5 days into the New Year and The Composer finally finds time to pen the latest blog.  And not before time!  The past month has been frantic, funny, filled with good cheer and an abundance of festive spirit – and not just the liquid kind.

As November ended, the festive season seemed a way off and the list of jobs was ready,  unmarked, untouched and digestible in small, easy to handle, bite size, pieces.  Then IT happened. Someone stole 75% of the working week, hid weekends and catapulted Mr & Mrs Composer to 24th December at a speed even astronaut Tim Peake would have applauded. How was it for you, dear reader? Did this happen to you? Or did time only evaporate so quickly here in Northumberland?

Final ‘regular guests’ departed around the 15th December and we also bade farewell to the fitters, builders, management and staff of Go Outdoors (more of them next month). Our staff burst into action and prepared inside all our properties for incoming Christmas and New Year Guests.  Outdoors we sparkled the grounds with a festive light show and decorations. By the 19th we were ready to welcome our first guests, flying in from the USA. All done and dusted? Well not quite!  It took us a few days to assemble various requests (like a REAL Christmas tree for one property PLUS a traditional American Spiral cut, oak smoked, glazed ham.  And, yes, we got it!!)  We also acted as Santa’s postal address for the ‘advance’ gifts. We always thought the bearded one came from the North Pole – apparently he has a depot in South America in somewhere called (the) Amazon!

In the midst of the doing and dusting, Mrs Composer (Senior) celebrated her 94th Birthday, the younger Mrs Composer announced plans for a change of location for our other business commitments in care management and children and grandchildren descended on us, to bring even more festive happiness. Done and dusted?? We certainly were.

New Year dawned and we head into our annual ‘deep clean’.  It’s the behind the scenes work that ensures our properties and grounds are ready to sparkle throughout 2016 as we welcome guests.  Quick thinking guests have also taken advantage of our January advance sales and grabbed bargain discounts on bookings – it’s not too late even now – as offers run until the end of the month.  Get your 2016 holiday all “done and dusted” and book soon.  Now where is my feather duster………..?