The Hotel TerraVina Blog

Finding humorous moments amongst the challenges here at TerraVina

How does the song go? Always look on the bright side of life…….. a very catchy tune and one which I am adopting as my mantra, I just now need to learn the words further than the first line.

Amongst the hundreds of messages recently received, a number have mentioned how important it is to put family first at this time of shifting priorities. Of course re-configuring a better work life balance is on the agenda and a priority, but I cannot easily stop prioritising the hotel either, or more importantly our team, as they too are our “family” and just as we are re-adjusting to the current challenges, they are too and as head “mother hen” I need to guide them and support them just as much as Gerard, Romy and my parents need supporting. The weight of responsibility is heavy and I have to say my shoulders are feeling weighted down at present which is why some moments of humour and light relief are most welcome in amongst the more serious, sombre moments… laughter really is a great therapy.

This week thus far has been an eventful one (and its only Wednesday”!). My mum collapsed in my kitchen yesterday lunchtime-honestly, that’s the last time I invite her over for lunch!

It was all happening between an emergency ambulance coming and me having to get Gerard to the hospital for his pre-chemo checks. In the meantime my dad was out walking the dog for me and was completely oblivious to the goings on at home. Having waved off the ambulance, explained all to my bewildered dad, got my mum back to her house (she lives across our drive, so not far to stumble!) and into bed to rest, sorted the dog out, who was very excited to have so many unexpected visitors on her return from her walk, eventually we got Gerard to hospital, where they checked his blood pressure. They should have been checking mine, which I am sure would have been through the roof!

During the hospital checks they asked me to start giving him his prescribed steroids (the ones he was to take 3 days before his 2nd chemo session), to get him ready for the next infusion and I said I hadn’t got them. There were many puzzled frowns as the notes clearly stated they had been prescribed, the pharmacist at the hospital confirmed she had definitely dispensed them. On further investigation, I realised that I had given them to him for the 1st 3 days after his chemo, when it should have been that I gave them to him the last 3 days before his next chemo… I had read the instructions wrongly. I have no excuse as I even had my glasses on and cannot defend my stupidity in any way, except to admit that nursing is most certainly not my obvious forte. Apparently the nurses and oncologist have assured me that no harm will be done, as the medicines were extra steroids that make him feel well and raring to go, but I definitely think I need to be sacked as a health care assistant!!

I am sure that all are unimpressed by my ditzy nursing skills – I told the wonderful nurses who are caring so brilliantly for Gerard that I won’t be applying anytime soon for a career in healthcare and they were most relieved to hear that! Gerard has taken it all in his stride- he doesn’t believe I was trying to kill him off, and even if I had been, actually it had the reverse effect as he was high as a kite on too many steroids and pain relief and getting through the first 3 days of treatment brilliantly thanks to the extra meds- he’ll not thank me for this 2nd round when he won’t have the extra pills to make it more bearable, as I will triple, triple check the instructions before I administer anything this time round!

My mum is recovering from her collapse and is resting this week- she has demoted me from medicine administrator and I am back on tea making duties instead!

Thus I obviously need to ensure I come back soonest to the hotel and our amazing, marvellous team and help them to run the place, as on occasion I am much better at that than nursing!

Back to the song… I am learning the next few versus and here they are:

Some things in life are bad

They can really make you mad

Other things just make you swear and curse

When you’re chewing on life’s gristle

Don’t grumble, give a whistle

And this’ll help things turn out for the best


Always look on the bright side of life

Always look on the light side of life

If life seems jolly rotten

There’s something you’ve forgotten

And that’s to laugh and smile and dance and sing

When you’re feeling in the dumps

Don’t be silly chumps Just purse your lips and whistle, that’s the thing


Always look on the bright side of life (Come on)

Always look on the right side of life 

There are further versus but I can’t absorb them all in one go… it’s an age thing! Thus, following my new mantra, we have a busy week or two ahead, decking the halls with boughs of holly and twinkling fairy lights in readiness for Christmas, we have lovely new stock just arrived to help take the stress away from Christmas shopping and we have some fantastic value rates to entice you back for a day or two of R&R before Christmas arrives with a whoop!

Until next time and remember… always look on the bright side of life!


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