I had not realised it had been such a long time since our last news update! Spring, it would seem, has passed us by…
With a long period of warm dry weather about a month ago, we were battered with some strong winds and rather a lot of water last weekend. Happily, the sun has come out in force for the end of the school half term week and we are basking in glorious temperatures today (the thermomoter is currently reading 27 deg celsius). Blissful. The ash trees (always the last to green up) have finally put their leaves out and the bracken has poked new green shoots up over last years brown, so we know that it really is time to say goodbye to the spring.
We have got demanding baby blue tits being fed on the bird table by frazzled looking adult birds and the wagtail nest in the jasmine outside the bedroom window is getting a bit noisy for 5am in the morning. There have been casulaties: two tiny new born chicks were respectfully disposed of after (we can only assume) they were stolen from their nest and dropped mid flight on the gravel. We are keeping an eye on the slightly dopey blackbird that has chosen to nest practically on top of the tap we attach the hose to. It seems to be going strong!
The azaleas have finished their colourful blaze of glory but there are still rhododendrons keeping the gardens colourful. Have a look at our facebook album for photos of them in their prime. We have taken use of the good weather to assess the damage of the winter freeze on the more frost tender plants (we don’t really have any, but the winter was pretty exceptional!) and the good news is that more of them are recovering that we had initially hoped. We are giving them a chance to recover and will reassess in the autumn.
Our favourite thing about this time of year has to be the long light evenings and bright early mornings. With the longest day under 3 weeks away, it is barely getting fully dark at night anymore. It’s a great time for getting out and about, and we are trying to make the most of it by going for a walk after work has finished for the day. We had a lovely walk from Whinlatter above Bass Lake to Barf and Lord’s Seat last weekend, albeit a bit windy! We are toying with the idea of a new set of leaflets to complement our Walks from the Door. The idea is Secret Walks from Further Afield. Any ideas would be welcome, of course.
Things have not stood still over the past few months. We have painted all of the exterior of the cottages (tricky – not only is it a huge area, but the paint can’t go on if it is too cold or too hot or too wet…) and have also chosen new carpets for Manesty and Manesty Band, which will be fitted in the next few weeks. Our new leaflet for the gate with a summary of the accommodation we offer should arrive next week, and we are working now on updating our brochure. We also have a new initiative to encourage you to recommend us to your friends: departing guests are given a voucher which they can pass on to friends and family. When they book friends and family who present the voucher are entitled to a free hot tub, as are the guests who passed on the voucher when they come back.
We have fixed the weather station which was experiencing increasingly intermittent faults. We couldn’t pin down the exact problem, but replacing the hardwear that stores and uploads the data to the website has thankfully done the trick. We have also installed a second broadband line for our Manesty Holiday Cottages network, which should increase the speed of the broadband available. We are still somewhat limited by our rural location, but hopefully speeds should be more reliable now.
And finally, we are fairly confident that we will turn another of our cottages over to the popular Mon – Fri, Fri – Mon short break scheme that we trialled this year in Cocklety How Byre. We think that it will be Cocklety How Stable Loft, which will allow us to accommodate larger groups for short breaks, but we welcome your idea about this if you have any. Just drop us an email or put a wall post on our facebook page. We have last minute breaks and summer holidays available, so if you are looking for some time away have a look at our availabilities page and get in touch.