I wrote the post at the end of this blog on the day our first guests to Trohanny Cottage were arriving. Though it's short and simple it has great meaning, as there was a long tough journey to get to that point in time and there was a lot more going on in the background than it would have seemed..
Mr. P hard at work in preparation for the first guests arrival
The 27th of September 2019 marked a big change for our lives and for the future of the cottage.
In its 200 year old history, though there would have been many guests visiting the families that lived here, I am sure it was the first time people were coming as paying guests!
It was not an easy decision for me to come to, but myself and Mr.P had discussed it at length and after talking to other family and friends also, we felt it was the best thing to do to help ensure the future survival of the cottage for years to come.
But opening up to the public what had been for many years my secret 'little piece of heaven' and my place of personal therapy after Joe's death, was never going to be easy but necessary..
I delayed many times but then one day the time felt right.
When I finally decided to take action I was shocked by how right it felt and how suddenly I felt a huge sense of purpose and an excitement about something other than my family and my horses!
With the help of my family and obviously Mr.P and even the Wildlings we got stuck into getting the place picture perfect ready.
Between painting, whitewashing adding and fixing up pieces of furniture and having the necessary bits and bobs needed to have guests stay comfortably it took quite a bit of work, but it was a great team effort and Trohanny cottage was ready by the end of August 2019.
Now I had no excuses left..
The Wildlings help Mr. P with planting out the back
I was so nervous i was sick to my stomach for weeks before, but i will forever be grateful that our first guests were unbelievably warm, friendly and obviously loved the place so much that i thought my heart would burst with pride.
They stayed two nights and after the first night going so well it felt so natural to have them there.
To be honest it was hard to believe.
When i read their review i felt so many emotions..happiness, pride, relief all of those and more.
I am so moved by some of the things guests have written in our visitors books..
There was one particular man's story that stood out to me as he was someone who did not want to be there to begin with and had felt 'dragged along to the middle of nowhere' by his partner.
She was lovely, so friendly and happy to be there but i also knew she was slightly uncomfortable with her partners lack of enthusiasm. He had been no doubt been looking forward to a modern glass filled hotel with a bar and restaurant on site and had ended up driving down grass lined narrow country lanes in the dark to an little old thatched cottage with no t.v!!
I knew immediately by his body language and before he even spoke that he was tired, grumpy and not too impressed.
I was so disappointed as they had booked of all dates Joe's anniversary and i had debated whether to allow the booking or not, but i went ahead with it hoping that there would be a special reason that I didn't understand yet.
With a feeling of slight regret i brought them in..
I did my usual Ceád Míle Fáilte and just went about my business of showing them around the place.
And as i did i watched this man visabily soften and he started to chat and then he was reminising about his grandmothers' old place and the ingle-nook in the fireplace and so on, but better again he was smiling.
I knew the place was working it's magic and i dared hope that 'we had him'!!
They stayed 2 nights and i waited with bated breath to see if they would leave a review.
I will never forget reading those two pages in the visitors book..
He wrote some lovely things on the first day and spoke as i had guessed about how he was 'stressed and apprehensive when he arrived but how he melted back to a time he once knew',
And by the second day the man had turned into a poet!
I now understood why Joe had sent me these people on this special day. i should have trusted that his spirit would only send someone for a reason, and it all became clear by the words before me.
I stood looking out the half door and i cried and cried and half soaked the pages as i read.
And what i subsequently found after the second and third and on, was that these guests were getting something more from the cottage than just a nice cosy stay, it was almost a spiritual experience and a feeling of peace.
It's been said to me more than once that the cottage has a healing quality and in these people coming away feeling so good was therapy in itself for me, a cathartic experience coming full circle and that fills me with a happiness i can't explain.
Little Miss Nya waits at the half door to welcome the first guests
...Big day today at Trohanny Cottage as we greet our first guests in a few hours!
i'm feeling a few nerves but also excitement.
I think it's about time other people got to enjoy and appreciate this lovely old building and farmstead and hopefully we can make a little to pay towards it's upkeep to ensure it's here long after we're gone.
We've been busy putting a last few touches to the place.
I love making it look as cosy and welcoming as possible, i feel it's rather like a grand old lady that deserves to be dressed in her finest twin set and pearls with a good pair of stout boots hidden underneath her petticoats (plenty of substance under the fine attire!) in fairness she has weathered many storms.
Typically the weather has gone from a beautiful Indian summer to rain rain and more rain, but anyone who knows Irish weather knows it never stays the same for more than a couple of hours and i'm seeing little peep holes of blue through the clouds..fingers crossed we may even have one of our vibrant double rainbows to greet them as they arrive.
Now would'nt that be a lucky day!
One of the many rainbows we get at Trohanny Cottage