Hello everyone! I hope you all are well.
I don't come into the Community Centre as much as I used to, I've found the atmosphere has changed a lot over the last few months- some voices silenced, others amplified- and not as much of the positivity I used to enjoy.
But I am back! And I thought I would use the first post for the Month of Celebration to tell you all about the rollercoaster ride that has been my 2020 🙂
Back in January things were great- my co-hosting business was (almost) running itself, I took a great holiday down to Bath and for the first time in about 2 years actually switched off and left London life and work behind.
In March I was at the Airbnb office here in London enjoying the highlife with lots of my other hosting friends I had met at our Airbnb home host meet ups, as well as Lizzie and the rest of the CC gang, and we had a fab time and life was good!
Not long after that lovely evening guests started cancelling their stays, slowly at first and then most nights I was going to sleep and waking up in the morning to 20/30 cancellations overnight from scared and frightened guests- and then not long after that we went into full lockdown in the UK.
The time between then and now honestly has been a total blur. I've been up and down, some days on top of the world and others unable to claw my way out of bed- but through that time I have had some wonderful people by my side- Susie, who you all know from here in the CC- always checking in with me during lockdown and beyond to see how I'm doing when she was fighting her own battle to stay on top really helped me through.
Friends I've met through Airbnb host meet up events have been great supports too, meeting up and cheering each other up when circumstances allowed.
That's the community I really love! People building each other up rather than looking for a reason to tear each other down.
My co-hosting business has all but dried up- most of my clients have put their Airbnb properties back onto the long term rental market, and apart from the odd business traveller- no one is really coming to London at the moment.
It's with a heavy heart I have come to realise that I need to put co-hosting away for now, and find myself a job that is going to help keep me afloat for the next year or so- so I am currently searching for my next role whatever that may be!
I've been home so much of the time and with not too much to do, I decided to adopt a cat- and I went about getting in touch with some cat charities here in London- and I found 2 lovely kitties, both 15 years old and having a very hard time being adopted because of their age, being black and the fact that they come as a pair.
They melted my heart and I brought them home 2 weeks ago, and have been having a fun time settling them in! Adopting 2 cats or even 1 cat is something that would never have crossed my mind before March- I was so busy with work and "life" I barely had time for myself let alone anyone else.
COVID-19 has made 2020 a year in many ways I'd like to forget, but also a year that I won't help but be able to remember for so many good and positive reasons- and I suppose Airbnb quite rightly falls partly into both categories.
Three years ago, the first time I did a Month of Celebration post I was writing it from the first Airbnb listing I took on when I started my business. This year I write my post as I am winding down the couple of listings I still manage.
I hope that in December 2021 I will be writing that I am starting to build the business back up- but in the meantime I have some wonderful friends who will be on the journey of the next 12 months with me, which I am sure will be just as eventful as this year was 🙂
I didn't know what to add as a picture for my post, so I've added a snapshot of my Instagram- you can see some of the highs and lows right there.
Love and best wishes for the season to you all!
Lovely post, Paul, thanks for sharing.
I haven’t noticed that we haven’t been as friendly. Perhaps depression from Covid has made some of us somewhat despondent. We’ll try to work on that!
Thank you so much for kicking off this year’s Month of Celebration @Paul1255, and thank you for being so open, vulnerable and also finding great positivity in what has been a really difficult year. I can certainly relate to having days where the motivation to get up and go was pretty low, and it’s so fantastic to hear how the hosting community have rallied around and supported each other in person as well as here in the CC.
I only have the highest praise for you for adopting two older moggies - as you say, so many people prefer kittens and it means the other ones get left behind. I love that you’ve made room for them and I bet they will be very happy in their new home, and a source of calm and comfort for you, too. Please do share some photos if they aren’t too camera-shy 😊
I hope it won’t be too long before you can return to hosting, and do check in with us here when you are able, as I know you still have a wealth of insight to share and we're keen to see what you're up to!
@Paul1255 I used to prefer a certain 'look' for cats, I grew up with Siamese and tabby cats, but Jersey City is awash in stray cats and it so happens that my particular neighborhood seems to have mostly black cats, and I have found them to be among the best cats I've ever had...smart and affectionate. That is great that you chose senior cats/black cats!
I fear our Airbnb odyssey is also coming to an end, as it doesn't make sense to hold our apartment open for weekend bookings, and we will probably transition to long term as well, though we're going to give VRBO a shot first.
