Sunday, 31 August 2008

15. Cocoon days

I spent the past few days in a cocoon.

It’s called Grayshott Hall and for the annual budget of a small European Republic you can get a large luxurious room with an enormous soft bed, a bathroom the size of Daniel’s flat, a beautiful view over National Trust Land - and most importantly, a wi-fi connection. You can stay in touch while being pampered.

At Grayshott, there’s an army of middle-aged women to cover you in sweet-smelling liquids. I have been rubbed with lavender and jasmine oils and I smell absolutely gorgeous. Mary has been doused with geranium, which makes her skin 20 years younger and makes her pee a lot. This is apparently a good thing.

Mary opted for holistic body massage and cranial osteopathy (obviously), but I wanted something more exotic. One of the treatments is called Reiki – and rather like women’s beach volleyball – I wish I’d discovered it earlier. Reiki is extraordinary. For most treatments someone comes and washes you or massages you or something. But in Reiki, a woman comes and stands over you for about an hour and does absolutely nothing at all. Then she says she’s cleared your energy channels. It’s sheer genius. The training must take minutes.

I’m really hooked on these treatments now and can’t wait to try some more. I’m particularly keen on Feng Shui - where your energy channels are apparently aligned with bedroom furniture. After much meditation and slow movement, you gently ascend to IKEA. I’d also like to try Thaksin. But you can only get it in Manchester and you end up owing the Thai government 80 billion dollars.

Anyway – in all seriousness – Grayshott was a great success, and we really did get a break from the real world, which we badly needed. Even better, while we were away, Susie and Victor returned home to take care of Dad, who is now out of hospital and back in the care home in Muswell Hill. He's indestructible.