Ahh… December 23rd and here I am once again writing our Coul progress report. It feels like it’s been a long and certainly; busy year. So much so I’m struggling to remember what it was exactly we did this year, I certainly hope that there will be more years ahead like this one in many respects.
I feel sure we must have knocked something off our to-do list..? Now I recall; we started the year with two more rooms being refurbished and the bathrooms being put onto the new pressurised water system – only two rooms left to go which is fantastic. I have been teasing Susannah that we should keep one room ‘untouched’ to remind us of how far we’ve come – but she’s not keen on that idea for some reason. In fact the last two rooms are scheduled to be done in February 2019 – finally! Although I’m not sure what we’re going to do after they’re all complete…ahh…if only that were true, we’re already looking at new furniture and fabrics to refurbish the incumbent furniture, fixtures and fittings, and on it goes.
Back in 2004 I said “only thirteen and a half years to go and the loan will be paid off” however in 2010,
I said goodbye to my cautious bank manager and established a new fifteen year business loan to allow us to press on with our refurbishment plans. So, August 2025 is for now; the new target.
In 2011 I talked about the ‘incredible’ quote for a pressurised water system and here we are now seven years later having spent 50K in the last two years upgrading the plumbing system one pressurised tank at a time. Mind you at least this cost includes all new pipes and some of the bathroom hardware. Now, I know patience is a virtue and one I am often credited with however, trying to find a plumber to finish the job that they’ve started is beginning to test even my patience (and that’s saying something). I’m hoping 2019 will bring better fortunes where plumbers are concerned. Whilst I have been frustrated with plumbers over the years I have been blessed with sparkies, A. J. Morrison and in particular Caly, Paul Morrison`s right hand man has been extremely diligent and a pleasure to work with as has Paul himself. Caly has installed outside lights, rewired more parts of the hotel than I care to mention, installed many USB sockets and patiently waited on a number of occasions for Susannah`s attention to inform him of her latest plans or indeed amended plans for the refurbished bedrooms electrical requirements.
And as if each passing year is not enough of a measure of time, my gorgeous wee girlies are hardly recognisable, having grown into young women almost overnight (certainly before I was ready for it). They both helped out in the hotel this summer, Aurora up front in the restaurant and Liah with Garry in the kitchen. Aurora also passed her driving test this year (with some excellent tuition from Susannah) and left Contin for Edinburgh College in August to study contemporary dance which she is thoroughly enjoying. Liah is champing at the bit to pass her driving test in 2019 (once she’s finished her Highers). It barely seems like yesterday that we were moving into Coul House whilst trying to keep an eye on two wee tots running around, often in one dressing-up outfit or another!
We were lucky in August to add Lara McLeod (Chris’s wife) to our management team and our luck continued in September when Casey Mackenzie re-joined the team after a nine month sabbatical. Susannah and I feel the whole team (front & back of house) has never been stronger and we are extremely proud of how they have pulled together and worked hard to make the hotel a success for another year.
Yours sincerely Proud owners,
Stuart and Susannah MacPerson.