Thanks for sharing 🙂 I am happy to hear two cats have found a home thanks to covid... at least something good came out of it.
Hey @Paul1255, I was totally cheered up when I saw your name on the calendar for December 1st. I can’t imagine how much harder things have been for you with your hosting. But may I say, even if you have not been able to cohost, your cheeriness and balanced opinion has been missed.
if I bake you a cake, or put the kettle or coffee pot on, will you hang around the community centre a bit more? You can choose the topic and the music for the chat.... Please come visit the conversations from time to time? Your input has always been enjoyed, cheery and balanced and Covid19 has caused so much pain; but it cannot be allowed to get in the way of our chosen thoughts and minds.
When we moved to Darwin we brought our old cat up from Adelaide. Thinking it might not survive the trip. In fact, the heat gave it a new lease of life! That sedentary old boy just wanted to get outside and enjoy life! At the same time, a black street cat that had obviously been abandoned, wandered into our yard. So grateful for food and love, they kind of swapped roles.
Our old Fred lived in the yard a lot of the time, and our mini panther with green eyes, named Jelly became the inside cat..... (named after black jelly jubes I use to eat as a kid: licorice flavour and soft... just like this street cat.)
So although 2020 has curbed your time outside, breathe through it and remember: there is a time for everything. Now is your time for some personal health and healing so as you feed your soul, you will become energised and bounce well, when Covid-19 s butt gets kicked. We will all be kicking it together, so it will get the message!
Take care my London buddy! 🙌🏼❤️🌻🧁☕️🫖🍩🌲🎄🌴🌞
@Cathie19 If you bake me a cake how could not come back!
I will certainly come in more and participate more :))
Fred and Jelly sound so lovely.
And you're so right, now is the time for personal health and healing, I like that a lot.
Paul 🙂 x
@Paul1255, thanks for returning.....
So for tonight, well your Monday I have an assortment of cakes I baked over the last couple of weekends. All but one fruit loaf have been snap frozen for freshness.
b. Vegan style. (added finely chopped almonds and vegan margarine and oils)
2. Xmas fruit cake once, again with spices.
c. alcoholic dry sherry / whisky > standard lots of egg and butter
d. Vegan style
if nine are suitable, what is your preference?
I’m afraid it’s the only way I know how to make a fruit cake. My kids aren’t as keen as Garry and I on fruit cake. Not sure if it’s a generational thing.... But if nothing else, the cyclone kit will have some joyful cake to while away any power outage that might come our way between ten days and end of April!
But don’t fear, if we both eat it, I’ll make more........ lol.
@Paul1255 Thank you for your post! What a year it’s been, through the ups and downs navigating the pandemic. That is lovely that you have adopted two older cats. I have one cat myself and she is quite sweet and a good mouser. We have been under a couple feet of snow since the beginning of February and multiple times a day she meows to go outside forgetting about the snow. She only lasts a couple minutes before realizing the snow is very discouraging to catch mice, and then she comes back inside. It’s been an unforgiving ride this year and who knows where that path will take you. I hope you enjoy the road ahead in 2021 and the direction it takes you!
I remember when I first joined this community your comments to be very friendly, helpful and positive-you should comment more to help new hosts!
Once these travel restrictions and vaccines are rolled out I’m sure my partner and I will be making a trip to London to visit his family. We usually stick close to Romford where his family is but like to go to London for at least a few nights, maybe we can stay at one of your places in the future that you are building back up into your portfolio! Take care and stay safe in the meantime.
@Paul1255 What a perfect post to kick off the month of celebration! I am with you 100% on your first paragraph, as that is exactly why I don't frequent the CC as often. I do miss those days and the change of atmosphere here has nothing to do with Covid. I'm not really sure what happened.
So nice to hear from some "old" voices I had forgotten about. I always enjoyed your contributions to the CC. Cheers to an amazing 2021 for you!
@Suzanne302 --This is totally off the subject and I am not a member of this community, but I hope you can help. I am looking for a house in Wilmington NC and came across a house downtown that has a separate entrance to the entire 2nd floor. I am considering hosting an airbnb, but need some info to help me decide if this is a good idea. The property will cost more that I had planned, and it will need total updating. If the property is available virtually every day of the year, what percentage of the time will my property not get rented? I realize I will need to price lower in winter and higher in the summer. Are there too many airbnb's already in Wilmington, or does everyone with a nice property/reasonable cost, etc, do OK? Trying to determine if I can recoupe my money, and then eventually start to make a profit?