I went to a spa for a break. It cost about the same as a week’s holiday for the family but it was for two nights and all mine. It is true to say that I have not been to a proper spa in years. I do not really know why I abandoned the “I deserve it” spa philosophy that served me so well throughout my youth. Perhaps it was the fact I gave up admiring myself when naked and what with my profound middle age and the responsibilities of three children, I decided there was only so much to be done without a scalpel and I might as well save the money and put it towards my pension plan. Or spend it on Chablis. Anyway, courtesy of the fact I appeared to have wrecked both body and mind writing the book, I decided I would crawl away for a couple of nights and relax in the watery lap of luxury.
The hotel and spa complex I went to was so expensive it has its own helicopter landing pad. I thought there was a chance someone famous might be staying but there were no celebrities that I could see unless you count the woman who looked like Sharon Osbourne who carried round Sharon Osbourne’s autobiography with her at all times. I do not however think she was Sharon Osbourne because she would not need to read her own book. It took me a little while to adapt to schlepping around in waffled-cotton with smiling shuggies attending to my every need. At least a minute and a half. They give you the waffle-cotton robe when you arrive along with plastic flip-flops. I liked the robe – I hated the flip-flops probably because of my fish blood. I have not looked very closely but I believe my toes to be webbed if the acute discomfort involved in wearing flip-flops is anything to go by. The nice girl giving me the induction tour found me waffle slippers instead. I think she decided I might become a health and safety issue after I tried persuading my toes to live on one side of the flip-flop all bunched together and cling on to the edge while sliding one foot then the other forward without lifting them from the floor. Does not work. Slightly dangerous in fact. I just hope she did not hear about the fact about half an hour after she left me I walked into the men’s changing room. Right in. Luckily there was just one man blowdrying his hair in the mirror. I figured he was probably gay because I am not sure heterosexual men use blowdriers in spas. He also looked slightly annoyed at my intrusion rather than pleased.
All in all, I liked my spa break very much. Particularly the hydrotherapy pool which is a warm turquoise pool with a volcano of water in the middle. You cling on to a bar and stand in the volcano while water pummels you from every direction you can think of and some you hope other people don’t think of if they happen to see you standing there smiling. I imagine the feeling to be much the same as standing up and riding two horses, one foot resting on each saddle, butt naked while firemen hose you down as you ride past. I think I have had a dream like that. Every now and then a handful of water would reach up and hit you across the face but then again that does take your mind off your wobbly bits. My only real caveat is that spas are not for the shortsighted. If you wear glasses, swimming is difficult and you steam up in the jaccuzi – which can be a good thing depending who is in there with you. If you wear contact lenses though, you cannot fall asleep when you have your treatments - which can also be a good thing if you have a tendency to wake up with a snort which your beauty therapist pretends not to notice. On my way back to reality and the railway station, my cheery taxi driver informed me Michael Barrymore has stayed there. Personally, I would not be entirely happy sitting around a swimming pool with Michael Barrymore but maybe that is just me.