My mini break – indulging the day away

The other day I accompanied my husband on his business trip to Brisbane – the big city for us these days.  It was just an overnight trip but it provided the opportunity to get to all those shops that were no longer available to me – the Fabric Shop, Lulu Lemon, Mecca, etc.

Although the experience began a bit wobbly – we turned up to check in at the hotel only to find our booking had been made for the previous week – the hotel staff very efficiently righted wrongs and turned things around. Checkout was at 11am – not really a problem but I wanted to go to the gym in the morning and didn’t want to get up very early or rush so asked if a later check out was possible.  No problem – 1pm!  Our room was on the 18th floor with city views, large and spacious and well appointed with a comfortable king-size bed and lots of comfy pillows.  I’m a real pillow fanatic and can’t sleep if the pillow isn’t right.  These ones were perfect.

The bathroom was also nice and big and even better – had a big bath.  Ah, I thought:  gym followed by a luxurious soak.  But meantime, having unpacked it was definitely time to have a drink in the bar downstairs.  We were staying at the Marriott and although it’s a bit staid, the service is impeccable.  The bar downstairs felt like something out of a 50’s movie – all dim lights and small tables – perfect setting for a dirty martini.  Don’t know why but I was surprised at how good it was.  I suppose it’s not a drink that’s commonly called for but then again, in the service/hospitality industry, isn’t that what a good bar tender should do: mix the perfect martini?  So, another tick for this hotel’s staff.  Excellent service all round.

I had planned to sleep in the next morning but woke early (why is it that men can’t move about quietly?) and couldn’t get back to sleep.  Not wanting to get up and start my day I switched on the tv, made myself a cup of tea, got out my knitting and hopped back into bed. I spent the next hour or so knitting in bed and watching tv.  Not something I’ve ever done before.  Not something I imagine anyone has done before. It felt very indulgent.

Eventually I’d had enough knitting – and was ready for a coffee – so it was time to get to the gym.  An hour later I was back in my room and running the bath.  There’s something rather decadent about having a morning bath.  Pure luxury.  The only thing that was missing was a glass of champagne and while I did (briefly) consider calling down for one, I thought this might be a bit impractical having already submerged myself in a bath full of bubbles.

Bathed and dressed I sought out a good coffee and then sat and attended to emails and other business before packing up and calling down to request my car.  12.45pm.  A very nice start to the day.  It felt like I was on holidays.  Had I been staying longer I would have indulged in a spa session and then had a glass of wine in the bar. And then perhaps gone to see a movie.  As it was, I ran my errands and had a leisurely lunch before picking up my husband and driving back home.

I realised that it’s that easy to give yourself a treat – a day off.  Make use of all the facilities in the hotel and pamper yourself.  A real ‘go slow’ day.  It was the best mini break I’ve had in a long long time.

Mother’s Day Madness

Mother’s Day:  a day when florists, shops and restaurants make a killing.

I know that many eschew the crassness and commercialisation of celebrations such as Mother’s Day.  I certainly do.  Why should we fall prey to the big business of consumerism that targets our guilt and sends us madly rushing to the florist and forces us to purchase all manner of dross as a means of saying “I love you”?  Our letter boxes are crammed full of catalogues with gift ideas for mum – slippers and pyjamas still feature strongly –  and all manner of websites take this opportunity to offer specials and discounts and encourage you to buy – even if not for your mum, then just for yourself. We’re brought up from a very early age to pay tribute to these occasions but at least as young children we’re making things rather than buying them (burnt toast anyone?). I find Valentine’s Day particularly heinous – cards, roses and restaurants offering special set menus (read: pre-prepared, no choice) which hardly spells romance. Run a mile from any romance poseur who lacks the imagination to think of a romantic gesture and opts instead for a schmaltzy token by way of a single red rose.  Ugh!  (However, should he bring you a tiny rosebud and either place it behind your ear or pin it to your dress, you’ve got a winner).

And yet. There is something to be said for the gesture. Sometimes you just need a bit of kindness.  A token of appreciation.

This year I missed being remembered on Mother’s Day. I didn’t necessarily want a gift but I did want a message of love  – alas my children were too busy planning their overseas trips. Secretly I was hoping that there would be a tiny little present left for me to find but I would have equally been happy with a message.  To be fair, my daughter was in transit to New York and my son was in Toronto and then on his way to meet his sister and Toronto is a day behind, so I can’t really complain, and in the past they have thought of some wonderful surprise gifts/expeiriences for me.

I’m having a “woe is me” moment. I was really surprised at how I felt.  I’ve never been a fan of  Mother’s Day (although I always send my mother a card and flowers because I know she appreciates it) but I do like to be treated to a glass of champagne (actually I like to be  treated to a glass of champagne on any day – it doesn’t have to be an occasion). My husband says that I am not his mother so therefore he doesn’t feel obliged to do anything on this day. But on Father’s Day I ensure that I make something of it  – perhaps lunch out or a picnic, or even just champagne and nice nibbles at home as a way of acknowledging and  celebrating him in his role as father to our children.  Perhaps its just getting older that makes me want this token of love. Or perhaps I just miss my children.

So today, I intend to  luxuriate in a bath full of scents and bubbles, light a candle, put on some music, read my book and drink champagne to celebrate my being a mum. After all, every day is Mother’s Day. 156404420-bubble-bath-water-tap-bath-tub-sparkling-wine