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'Are you going to have a restful day ?'

Today a guest at breakfast, who has been here now for around a month, asked if I was going to have a restful day - something inside exploded and I was really irritated. He meant absolutely nothing by it, and I own it all, but, it really irritated me for the whole day, that people think I have nothing to do all day.

I get this a lot from people who assume some where like Hamilton Hall runs itself.

I did explain that from the moment I get up at around 7.30am - until after dinner - so around 7.30pm -


And I mean, I don't get an hour to sit and read the paper or time for an afternoon nap, or even time to clean my own room as I WORK LONG AND HARD HOURS WITHIN HAMILTON HALL and disrespecting my work load really pisses me off - BIG TIME.

It did make me laugh though that some people are that naïve and / or disrespectful that they show themselves to not have a clue.

Thank goodness Woody walks the dog every day as it enables me to keep working right through and I do not get time off and this does help enormously, enabling me to concentrate on what I am doing - usually at least 3 things on the go at the same time and then a customer will want to chat about something and - it is comical how so many assume I have all the time in the world to do nothing.


Even after dinner,

if not facilitating a workshop until midnight, I may be watching telly in my studio above Hamilton Hall, but one is still on duty in case alarms go off, a guest wants something, the door bell goes and all sorts of things and one night at 5am a customer screamed he was ill and I drove him straight to the hospital where it seems he had overdosed on Viagra and here I am - middle of the night, sorting this over weight selfish and stupid man who clearly did not read the dangers associated with Viagra and ended up with a self inflicted problem caused because he wanted a stiffy - and my night and most of the next day are ruined through lack of sleep and the worry and stress about waiting for him to phone to be collected from the hospital, which he did not do until 11.30pm the next night, and as usual, not a single thank you - not a single appreciative thought and not even a penny tip.

Of course, the beds never need changing or the rooms cleaned and while that is not my job, I never need to keep an eye as to how things are being facilitated to my satisfaction and I never actually manage the staff, keep an eye on their work or anything else.

Then there's the e mails - which takes from after breakfast until at least midday - 1pm to sort through and that's not even thinking about putting together articles etc. for the weekly newsletter, but as you know, this is done magically - no effort, no real work, no hours researching, writing, finding the right picture and the right place on the newsletter - and then of course I might add my own opinion, which naturally, takes minutes not hours to get exactly right, me being so shallow and with nothing worthy of sharing.

Then there's the shopping - at least 3 times a week a trip to Aldi, Lidl, Tesco or Asda and guess what , this also takes no time at all driving there, parking, fighting through hundreds of old ladies getting in the way and slowing the whole thing down, mostly because they have nothing better to do with their time and disrespect those who actually do have jobs and do not have all day to sit around and watch paint dry - or TV soaps all afternoon.

No time and hard work at all lumbering between 5 and 8 heavy bags in and out of trolleys and the car - plus 4 or 5 cases of tinned things - up and down, but in reality, the fairies do it all for me - right ? .

Then at home putting it all away and of course the many refrigerators and store cupboards to be kept clean and temperatures taken and checked - No Food Hygiene to worry about and no official book to fill in after each and every meal cooked. No Fire and Safety Certificates and no Food Hygiene Certificates to sort and obtain - No stock control. No ensuring everything is safe and hygienic. No bother then. It all just does itself - daily by the fairies. I am not responsible for anything - right ?

No home delivery which is useless for a hotel and those who assume home delivery from Tesco is suitable, IT IS NOT. Take my word for it, you NEED to shop yourself - period.

Then there is dinner to prepare and more e mails and phone calls to answer, and often as soon as I do sit down for a quick cuppa, the phone rings or the door goes and once again, I don't get a minute to myself but once again, the fairies do it all for me.

Then there are the guests themselves, they never want any personal interaction and time with ' the host' - many of whom have actually come here to see, to talk with, to ask advise, to share spiritual stories, to ask for guidance - with the host - of course, and this never takes time out of my already dead quiet restful day - and while having nothing to do between all the things above, and many times guests want to talk with me until after midnight and bang goes my free time - night after night and it is part of what I am here for and I enjoy the interaction and if I can assist in some way, then my work here is done - BUT - so many take it for granted and no appreciation shown. Shocking I know as a simple thankyou goes a very long way but being ' entitled' gets you absolutely nowhere with me at all.

:- and then there is the outside of the building.

The gardens to maintain and from spring to late summer, every day needs watering by watering can as the water pressure it too low for a hose and takes over an hour all round, and of course, this isn't work , not really - although carrying heavy watering cans right through the house and in and out from the kitchen, in and out - in and out - can after can - doesn't tire you out at all, specially as ' the host' is 69 years of age and no spring chicken and yet here he is - sitting there doing nothing while the fairies do it all.

Of course we haven't mentioned the Drinks Counter, that needs a tidy up 5 - 10 times a day, depending on how untidy and messy customers leave the area and is always in need of some attention, as well as making sure the 50 or more teas are in supply, enough milk and sugar as well as washing up the mugs throughout the day to ensure enough for guests use. Cakes and biscuits to sort, fresh fruit and breakfast cereals to top up, table cloths to change and - oh is this the right time to talk about who does the laundry ?

