Jane, Hospitality Host
Campden Yurts, Chipping Campden
On the first days of lockdown.
Around March or April, most of my family was ill with Covid-19 so we knew to take it seriously. We decided not to put up the yurts when lockdown was imminent. For me personally, lockdown was lovely. I am normally so busy. For the first time in 14 years and 5 years of running Campden Yurts, I didn’t have to meet deadlines. It was such a break.
On life during lockdown.
We received grants at the start which helped cushion us from the endless amounts of refunds we had to do. I know there’s going to be a knock-on effect on our finances but I tried to put the financial worries aside. I kept myself busy at home. Being an introvert, I found it hard to have everyone at home all the time. I dusted off my sewing machine, I mucked out the little caravan in our garden and spent most of my day sewing scrubs for the NHS. I also did a lot of online training on the hospitality industry and keeping positive. I stayed active on social media and tried to be visible for all these people looking for holidays when all this is over. I couldn't sell holiday dates but I wanted be positive about where we are and hopefully, someone will see that and decide to come and stay when they could!
I am grateful that my family are together during this time, that I had my mum living with us. I felt so incredibly blessed to live where we are—that I could open the door and see grass and space. It made me appreciate nature more than I already did.
On leaving lockdown.
It’s now more challenging with the yurts as there are new safety protocols to follow—we need to quarantine all the beddings, have duplicate sets of all items in each yurt, everything takes much longer to allow for disinfection and ventilation. But it’s all worth it. We are trying to provide a unique experience so they can make special memories. It's lovely to hear guests enjoy coming from the four walls of their house to something different.
Personally, I’ve realised I still don’t want to go out very much. How well did nature do when we weren’t out and about! It did the Earth good to have a pause and I am hoping people realise that we do so much unnecessary stuff. Knowing you can do without an awful lot of things you convince yourself you need. Now, I stop and think a bit more before I go places, do things or get things. I’m not desperate to go out everyday for a change of scene because I quite like my scene. But then that’s easy to do when you live somewhere like this, isn’t it?