77. Fin de saison29 November, 2021
Lavinia Naturist Resort, 28 november 2021
The last stretch, they say, weighs the heaviest. And until last Wednesday I could somewhat attest to that. The last month has been quite tough, and that’s putting it mildly. Two days before my brothers and my daddy were to come to visit for a week, S., our cleaning and handyman, casually told us that he was quiting his job. Instantly, of course. The tension between us and him the last few weeks – because of our dissatisfaction with his functioning – despite the almost daily communication about this, was no longer tenable for him. Not for us either, but we had the agreement to continue together until mid-November. A word is a word, we think, he thought, but not anymore that day. In barely an hour, he loaded up all his products and cleaning supplies, and left us out in the dark. It was a cold shower, and above all a crisis situation. The next day, 3 villas would become available in one day, all of which had to be cleaned in order to be able to accommodate my family that very same evening. An impossible task, but nothing is impossible in Lavinia. We have learned that in the meantime.
There was nothing for it but to roll up our sleeves ourself, with a big box of paracetamol behind the molars for the painful shoulder and back, and without thinking. And even if it was family – I wouldn’t be myself without my perfectionist side – it had to be perfectly fine for them too. The result can be guessed: we were exhausted, I was crippled with pain, and the idea of a week’s holiday falling to pieces was really not pleasant. Unfortunately, my brothers had to pay for it, and here too there was a palpable tension from the start that I couldn’t shake. I had longed so much for this week’s holiday with my brothers and dad, just enjoying being together. Unfortunately, nothing came of it at all. Because the day after the family’s departure, all villas would be occupied again by new guests. The lost time that we did not get to the administration, because we had to clean and wash and iron everything, had to be made up in that family week. I did allow myself to spend all the time I could with my daddy. I was shocked how much his steps had deteriorated in the past two years. Being very aware that this would most likely be the first and only time he could come here, I thoroughly enjoyed his presence in our little paradise. I was moved how he enjoyed his holiday here, shuffling with his 85-year-old, rather plucky body. When he thanked us for the hospitality – he stayed at our house –, when he said how much he enjoyed being looked after like a king, putting his feet under the table, and enjoying the peace, I became happy. Never have I heard him express such heartfelt thanks; it gave me so much pleasure. Grateful that he was able to see with his own eyes what his only daughter – with Wim of course – has been doing in recent years in that distant Spain. And he saw that it was good. And I saw that daddy liked it. To me that means a lot, a whole lot. I also had the chance to have nice conversations with him, face-to-face. Things I’ve never been able to discuss. It is a very beautiful experience for me and a very warm memory that I have added again deep in my heart, in that special place, which only consists of love.
Unfortunately, on the day of the brothers’ departure, it was not a ‘fun affair’. On the contrary, it was hard work again, fortunately with some help from them, to get everything ready in time for the next guests. To receive the new guests with that extremely tired feeling, with immense pain in the shoulder and back, is very difficult. Moreover, just now, it turned out that there was also someone who always managed to touch my sensitive nerve, so that I often felt pressed into the defense. It was confronting, but also instructive, yes. And eventually I just found it easier to put on a mask. Putting myself aside for a moment, simply because at that moment I couldn’t put it down next to me. We were fully booked by the way. Fortunately, we had almost 14 days of help from M. An extremely amiable half American-Dutch lady, who was on holiday here this summer with her husband, and who – on a trial basis – came to help to relieve us. With a view to a possible lasting cooperation. Not to clean, but to help with all kinds of things. Ranging from cleaning up and support in the kitchen, help with the laundry and you name it. It was a breath of fresh air! Unfortunately she went back to the Netherlands on Sunday.
We had one more change on Wednesday. Then we would end our season with a half-full resort. I was a bit hesitant, simply because of the more negative spiral in which I had let myself be drummed. I also kind of believe in fate. And by chance. Wednesday evening the new guests arrived. A Dutch couple, with the most infectious, positive energy. Immediately my negative feeling of the past weeks disappeared, and I got energy for a thousand. I had the feeling that I could suddenly take it again for a few months. You could also feel the rest of the guests breathing again. It may be my own interpretation, but I had the idea that those guests also felt much more at ease, could be more themselves with this new wind. It’s strange how you absorb the energy of the people around you, both positive and negative, almost like a sponge. In fact, that it can even lift the whole dynamic in the group, or even push it to the ground.
I’m so happy that our last guests were able to push the whole atmosphere to unprecedented positive heights. It’s nice to end that way. Fin de saison… with only a good feeling now.
It was a very exciting season. We have received 193 unique guests this year. Of course we clicked better with one than with the other. But, as we like to see it positively, we learn from the less positive experiences, and happily surf on the waves of the ocean. But first, let’s babble quietly and enjoy the we-time, Wim and I.
In the meantime, we are happily looking forward to our next season of 2022, which is already 60 percent fully booked.