05 December 2010

My Oh My!

Unexpected Visitors

Are you the consummate hostess?
Does the idea of people just 'popping in' give you pleasure? Are unexpected visitors a delight?

For me the answer to each of these would have to be 'No', 'NO', and 'NO!'
It's not that I'm an anti-social person, rather that I'm a MUCH happier hostess if guests visit on my terms.

I like to have the house properly cleaned, flowers in vases, something baked, the guest bedroom and bathroom made up, you get the idea I'm sure. 

Yes, I'm a perfectionist and this is probably one of the least savoury elements of my personality.
This peccadillo has no doubt been reinforced over many decades of living a long, long way away from my family, who would have to make a considered effort to visit me involving at least one 'warning' telephone call before they departed.
This system would give me enough time to go into a stress-induced meltdown trying to clean my home to within an inch of its life and be a bit worn out before they arrived.

Now, I live on acreage 10 minutes from 'town' and the chances of someone just popping in for a cup of tea & a chat are highly unlikely which is just how I want it because I like to spoil my guests and have everything 'just so' when I entertain.  It is a rare day when someone knocks on my front door whom I haven't invited unless of course it's the septic or waste water man and that's a whole other story!

What do you think?  Are you like me, going into a tailspin if unexpected visitors suddenly appear on your doorstep?  Or are you the wonderful person I aspire to be, greeting all and sundry with open arms and ignoring the little dust-bunnies scurrying into corners to play hide-and-seek with the cobwebs?

Image unknown - if you know the source I would appreciate receiving the link.
PS: Have just received a tip from Chantal that the image could have been taken at Giraffe Manor in Nairobi - I've had a look at the site and in addition to thinking that she is totally on the money, have now found a new thing to add to my 'Bucket List'. Thanks Chantal!


  1. I love the photo you've used Felicity : )
    In an ideal world I would love to be a fabulous hostess who has the house sparkling and fresh muffins baking for every visitor, but with 2 young children at home I have given in to not being phased about toys on floor or dishes to be done. Honestly, if I were to have held onto my ideals I don't think I could have welcomed many visitors in the past year or so. In saying this I do look fwd to one day inviting my friends into something a little tidier then what I present today. Guests are always welcome though, and I do have good selection of herabal teas, coffee and chai on offer : )

  2. Oh no, I'm so never prepared for a stop-in. Ever.

  3. I leave my house each day, when i take the children to school, in 'presentable condition' so if anyone does swing by, the lounge/ living area isn't embarassing. You can always shut bedroom doors, but i do ensure the chidlren leave their rooms tidy each morning. I do make an excuse to check the bathroom though, you can never be too sure!! Love Posie

  4. Def prefer the warning call. I need the wamning then do what you described!! xox

  5. I am not keen on the unexpected pop in. If I plan to have a quiet day that is what I want to do. Guests have to be planned. Charmaine

  6. Oh Felicity, I new we were kindred spirits for many reasons and this is most definitely one! I certainly like to have visitors on my terms too ;) Did you hear me exhale whilst reading your fabulous post...I always feel so bad, as here in our country town, just popping in seems to be the accepted thing and I struggle so much with this...I love to see people, but being a perfectionist, I just cannot enjoy their visit unless I know everything is in order - lol. Huge hugs lovely lady for a wonderful week, with no unexpected visitors ;P ~ Txx

  7. Ah, Felicity and Tina, perfectionists of Australia unite! Oh, being one is both a tremendous driver to achieve greatness and a worrisome burden. What a conundrum. I've been planning a post on it for a long time. Getting the balance right is so tricky.

    Ideally, I prefer some advance notice of visitors. But since we've arrived on Planet Baby, I've learnt to expect the unexpected and 'go with the flow' a little more. Hmm, note I wrote 'little' ☺. J x

  8. I really don't mind if people just drop on in - c'mon I have seven kids what are people going to expect? a spotless house - No!

    I do have a house of order and prefer a warning but also know that fingerprints and small messes are what comes with my house - it does need to be lived in and they are a sign of life, laughter and cherubs.

