Ellie’s birthday was coming up, so the Mama Zen sisters booked a much deserved Spa Day. I mean, what could possibly go wrong?!
Planning on having fun without my children is obviously against the rules, so the misbehavior begins from the minute they wake up. My youngest, MissChief, cries theatrically and holds on to my ankle as I get ready to leave and grab my stuff, almost forgetting to pick up my sister’s present. I pretend not to notice my son writing his name on the fridge door in ketchup. My husband tells me to have fun as I wave goodbye. Was that fear I saw in his eyes?
‘Good luck darling’, I sing as I dance out of the door.
As I approach the station I see Ellie rushing towards me. ‘Hurry up. Our train goes in 2 minutes!’ she says, shoving a coffee into my hand. ‘I am seriously hung over’, she adds.
Sitting on the train she spots the pretty little gift bag in my other hand. ‘Ooh. Is that for me?’ As I am about to give it to her, I realise with horror that I haven’t put her actual present in the sodding bag!
I try to hold onto it, but she manages to prize it out of my hand, peers inside and laughs. ‘Err, it’s a really lovely gift bag Lydia … but there’s nothing in it?’ ‘At least I’m here??’ is all I can offer. Luckily she finds it hilarious. I’ll give her the present for Christmas.
We arrive in town and realise (with no great surprise) that we are going to be late. I have waited FOUR years for this! Where is the bloody place? A discreet venue, we walk past the Spa several times before noticing the small gold plaque on the wall. As we finally make our way in we are very much in need of some serious relaxation.
Ellie is hurried in to her massage, so I decide to check out the state-of-the-art gym. Hmmm where do I start? The Jacuzzi. Definitely.
Half an hour later Ellie finds me, she’s sleepy and relaxed. She lies on a bed by the pool and I go for my massage.
This. Is. Amazing.
I am soooo relaxed.
Ouch! Ok. That hurt a bit, but I’m sure that’s totally normal.
‘You have so many knots down your spine. I’m just going to increase the pressure a bit. Tell me if it’s uncomfortable’.
‘ARGHH!’ That’s 4 years of carrying children.
She releases the pressure a bit (thank God). I actually start to unwind. Suddenly, out of nowhere, she starts karate chopping me? This can’t be right? Make it stop. Please make it stop! Owwwww!
‘Right! That’s your massage finished.’
I might never walk again.
‘I hope you feel really relaxed now?’
No! Why do you hate me?
What I actually say is.
‘That was so lovely, I feel like a different person! Thank you so very much.’
My ninja masseuse gives me the usual aftercare advice, before leaving me to get dressed.
‘You should probably try and avoid the gym for today’
I put on my best disappointed expression ‘I’ll try’.
I meet Ellie back in the spa. I sit on the end of her bed and lean forward ‘Did your masseuse actually hit you?’ I whisper
‘WHAT HAHA NO? I MEAN A SLIGHT KARATE CHOP AT THE…’
‘Shhhhhh. Never mind!’ I interrupt as I notice a few quizzical looks aimed in our direction.
I sigh happily as I lie down on a bed opposite my sister. With my eyes closing I say, ‘This is the most relaxed I have felt for a VERY long time. And I feel like I can switch off because the kids are in such good hands. Scott is so capable’. At this exact moment I receive a text from my husband, who is at the local play group.
YOUR daughter has only just stopped crying! YOUR son is having a screaming tantrum, because the pink wafers have run out and there’s only bourbons left. It’s ok though, I’m sure it will get easier. It does get easier doesn’t it? Please tell me it gets easier? If it doesn’t, then this church hall is going to be filled with grown man’s tears...
I try and switch off from this text and we go sit in the Jacuzzi. We spot a couple smooching in the pool. ‘They really need to get a room’, I say to my sister as they emerge from the water. They return 5 minutes later.
‘I BET THEY’VE BEEN SHAGGING!!’ Ellie shouts at me …. just as the noise of the Jacuzzi cuts out. Everyone hears. Everyone!
Mortified we slowly disappear under the water. When they leave, we jump out and go back to our beds by the pool. I pick up a magazine. What luxury! We lie there for about an hour before Ellie gets into the beautiful, dimly lit, tranquil swimming pool.
A couple of minutes later I hear a quiet scream from the middle of the pool. She has been joined by a man who is thrashing violently with each stroke, sending me into hysterics. Every time I compose myself he flails past and covers me with water, which sets me off again.
Ellie has now been joined by another swimmer, who is kicking equally vigorously from the other direction. Totally surrounded, she’s now crying with laughter. And slightly drowning at the same time.
I am doubled up and unable to do anything. Hardly able to breathe she makes it to the side and hangs on for dear life; just as another man dives in. Wearing flippers? ‘Help!!’ she shouts, burying her head in her arms ‘HELP!’
It takes us ages to recover. We seriously have the giggles and decide that all this ‘exercise’ deserves Prosecco. We leave the pool area and as we pass the Jacuzzi I slip and fall right over the WARNING sign. I jump up, compose myself and smile. I grab Ellie’s hand and pull her to the changing rooms. Why is it always me?!
Of course we both manage to lose our towels after our shower. Walking around the changing room with our robes wrapped (in)elegantly around our heads we are surrounded by ‘beautiful’ women, parading themselves like they’re on a catwalk. Perfectly manicured and actually wearing their robes they look at us in horror.
‘Let’s get the hell out of here and go get a drink’, whispers Ellie.
‘You are not my sister for nothing, flipping love you’ I grin.
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