A sharp intake of breath


 September this year has brought something of a slowdown after the hectic staycation boom of August. Fate has intervened again with a broken ankle so how best to make use of the time?

Life in the slow lane 

 Bookings are back to normal, we maxed out in the Summer for sure, selling every available night, even taking on a student house which performed admirably for the owner and my business. As September commenced I enthusiastically started ripping out 2 more flats in Southsea for long-overdue renovations, with a view to turning them over to holiday lets for the New Year. You will all be familiar with the rip-out process, after the usual exclamations about the state of the place all goods are removed, carpets rolled up and trips to the dump booked (at least here in Portsmouth we get 3 per week!). On dump run number 5 (the last one) I foolishly tripped on the kerb, my other foot came to the rescue but, alas, also hit the kerb, twisted and snapped at the ankle. Embarrassed I fell to the floor, reassured the staff that I was fine and, after a few minutes, got in the car and drove home. I am a gung-ho sort of person but when I got home my husband and son immediately saw that something needed to be done. The excellent staff at St Mary's and QA sorted me out but, in order to avoid surgery, I have to be extra careful not to move for a week before re-assessment for the knife.

The dilemma for me is that I am an active sort of person, a strong routine of weight training, tennis and boxing quells my anxiety and keeps me sane, relieving the tension of self-employment and keeping me on-schedule (as well as ensuring that I can enjoy greedy portions of food). My PT is keen to continue ASAP, as am I, but instead I am forced to contemplate the awkward items dwelling at the bottom of my in-tray (and no doubt the back of my mind) over the next few weeks.

I have signed up for some scintillating courses, one on investment, another on tax, to keep my mind moving forward. My son has joined me in the business so we will be doing some of this together and he is also off to see an HMO development in Wales that he has got involved with as well as helping out with the renovations. HMRC require an endless list of returns and there are some niggling problems with the business that could do with some attention to detail. The plan for the next month involves rewriting my listing descriptions in the best possible way, smoothing and automating the check-in process for my guests and finding the exact right words for each guest communication. Of course, the office needs a good tidy and I could do with creating some archive boxes for previous years' stuff (never throw anything away!). Fortunately I have my team to do the physical running around and nobody has a holiday booked until I am back on my feet so with the right support both the business and myself will be OK. I will report back next month on life in the slow lane.

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