Merry Christmas

Powdermills has been surprisingly busy right up to Christmas. We had imagined it would be very quiet and had planned to get some ‘down time’. We did manage a week in Tenerife with our daughters in early December. It was relaxing, enjoyable and lovely to be waited on for once, although the breakfasts were nothing compared to Powdermills!

We have one long term guest who leaves in a few days and then our family descends. Our son and his wife are arriving from Mexico for two weeks and our daughters, one from London and the other from down south who arrived early, and who is just about to move to a university in Belgium to start a PhD. My ninety one year old Dad and my step Mum will join us to make a wonderful family festive holiday.

Decorations from Down under

Sue, our daughter and I have been putting up Christmas decorations. Powdermills is a large house with great spaces to create a Christmas wonderland. Our children always laugh at how I go over the top with lights and trees but the truth is that even although they are all in their mid-to-late twenties, they would not have it any other way. To make matters worse my sister in Australia sent me photographs of the seven – yes, seven, Christmas trees which adorn her house in Coffs Harbour, New South Wales. It’s not that I am competitive with my sister, but I just have to ‘match’ her stylish decorations.

So far, I have managed to put three trees up and I am negotiating for another one in the Garden Room. ‘It’s just a small one’, I have been heard to plead. Now its buying Christmas presents. It is so different today. Most everything we have bought is online and we have only visited some of the local shops in Inveraray and Lochgilphead.

Times are a changing, when we lived in Edinburgh, Christmas would not have been complete without a visit to Jenner’s, the Harrods of the North. Its atrium has a Christmas tree four storeys tall sitting proudly in the shop. From when I was a youngster being taken to see Santa in his grotto to later in life with my young kids, it helped to get excitement and anticipation to fever pitch. Alas, its been announced that Jenner’s is to close in 2020 and even Edinburgh’s famous Princess Street now has a Poundland store. This is the point in the blog when my children read this, roll their eyes and start reciting the famous Monty Python sketch ‘Back in my day…’.

Age does make you look back with rose tinted glasses but over time you belatedly gain some wisdom. You realise that how expensive a present is not that important to its worth. For example, Sue and I received a most appreciated Christmas gift just last week that had no value. It came in a non descript A4 envelope. Inside was a bold blue certificate from with 9.7 printed on it. It was an award of recognition. It stated:

‘When your guests give you consistently great reviews, it’s something worth celebrating. Because it’s your constant care and attention that creates those experiences, time and time again. With that in mind, we’re delighted to present your Traveller Review Award for 2020. Your guests have spoken and they love what you do.’

It was a major change in our lives to come to Inveraray and start this business and there were times when we were uncertain and hesitant. But this award is so pleasing because it confirms we did the right thing for our ourselves and ultimately the customers we serve.

Christmas is about giving and being with the ones you love. We wish you every happiness and goodwill during the Festive time.

Merry Christmas from the Campbell Clan at Powdermills Bed and Breakfast.