5. Damages at Casa Loma

Over the years we have had many visitors to the villa. We have loaned it to friends and rented it to others. We are often asked about how people treat the place and whether we have had anything damaged.  Yes there has been damage but we have been very fortunate. We know that a certain amount of breakage of plates and glasses is to be expected and have done this ourselves. Nothing breakable survives a drop onto the tile floors and we know that towels and sand toys are sometimes forgotten at the beach or blow off the terrace never to be seen again.

The most annoying damages have been due to carelessness or stupidity. Cutlery has gone missing, cigarette burns have appeared and books and DVDs have disappeared to someone’s home. But these are very minor issues. One of the most annoying events happened when a British couple, who should have known better, built a fire in the  fireplace without opening the damper. When the fire began to smoke, they tried to put it out with water which only made it worse and the steam and smoke rose to the ceiling and stained it badly. To make matters worse, they left a terse note telling us that it was our fault and that we ought to clean our chimney!

The other piece of stupidity happened when people took one of the wire shelves out of the refrigerator and used it as a rack on a fire at the beach and then left it there. We were never able to get a replacement. But the one that topped them all was the lady from Canada who telephoned me in Canada from the villa to complain that they had run out of toilet paper! Most people have been wonderful and very understanding even when things went wrong. The water and the electricity are sometimes cut off for a short time but everyone adjusts. The worst accident happened when all of the tiles fell off the kitchen wall behind the stove and fell onto the ceramic cook top smashing it to bits. Our agents supplied our guests with something to cook on and we had the tiles and the old cook top replaced with a more modern ceramic cook top model in two days. Our guests said it was the most exciting thing that happened during their vacation. However I was surprised when they emailed to say that it didn’t have any control knobs and did I know when these

 would be installed. I pointed out that there weren’t any as the controls were on the glass top itself and suggested that they read the manual for instructions. They said they would be happy to but the manual was written in Portuguese, Italian, Spanish and German. I sent them a translation in English and everyone was content

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