Saturday, 28 March 2015


there are a lot of firsts…..

The summer of 1995 proved to be a hard one for me and Linda. We now had three villas in our care, all poshed up and ready to go and absolutely no bookings. From the sunny climes of Goa one minute we find ourselves in the North facing dining room of my parents place in sheepskin slippers and Aunty Betts chunky hand knitted cardigans (we were desperately feeling the cold) looking at a totally blank sheet. Kind of focuses you when reality hits home.
FIRST we needed some technology and a sales office. We called on old work colleagues, Anita Reynolds, our old boss in Sheffield, came up trumps with a secondhand Amstrad and dozens of floppy discs and Debbie Summerfield, who was conveniently on maternity leave, agreed to be at the end of the phone and fax line.
FIRST we needed bookings. So with our trusty little word processor,  a dozen floppy discs, one finger typing and zero advertising budget we set forth to tell the world about Lazydays in Goa.
For a small startup company Linda had remarkable success in grabbing the attention of the press. It’s quite probably because of the catchy but corny hook lines for the articles they wrote. “Busy days for Lazydays”, “Goa ahead – make my day”, “It’s all systems Goa – for holiday firm”, “Goa for it!” Goa with the flow, Go for Goa, Linda’s made a Goa of life, Goa getters, Pair with get up and Goa, When you gotta Goa, to name but a few. But we like to think it’s more to do with dogged determination and Linda’s persistence when she did manage to get a travel writers attention.
One minute we were local Sheffield girls, the next we were from Coventry, Wolverhampton, York and Bournmouth and the story “Local girls go to Goa” went viral  appearing in Wolverhampton Express and Star, Bournmouth Echo, Coventry Evening Telegraph, Sheffield Star and the Yorkshire Post. OK the Travel Mail would have been nice but baby steps….
Linda even appeared in a glossy magazine article about a selection of women who had made life changing career decisions.
You have to remember that all this was done by one little steam driven Amstrad WP, the photocopier at the petrol station and snail mail. It wasn’t until recently when saying goodbye to a lovely family of Mum, Dad and three daughters (early 20’s) that it really came home to me just how fast the pace of change has been in the last 20 years. The three daughters were interested to hear about the changes to Goa since we first came in the “old days”. They were puzzled at the concept of faxing between the UK and Goa offices – and that was only when the telephone line was actually working.
“Awww that would have been annoying but your mobile was still working though?”
“Ummmm no, no mobiles in those days”
“So you had to rely on emailing then”
“Ummmm no, no internet in those days”
“OMG you are joking”
I felt like Methuselah - Oh how times have changed!
Despite our homemade brochure, scant resources and even scanter knowledge of the publishing world, our modest success started to pay off and bookings started to come in.

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