The summer in Hiouchi is heating up. Literally, with slightly higher temps and drier nights. And figuratively, with hardly a break in bookings through Labor Day. All this action is welcome — I’m loving it to be sure — but all this activity and the attendant responsibility hasn’t always been the case.
Over the years I’ve had my share, maybe more then my share, of down time. I’ve been laid off (more than once). Even fired (ditto). I’ve shredded the to-do list and flown off to Mexico and Guatemala for months. I’ve gone into debt and all the while still managed to ski the Swiss Alps and float the Zambezi River. In the spirit of “it’s gotta be 5pm somewhere,” I’ve on occasion poured myself a glass of wine while the sun floated way too high above the horizon. In retrospect I’ve taken full advantage of the opportunity life gives us to goof off, avoid responsibility and overspend.
But not these days. I can still flip the denial switch and go comatose on the world, but do that for more than an hour or afternoon at a time and I will pay dearly for it. I’m not just running a bnb, I’m running a business. If I fall asleep at the wheel all hell can break loose.
The facts are daunting: online reviews of bnb~hiouchi are inching toward 100; it’s been a slow slog but my Facebook page has over 200 followers; calls are more frequent and when I checked availability today for someone from Australia I had zero rooms left in June, just a couple of days in July, then nothing til late-August. This morning it was breakfast for seven. Tomorrow, in addition to breakfast, I think we’re all going to try some locally caught, spring-run salmon for dinner. No, the fish don’t cook themselves. 🙂
Not that I’m falling to pieces in the process. I’m still shaving about every other day. And doing plenty of laundry. The showering and hot tubbing are keeping the rest of me well-scrubbed and shimmery clean. I’m even, on occasion, having fun. I meet many stellar people, from all over the world. The shot on the left, new best bud Bjoern (of Katja and Bjoern…darn, I should have used the timer to get us all in the photo; thanks Katja for the snap) is indicative of the interesting travelers who find me online and make the effort to stay.
I do resort to certain techniques in order to stay calm under the pressure. To keep the head straight I still manage a ritual of at least one cup of coffee all by my lonesome on the deck, in the sunrise silence before guests are up (if I’m lucky even a walk with Molly to the compost bin at Bill’s). But if muffins aren’t in the oven by 7 I’m a goner and my creation in the redwoods becomes a burden, a ball and chain, a drag. So far it’s been anything but.
The latest folks, the latest action, and the latest fun stuff in Hiouchi is below. More to come as the summer becomes that much hotter.