The Composer sat back and 1st June arrived  – it was officially SUMMER!  Or was it?  It seems like Composers at Woodlands has been in ‘summer mode’ ever since Easter with the most lovely, warm and dry weather. Well, amazing if you like sitting out in it but not good if, as was the commission of The Composer, the outside of properties and grounds needed annual and ongoing cleaning and maintenance.

Of course the lockdown and lack of staff on site meant that instead of seeing our usual contractors, the work fell on those left on site, namely Mr & Mrs Composer!  Ah well, it did no harm to be working outside in such amazing weather.  The down side was that the volume of work seemed daunting at the outset but, once started, the list shrank quickly as jobs were completed.

Unlike April, when it was the hard grind with the pressure wash, this past month has been a little less arduous with planting and general tasks take priority.  Inevitably the stresses of ‘Lockdown’ have been present and the need to use hauliers and logistic carriers to ferry items to Woodlands has been very evident.  As ever, Composers is indebted to the hard working people who are still able to travel the A1 to bring us essential items including all manner of ‘garden things’.

Again, with no Guests in our properties, we have taken the moment to carry out essential and architectural work and also set about beginning to become ‘Compliant’ so that when we re-open we are totally ready to welcome Guests back to our holiday properties.  But it will be so different!

Gone are the gates that require manual opening, replaced by open walkways or remote controlled access. Gone is the cheery ‘Welcome Book’ in each property brimming with information about Composers in general, the property, the area and places Guests make like to visit.  Now it’s all available on a USB stick attached to the TV which offers the information in a digital format.  Gone also is the one thing, The Composer and Mrs C have cherished over the years – and which has been commented on by so many Guests – the welcome.

Sunny and bright days may be here, but the thought of giving our guest their key at a distance through a security box, not being able to shake hands (we even hug with some Guests who have been visiting us for many years!!) or greet our younger Guests with a high 5, seems to cast a small shadow on our welcome. We will do our best to make sure there are no ‘shadows’!!

Our daily ‘Open Office’ is also now suspended as the pressure on the Office Reception cannot be accommodated within ‘Covid Compliant Guidelines’, so we will miss that wonderful interaction with our Guests.  It is the price we have to pay to ensure all our Guests remain safe and well and return home, after their stay, refreshed and ready to face this ‘new’ world.

Re-opening Composers will bring us a new regime, this summer and in every coming season.  One thing is for certain, Composers and Northumberland will shine through and welcome all Guests warmly.  See you soon, we hope!