An Afternoon To Myself

I have a day off today.

“My daughter spent the evening having a swim, sitting in the jacuzzi and then enjoyed a nice glass of wine after”.

What was it about these words my friend spoke to me that just seemed so incredibly luscious! Instantly, I was there – my body was weightless in the water, warm and massaged in the jacuzzi, all tension and stress melting away, all this just at the thought of it.

This is what I need to do!

I started Googling.

Where could I go that would have the relaxation and calmness of a spa or health club, that wouldn’t cost fortunes – perhaps even a free trial day. I didn’t want to just use the local sports centre, I wanted somewhere that would feel like a private little haven, where I could read my book in peace, take a dip into the water as I pleased, somewhere warm, friendly and inviting.


I had been a member of Spirit Health Club in Hemel Hempstead years ago, and I had loved it. The pool was small enough to not feel overwhelmed, yet big enough to enjoy a good swim at your own pace. A yummy jacuzzi to sizzle the skin and eradicate any unwanted stress, and steam room and saunas for the hardcore – me personally, I’m a bit of a wimp when it comes to the latter two rooms, a couple of minutes tops and then I’m done. But ah, the feeling you get when you get back into the pool afterwards, it’s probably one of the most refreshing senses you could hope for.

Please still have trial days!

Bingo! All booked in for today at midday.

So off I went. I had dug out my costume that hadn’t seen the light of day for months, and packed my book – one of my resolutions is to try and read more, currently I’m working my way slowly through Birdsong, by Sebastian Faulks, as recommended by Sean – these were the two quintessential items I needed for my afternoon of self-indulgence.

I seem to constantly have a lot on my mind lately, the questions and debates I have with myself over and over again in my head can be relentless;

“Where should I live?”

“How much of my life can I dedicate to travelling? – Can I really just give up my job to live a life out of a backpack at my age?”

“I should have a baby by now!”

“Why is it so hard to find Mr Right?”

“But then who cares, I’m a strong independent girl, I’m happy living the single life, I’m going to go and travel the world by myself….”

“Who are you kidding, no you don’t! Someone please just come and look after me and make my decisions”

This is the battlefield that is my mind! I’d like to think that I’m not alone with these types of thoughts, at least I hope to god that I’m not – otherwise these are all clear cut signs that actually, I’m a total nut job completely failing at the art of holding it together!

But nevertheless – these are all reasons why today, the need for a little TLC and switch off of the mind have been well and truly needed, and probably vital to my day to day sanity! (I’m not crazy really – honest! 🙂 ). And I have to say, Spirit Health Club, you have not failed me. I have had the loveliest afternoon. Okay so, there was a water aerobics class happening at one point that I hadn’t quite anticipated on, and the music was loud and pumping throughout. But I have to admit, even this I enjoyed. I found myself smiling and nodding my head in the rhythm of the low base beat as I watched amusedly from the comfort of the jacuzzi at the rows of bodies flapping and choking their way through their exercise class. At one point I was even asked if I wanted to join in by the, rather attractive, young man in charge of these willing participants. I kindly declined.

I swam for the enjoyment rather than for the amount of lengths I could achieve, and I remembered that actually I’m a fairly strong swimmer – something I perhaps should have committed myself to a bit more whilst growing up – and I read my book; Stephen has just had his first flirtation encounter with Madame Azaire.

I feel rejuvenated, happy, positive and ready to face the world for a little longer until the next pick me up is needed.

And lets be fair, if we’re all honest with ourselves, life can be hard. It can be amazing and wonderful as well, but also, it can come and kick us seriously up the butt! Which is when we need to get out our little bag of ‘pick me up’ tricks, to do something to make us feel better again. Don’t feel selfish by doing this, indulge a little, treat yourself.

I did that today, and I gotta say, I feel great!

I’m now sat with my mum, who has sat patiently whilst I finish this post, at the local village pub The Cricketers – by far my favourite pub in the world – and I’m going to finish what has been a lovely afternoon with that cool crisp yummy glass of wine!



I have a couple of trips in the near future to look forward to as well. I’m off to Italy with work in April and then headed out to Kenya in May to see Sean. So lots of things to look forward to! x x

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