The last few days have been really hectic as we try to get as huge amount done before leaving for Spain this weekend. The website takes another jump forward with the specification of much of the underlying database structure for the booking system. This is fiendishly complicated and it takes a fair bit of testing to ensure that errors aren't lurking in it somewhere.
Part of the database structure - one page of many - dealing with payments
On Tuesday I spoke to Nigel, one of the owners of the property we are staying in next week in Andalucia. This is the first property we are using next year for three weeks from late April, so our trip next week is very much a reconnaissance for next year. We have an enormous list of infrastructure points we need to try and cover as well as seeing as much of the local area as we can. He and Zoe seem keen on what we are trying to do and have sent us a list of local activities we could consider offering through our breaks. I am very keen to assemble some "a la carte" lists of things people can do each week for each property but it is extremely tough to do this without some local knowledge.
We have also sorted out our merchant account so we can accept debit and credit cards. I have processed one test payment so far and we wait with baited breath to see whether it can work its way through the entire system without hitch. It will be several days before we know if the processing has worked fully.
And I have come across the wonders that are Google Maps. I was able to create maps that showed all of our planned properties and sort out links that Darren can, in theory, post to the website. I think these would look very good.
And this weeks major problem - the planned online brochure, though looking lovely, is much too big even as a PDF file, unless you have broadband to download it. But until I can work out why it is so big and correct it, it will have to go out at 2mbs. The problem is possibly the graphics on each page which are occasionally made up of a dozen frames and cause each page in Word to average about 3mb.
Lots of packing still to do and loads of papers to take with us. So definitely a working trip - I doubt we'll have much time for relaxing.