Millport Breaks Holiday Apartments, Isle of Cumbrae
07757 216105

another season draws to a close..

As expected, all three flats have been busy over the summer holidays, and I seem to have spent a good deal of time washing the same duvet covers and ironing them in my very own Groundhog Day scenario…..I usually watch Netflix as I iron, – nearly burnt the covers a few weeks ago, I was  so engrossed in The OJ Simpson story!!

I’ve got some later bookings this year in Cosy Corner, possibly due to the lure of the wood burner, so we will still be ticking over next month in all flats. I’m trying not to close for too long, but we will have to take a few days to paint the bedroom ,and to put new flooring down.

The flooring was part of the ” rolling refurb ” idea that we have adopted for some years now- every winter something is replaced, or improved. This means of course that not everything can be renewed every year. However I was really hurt and dismayed to have a very poor review from a lady who complained bitterly that the carpet was not to her stringent standards. The carpet was laid in 2013, and Sammy and I wash it regularly with my carpet shampooer. I think partly I was hurt because we do our best to provide homely and clean accomodation, rather than 5* luxury. and partly I was hurt because some of the comments were incredibly personal. The review stuck out like a sore thumb among the lovely 25 or so good ones I’ve had so far for Cosy Corner.

Reviews are, surely, supposed to give future guests an idea of what they’re coming to. Useful and constructive criticism, helpful ideas to improve ..sure. Pejorative and subjective dismissal of all our efforts are not welcome or helpful. Perhaps people forget ,as they blast out a ringing attack on an owner and a property, that they are damaging a small business, sometimes irrevocably.

We always ask that if there’s a problem, people tell us. We will always do our best to put things right. So before you write that stinging review for a restaurant, or a holiday cottage, ask yourself if you’ve given the owner a chance to put it right? There’s a real person behind that business!

My old mum used to say ” If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all ” Maybe that wasn’t such a bad idea.

Anyway. I’ve chalked it down to one of those things, and put it behind me!  🙂 Onwards and upwards, and we will be putting nice new hard flooring down, so I’m sure dog owners will appreciate that even more!

Cheerio.

 

A tale of two cludgies

As the season really starts to get underway, it becomes increasingly tricky to get any maintenance or improvements done to the apartments. The changeover time is taken up by.. well, changeovers! Fresh bedding, cleaning, a bit of tidying up of the garden perhaps, water all the flowers….it’s all go.

However, we have managed to do half of a much needed tidy up of the little cellar,( the outside toilet in another life ) opposite the door in Cosy Corner. This now houses the washing machine, which leaves more space in the kitchen of course, but this ” laundry” room can also take wet jackets, wellies, bucket and spades, and Nordic Walking Poles, if you’re that way inclined!!

Disappointingly, the lovely cornflower blue floor paint has stubbornly refused to stick in one corner. That’s a job for a weekend in July, when Mr Millport Breaks and myself will be in situ. The window also needs repaired, and we will be putting some shelving up. However for the moment, the washing machine is now plumbed in, which will be a big help for our visitors, I’m sure.

The instantly recognisable Suki ,our resident cludgie cleaner on the Isle, continues her blog vlog ; https://www.facebook.com/cumbraecludgiecleaner/

which is a heartwarming tale of one woman’s battle against crystalised urine on the men’s urinals  😉

but she also does a fantastic job keeping our much needed public toilets open ,clean, and welcoming. Well worth a visit, even if you don’t need a wee!!

Here comes summer

We’ve been enjoying some really fantastic weather in Millport this spring-it’s the driest April and May I can remember for ages. Plenty of opportunity to sit outside at  The Garrison and  The Dancing Midge Cafe  and enjoy some lunch or coffee in between cleaning.

We hope to get the washing machine into the outhouse At Cosy Corner very soon. The plumbing has been done, we just need to paint it and tidy it up for guests to use! You can guarantee that as soon as there’s some outside work requiring done, it will rain  that weekend.

Still, all our guests seem to have enjoyed their stays in Cosy Corner and indeed in Rose Cottage and Number 44! We have had some great reviews. Come and stay yourself!

