning I stopped by in my pj’s for a wander. I could visulise everything, even your husbands red ears… sorry I hope that bit doesn’t make them red once again. Thanks for sharing it.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m much taken with Husband’s chutzpah in asking for money. I’d have become all lawyerly about it. And probably had red ears too as a minimum. I suppose I feel most sorry about the lawn having spent the last four years nurturing mine into something green and swardlike. Excellent story and an example why you have to be potty to run a holiday business!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Being daft does help, Geoff. And Husband asking for more money has come in useful once or twice since. As I’ve said often, you can take the man out of Yorkshire but you can’t take Yorkshire out of the man! Thanks for dropping by. Jx

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Ha ha, that was fantastic, Judith! Thanks for the giggle. I had a 1975 campervan when I was younger and longed to paint flowers all over it – my ex wasn’t amused! Maybe there’s still time for me to become a hippie – I’ll pop along and stay with you and we can freak out your husband 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hahahah! I think he’d just laugh these days, Shelley – he’s seen far worse over the years of our holiday lets and is more resigned to people’s eccentricities and foibles. And there’s always time to be what we’d like to be – go for it! LOL Jx

      Liked by 1 person

  4. What a marvellous anecdote. Congratulations to your husband on standing his ground. I’m not sure I’d have been as ready to test the depth of the hippies’ commitment to peace, love and understanding. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hiya, no I wasn’t sure they would stick to their mantra either. But, as I’ve said before, you can take the man out of Yorkshire but you can’t take Yorkshire out of the man. They were going to pay up or go!! Never did find out if he really meant it though. He stomped off to repair his lawn. LOL Jx

      Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Hugh, after ten years there’s a plethora of tales from the holiday apartment. Hmm, not sure about some of them though. Actually, the original couple were quite nice. Or perhaps it was just the way Husband mooched about glaring. haha.jx

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Oh Judith …I can see your hubby’s face but I can’t help smiling and he dealt with it wonderfully…… don’t tell him I am still, well actually laughing..you just could not make that up..could you ? 🙂 🙂 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Carol, unfortunately these posts are true. Not sure I would have been able to see it as funny and write about it at the time. Always need time to recover when the visitors have been hard work. Luckily they are few and far between but we have been letting for over ten years so … Jx

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Pingback: Mention in Dispatches – Peacocks, Heads of Saints and Play dough! | Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life

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