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In Your Field: Christine Ryder - 'The B&B is closed for the foreseeable future in these strange times'

We certainly are living in strange and scary times. At the beginning of the month, I had a decent amount of bookings in the diary for the bed and breakfast.

I took myself off to the cash and carry to get prepared before we started lambing the main part of the flock.

 

But then the phone started ringing with cancellations, and I rang those that did not call me.

 

By then this month and April were empty.

 

There was no Government advice to close, but we did as I did not really want anyone to come here.

 

So the downside is no income, but the upside we have plenty of prunes, grapefruit segments and orange juice.

 

Now the advice is for people to close and we are for the foreseeable future anyway.

 

In some ways, as I am so busy outside, it is quite nice not having to worry about guests. If ever there was a good time of year to self-isolate, it is lambing time.

 

It is great now to see that the public are taking heed of the Prime Minister’s announcement and staying at home.

 

I think everyone thought it was a bank holiday last weekend and there were cars parked everywhere round here, on the roadsides and car parks, and so many people came walking through our yard. It was unbelievable.

The better weather this last week has made working outside a pleasure. Earlier this week all the sheep left
inside to lamb, except those having triplets, were turned out.

 

We hope to get the cows back outside this next week. They should start calving in a couple of weeks and then we can get some fertiliser on now that the ground is starting to dry up.

 

In two weeks’ time I will notch up 30 years of B&B. The only other time I remember not having guests for Easter was during foot-and -mouth.

 

It must be really tough for anyone who has recently diversified and spent a lot of money.

 

I am sure, though, that if they can weather the storm there will be good times to come.

 

The public will be going stir crazy and looking for a holiday to get away from being cooped up.

 

It is going to be a long summer with nothing to look forward to now everything is cancelled.

 

I hope that you and your families all stay safe and well and get through this major episode in all our lives. Take care out there.

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