30th April 2020
I write this from my bed. At 5.37pm. Not because I'm being lazy. Not because I'm ill, nor tired. But because I've been banished. It's my birthday on Saturday, a big birthday in fact, and the original plan to go away, which Jeff and I had been looking forward to for months, (in the first quarter of the year we'd often look at each other and say "two words - spa break" and that would get us through many a difficult afternoon) has obviously been cancelled and I am therefore banished to my room whilst our girls create, I imagine, a multitude of homemade delights to make up for the cancelled trip. I've also been promised a replacement spa 'experience'. So spare a thought for me on Saturday, if you will, whilst I am likely sat on the sofa with my feet in a washing up bowl of tepid water and fairy liquid bubbles, whilst being manicured by an 8 year old.
(I feel like I need to caveat all my ridiculous ramblings with a note to say that I am acutely aware of how lucky I am right now to be at home, with my healthy family. And that many people would pay a fortune for even an hour of the time I jest about on Saturday - please don't think otherwise. I count my blessings daily).
The last time I let someone 'home-spa' me was circa. 1993 by a school friend. As a youth with highly sensitive skin I should have known better (in the words of my Mum who berated me for weeks afterwards whilst dealing with the consequences). I was treated to an indulgent face mask of thick, old-skool Oil of Ulay, as it was known back then, and 20 minutes later, treated my skin was not. Quite the opposite. Imagine a frog, that has been deprived of all hydration but force fed until it's face has blown up like a soon-to-explode water balloon. Painted bright pink. That, my friends, was me. For a week afterwards. Not helped by the steroids I was given to, in theory, reduce the swelling but that unbeknownst to anyone I was also allergic to. I didn't think I could swell any further.
This is a true story. I remember the looks I got as I was frog-marched (excuse the pun) to the doctor's surgery. A mixture of sympathy and understandable repulsion.
Lesson learnt. And that lesson is that 27 years later when offered a home spa experience by our children for my big a-hem birthday then it needs to be focussed below the ankles or not at all.
My goodness, I'm so sorry. I was honestly feeling so inspired and fired up when I started writing this blog. I had plans to talk about how my creative juices are flowing having allowed myself some down-time away from packing up flour for the good people of Saffron Walden. And how my sourdough crumpets are finally resembling something crumpet-like because I've had TIME and HEADSPACE to do my research and practise. And to ask whether it would be sacrilege to confess that I'm actually starting to quite enjoy home-schooling (in the most loose sense of the term) because external pressures have relaxed and we've finally found our mojo? And yet instead you get a history lesson in the art of bad 90s teenage face masks and science-boundary pushing frogs. HA.
And therefore you may be relieved to hear that this weekend I will be steering clear of any form of PR or creative writing opportunity and happily indulging in my celebratory hands-that-do-dishes foot spa, safely locked away in my isolation home. I'm a very lucky girl.
N.B Fairy Liquid did NOT sponsor this blog post. I know. Hard to believe. I should be knee deep in the stuff by now if it weren't for my pesky allergies.