I have just had a lovely, girly day out. A brand new hotel in County Durham with a beautiful and well thought through Spa complex. Ideal. Just what was required to recharge batteries and remind me that as well as wife, mother, housewife, lawyer and taxi driver I am also Imogen Clark.
Sometimes it is great to just stop and let's face it, there's not much activity in a spa. By the time you have wandered between sauna, steam room and pool you've just about covered it. Actually this one had an igloo too - a little blue room with a machine that produced endless quantities of ice grit used to improve the circulation. So the main focus of the day was chatting and relaxing.
The women that I went with are friends of old. We all qualified together back in 1991and have tried to spend time together ever since. We have been through training, weddings, divorces and children together and whilst we don’t see each other as regularly as we used to, within seconds of being in the same place it’s as if we have never been apart.
One of the joys of being with people that you know well is not having to conform. If we want to chat we do. If we want to read we do. If we want to go off by ourselves for a while no one thinks it’s odd. Anything goes. This is something born of long and trusted friendship. We never argue but if we did that would be fine too because whatever it was would be resolved before we got home.
So probably what makes a trip like that really relaxing is not the sitting around doing nothing although that helps. It’s the freedom of being able to do exactly as you please without fear of upsetting someone. It is the ultimate selfish experience.
We have tried all kinds of activities from full weeks away to wandering around a garden centre but in the end whatever we choose to do we will come back relaxed because it’s not about what we do but the people that we do it with. And that’s what real friendship is all about.