Birthdays roll around all too slowly for my liking. I like the fizz, fun and focus on me! It’s nice to be spoilt, so I say embrace it. My most recent birthday was a fusion of youth and maturity, two elements which aren’t the most cohesive. My gifts comprised of flowers, wine, roller skates, a spa day and a selection of small cakes. You can imagine my delight at seeing the roller-skates, it was 1998 all over again. The wind in my hair, protective pads strapped to all bendable limbs, I love it. I’m not bad on 8 wheels to be honest, you just need to remember to bend your legs, SARAH, BEND YOUR LEGS!
I didn’t bend them. I went down like a pisshead on a slippery, yet sticky VK drenched Chicago Rock Café floor (I know from experience). I wasn’t going to let this deter me and I swiftly returned to verticality. In my head I moved graciously and with elegance and ease, like a yo-yo or when Madonna was dragged backwards at the Brit awards yet still looked good. The sniggering that came from passers by lead me to believe it wasn’t so ladylike. Whatever, I’ll be whizzing past them in a few strides shouting ‘EAT MY DUST PEDESTRIANS!’.
Again, in my head this seemed much more action hero like than it turned out to be. It turns out if it isn’t a smooth cemented path, or a downwards turn, I’m quite slow on skates. So slow, that they heard me breathing and rolling towards them in enough warning for them to stop, turn around, give me condescending eyes, part like the sea and let me travel through the crowd. The audacity!
I returned home and tucked into one of my tiny cakes, I was ready to go to the spa and spend the rest of my 28th birthday on solid ground. Off we go to the spa, all my nice swimwear packed, all twenty nails painted and an emerging bruise on my shin. We arrive, robe up and make our way to the pool. We detour to the crystal spa which is essentially like being back in the womb. The walls are crystalized with lights behind them resulting in a dark,peachy hue, gentle aroma and thick heat spreading around the tiny cabin, leaving us in an almost hypnotic state.
Must relax. Must enjoy. Must not think how insanely expensive spa days are. Must not think how often they clean the wooden planks of a steam room. Definitely shouldn’t start to wonder if it is steam or someone elses sweat i’m currently wallowing in.
After we are suitably steamed, we head to the ice experiences. Dodging past the fellow retreaters saying ‘ahh its cold!’ we enter the ice cave and throw ice on each other and stand under bucket showers. It’s exhilarating, cleansing and quite exhausting. Going from hot to cold in such quick succession may be great for my pores, but I feel like I’m having early onset menopause so we swiftly leave that area.
We end up stumbling into a ‘relaxation room’ and we dutifully lay on the allocated recliners. These are essentially beds. We are in a darkened room, in silence, with other strangers, in single beds, all lying perfectly still. Its exactly like being in a morgue (I imagine) and it is funny. Like, not being allowed to laugh in a funeral funny. I get the giggles, Paul gets the giggles, were both desperately trying to hold in our laughs (and wind that naturally comes with holding in such explosive bodily functions such as laughing). My shoulders are moving so much its making the duvet rustle, which is even funnier. We start making our way out and I make the mistake of catching Pauls eye. Boom. Like an explosion of laughter I burst out the room doing an inappropriately loud laugh. Have I no control?
No. The answer is no I do not. The relaxation room leads onto the treatment waiting room, designed to be a haven of tranquillity and peace. Like a bull in a china shop I was cackling and tripping over my slippers, giggling, red in the face and just generally intrusive. It didn’t help that the lady who calls people up for treatments speaks in the most delicate of tones. She was whispering ‘Mrs Collins for the rejuvenating toe scrub please’ and no one was batting an eyelid. All the chattering and magazine flicking was drowning her out,not to mention my laugh was still echoing around the room. Mrs Collins never emerged for her rondevous with the pedicurist and it later emerged that she missed her appointment.
A slight cufuffle began to unfold in front of us. Amazingly, all the other women in the room suddenly fell silent. Copies of VOGUE ceased to be read, green tea was left to chill and we all sat, open mouthed watching the argument unfold.
We can’t really hear what the pedicurist is saying (shockingly) but luckily the other woman is so gobby she more than makes up for it.
“What on earth do you mean I’ve missed my slot and you can’t fit me in now!You didn’t call my name!”
“We do call all our clients names madam to invite them into the treatment room” the pedicurist whispered.
“I couldn’t hear you for toffee in here!” she firmly states, glancing in my direction.
Cheeky cow! I decide it’s time to make a swift exit, not before nabbing a copy of VOGUE and a ‘revitalising’ green tea sachet.
Happy birthday to me!