It was meant to be a double treat – a day out for Daughter because it was her birthday, and for me because life has been difficult lately. We’d made an agreement. Mum’s illness and Daughter’s work worries were to be forbidden topics. We’d just chill. What we hadn’t bargained for was the disappearance of Mabel, one of our lovely new cats. She had gone out in the night and not returned for breakfast. We looked everywhere. We called her name, banged her food bowl, but there was no sign. We assured each other that she would soon be back and set off, just a little late, to Ragdale Hall.
With thoughts of Mabel sitting heavily at the back of our throats we launched ourselves into a ‘spa experience’. The variety of steam rooms and relaxation pools was amazing. We went from rose sauna to volcanic steam room to a storm shower cave complete with thunder and lightning.
My favourite was the candle pool. We entered down steps into a room filled only with warm water, candlelight and calming music. We lay on moulded beds with soft head rests. It was exactly the ambience I always fail to achieve when running my bath at home.
Coming a close second was the outside pool with its hot water, steaming jets, waterfalls and Jacuzzi outlets, while all the time the sun was shining down on us and we were hot and this was March and we were in the UK... if only Mabel... but that had become another forbidden topic.
After lunch came our massages, a back massage for me, followed by a full facial. I’m normally uncomfortable about massages but I was overtired, overstressed and these treatments were exactly what my body needed. I almost fell asleep – amazing! Relaxation is really not my thing.
Last of all was our manicure. As we sat overlooking the gardens, fingers out straight, resisting the temptation to see if we were ‘touch dry’, a text message arrived from home. Mabel had returned. It was 4 pm and she had strolled in as if she’d only been gone a minute.
We did have a lovely day at Ragdale but I have to say that the best bit was that text message. We’re going to return and do it all again, maybe in June... only this time we’ll keep Mabel well and truly shut in until we get home!