Confessions Of A Holiday Let – A True Story And Guest Post By Judith Barrow @judithbarrow77

I’m delighted to welcome Judith Barrow to my blog today, who shares a true story about the perils of holiday letting an apartment.

Having read some of Judith’s other stories of holiday letting, there’s always a humorous side to them which I believe would not only make a fanatics book, but a television comedy show.

Confessions of a Holiday Let – A true story by Judith Barrow

Will Judith’s story have you laughing as much as I did when I read it?


For many years we summer let the apartment which is attached to our house.

We had many visitors from other countries staying in our apartment and shared great times with them.

Couples from the USA, Australia enjoyed barbeques on the lawn; long boozy evenings of wine and slightly burned kebabs and steaks, of tall tales and laughter.

Visits to restaurants with people from France and Italy. Long walks and talks on the coastal paths with a couple from New Zealand that we’d met from there on holiday in Christchurch, followed by drinks in local pubs.

We had a German man stay with us for three weeks who’d come to participate in the Iron Man Wales event. He’d worked hard for twelve months, he told us and had to acclimatise himself to the course. Three days before the event, he caught a chest infection and had to drop out. Despite his anti-biotics, he still needed to join Husband in a double whisky that night.

Oh dear, I’m sensing a common theme here.

This is the story of our last visitor for the season one year.

He was a single man. We’ve had people come on holiday alone many times over the years and thought nothing of it. When he arrived, we quickly realised he could only speak a little English, and we couldn’t speak his language at all.

He hadn’t been in the apartment before he came to the door brandishing an empty bottle of washing up liquid.

“Oh, sorry,” I said, “I thought there was plenty in it.”

“Used it.”

An hour later, washing powder was asked for by a demonstration of vigorous scrubbing at a pair of underpants.

“There’s a box of it under the sink.”

“Used it.”

Sunday brought him to the door twice. First, with the sugar bowl.

“Used it.”

Then the salt cellar.

“I thought I’d filled it—”

“Used it.”

‘Used it’ quickly became the watchword whenever we supplied tea bags, vinegar or handing over shoe polish.

Monday, he arrived with an empty tube of glue.

“Sorry, we don’t supply glue.”

He stands, smiling, waggling the tube. “Used it.”

Husband went into his Man Drawer and produced a tube of Super Glue. Scowling. We never found out what the man wanted it for, even though Husband examined everything he could that would need to be stuck the following weekend.

Each day, at least once, the man came to the door to ask for something by waving the empty bottle, carton, container or label at us. Unlike most holidaymakers, he didn’t knock on the back door but always came round to ring the doorbell at the front. In the end, Husband and I would peer through the hall window.

“It’s Mr Used It,” one of us would say. “It’s your turn to go.” Pushing at one another. “You see what he wants this time.”

On Wednesday, he arrived with a cardboard roll.

“There are six more toilet rolls in the bathroom cabinet to the right of the hand basin,” I offered helpfully.

“Used it.”

Seven rolls of toilet paper usually last a couple the whole week. I handed over four more.

“What’s happening in there,” Husband grumbled, “do-it-yourself colonic irrigation?”

On Friday, Husband produced a list. “We should charge for this lot,” he declared. “See?”

It read like a shopping list: milk/salt/sugar/vinegar/butter/tea bags/ coffee/soap/soap powder/toilet paper/shampoo/glue/shoe polish.

“Really?” I said, even though I knew the chap had been a pest. “You’ve been keeping tabs on our guest?”

“Too true.” The husband was indignant. “We could even charge him for overuse of the battery in the doorbell.”

“Except that it’s connected to the electricity.”

“Even worse!” Husband grumped off to his shed.

Saturday morning came, and the doorbell rang. Smiling, the man put his suitcase down onto the ground and, vigorously, shook hands with both of us. He waved towards the apartment.

“Used it,” he said. “Very nice.”


Judith Barrow

About Judith Barrow

Judith Barrow is originally from Saddleworth, a group of villages on the edge of the Pennines, in the UK. She now lives with her husband and family in Pembrokeshire, Wales, where she has lived for over forty years.

Judith has an MA in Creative Writing with the University of Wales Trinity St David’s College, Carmarthen. She also has BA (Hons) in Literature with the Open University, a Diploma in Drama from Swansea University.

She is a Creative Writing tutor for Pembrokeshire County Council and holds private one to one workshops on all genres.

She has written all her life and has had short stories, poems, plays, reviews and articles published throughout the British Isles. She only started to seriously write novels after having breast cancer twenty years ago.

When not writing or teaching, she enjoys doing research for her writing, walking the Pembrokeshire coastline and reading and reviewing books.

Connect with Judith





Judith’s Latest Book – The Heart Stone

The Heart Stone by Judith Barrow

1914 – and everything changes for Jessie on a day trip to Blackpool. She realises her true feelings for her childhood friend, Arthur. Then just as they are travelling home from this rare treat, war is declared.

