Tips for Houseguests (Summer is approaching!)


(Suzanne Fitzgerald) #1

We've just had a breath of freshair, houseguests came and we were really sorry to see them go. It made me think about the things they did which other houseguests sometimes do not or vice versa and I came up with a list of Tips for houseguests (which I clearly won't share with any future houseguests but if they happen to read my blog then feel free to take onboard):

1. Although we live in a delightful holiday destination please don't make the assumption we are actually running a B&B. We do provide towels but I don't want them coming back from the beach covered in sand & dragged all through the house.

2. Please try to keep your belongings as tidy as possible, scattering shoes, books, pens, bags all over my kitchen/living room is likely to irritate. I know it can look like we do this ourselves but this is organised mess & we know where everything is & everything has it's place. Unorganised stuff just causes chaos.

3. Leaving mugs in the sink or just running cold water over them isn't actually the same as washing up or doing the dishwasher.

4. After we've all been up late enjoying the terrace & local wine please do attempt to get up at roughly the same time as us (yes I know we have kids & get up early) but getting up mid meal times (following your long lie-in) & demanding extra breakfast/lunch sitting is not appreciated.

5. When I have my hands deep in dinner, please feel free to change one of the babes nappies rather than informing me x really needs their nappy changing, followed by 'Is there anything I can do to help in here?' after I've just stopped, cleaned up, changed X's nappy & re-engaged in dinner.

6. Please respect our mealtimes, the kids do tend to eat at regular times & whinge if they are made to wait. As we're not running an all inclusive establishment with 24 hour service, cooking 3 meals a day is planned & breakfast, lunch, dinner is served as planned. If you want to eat at different times to us then please make use of the local cafes/restaurants (although you will still be restricted at lunch time - c'est la midi!)

7. Please don't think that just because we live in the biggest wine region of the world that our cellar is stocked with a neverending supply of 1euro a bottle wine. My dearest is too hospitable and will keep opening bottles (much closer to 10euro than 1euro). We appreciate it if you do buy the odd bottle yourselves to share - afterall there is a lot to choose from (at least 20 vignerons in our village alone).

I am totally appreciative of this weekend's guests - they even brought their own towels, they got up with the kids, they tidied up the kids toys, changed nappies & made the weekend totally pleasurable. I didn't even notice the fact I cooked & cleaned up for 6 and the weekend came & went too quickly. I love guests like this!

Do you have any tips for your houseguests you want to share??


(Steven Wrigley) #2

Oh and the one's who don't email a quick thank you or ring afterwards - they can take a hike too! ; )


(Steven Wrigley) #3

Ha that struck a chord! I've been in France 18 months & yes I'm not a hotel or B&B but "friends" do treat it as such, understandably they're on holiday. Many recompense by treating you to meals out (or even cooking at home) & lots of bottles of wine...Unfortunately others just seem to wind you up. Generally I've found close family & friends fine, it's that "next layer of friends" or friends of friends (that usually I wasn't too keen on hosting in the first place!) and shorter term friends that take the proverbial - and do you know the solution? - they ain't going to be invited again, it's going to be "sorry that's an inconvenient time for us" - they'll soon get the hint!


(Robin Wilson) #4

Brilliant!! Made me laugh, even though I know it's true!! :)


(Lis Steeden) #5

I am sooo glad this has never happened to us neither in our apartment (which we rent out in the summer seasin) nor in our B&B or when friends have been staying…only once when B&B guests had been shopping, they left who knows how many shoe boxes, paper bags, old shoes and the rest…behind for me to clear up!
It is interesting how ‘friends’ from what I hear from others just treat you as a place they can come for free…they are on holiday, but you are not!
It’s easy to tell friends/family how things work, and if they do not like it, well, tough, would you then have them stay anyway? Let them be grown-ups with responsibilities ie booking a holiday and what goes with that! :wink:


(James Higginson) #6

A plan of action for the stay is essential, a kitty is a good idea but it's difficult to convey just how much more money is required to keep people in holiday mode!

If they turn up with a six pack, drink that, then drink yours too on day one, you're in trouble!


(Clare Smith) #7

Oh, I so had to share this on my facebook. Do you think those who do and those who don't may recognise themselves? :-)


(Suzanne Fitzgerald) #8

We’ve just spent a weekend at Centerparcs with my other half’s parents, they paid for the food shopping, took us out for a meal (they always have to fight with my hubby for the bill - he’s quick as a flash to pay it) and they helped generally to clean up, make cuppas, unload the dishwasher & played with the kids. Again it was a lovely weekend where we all chipped in, it was nice to see so many other families/friends doing the same thing but I’m guessing there were some rows in some of the other cabins with shared occupancy!


(ANNE MARIE HUET) #9

@Me… Go and carry on packing and ironing and cleaning, you are leaving for England on Thursday for your God sons wedding !!! REMEMBER you are staying at your sisters house !!! Take this blog with you and remember to respect her home LOL
Bye to all for now back to packing !!! (and printing out this blog) !!!


