Dear blog readers,
Most of my posts are really positive – singing the praises of this beautiful Småland countryside, describing stimulating encounters with interesting guests and posting lovely pictures to accompany my posts. However, as with most things in life, reality is less black and white and there are times when life here is not a bed of roses.
To quote Charles Dickens in ‘A Tale of Two Cities’, ¨It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.¨ Being a hotel manager is the best of jobs and the worst of jobs.
Hotel life includes the satisfaction of seeing a guest enjoying their stay because of your hard work and also……cleaning the toilets after they have left! This is definitely my least favourite task but the busier the hotel, the more toilet cleaning forms a part of my daily routine. That, and making beds (25 this weekend alone!)
However, even in the midst of these seemingly mundane tasks, life in Urshult still reveals moments of joy. And it is these moments that lift my spirits when the weight of housekeeping begins to feel a bit heavy. (I should also add that I receive a lot of hotel help from my wonderful family so I do not work alone!)
3 recent moments of joy spring to mind as I write this post: firstly, last week I had a bad stomach ache and, following a 1am phone call from some guests needing help opening their door, I just couldn’t get back to sleep. So, rather than struggle against my insomnia, I decided to get up, sit in the living room with a bucket (just in case!) and listen to a podcast to distract me. I was feeling really sorry for myself and then I saw that my amazing dog Borgy had woken himself up and was walking down the stairs with me. He firmly set up residence on the sofa, looked at me with compassionate eyes and lay down to relax by my side and keep me company.
I should explain that this is the same dog who got run over 3 months ago and has serious nerve damage in one foot so that he is currently limping. We exercise his bad paw every 2 hours and take him to physiotherapy once a week to improve his range of movement. Borgy is a plucky, affectionate, happy-go-lucky dog who seems to genuinely enjoy his recovery journey. He is not depressed or aggressive and last night’s sitting by my side was a reminder of just how much he gives to us, despite his injury. His company made me feel a whole lot better and by the time morning came I was back on track and my tummy trouble had disappeared. Aren’t dogs wonderful?!
A second moment of joy happened last Wednesday (following laying out breakfast for 18) when Urshult Hotell hosted a birthday party for a local family. In many ways this hotel holds a special place in Urshult’s heart. It is where countless locals have celebrated weddings, funerals, baptisms and birthdays since it opened in 1923. Some days almost everyone I meet seems to have a story to tell about Urshult Hotell. Being a part of something so locally significant is a great feeling. The party included smoked salmon from our local smokery, potatoes and apple juice from a local farm and flowers from the family garden. It was a charming example of community spirit at its best. The kind hosts gave us some flowers to plant in our garden. Amazingly, the garden seems to be flourishing at the moment. (As a born and raised city girl my gardening skills are decidedly limited but I am getting better at keeping plants alive!)
My final moment of joy last week came from attending the end-of-term party at my husband´s school. I too taught there for a happy few months earlier in the year. (I stopped due to workload issues with the hotel and kantoring). During the party one of my former students said to me, “I must say you are very much missed at the school”. What a lovely thing to hear!
These moments of joy more than make up for the toilet cleaning, the rigours of looking after guests and the occasional choas of family life.
May you, my dear readers find your own moments of joy this week – even in the midst of the unglamorous tasks.
Until next time!