Arthur lies about his age to join his Pals’ Regiment. Jessie’s widowed mother is so frightened of the future, she agrees to marry the vicious Amos Morgan, making Jessie’s home an unsafe place for her.

Before he leaves, Arthur and Jessie admit their feelings and promise to wait for each other. Arthur gives Jessie a heart-shaped stone to remember him. But with Arthur far away, their love leaves Jessie with a secret that will see her thrown from her home and terribly abused when she can hide the truth no longer. Faced with a desperate choice between love and safety, Jessie must fight for survival, whatever the cost.

Click on the book cover to buy The Heart Stone

More Books from Judith

Saga of the Howard family
The Memory

Click on the book covers to buy Judith’s books.

My thanks to Judith for writing this guest post.

If you have any questions or comments for Judith, please leave them in the comments section. She’d be delighted to hear from you.

Do you have a true story you’d like to share on my blog? Contact me via the ‘Contact Hugh’ button on the menubar.

Copyright © 2021 – All rights reserved.


36 thoughts on “Confessions Of A Holiday Let – A True Story And Guest Post By Judith Barrow @judithbarrow77

  1. Really relateble I just started my own travel blog and then covid hit and I could not travel anymore from my country. No travel planning for me at all 😦

    1. We thought the same, Terry. We later found out that he stayed with some friends of ours in North Wales and did similar things. One clever chap, travelling cheaply!!

  2. Judith’s ‘let’ posts are hilarious. I told her years ago, she has to publish a book with some of the people she’s had stay there. LOL, who was being used? ❤ xx

    1. Aw, thank you, Debby. Yes, I remember you did tell me years ago, and, as the time passes I go back to my notes in the visitors books and chuckle, or despair (LOL) at some of the people who stayed with us. One day, I tell myself – then go back to the current WIP. We were indeed used by that young man, but I think I had the last laugh!! Haha. xx

  3. Well, it takes all kinds, I suppose. Maybe I’ll have to try that line out on the wife.
    “Where did the last three pieces of banana creme pie go?”
    “Used it.”😎

    1. Hahaha. Pete, it only works the once before suspicion begins to grow. So use “Used it”, with extreme caution. And you’re right; it does take all sorts – and it makes life interesting. Thanks for commenting

  4. Awesome story, wonderfully written.
    My guess is that ‘Mr. Used It’ say the episode of Friends where Ross loaded his suitcase down with every possible ‘courtesy’ item that he could.
    If he took liquids he would definitely be stopped at the airport! 😀

    1. Aw, many thanks for saying that. Our guess was that he was touring the country as cheaply as he could and was moving on to some other unsuspecting souls. I found it quite interesting to watch my husband’s ears getting redder and redder as the week went by – a sure sign he is utterly at a loss to know what to do. We have laughed since about Mr “Used it” often – just as we have after some of the situations we found ourselves in with a few of our past visitors.

    1. Thank you, Darlene. We had some wonderful visitors over the years… and some that were… unusual. Still, we managed to laugh about most of their antics. Good of you to drop by, much appreciated.

  5. Our friends with a guest house in a small Cornish village usually have wonderful reviews for their friendly welcome and comfortable accommodation but one TripA.. report complained bitterly of their effrontery in putting the lady into a bedroom opposite the church since the clock sounding the hour had kept her awake all night. She had stayed at the Guest House for 5 nights and never once mentioned the clock or asked to be moved to another room. There’s nowt stranger than folk.

    1. Nowt stranger than folk, Liz – so true. Perhaps that lady was hoping for a refund from your friends! It happened to a friend of ours; she had visitors to her ‘No Pets’ B&B ( she suffers from dreadful asthma). Her visitors said nothing all week but wrote a bitter comment in her visitors’ book as they had left their dog with a sitter and had to pay the sitter – which “bumped up the price of their holiday”!! Thanks for dropping by to comment. x

  6. This was a new one on me and has certainly brightened up my day. Loved the ‘used it’ refrain! ❤

    1. Thanks so much for accepting my invitation to write this post, Julith. I laughed all the way through while reading it. I love your stories about the holiday apartment. You and your husband have so much patients with them.

      1. I was thrilled and honoured, Hugh. Looking back on the visitors book reminds me of other “interesting” people, perhaps I should settle down to write of our weeks with them. Sometimes, the only way David kept his patience was to hide in one of the greenhouses. LOL

  7. Thanks, Hugh, I giggled at Judith’s story of Mr Used It. I think it’s probably best we don’t know what he used the superglue for! Judith, your comment to your husband about the doorbell being connected to the electricity made me laugh out loud. ❤

    1. Thank you so much, Jane, We certainly had some interesting people staying with us – and some lovely visitors that we stayed in touch with, My husband saw the funny side of the week – once it was over!! LOL

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