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66. And the winner is…

13 April, 2021

Lavinia, April 12, 2021

Since moving to Spain, it seems that we are constantly living with deadlines and emotional ups and downs. We lived a life of at least 10 years in the past two years. It seems so, because we experience so many things. Sometimes we can barely follow it, sometimes it’s so overwhelming, and I barely have the time to post it all. There doesn’t seem to be time to dwell on anything, or the next one is coming. Despite the tremendous tranquility and relaxed life in the south, I experience the clock inside me as a frenetic ticking and banging on at speed. Beware; I do not feel this as negative or positive. I’ll just determine it. I also don’t know if I will bear the consequences afterwards, or if it just strengthens me in dealing with things that happen outside of me. I seem to experience two or three lives at the same time. I live that intensely. And yet I don’t have the time to dwell on things for very long. Because everything that happens in and around Lavinia requires an immediate response, and it forces Wim and me to react very quickly. This also means that we consult a lot, and do things together. Very often we have to drop other deadlines because a new deadline suddenly presents itself.

For example, we have a project running – which is still a secret for the time being – in which it is necessary that the domain excellent maintained. That means: no weeds, no rubbish, no leaves lying around, the wood piles neatly ordered, the renovated kitchen-cum-restaurant and terrace furnished and decorated. In short, not just a one-day job. The project requires extremely sunny and warm weather. Coincidentally, the weather is somewhat variable at the moment: one day the sun shines with a force of 29 ° in the shade, the next day there are a lot of clouds or it is just blowing violently again. Long story short, planning in advance is difficult, and we have to look at how we plan our week day by day.

The end of the quarter also means that the accounts must be submitted. Because we hired a different accountant from 1 January, this requires a lot more work than usual. And I have to admit that we did not follow up our whole thing so accurately. Indeed, again because of unexpected events.

The day I left for Belgium, Wim had a stupid accident with our van. Somehow The handbrake was applied just a little too little while the car was standing in front of the gate with the engine running, while opening the gate. Just then, the downstairs neighbor called Wim to talk about a water leak that we turned out to have in the pipe to the street. In any case, the men had been talking for about ten minutes, when Wim suddenly saw the impossible happening in the corner of his eye. The car – with a weight of 2 tons – suddenly started to bulge downwards, and kept speeding up. The only option Wim had, was to call on Alberto – the neighbour – and jump away from the colossus that was coming. Wim just saw Alberto disappear under the rear wheels. The fear hit his heart, because this really did not seem to be right. Fortunately, the good man turned out to have only been hit by the car, and therefore ended up between the trees. “No pasa nada” he said reassuringly, nothing to worry about. He only had a torn shirt and an ugly scrape. The big spruce tree had saved his life. That tree has now become Alberto’s great friend and always gets a big hug from him when he tells his story with enthusiasm to anyone who wants to hear it. The car was seriously damaged, both at the side and at the rear. It took quite some effort to get it repaired at the expense of the insurance. Fortunately, we had included a good omnium. More than 3 weeks we had to miss our trusty four-wheeler. You really can’t do without it here. It also turned out not to be at all easy to get a replacement car for such a long period. But that all ended well. It is back in our possession, with a completely new tailgate, new mirror and protruded and newly painted side panels.

Total price – fortunately for the insurance – was around 5000 euros!

Back to accounting, Lavinia’s worst job. It had to be finished before April 6. Anyway. But sometimes there are things that are just that little bit more urgent, even if it is already April 6, and the bookkeeping is not complete …

Tuesday, we received an email – under embargo – that we had achieved a podium place in the category best accommodation of the year 2021 in the Bare Compass! Award. The winner would be announced in a live broadcast on social media that Friday, three days later. And whether we could deliver a video about our resort as soon as possible, one with a word of thanks and a number of photos. Perfectionist as we are, we also wanted to do this well. The fact is that quite a few things have changed since the release of our last video on Youtube. At that time there was no question of pétanque and the restaurant. That should certainly be added, we thought. Moreover, we had only made our video in English and Spanish at the time. So we immediately dropped everything to make and record new shots, and Wim went to work until 4 a.m. to put the video together.

But the result was really there! It turned out to be a fantastic video. I am very proud of the result that Wim achieved! For whoever is curious about our (naturist) movie

I don’t know why, but I was very nervous about that ceremony. I thought it was impossible to win this trophy two years in a row. We hadn’t had that many guests either. The reviews were no less, but still. It was also impossible to determine which parameters were used to determine the mean score, so we remained uncertain about the outcome.

On Friday at a little before midday we were glued to the laptop. I felt a shake from the tension. So crazy, It was completely out of my control. “Why do they always have to be so important when they open the envelope and announce the winners, I thought. Come on, just tell me! ” I couldn’t take it anymore, and when our name came out as the winner, first came the feeling of disbelief, immediately followed by tears of happiness.

And immediately a bitter feeling and even a bit of a feeling of guilt arose, because our colleagues from Italy –Grottamiranda – didn’t make it. We would have given them so much. Ultimately, everyone does the best he can to make their guests feel as comfortable as possible. Still it remains a great honor to receive this tremendous appreciation from our guests. Especially in the past year of covid misery, where you had to show enormous flexibility, inventiveness and adaptation, still by the way.

 

We are therefore very grateful to everyone who posted a review and gave us the opportunity to win this award. But this is not the most important. The past year of covid has also given us very nice things. We have received tremendous heart-warming and sincere support from many different guests. Ranging from loyal guests, to people who follow us very closely on social media, to even guests who could not come due to all the troubles, and therefore never met us. People who confidently, and without thinking do a rebooking until a later date, people who don’t cancel, but ask for a voucher, or even complete the deposit for a stay that is a long way off  “because it is such a difficult time for you”. Or people who send a card or a simple message to say that they often think of us. It may be just a small gesture at times, but for us, these are incredibly beautiful expressions of pure human warmth. This respect, this form of cordial relationships, that’s what we do it for. The trophy is beautiful, but no trophy can ever surpass the satisfaction these contacts give us. Therefore, a sincere thanks to everyone who, in whatever way, large or small, in front of or behind the scenes, has ensured that Lavinia could grow into a place where it is nice to be, and that for many people …

Hasta luego,

Ana (and Wim)

4 Comments

  • Elizabeth Reid says:

    Congratulations, very well deserved. Looking forward to seeing you again in July, regulations permitting.

  • Ingeborg says:

    Van harte proficiat Annemie en Wim en respect voor zoveel passie en zorg waarmee jullie dit pareltje omarmen in deze bizarre moeilijke Coronatijden! Veel succes verder en proficiat met jullie 2de Award!

    • Dank je wel Ingeborg! Een pareltje is het zeker, en de passie komt vanzelf omdat we onze droom najagen. Heerlijk dat we deze kans kregen, en met vol enthousiasme en dankbaarheid omarmen!

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