(ANNE MARIE HUET) #10

@Colin, nah, if the wifes ok with this you must be right LOL


(ANNE MARIE HUET) #11

@ Kent, you are lucky with your french visitors :slight_smile: shame about the garage though, we have the same problem as my hubby is a chef, when invited out, he gets asked to cut the meat, check the veggies etc… asked for recipes, oh la but thats ok cos he is quite patient with all of these requests, although… when i ask him to do some little jobs when we have friends for dinner, he replies “oh its my day off” LOL


(ANNE MARIE HUET) #12

@ Sandra, thats a really good idea to put the ironig board in the guest room lol, have to remember that one :slight_smile: Sorry about the estranged daughter though :frowning:


(ANNE MARIE HUET) #13

@Robert oohhh that si so so true, I have had that expreience too, its like they are doing you a favour “coming to you guys for a break, and to see you” after its the big holiday with shorter pockets lol !!! Good job they are not all in the same boat our visitors lol
Maybe we should all write a book, 2 chapters each !!! Could sell very well in England lol lol


(ANNE MARIE HUET) #14

@ Lis, good comments, and nice advise :slight_smile: I will be keeping this lol for 2012 !!!


(ANNE MARIE HUET) #15

@Catherine Its good when someone else makes everything right again :slight_smile: Cos they are not all bad, when my sister and her hubby come we have great times, restos, beaches, pool, late night markets etc… However all 4 of us chip in and do the house before we leave :slight_smile: Its so good to see that all is not negative in our holiday world :slight_smile:


(ANNE MARIE HUET) #16

@Janet, that it EXACTLY what happened to me :frowning: (see my comments on sfn, this blog) We have been friends since I was 16 years old !!! Either I have changed or she has changed, oorrrr maybe both of us lol, but it really was a nightmare visit!!! The really awful thing is that I think she felt the same way :frowning: Which is really sad for us both, anyway time will heal and we will forget :slight_smile: Maybe it was also the 2 hubbys who dont really have a lot in common except the football :slight_smile: Its so sad when this happens, it makes one wary for future visits !!!


(Lis Steeden) #17

hhmmm, I’m sure quite a few SFN members would ecco just what you have mentioned, never mind how much we all love having visitors, but there are for sure very different ones, those you love to see again and again and those, well need I say more…It’s funny how people say, when hearing you’re moving to la belle France say, ‘we’ll come and see you’, so what does that mean? Ie sort of inviting themselves, as they too love la belle France, and you have a roof with a nice building below it and maybe a nice pool too, lots of French charm and comfort, just what a nice French holiday is about and not to forget the weather, as it isn’t half bad either!
The difference is that those who have chosen to go and live in la belle France, this is now their life, just as those visitors have their life in good old Engeland or other contries and both there and here mortgages have to be paid as well as bills - that never stops! But they are on holiday, so sometimes ‘things’ gets forgotten.
It’s always nice when you do the shopping they come along or even offer to do the shopping pay all or their share, or they might treat you to a dinner somewhere nice, and we’re not talking about a very expensive restaurant, it’s the thought that counts and not just being given the odd local vino once in a while…
If possible do let you guests know that this is your home, and you might also have a job/or jobs to attend to, so ask them to bring whatever you feel they need to bring, to make your life easier, they are after all having a ‘free’ holiday, so there is no harm in that…and for those who runs B&Bs and gites, well, the summer is the busiest time of the year, do ask that they come at a different time of the year and maybe they will understand and maybe they will not - but then are they true friends or relaives you really want to see?


(Robert James) #18

I can understand where your coming from as we seem to be visited by family members each year that suffer with deep pockets and short arms. We are expected to cook, clean, tidy up after them and drive them about. All this on a small pension & budget. Its not that we mind having them here, but I do get a little mad when they then tell us that they are only here for a short brake, as then they return to England they will be booking their main holiday for a month in September and it’s costing £5.000 each. (Where did we go wrong)


(Angela Nguema) #19

When we first moved to France we had a flat in the rough part of town; not many people were willing to take the risk of finding bits of their car missing in the morning when I warned them; even my family, bar my Mum & Dad, only came once. Now we live somewhere else I think the reputation lives on :slight_smile: the problem I find is that some of my friends who would like to come can’t afford to. Various family members from Gabon have stayed for a few weeks but they really become part of the household during their stay & do as much as me.


(Catharine Higginson) #20

We now have a very strict guest list having had our fair share of freeloaders over the years. And if you’re not on the list, there’s no invite…

The contrast between great guests and crap guests is immense. We once had a couple to stay who did not put their hand in their pockets ONCE during an entire 5 day stay. Despite being collected at the airport ( a three hour round trip) and being driven to the mountains for the day (their request), they did not even to offer to pay for the tolls on the motorway. They have not been invited back.

Equally, we have just had our best and oldest friends here for two weeks with their three kids. Despite ten people sharing one bathroom and loo, there was not one moment when anyone got on anyone else’s nerves. Instead, we were all teary when we had to say goodbye. But they are the kind of people who fight to pay for everything, run to unload the washing machine, clean the house without being asked and are incredibly considerate. True friends indeed!