Anyone who knows me, knows that when it comes to holidays, I’m not scared to flash the cash. I will spend my last dollar/pound/yen to have a good time on vacation. So, when we decided to do a ‘stay-cation’ with The Dog, we rented a nice little cottage for about 900 quid. A tad more than you need to spend on a cottage in North Wales, but lovely it looked on the website all the same.
And fair play, when we arrived it looked appropriately quaint with its country touches here and there. I don’t mind a bit of shabby chic in good taste. Sadly, our holiday lasted about an hour and a half.
We’d just settled in and I’d parked my rear end on the sofa with a glass of chilled wine and a book when The Husband let out an audible groan from the kitchen. Usually unflappable, I assumed the worst – had we not brought the water crackers for the cheese?
“What’s up?” I enquired, not willing to shift to find out in person.
“I almost don’t want to tell you.” was the response from the kitchen. This was serious. No beer opener?
“I think you better.” I demanded, my interest piqued.
“Well, there’s a mouse in the kitchen. It’s just run across the bench top and up the wall to the ceiling.”
And that’s when I lost my shit. See, I lived through the mouse plague in the 1980s in Australia. Whilst I appreciate that mice are part of the ecosystem, I never ever want one in my house, even briefly. I most certainly don’t want to pay £900 a week to share a food preparation space with them.
Glued to the floor in the living room, oscillating wildly to check whether I had any near me, The Husband ran to fetch the owners returning with their daughter. The pair of them then witnessed either the same mouse or another one run up the wall. Whilst the daughter was apologetic, her parents were less so. So, we waited to speak with her parents. Whilst I did, I dared myself to look in the kitchen, still glued to the spot in the living room. Another mouse darted across the floor. When the owners returned to the property discussions with The Husband did not go well. They believed that mice inside is ‘part and parcel’ of living in the country, which is news to me, having lived in the country for most of my life. Failing to provide any plan of action to address the situation we packed up the car and left.
So, you’d think a refund would be coming our way, right? Ah, no. The booking agent (Sykes Cottages) palmed us off to the owners who as we’d already found out, think nothing of having mice in one’s kitchen. The only hope we had of getting any money back was to sue them or hope that some other poor fucker took it as a short-break rental, which fortunately for us (not them) happened.
Anyway, if you want to spend a week in a cottage in north Wales, try this place. Since the owners think it is perfectly acceptable to rent such a place, then they won’t mind me mentioning the mice in the kitchen. I recommended they even put it on the website, but they don’t seem to. Weird that.