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How to Amaze Your Guests

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The Easter holidays are approaching, which is fabulous news as we are all beginning to feel a bit jaded. The excitement of the new school year has worn off and the prospect of a couple of weeks off without the daily monotony of packed lunches and bus timetables seems alluring.


We have friends from the U.K. arriving next week and whilst this is a good thing, it is also inducing a state of mild hysteria. When I listen to the description of the Room of Hidden Things in Harry Potter, I am immediately struck by the strong resemblance to our guest bedroom that acts as both a general dumping ground and teenage changing room. Standing at the door, and I am afraid it is a bit of a “standing-room only” exercise, the objects that catch my eye include, in no particular order, a large rolled-up carpet destined for the tip, a knee-high straw pelican, a hockey stick, a Monopoly game in progress, a school hat minus hat ribbon, at least seven pairs of shoes, a basket containing a highly ambitious, and thus almost immediately abandoned sewing project, an assortment of ski helmets and a wooden Chinese highchair that Husband once attempted to carry back hand luggage from Beijing. All this debris is before you get to the piles of books everywhere. I am a firm believer in giving guests a decent selection of books, but as there is already an overflowing large ceiling-height bookcase in the room; I am not sure there is any need to have leaning Tower of Pisa–type piles of books on every surface. Somehow I feel having to lie rigid and motionless within the bed for fear of triggering a book avalanche is not conducive to a great guest experience.


Hopefully this lot of guests will be spared the ultimate horror that befell a work colleague of Husband’s who stayed with us in New York and who was subjected to a night filled with banging and crashing whilst we tried to recapture an escaped hamster. I don’t think I actually crawled round his room, but I did make hamster-tempting noises outside the door which was probably enough to have him mentally cataloguing the bedroom furniture for its barricading potential.


Looking on the bright side, provided the mucking out of room goes well and our guests survive the rigors of the guest bedroom, at least they have what could be termed a novelty garden to gaze at. Owing to the recent copious amounts of rain, the lawn has gone on a crazed growth spurt and, inspired by goodness knows what evil gene (can’t they just download unsuitable Internet material for God’s sake?) Drama Queen No. 3 and friend took shears to the back garden to create a maze. To say the result looks extraordinary is putting it mildly, and sadly, I can’t paste in a photo to give true justice to the new concept of amazing lawns, but you know what, the most important thing is that the sun is shining and after all what’s the saying about making hay?

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