Margot tries the good life - April 2014


- Credit: Archant

With no end of town friends coming to visit this Easter, home is fast turning into a B&B business

How did it ever get to April so quickly? While thoughts of Easter bonnets and bunnies fill Poppy and Primrose’s heads, I emerge this month from a mountain of washing; having been knee deep in visitors. Never underestimate the pull of a mini break in the countryside to your townie friends, dear Reader. We seem to have had non-stop guests for the last month. Lovely as that is, it does mean that there are piles of bedclothes to be washed and pots and pans to be scrubbed for the numerous meals cooked. Not to mention the dent in Jerry’s wine cellar, much to his annoyance. Goodness only knows what the neighbours have been saying about our glass recycling box. I think that we shall be renaming it ‘Margot and Jerry’s Bin of Shame’.

With the cottage filled to the rafters, I have surpassed myself with pots of homemade marmalade, freshly baked bread and gargantuan farmhouse breakfasts with eggs supplied by our very own hens. The girls have been thrilled at the prospect of a full-to-bursting fridge, afternoon tea on tap and a mummy who is not locked in the study working away furiously on the computer. Jerry, on the other hand, was slightly worried that I was turning the old cottage into a fancy B&B.

“If you treat them too well, they’ll never go home”, he said to me as I threw him out in the rain (yet again) to gather more logs and keep the fire stoked. No fear of that happening as one set of friends endured impromptu showers through the sitting room ceiling, wind howling round the house and lights flickering on and off, making their stay more akin to something out of a Victorian novel than a weekend in the country. All we needed was a butler creaking down the hallways with a candle to complete the scene.

Most of our visitors arrive ill-equipped for a weekend of trekking through puddles and coping with inclement April showers - I don’t know, these townies! So keeping a good store of boots, jackets and waterproof clothing seems to be essential. One guest was so keen to keep his suede shoes as pristine as possible that we tied plastic carrier bags over his feet to prevent any unsightly mud reaching his shoes. Very ‘Withnail and I’.

Good old Hampshire hasn’t let us down though. How marvellous everything looks in the springtime. The village is resplendent in early blossom, our girls are still cooing and reminiscing over the newborn lambs they petted at a local lambing weekend and the Watercress Line proved more fun for the grown-ups as the ‘steamie’ chuffed its way through a glorious new landscape. In fact, it was Primrose who had to drag us off the train, wondering what the point of it was when it only went up and down the track. That’s this generation of five-year-olds for you.

Waving goodbye to the last of our weekenders, I spied yet another visitor. Much to the squawking of our feathered girls, a plucky cock pheasant has decided to take up residence on our plot. Rather like the bird in the Famous Grouse advert, he seems to pop up in all sorts of places and can be found most days strutting his stuff amongst the flowerbeds, demonstrating his rakish display of tail feathers on the lawn.

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‘Phil’, as the girls and I have dubbed him, is rather unwelcome as far as the hens are concerned. Seems that Jerry is none-too-pleased either as it turns out he is pilfering all the chickens’ rations in a bid to make himself at home. I suppose I ought to prepare a bed for him for the night too, dear Reader.


Read more: You can read Margot’s blog at: and follow her antics on twitter @Margotgoodlife