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Published: July 17th 2006
Smoked salmon sandwiches, moist-spongy type syrup cake, oaty-melt in your mouth stuff, fresh cream, jam and scones. Oh baby!
“You’re lucky you know”.
“How’s that?” I ask as I roll up my sleeve.
“Only last week I was at a seminar on resuscitation techniques”, he says in a matter of fact way. As I consider this, he withdraws the needle from the second container and eyeballs the contents, rocking it back and forth slowly, a perplexed look on his grey face. I’m sure I just catch “…stuff never mixes properly” as he mutters under his breath.
My concern manifests itself as a nervous “yeah right” laugh.
He pauses as he leans in; needle held like he’s about to stub out a cigar on my cowering deltoid.
“Two breaths to one compression…? Or is it the other way round?” He looks up at the ceiling and mimics chest compressions with his free hand…
“Don’t worry. It’ll come to me”
I don’t have time to say anything before the needle is hovering above my skin.
“On a count of three… two…”
I want to say “what the hell happened to one!” but the needle’s in and out and I’m pressing a cotton patch onto my arm before I have time to think it.
“You’re sure this holiday is worth it?”
Fancy a brew?
"Tea for two and two for tea, me for you and you for me..."
asks my doctor, fiddling with the next needle.
“I’m beginning to wonder…”, I say considering which is more painful, the sting of the needle or the knowledge that I’m paying for this pleasure.
“Hepatitis in your buttock or do you want to save that for Rabies?”
Decisions, decisions… 3pm
With our eggshell white Scottish skin, sweating profusely from the cycle, staggering slightly from our time on the saddle and with little round plasters all over our pin-cushion bodies, we arrive at Chateau La Chaire looking like a pair of failed junkies.
The receptionists welcome us with well-practised smiles and we’re guided over to a desk where I have trouble remembering my name and address as I complete the check-in forms. The concierge gives me a big “you are an ejit” smile as I explain how we’ve cycled here and are still recovering from the exertion.
Having downed a complimentary G&T on the terrace outside we head back to reception where the concierge shows us to our room. He glides up the stairs while we plod along behind, our little rucksacks slung over our shoulders. 4pm
Included in our hotel package is complimentary afternoon tea. I’m fast getting to
They even gave you complimentary Wurthers Originals! Ooo... that shiney golden wrapper...
like the word complimentary. Despite costing over £400 for both of us, the only complimentary things we get from our Japanese Encephalitis, Rabies and Hepatitis B injections is the pleasure of waiting for “arm soreness, fever, headache, malaise, rash, edema and generalised urticaria (hives) or angioedema, chills, dizziness, nausea, vomitting and abdominal pains”.
When we’d arrived at the hotel I’d spotted three members of the Womens Floral Dress Association sticking their delicately powdered faces into a three tier silver tray of assorted buns and cakes. Let that be the complimentary tea I prayed. The prospect of such a multi-layered, silver plattered, sugar and cream based feast had been consuming my every thought since we checked-in.
We took a seat on the terrace and ordered our tea.
Unfortunately the waiter didn’t arrive with my three-tiered dream, but rather, a smaller, zero tiered tray. I looked along the terrace to the four women who, an hour later were still buttering scones and dabbing jam from their visages. Vikki obviously sensed my disappointment and pointed out that there were four of them and only two of us.
I was about to tell her that if we waited for one to go to the
If you've not appeared naked on the internet at least once, you just haven't lived.
bog, I could take two of them if she could handle the other, when I realised that she wasn’t proposing we fight the Womens Institute for cake rights but was merely pointing out the need for a larger tray for a larger group. Still… I like to think we could have taken them.
Despite the initial disappointment, I was soon playing catch-up with Vikki as we chomped our way through our mini platter of smoked salmon sandwiches, funny cakey things and fruit scones. In a flurry of elbows, grabbing hands and pinkie-extended tea cupping, we demolished our platter in a new Chateau La Chaire record. Even the dog looked impressed.
I can safely compliment CLC on their complimentary afternoon tea. It was spiffing. 5pm
The phrase “like a duck to water” sprang to mind as I lowered my sorry plaster wearing butt into the hot water of the Jacuzzi. Mmmmmm… bubbles…
I’d tried angling the mirror from the bathroom so that I could watch the Germany vs Sweden World Cup match, but it wasn’t going to work. In the end I had to hang over the side of the bath dripping on the floor every time the commentary sounded
Not wishing to miss out on my consumer given right to anything complimentary I had lined up the little bottles of shampoos, conditioners, faces creams etc, etc. by the side of the bath and went about using as many of them as possible.
The Jacuzzi had a little warning sign on it about not using too much bubble bath when the airjets were going to be on due to the risk of excessive foaming. As I’d been filling the bath Vikki had pointed this out to me and given me one of her Mumsy warnings about paying heed to this serious warning. But seeing a sign like that brings out the scientist in me. So I waited until Vikki had left the room and started emptying the little tub of soap into the bath - all in the name of science you understand. As I gently turned the airjet button to full power I imagine I got the same feeling that the man who invented the whoopy cushion did. I knew I’d get in trouble, but the results would be potentially hilarious.
Unfortunately, the eruption of foam I’d been hoping for failed to materialise. I suspect I’m not the
only scientist that has visited CLC and they have taken the necessary precautions and watered down the bubble bath. Hmmph.
Why I felt the need to share my bathing habits with you is questionable; I’m a bit confused about that myself and to be honest if you’ve read this far then you are probably certifiable. You do realise that the time you’ve spent reading about my adventures in the bath could have been spent reading something really interesting?
Finally, a huge thanks to all Vikki’s colleagues for what was not just a wedding gift but a fantastic honeymoon! Without them we would not have experienced the luxury of Chateau La Chaire and we suspect that there must have been some string pulling to even let riff raff such as ourselves through the door... It was a truly brilliant wedding gift and your generosity and kind words are greatly appreciated by me and the old ball and chain (this married couple stuff comes so naturally). As a sign of our appreciation, we promise never to publish photographs of me in the bath again.
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