Thoughts on Fact & Fiction



27th January - from Max

Oh dear, a significant gap in our posting. I know that notes were written for the last three months, but looking to the Dropbox cupboard now, I see it horribly bare. I certainly wrote something on the unusual, but wonderful, crowd we had during the England Test Match in November; not exactly Barmy Army (perhaps the England team’s most colourful fan-base) but certainly removed from the folk we have, to date, hosted at Ruk. It was a pleasure to have them - even introducing one or two to early morning yoga and wild swimming.

This lovely group came to us, really, by way of a major booking cock-up up the road - the England team having been double-booked at their hotel. Frantic phone calls the night before the Test Match put us in touch with the newly homeless and conversations had were an interesting excercise in scene-setting and ‘expectation management’.

As above, Ruk wasn’t built with cricket fans in mind and I was anxious that these new guests would have been mis-sold something by their double-booked hosts.

To an extent, though, that anxiety attaches to the arrival of any guest. It’s rare to host people who know exactly what sort of place Ruk is before they arrive and the impression they have of it is one increasingly made by the images or words of other people - not us. Probably the most pleasing comments we’ve had since opening relate to how Ruk does in fact look and feel as the pictures on this site. But people look elsewhere too.

Instagram is ever-more popular as a means of finding, choosing, even booking locations, and while we’re responsible for what goes up on our page we don’t have much say over how others are posting. (There’s an image out there somewhere of a girl having breakfast - beautifully presented on the deck - whilst lolling in the shallow end of the pool. That, categorically, has never been offered to guests.)

It’s a worry, then, given that most users apply a tight filter (literally/metaphorically) on what they post; the reality of their subject often not the absolute priority. We’re entirely at risk of being guilty too - with marketing hats on treading a very fine line between creating an appealing image and giving a fair reflection.

I can’t see us posting intentionally off-putting shots any time soon but I hope we can resist the urge to try and paint some perfect paradise. Rukgala isn’t that and was never intended to be. Indeed, what you might see as the imperfections are often what makes it an engaging, interesting and hopefully enriching place to be - you just won’t see them on Instagram - yet.