    I prefer a warning so I can relax more and be prepared but also just love it when friends drop by - it makes my day!

    naomi x

  9. I would love to get better at just having people over regardless of my house - which is why I wrote that post for the Planning Queen...it's all part of talking myself into embracing the joy of the impromptu :-)

  10. Thank you for popping in a having a chat, you are such lovely guests each and every one of you!

    Cate mentioned writing a post for the Planning Queen. If you would like to read an hilarious take on how to get your house ready for an impromptu playdate, this is the link http://planningwithkids.com/2010/12/01/top-10-tips-for-hosting-an-impromptu-playdate/

    I'm heading off to see my Mum for her birthday, I look forward to catching up with you all for afternoon tea!

    Felicity x

  11. Oh Felicity, I am exactly like you. I wish I were different but I'm not. When visitors arrive I like my house to be spotless with fresh towels in the bathroom and flowers in the hall.
    I'm not trying to make people think we live a perfect life, in fact, I'm not sure I really care what people think. It's just that I can't relax unless everything is in order.
    You will always get people who try to make you feel silly because of your standards but, we are all different and just as some people wouldn't dream of going out without make up or driving a dirty car, some of us just seem to have a thing about our homes. Great post.
    Pamela xx

  12. Oh my goodness, I LOATHE unexpected guests! I have impeccably high house standards, but I'm no domestic goddess, so I'm horrified if someone 'pops' round and there are toys strewn everywhere and dishes on the sink. I don't believe its about giving a false impression of how we live. After all, noone heads out to the shops in their PJs, so cleaning before visitors is just like having a shower and popping on some lipbalm.

  13. We usually have people going in and out of our flat as we both work from home and I always try to keep it all tidy as I know people will be around for sure:) Happy Monday, my dear

  14. I'm like you... a bit of a perfectionist! My partner, not so much. He couldn't care less if his laundry is lying around the living room when guests pop over... it drives me crazy! He just doesn't feel as I do... that it's uncomfortable to visit someone's house when all their private mess is out on display. In some homes I feel as though I'm intruding when there's a lot of mess, in others I've felt like there isn't even a clean place to sit down! I never want to make my guests feel uncomfortable. To come to a compromise, we have public and private areas in the house... I never tell him to pick up his socks from the bedroom floor, and he always keeps the living room tidy for me. I always have nice teas and a box of decadent cookies on hand, so if guests come over unexpectedly I can close the doors to the messy bits, bust out the goodies and usher friends/family into a least one presentable area... knowing I have the hostess basics covered means I keep my cool during the holidays! Love your blog!
    - Catherine at The Spring (www.thespringblog.com)

  15. I love visitors, but I don't like unexpected visitors! I like to make sure that the lawns are mowed and the house is spotless when people come. Also, I don't buy 'snacks' so when people do 'pop' in, I never have anything to offer them, at least if I know, I can make a cake or biscuits.

  16. I much prefer warning so at least the bathrooms are clean! There is no greater satisfaction (as smug as this sounds) as when a friend drops in without warning and the house is passable AND there is something freshly baked in the house. I ALWAYS have people dropping in unannounced. It used to drive me crazy and now I have 2 legitimate reasons for the mess...they are 1 and 3!
    X Briohny.

  17. You know what, when I win the $10 million this weekend, I'm going to send a cleaner to each and every one of you for a year.
    This way you can enjoy the life you are meant to live AND the odd impromptu visitor as well.

    Thank you all for stopping by, I hope you weren't too scarred by the dust on top of the fridge!

    x Felicity

  18. I live in perpetual FEAR of unexpected vistors!!! lol

  19. I am the same - A true Virgo, I hate things 'out of place' and have a painfully tidy house even when there are no signs of 'intruders'! Its getting harder to maintain with a toddler and being 40 weeks + 6 days pregnant though.

    I often worry about what little Izzy will do to the house whilst Im breastfeeding (the potential for guests will be HUGE with a newborn in the house)... but then I remember that lovely hormone that kicks in when you have a baby - its the only time I dont seem to care!!


Thank you for stopping by and sharing your thoughts.
Each new comment is a gift - unexpected and lovely.
Although I'd love to reply to each and every one, this isn't always possible, but know that I read and appreciate them all.

Felicity x