The ground floor of our house is a separate flat - it was the house that was originally built on our plot, before the owners extended upwards. Since we moved here in 2006 we have considered it our 'guest flat' - and over the years it's been quite widely used. We've had relatives staying, and friends, and friends of friends... we've also had people connected with Richard's work, and other random people, needing a place to stay. The only criteria is that if we don't know them, we know someone who can vouch for them.
We don't run it commercially - it's not an AirBnB or anything like that - it's part of our home. When it's not occupied by guests it sometimes gets used for construction work, or things related to Richard's boat. Some years it's quite busy, other years less so. And, of course, last year there were virtually no visitors at all. We did have someone who stayed a few nights over the 2020 New Year, but then she was able to go somewhere else that was more convenient. Visitors due to come in the spring - and the autumn - had to cancel as the world went into lockdown.
In September last year, we did host the son of friends who flew back from another country and had to self-isolate for a week or so, and a few weeks later hosted a young woman who was here for a few days working with the refugees. But I don't think either of them did any cooking - one had food provided by his family, the other was out and about. We did a quick vacuum and mop before both these people arrived, of course, and ensured the bedding and towels were clean. But it was a long time since we did any serious cleaning - there didn't seem to be much point, as nobody has stayed there since October 2020.
At the start of June this year, we hosted our first barbecue of the season for our closest friends. I realised as I took lids off salads that I hadn't brought down sufficient serving spoons, so I popped into the guest flat and grabbed a couple out of the drawer. And was shocked at the mustiness. I washed them, of course, and afterwards they went through our dishwasher. But I made a mental note that before we had any guests in the flat, we would need to go through all the drawers and cupboards, and wash all the cutlery and crockery.
For about six months the second bedroom in the guest flat was full of boxes belonging to some other friends who have moved to a different country. And although we've had a lot of people provisionally booking to come and stay in the Autumn, there wasn't anyone due to come before then. But I felt the urge to get started with the cleaning and sorting while the weather wasn't quite as hot as it was likely to be in July and August. So when I stopped walking with Sheila towards the end of June - as it was starting to get hot - I decided to spend an hour or so each day, first thing, doing some sorting in the guest flat. Richard was able to move the boxes, and also took away the last of his tools and sailing bits and pieces... and I began.
I started with the main/front bedroom, as that seemed like the easiest. I washed the curtains and cleaned the windows, and the radiator (which was full of dust). We cleaned the air conditioner, and I washed the mattress cover and pillowcases that were out, and dusted and mopped. That took a couple of days, but it was quite satisfying when it was done: