Guilt


I've been as busy as ever of late achieving very little, although I have read a number of books and pulled the information together to get my tax return prepared, as well as spending time in the garden, wrapping it up ready for winter.

All of which is a bit of a shame because I did mean to follow up my last post about our trip to the lighthouse with a description of the culpability it evoked.

You see our first evening there got off to a dreadful start when we sat down to eat. Mister E poured us both a glass of red wine and we toasted our stay in an amazing location.

Putting those wine glasses down again, however, was a big mistake. Mister E noticed that the table top seemed to be at an angle and that there was a discernible wobble. He ducked down to take a look and then bobbed back up again. Splash! One wine glass fell over and its contents splattered over the pale primrose wall.

Talk about guilt. Nobody can have felt so bad since George Washington chopped down a cherry tree. Even the knowledge that we carry travel insurance to cover us for such eventualities was little comfort as I fretted about spoiling the experience for the following week's guests.

Back at home should such a disaster have struck, although fortunately all our tables are level, we'd have got the sugar soap, primer and paint cans out. It's not the same in a holiday cottage. Imagine trying to explain to the owner why you are decorating his house on your vacation!

Obviously we tried to blot away the spillage but the next day the purple streaks on yellow glowed like a UKIP poster.  I couldn't look at the wall without a sickening feeling in the deepest pit of my stomach. 

It's the first time we've damaged holiday accommodation since an incident in a Swedish stuga a decade or more before retirement. There the owner had placed metal covers over the hotplates on the cooker top. They were rather ugly with a grotesque floral design that still haunts me to this day; so hideous that you really couldn't miss them. There was absolutely no excuse on my part, therefore, for switching on one of the plates with the cover still in place and then wondering why there was a burning smell from beneath the pan I was using, as the cover turned red and began to deform, shedding its leaf and rose design in the process.

I spent the next week scanning every shop in every town or village we visited for replacements. I had no luck; those hotplate covers were certainly unique as well as distasteful.

Obviously I  made a full confession to the owner, offering recompense but I suspect he was as equally disgusted by them (an unwanted gift that he'd transferred from his own home perhaps) because he was not in the least concerned.

At the lighthouse, however, I was convinced that the owner might be rather more upset. I duly sent an email apologising for the accident and expressing my concern that, despite trying to blot the wine out with warm water, the wall-paint, in a porous hungry fashion, had refused to release the stain.

Aren't people wonderful? The gist of the response I received, pretty much by return, was something along the lines that accidents happen, feel free to experiment with the kitchen cleaner supplied but don't worry about it and concentrate on enjoying your holiday instead.

The nauseous feeling evaporated and, spotting some oxyaction powder when we made a trip to replenish our grocery supplies, I was able to apply it successfully and even feel happy about the state of the wall by the time we left. Could it be that there's nothing like a spot of cleaning to lift the spirits on vacation? Home now for a couple of weeks, I can sadly confirm that it is yet to have the same effect here!


 

Comments

Treaders said…
I understand you absolutely. I always try to leave a holiday rental better than I left it but that isn't always possible. I'm sure the owner was very gratified to have such honest guests!
Caree Risover said…
I am totally mortified by the thought of damaging somebody else's property and yes the owner did thank me for confessing.
Jennyff said…
You were obviously good guests and the owners appreciated your honesty and efforts. When we rented our Italian house we had in the latter years some ghastly people, leaving the house and it’s contents in awful condition. They are the ones who spoil things for everyone, I’m glad you got things sorted and enjoyed your stay.
Caree Risover said…
I still feel guilty about it though!

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