I have been working as a landlady of a bed &breakfast in Oxford since September 1990. On a warm, sunny, morning in June 1992 I answered the front door bell of the College Guest House (1990 to 1999) on the Woodstock Road in Oxford to find a middle aged gentleman standing at my door asking for a room to rent for a period of one month. I was taken aback by such a request, because that is a very long and expensive stay for a guest in a bed &breakfast where rooms are charged at a per night basis. I told this gentleman the same and suggested he look for an estate agent to help him find a long term rental property. The gentleman thanked me profusely for my suggestion and left.
The following afternoon I found the gentleman standing at my door with his luggage and asking to rent a room for a week. At my surprised reaction, he smiled gently and said, "you were so honest with me about how expensive my choice of staying with you will be and pointing me in another direction. I appreciate it. You could have simply given me the room yesterday and let me pay for a month, but you choose to do the right thing. I am grateful for your honesty. Please can you accommodate me for one week and I will find something else after that". That was 27 years ago!
Meet Mr Alan Pope born 13 November, 1933 aged 87 and still living with us in one of the rooms at the Marlborough House Hotel, our holistic bed &breakfast in Oxford. Mr Pope, as we call him, is an academic. His command of music is admired by many. He loves to play Bach and Mozart and plays the music to a high level of excellence. Mr Pope is well versed on the literary works of Shakespeare, Milton and several other classic authors. This leaves me in awe of his immense knowledge.
Mr Pope had never visited a doctor until 3 years ago when he was suddenly admitted into hospital for a severe cold. I remember having to register him at a doctor?s surgery so that the hospital could discharge him!
Needless to say I absolutely admire Mr Pope and it has been my privilege and my honour to be in his life and to serve him. I have learned immense life-changing lessons from Mr Pope and he has been a great influence in the music and education of my children. Mr Pope is a valued member of the Marlborough House Hotel family.
Yesterday I had an inspiring morning listening to Mr Pope playing the piano in the coffee lounge in our guest house in Oxford. I recorded many pieces of his recital and here I would like to share one with you.
Kavita Pal 03/04/2020