Over the years I,ve had many friends and their friends come to stay. Most people are nice and polite and ideal house guests. But I've had my share of bad ones too.
Two girls, friends of a friend, saw I was about to use the washing machine and asked if they could put some things in too. No problem, of course. I went to work and when I got home found that they had hung their things neatly out on the line and left my stuff in a wet heap on the kitchen floor.
One person who had never been abroad before would not touch ANY of the food here. She was particularly disgusted with seafood, almost vomiting when we ate an octopus salad in front of her. She ate only philidelphia sandwiches for 5 days.
One friend phoned me. "I'm driving down from Rome tonight." She wanted a double bed prepared for her in Skyes room, wanted to bring a new boyfriend, wanted to arrive at 3am so I should leave the door unlocked when I go to bed!! Yeah, right.
I said if you want to come you're not bringing a strange man into my house at 3am, come alone. I,ll hide the key outside. So she agreed. I made a bed for her, hid the keys, left the light on. Needless to say she didn't turn up...or call the next day.
One girl called from the UK to ask what she could bring me. "Ooh, some Cadburys chocolate and an OK magazine please," thinking it was not too much to ask for. She brought me 1 flake, forgot the magazine, offered to babysit one evening, didn't, used my clothes and didn't speak to me for 2 days because while she was sulking about something I told her that her mouth looked like a dogs arse!
One couple arrived and sat watching while I hefted mattrasses from room to room, and demanded when was I going to start cooking them dinner because they were hungry. They then took over the living room for 3 days watching back to back dvds, while Carlo had to perch on the edge of the bed watching tv with no volume or lights because Skye was asleep in our room.
I am not a b&b, or free hotel. I offer friends a room to stay in if they want to visit but they should not expect hotel service. I already have 2 jobs, a child to look after, dinner to cook, and lunch to prepare for the next day. I enjoy having visitors, but not when they take advantage of my hospitality.
Of course there are wonderful guests too. When my parents arrive it's like Christmas. They bring all sorts of goodies and babysit in the evenings. A group of girls come every year from London armed with duty free vodka, chocolate and the whole range of clothes from Topshop. They leave interesting girlie things all over the place and all sunbathe in a line, topless, which Carlo and the guys love!
We've got a couple coming to stay on Friday from Chianti. I'm sure they'll be fine...