Pembrokeshire and the world at large: June 2022

Living a sheltered life in one of the most beautiful parts of the world makes it easy to ignore what is going on further afield. But of course we cannot, for the world breaks through regardless.

Here at Rosemoor, we have the usual tasks to contend with. First of all, we have to make sure that we attract enough guests that want to come and stay with us. We are very lucky to have a large, loyal, returning customer base, but we also need to attract new 'blood' to ensure future returnees. Marketing to make potential customers find us has changed dramatically over the 25 years that we have been running Rosemoor. Paper advertising and sending out brochures was THE thing. Sitting next to a landline, ready to pick up the phone, another. Over time, supply of holiday accommodation has grown exponentially and customers have all this supply at their fingertips thanks to the internet. When searching for a place to stay ourselves, we have sometimes actually despaired at the amount of choice that passes across our computer screen and the sheer impossibility to consider all off this properly. How do we, as a business, make sure we stand out positively in that sea of information? How do we fare in periods of economic downturn? If - when - money is tight, people may skip going on holiday altogether, go less often, or for a shorter period.

Whether we have guests on the premises or not, maintenance and garden work go on. We know from experience that Pembrokeshire grass never stops growing, with such a mild climate all 12 months of the year. Our step-counter goes through the roof on mowing and strimming days, and between April and November that is sometimes two full days a week. When there are busy change-over and washing days as well that means almost four days of our working week are taken up by those two activities alone. We leave quite a few wild borders on the premises as they are good for wildlife but we still do need to do some weeding, especially in the vegetable plot. By the time we think we are through, we can start again! We are still not back to where we want to be since the stonemasons finished rebuilding the garden walls.

And then there is the other maintenance work, small and big, varying from repairing minor things that have broken down to maintaining critical infrastructure (such as the heating system), and improving the actual buildings on site. Over the last 25 years, we have become master builders, plumbers, tilers, electricians, painters and what have you. Not always by choice; often starting off as a result of the inability to find suitable tradesmen to come and do the work. You may be unaware, but there is something called a "Pembrokeshire promise" and everyone we know around here has had to deal with those at some stage.

When it comes to looking at us work, we find there are two categories of guests: those that think that we only work on change-over days and those that comment that we always seem to be working. Seeing we usually fall asleep within 15 minutes of hitting the sack, the latter category is probably spot on. And during their stay, those in the first group often come to change their view: for more often than not they will see we are indeed at it each and every day.


But despite the hard work, we always feel extremely lucky to be living in Pembrokeshire: just driving or cycling somewhere on an errand, walking the dog, going to the beach, meeting friends, having a cup of coffee somewhere, or just having our lunch sitting outside on the premises, we often still say to each other "we used to go on holiday for this".

And then there is the world at large .... the consequences of Brexit, the war in Ukraine and the rising inflation all reach us via our TV screens and in our daily life. Lorries queuing on the motorway, rising fuel prices, the difficulty of obtaining goods that never posed a problem before, supermarket shelves that are visibly empty, food banks trying to cope with soaring demand, and staff shortages, to name but a few. There are the friends that have taken in Ukrainians fleeing the war. They are overjoyed to be in beautiful Pembrokeshire, but it is a bittersweet joy: seeing your own country being shot to rubble, millions fleeing their homes, uncertainty over friends and family left behind. Not knowing what your own future holds is unsettling and heart-breaking.

Seeing all of this makes it all the more important to go on living and making the most of each and every day, in the process trying to add something positive to other people's lives. After all, anyone's situation can change at the flick of a switch and we never know when that might happen to us. For now, we try our best to make Rosemoor a place of rest and tranquillity and share the joys of it with you all.

For, in as much as that is possible in our hyper-connected world, it is just about the best place to get away from it all.


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Rosemoor Country Cottages and Nature Reserve
Walwyn's Castle, Haverfordwest, Pembrokeshire, South West Wales, UK SA62 3ED

Telephone:+44 (0)1437 781326

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