Loading the washing machine, then being there to time it just right to put onto the spin cycle and again, being there at the right time to take down to the basement laundry drying room and while clearing away and folding dry stuff before you can hang the wet, takes absolutely no time at all and is not back aching or tiring at all lugging it up and down, to and from the basement.

Then - of course, as the sheets and quilt covers mount up after drying, just folding it all takes an hour - got to fold it just right for the machine - then the IRONING itself takes another couple of hours - at least 3 times a week, but this is where it is like a break although is in no way a real break - it's just the fairies watch Judge Judy on TV while ironing and that helps the 2 or 3 hours of ironing go faster, which is once again, I say I do it when in reality it is done by the fairies and is just magically ironed, folded and put away in the laundry cupboard and all while I rest and have a quiet day sipping on a gin and tonic.

The fairies are also very good at spending hours in the kitchen getting dinner ready every night - and making sure the ovens and fridges are cleaned out and stock rotated and making sure veg in the fridge has not turned into slime - and emptying kitchen bins, sorting the recycling stuff separate from other garbage -

oh and the doorbell goes every time we do get to sit down and is a delivery from something bought on line - but then again, the fairies answer that and saves me even having to move from my seat.

Dinner is a treat where we all get to eat together and chat and laugh and while this seems like ' time off' it is still work, as keeping the flow going, making sure everyone is getting on okay, and ensuring those who have more needs / demands - are either met or told to bog off, all takes no time or thought or worry at all as naturally, any responsibility for things going right or wrong are all down to the fairies and I just sit around and do nothing. Naturally. Being the boss.

If there is something wrong with dinner - ie; someone announces AS WE SIT DOWN TO DINE - that they are Gluten Free or Vegan and not sure why they tell us so late in the day as even the fairies are not willing or able to rustle up a vegan dinner at the drop of a hat and - trouble needs averting while these guests need informing they need to get their acts together as we do not read minds and as for tonight's dinner, they are going to go without because they did not tell us... and then they are pissed but the blame here is theirs, none of us reads minds and why do so many vegetarians and vegans assume others to cater to their needs when they haven't told anyone ?

It's just entitled thoughtlessness.

Sometimes customers really piss the fairies off - BIG TIME - with their thoughtless attitude towards them and the complete lack of consideration and then - the lack of even saying a simple ' thanks, much appreciated,- and as for a tip even the fairies laugh. Some people take take take and make demands after demands and leave nothing, not a penny, and the fairies are often disgusted at these self centred assholes and it is usually the older, kinder, more thoughtful person who does leave a tip for the fairies, and is much appreciated.

I am glad the fairies take control of this as it makes me fucking mad, that level of disrespect for us as a hotel and as caterers to assume we will know what they want and when they take advantage and where we bend over backwards to help and assist and to then just be taken for granted when we have gone way beyond good service and thoughtfulness, and not even a thanks makes the fairies furious as they understand GOOD MANNERS - and sadly too many people - don't. t

Today, the one fairy was sorting the laundry, answering the door to a delivery from Ikea, having some toast for lunch and write this piece all at the same time as interruption after interruption ... and all the while the dog is staring - just staring - wanting - wanting walks, wanting to play, wanting into the garden and then wanting let back in from again - and all the while having these so very sweet eyes boring into the back of your head all the time, kinda - distracts and annoys. Not her fault, but annoying as fuck. She knows when walkies is and yet always expects it when she wants it and not when time is available.

It can put you right off what you are doing.

I sold a hotel in Guernsey decades ago and the 3 new owners - were part of the Curry's family - and all said to me that they thought the hotel would run itself and that they could just sit back and enjoy and even though I was only 19 years of age, I had enough experience to know they would be working 18 hours a day - 7 days a week throughout the season - so Easter to late September at the least, and guess what - they went bankrupt within 4 months... lost everything - blamed us for not telling them how much work was involved which really was not our responsibility, but as they all three had some kind of mental health problem going on, they assumed they could live and be looked after by the staff who would totally run the venue and they didn't need to do anything at all.... How wrong they were ... and sadly - they lost the lot.

Take away the fairies who do all the work around here - take away Woody and other staff who also work damned hard around here and take away the gormless thoughts that ANY venue runs itself, and realize we put long hours - long tiring hours where we never find enough hours in the day and enough days in the week to get everything done as we would like and rush from job to job making sure the venue is as you would expect to find it - and please - have a little - more - respect for all people running their own business as unless you have done it yourself, you really haven't experienced long hours, mental strain and stress and exhaustion from customers expectations being way above and beyond, and it does mentally and physically exhaust.

Get it?

Got it ?


Oh and the fairies tell me to tell you THANKS for reading this whole piece and valuing the long hard work they put in for no wages and all to bring something of beauty for you.

John Bellamy


The pictures of my fairiy workers above were taken with their permission as they had to stop work for me to take the pictures and as they - basically - never stop work, it took a while to get the pictures taken.

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Hamilton Hall Productions.

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Hamilton Hall Hotel

1 Carysfort Road


Dorset BH14EJ



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