New job for the summer: hotel manager

Mess, housework, chaos


School is out for summer and so I’ve taken on an extra couple of jobs – hotel manager and cleaner. My partner has been away. I texted him on Saturday: “Just on round 125 of washing up.” This is the legacy of all the Masterchef, Bake Off and Rick Stein watching. Everyone wants to cook, generally with a multitude of utensils, but no-one wants to wash up, with the honourable exception of daughter two. Half the team are vegan, one is vegetarian and the other is on a growth spurt.

On the up side, they cook some delicious meals, aided by Youtube. Everyone is totally exhausted and most are in the teen years so the general trend is to lie on the sofa and ask me what we are going to do and then turn their noses up at all suggestions. These are top of my list: house decorating [under strict supervision for the younger members of the team and daughter two, who is renowned for her moments of artistic madness], 60-minute makeovers, kitten training, obstacle courses and learning how to make great videos [but not of their parents doing embarrassing things] plus an assortment of outings to eg swimming pools, places of natural beauty [ie free places] and/or Lakeside. It’s too near the end of term to suggest museums. “The thing is you spend all term waiting for the summer holidays and then when you come you realise that your general busyness in term time is just disguising the essential meaningless of existence,” said daughter one, or words to that effect, in response to said list.

To be honest, daughter one has a huge list of work to do for the summer, plus she wants to learn to drive, get fit and make some money. It’s just the first weekend blues. I was fairly surprised about the get fit part since she has shown no inclination over the years, but apparently exercise is on the list of things she has to do for the course she is taking so I am expecting to see her pumping iron imminently.

Only son has football training down on his summer list. He has been playing against the neighbours and teaching himself keepy uppys after “breaking up” with his best mate in the last week of term. The six weeks off could be an important cooling off period.

Daughter three returned from a sleepover on Saturday with ginormous luminous white nails. She had been to a nailbar and got some acrylic something or other in a process which sounded much more complicated than anticipated. “You could choose which shape you wanted and I went for almond, mum”. Almond nails? I thought they just stuck the things on with glue. Apparently they don’t come off unless you go back to the nailbar and dip them in something. No doubt payment is involved.

And just because it’s the first days of the holidays all the summer sun has disappeared and it rained the entire day on Saturday…

*Mum on the run is Mandy Garner, editor of

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