 

Definitely finished !

Well it took a whole lot longer than expected, about a hundred all day breakfasts in the Dancing Midge cafe , a lot of losing the screwdriver that you just had in your hand two minutes ago…..some sweary words, some frosty silences, some laughing, some wondering for the umteenth time which way the Ikea drawers go, a whole lot of cardboard to get rid of…….but we are done. Crawford st is now called Cosy Corner and is the nicest place in Millport- honestly. 

Nearly finished Part 1 !

The woodburner is in situ, and Mr Millport Breaks and I are thoroughly enjoying the warmth as we continue to redecorate.

Preparation is key, Mr MB always tells me, so while I’d much rather be choosing the paint colour, or hanging the curtains, I’m busy sanding woodwork every weekend, oh frabjous joy.

He’s busy papering- first an insulating paper, then a lining paper- nearly finished this bit! We think it will make the flat cosier , and less prone to condensation in corners.

While we stripped off the old paper, we came across some lovely old 30’s frieze along the top of the wall. This room was originally the kitchen, with a bed reccess for the maid probably!

We’ve taken lots of breaks for coffee ,soup, and giant breakfasts , in the Dancing Midge cafe, and also for a bit of foraging for kindling wood along the beach.

We will be taking a short break over Xmas, but will be continuing with the refit as soon as the festivities are over, and we will soon be turning our attention to the new kitchen…

And I’m still waiting….

Well they say the path of true love never runs smoothly, so I’m guessing it’s the same for woodburners….

The liners are proving very difficult to drop down the chimneys, due to some drips of mortar that have fallen down when the chimney’s were originally sealed up. The workmen referred to these as “wee snotters of mortar” which is both picturesque and revolting at the same time…

So all is on hold till the middle of next week.

This is a bit of a pain, as it holds everything else up, but hey ho, what can you do. Well you can stick your head up the chimney and pretend you’re an 19th century child, I suppose…..chris-up-chimney

The Woodburning Men are coming… look busy.

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We spent most of this weekend putting things away, ready for the fireplace renovation. As you can see, the original is not a thing of beauty, being enormous and with the remnants of an old back boiler for the original range still in place. I can’t wait to get the whole thing pulled out, though various people have suggested I should save it and try and resell it.
Er, no, I don’t think so.
All the furniture has been dismantled, all the bedding has been put away, the carpet is rolled up, and we just await the arrival of the Woodburning Men ( sounds like a cult group, I think?) to arrive next week.
Pictures to follow.
We took a break, and had lunch in The Garrison – they do an excellent bowl of soup and a sandwich for about a fiver.
Then coffee in The Midge…. not wanting to leave anyone out….
I’ll be down next week to supervise the Woodburning Men, so watch this space!

It’s getting hot in here…….

Well we hope so anyway!

Over this winter, our flat in Crawford street will be getting a bit of a makeover, firstly the form of a new woodburner ,which will be installed in the living room. The bedroom fireplace will also be opened up and lined, but we anticipate that the living room fire will be the one most used.

A new kitchen will be next on the agenda, and we intend to reopen in time for Easter.

Crawford street is the flat we bought first, way back in 2007, and while we have redecorated a few times, renewed the bathroom fittings and changed the layout round a bit, this will be the most extensive refit we have done here. Mr Millport Breaks is looking forward to doing manly things involving chopping wood, and I’m looking forward to sitting in front of the fire with a glass of wine. We know our strengths….

So this weekend will be the start of clearing the flat out- it’s going to be a messy job!- and the fitters will be arriving mid October.

Rose Cottage and 44 George street will be open over the winter though, so you can still enjoy that weekend break away.

I’m still pondering wether to change the name of the Crawford st flat. Seaspray?  Cosy Corner Cottage?

We get lots of repeat guests, and I wouldn’t want to confuse anybody , but research shows new guests book something more readily if it has a “name ” rather than just an address.

Well, I can mull it over a bit as I pack away all the bedding, books and toys ready for the wood burner arriving.

Have a good weekend yourselves!crawfordYelloPillows920