Yes, it is a great way of life - for those of you who are prepared to make certain sacrifices. Yes, it allows you to live in a great part of the country - but at a price. I'm afraid that the reality is that it is harder work and longer hours than you ever imagined for little or no financial reward.
Ali and I have an AA 4 star 4 room B&B in Keswick that generates just about enough turnover to cover the business costs. So ... to make ends meet we both have to work. Ali is a nurse and I am a climbing instructor and expedition leader (Ama Dablam every November) - AND we have 2 children (Grace is 4 and a half and Max is 22 months).
When you then combine this with the fact that we are invariably up every night at some stage or other with one, if not both, of the children, it suddenly becomes a bit of a big deal. We are working from home, we are on public display, our children can have a direct influence on the quality of the stay for our guests and so we are constantly trying to make sure that we strike a balance between life, family, business and play.
Then there is the quandry about how to get Max to nursery, Grace to school, make the breakfasts, clear the tables, service the rooms, get the supplies, take new bookings, wait for new guests to arrive, pick up Grace and Max, wait for more guests, entertain and feed the kids, bath them and read books whilst receiving the last guests and then emptying the dishwasher and relaying the tables for tomorrow. Phew!
This is a far harder occupation than you ever envisaged and I hope that you'll follow our blog to find out what is involved, the hours that we put in, the great (and, rarely, not so great) people that we meet and the implications of allowing the general public in to your home which, incidentally, is your workplace.
And even if you aren't interested in the B&B side of life perhaps you'd like to follow the lead up to my next expedition to Ama Dablam in November - a 22,ooo ft mountain in Nepal (my eighth time there) or the fact that I am organising an expedition to Everest next Spring with a few private clients. Hopefully there is something for everyone.
Read on .....