Saturday, August 9, 2008

In Hiding

SSSSHHHHHHHHH! We're in hiding. We're in the cupboard under the stairs. Don't make a sound. We'll all squash up a bit so you can come in too. Yes, I know it's a bit dark but we've got our wind up torches so don't worry. OK, comfortable?

So what are we doing in here? Simple. We're hiding from possibly the most annoying child in the world who's staying in our cottage for 2 weeks - and today is only the first day!

Why is it that some guests assume that not only have they booked your cottage, but they've also taken an option on your life? The joy of our little cottage is that it is very secluded with it's own garden and pool, so guests can tuck themselves away and don't need to even see us if they don't want to. The other side of the coin is that guests can tuck themselves away and you don't even need to see them which is kind of how we like it.

In the space of a day we've gone from one extreme to another. The last guests, who've stayed with us before, arrived last Saturday and with the exception of going to the supermarket to get supplies on the first day, didn't move from one weekend to the next, to the point that I even went and spied on them to make sure they hadn't pegged it in some bizarre suicide pact - two heads in the gas oven or something, or been viciously slaughtered in their beds by Colombian Drug barons (well you never can tell, can you?). Fortunately they were alive and well and thoroughly chilled out.

The next guests arrived with MACIW, aged 5, who has spent most of the afternoon knocking on the door - the record was 8 times in 5 minutes - wanting to know where the cats are, where's the dog, can I take her for a walk, where's the lead, can I come in your house, I want to go in your back garden, that cat scratched me, where's the lead, the dog won't come out of the bushes, you still haven't got me the lead ........... and on and on.

In desperation I decided the only thing was to go out to the supermarket and get a bit of shopping and respite. DS, driven half demented by the constant banging on the door, because she doesn't just knock once, she keeps on knocking until you answer, volunteered to come too. That's how bad it was.

So I grabbed my bag and we left the house, saying goodbye to M.A.C.I.W as we went.

"Why do I have to stay on my own with the dog?" she asked.

"You don't" I replied through gritted teeth, "you can go back to your Mum and Dad".

"Can't" she said "They've gone out".

"Don't be a ninny, of course they haven't"

So we went to check. The car was missing so we went and knocked on the door and the parents were missing too!

I'm not often speechless but on this occasion I was. They had actually gone out, leaving a 5 year old unattended, in a 2 acre garden with two swimming pools. I could only assume that they thought I would mind their little darling - which I probably would have if they'd only asked.

With only 15 minutes left until the shops closed, DS offered to babysit MACIW whilst I at least went to the village to get some milk.

Up in the village, who should I see but the Irresponsible Parents browsing properties in the window of an estate agent.

I'm not by nature a confrontational person but I have to admit to seeing red.

I marched over and told them they had no right to leave their child alone at the cottage, that I didn't offer childminding services, that I had no idea that their child was alone so if she'd wandered off or fallen in the pool I'd have had no idea as I certainly hadn't been watching out for her and that luckily for them, DS had offered to stay with her while I went out. Remember Madeleine McCann, I felt like shouting!

They had the good grace to at least be very embarrassed and apologetic, saying that they'd asked her to come along but she wanted to stay with the dog so they didn't see the harm.

I gently explained that the 45,000 euro fine I would receive if MACIW drowned in one of the pools would cause me harm, thanks very much.

Can you believe some people? I'm all for guests having a nice relaxing time on holiday but why do some people seem to relinquish all responsibility the moment they arrive.

So, now we are hiding under the stairs in case MACIW comes over again, but so far, not a sight of her. Maybe the Irresponsible Parents got the hint.

Still, we aren't planning to come out until after dark....... just in case.

If you don't hear from me for a few days, you'll know we're still in hiding.


Frankofile said...

Yup, some people would take more care of a ten pound note...

Jenny said...

Mel - you should report them to the gendarmes! what a nerve.

(Very) Lost in France said...

Hi Jen, they won't be making that mistake again, that's for sure! Are you the Jen I know? VLiF

(Very) Lost in France said...

Frank - so very true, sadly. VLiF

blogthatmama said...

Good for you VLiF, what a cheek! My friend rents out a holiday cottage in Scotland and the horror stories are unbelievable. Don't hide, they are the ones who should be ashamed.

tartetartan said...

OHMYGOSH, are they crazy? What a weird thing to do.

Working mum said...

I am truly amazed. I wouldn't leave my daughter unattended around a pool for a second, never mind go off to the shops and leave her there! Threaten them with the authorities next time!

(Very) Lost in France said...

BTM - Was talking to the mother yesterday (decided not to leave things on an unpleasant note as they are here for 2 weeks) about some of the funny things that have happened while we've been doing the gite thing and she said I should write a book. 'Yes, love' I thought, 'and you'd be in the first chapter!' VLiF

(Very) Lost in France said...

TT - I dunno. Do they think nothing nasty happens in France? Shame they didn't pick up the papers and read about the two or three children who've gone missing in the past few days. Crimes against children are far higher here than in many other European countries, the UK included, yet people seem to think it's safe to let their kids wander off. That aside though, there's the two pools to think of. Clearly my lecture on the importance of parental supervision around the pool fell on deaf ears. VLiF

(Very) Lost in France said...

Working Mum - me too and mine are much older and strong swimmers to boot. They know they are not allowed near the pool if I'm not around. It's made me wonder about whether or not to allow young children next season - or maybe I'll just have to get them to sign a responsible parenting contract! VLiF

Jenny said...

yes - mel - it is the jen you know. your blog is so funny! just read your funny turn - couldnt stop lauging! you should get these published!

Working mum said...

Please don't ban small children, I might want to come! Yes, a contract to sign including supervising children at all times around a pool sounds good. I'd sign it, as it is what I would do anyway!

(Very) Lost in France said...

Working Mum - whatever I decided you and yours would be very welcome. I don't really think I'll ban small children as most of the ones we've had in the past have been darlings. But, I think I'll add something about privacy and small children around the pool into my terms and conditions. VLiF