The Composer is reflective.  Taking a slighty adapted version of the opening words of ‘A Tale of Two Cities’, “It was the best of months, it was the worst of months”………….so reflecting on February provided the ‘best and worst’.  As you may recall, from the January Blog, The Composer and Mrs C spent January in foreign parts, returning the weekend of Storm Ciara. A fraught 29hr ferry crossing (normally 23hrs) from Santander to Portsmouth, in the eye of the storm, was not the best way to return to the UK.

The journey got worse, driving north to Berwick, offering rain, high winds, sleet and a downfall of snow on the M1 which brought the place to a standstill.  Meanwhile, at Composers at Woodlands, all was calm and fine! Even Storm Dennis failed to impact on this part of the North East.

February continued the theme of ‘best and worst’.  Our world is warming and the devastating effects on parts of the UK are all too evident.  For some peculiar reason, Northumberland has been spared from the worst weather and Half Term brought us guests who enjoyed (cool!!) but dry and sunny days.  Great for brisk walks but not too good for days on the beach. We enjoyed the company of the best guests – we really do have to say a huge thank you to them all. The worst part was saying goodbye!

The 2020 reservations at Composers have been the best, catapulting us into action very much earlier than usual. It’s been challenging to make sure everyone who booked could have their ‘favourite’ property.  With some careful arranging and the cooperation of guests, The Composer has managed the booking diary to everyone’s satisfaction!  

Another worst moment in the month was watching media coverage of those caught up in the Coronavirus outbreak. The effect in physical and emotional terms, the stress on those away from home and unable to return, the strain on medical services and staff and the worry as to how it will impact on places and events in the coming months makes this ‘worst of times’ even more trying. In tourism terms, this could be a year many will want to forget.  Maybe the ‘stay-cation’ is now more likely than ever – and the UK has so much to offer!!

For The Composer and team at Woodlands, the best will come after the worst! February is a hard month with deep cleaning programmes, grafting to wake up the gardens and grounds after winter and the round of unseen (but essential) work of the back office. Soon, we will resume ‘normal service’ once more. We look forward to the best of times as guests continue to visit us and enjoy a short break or longer holiday at Composers, Northumberland.

Here’s hoping the worst is behind and the best is just starting, for us all.