Monday, May 30, 2005

In the dark

We were full last night. One of the guests came down this morning and said that the power had gone off in the bedroom. On closer investigation the power had gone off in all the bedrooms. This was because the 60 Amp fuse in the main fuse box (yes they are lengths of fuse wire) had blown. The electric showers in the rooms are 8.4KW or 36A each. So if more than 2 people have a shower it's going to cause problems. Our aim is to replace the electric showers with ones fed off the hot water system.

Doing 10 breakfasts involves a bit of predicting what folk want. Most people have a fry up, but not all want black pudding and haggis. Almost all want bacon and most want sausages. So we can pre-cook them maybe 15 minutes before breakfast starts and that makes things a bit less fraught when folk all appear at once.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Bed and breakfast

Five folk in tonight - three sent by the Glenbank and two chance. I'm waiting for them to come down for breakfast.

L has rewritten our website and signed us up to various online listings. The little counter at the bottom of the first page records all sorts of useful data about who's looking at the site and where they're from.
We're now on, roomfinders, bed and breakfast directory and (probably) several others.

The public bar was very quiet until around 9.30 when half a dozen folk piled in to watch the football. From 12 til 4 there were only two folk in.

The current problem is that the public bar is dark and not very inviting. Another problem is that we're not currently doing food due to the renovations. We've had quite a few folk in looking for food and we send them to the Pheasant, Simply Scottish or the Glenbank depending on what they want. A third problem is that kids are theoretically not allowed in the public bar. In practice if it's quiet there's no problem - we had a couple in yesterday with young son and we sat him in the back bar with a glass of coke. Once we're doing food we can use the morning room for families. Or our proposed beer garden.

Sunday, May 15, 2005

Quiet night in

That's what everyone seems to have had last night. For a Saturday night it was very quiet. Part of the problem is that we have currently a very small group of regulars and if they decide not to come out we don't have any customers. It's very easy to lose customers but harder to attract new ones. The people who come in at present do so because they have always come - they treat it like their living room and get quite upset if "strangers" - as they call anyone they don't know - come in. The bar is not inviting with unsympathetic upgrading over the years leaving us with dark plywood and a scabby laminate bar top.
More planning needed.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005


One of the things we considered as desirable when looking for a property was a public bar. So far the Spread Eagle bar is the only thing generating any noticeable amount of money, though accommodation is building gradually as the tourist season gets under way, The problem with running the bar though, is that someone has to be there all the time even if there are no customers in. Our worst day, a few weeks ago, had me standing in the bar for 10 hours for total takings of just over £10. Very dispiriting!

In contrast, last Saturday was busy enough to put smiles on our faces and this Friday promises to be reasonably busy too. The occasion is the "Declaration of the Callant" when the local lad who leads the Jedburgh festival is named. The criteria for being Callant are quite restrictive - you have to be born in Jedburgh, unmarried and not going to get married for several years and you have to be able to ride a horse.
Oh, and you have to be able to sing too.

It's traditionally a "ladies night" so we have stocked up on girlie drinks:-)

Tuesday, May 03, 2005


I'm trying to focus on the screen before the first coffee of the morning kicks in and waiting for our two guests to come down for breakfast. The Scottish Borders Tourist Board (as it used to be called) is trying to get people to stay in Jedburgh for more than one night. They've spent lots of money telling people that the Borders is Scotland's leading short break destination, but recent research has shown that most people stay for one night and give "passing through" as their reason for staying. That's borne out by our limited experience here - mostly one or occasionally two night stays. That's a pain because it means that the room has to be completely made up every day.

So it's pleasing to have our current two guests who are staying for a week. We need more people like that!

Interesting people No 1: We had an Italian violin maker drop into the bar for coffee yesterday. From Calabria, but staying in Edinburgh. He pronounced our coffee good, though it isn't the coffee we'll be selling once we get our act together. We have taken delivery of a big shiny espresso machine and agreed to buy only Bei & Nannino's fab coffee. However, we are still using up our stock of Java beans from Thompson's of Glasgow, and I'm currently drinking Matthew Algie's Tinderbox coffee (the stuff they use in the shop of the same name in Glasgow)

Broadband has finally arrived in Jedburgh. It was a bit of a shock having to go back to dial-up when we moved down here. That'll allow us to get the (temporary but in danger of becoming permanent) website rewritten.