Unfortunately no one’s told the cab driver this is our treat, not his, as every time one of us tries to talk, he talks over us! There’s a lot of mansplaining about how many miles he’s travelled, he tells us about the ring he chose for his fiancé (her birth stone in a heart-shaped setting, delivered to her with the bill at the end of a meal, (a lovely touch) in case you’re wondering. Apparently, she ‘liked’ it but before Christmas, she presented him a Samuel’s catalogue with a diamond ring marked out that she ‘liked better’ i.e. she hated it), and he passes us his phone to show off the many fancy dress costumes he’s worn to darts finals. And do you know what? Instead of saying, ‘do you mind, we’re trying to talk,’ we find ourselves muttering ‘lovely’ at his photos of himself as Mrs Brown and laughing at his feeble jokes. None of us is exactly a shrinking violet, we’re just too polite to tell him to shut up!
Anyway, we reach the hotel and check in at the spa. The girls have both booked back massages, but I’ve decided to have a facial - the first one in years. It must be the Day of the Talkers as my very sweet beautician drones on throughout about how my skin would be much better if I spent £80 on various lotions and potions. ‘Although cennot vork miracles,’ she adds, comfortingly, warning me that I’ll end up ‘like dried epple’ if I don’t drink more water/spritz my face/spend £80. Nice. Still, off to the spa where groups of women perform a strange watchful dance as we take it turns to occupy favoured spots like the jacuzzi. There are only two men - and guess what? - one of them jumps into the pool like Shamu the bloody whale and causes the biggest splash ever. We almost sit on the other one who is lurking in the steam room when we wander in blinking in the murk and don’t realise he’s there.
Our day is rounded off with a champagne afternoon tea which is lush, but it’s still raining when we leave so we pile in another cab which, we quickly realise, smells of wet dog. Luckily our driver doesn’t chat. Oh no, he’s too busy cutting up other drivers and complaining under his breath about the other road users. We make it back to Lily’s in one piece, although I suspect the strain of the journey won’t helped my chances of avoiding the ‘dried epple’ look.