The best breakdown ever

It was Kev’s birthday earlier last week (hence we’ve taken a few days off on holiday) and as part of his birthday gift, I took him for a spa day. 

Now, before you say “I bet that gift was really for you!”, I’d like you to know that Kev is one of the rare men that actually enjoys spa days. 

He genuinely loves treatments and wandering around in a fluffy white dressing gown for the day. 

It obviously wouldn’t be kind to send him there by himself, so I did the dutiful thing and booked myself a massage, too. 

I’m all heart, me!

Anyway, the day was incredible, (we went to Aqua Sana at Longleat Centre Parcs if you’re looking for a recommendation). As well as our massage, we spent the day wandering around the spa, trying out all the different experiences, such as volcanic steam rooms and woodland saunas, bubbly foot-spas, and rainforest showers. 

Our favourite place was the Forest Nesting, a darkened room full of cosy, cushioned pods where you could curl up and drift off in the sounds of nature. 

I’ll admit, it doesn’t sound like the most interesting thing to do, and if you described it to me I wouldn't have thought I’d want to spend much time there, but these pods eat you up in their snuggly darkness and make you forget about everything! 

All the cares of the world seemed light years away when we’d finished our day in the spa - it was the perfect start to our week off work.

However, after leaving the spa, we got into the car and drove a few hundred metres down the perfectly manicured inner roads of Centre Parcs, only to find we had a flat tyre. 

It was a very weird experience waiting for the AA whilst in a spa-coma. 

It was the sort of event that might usually make me a bit irritable. I tend not to lose my shit about breakdowns etc, but I do find them annoying. However, Kev and I found ourselves just looking at the flat tyre thinking, “Oh, well. Let’s call the AA and enjoy the view while we wait…”

It was a stunning place to break down - a beautiful sunny day with trees and rhododendrons all around us, and birds bobbing and chirping. 

We sat in the sunshine, blissed-out. Nothing was bothering us. I noticed a few people were walking past us with ice creams, so I wandered off to find one for us: 

It’s amazing how good the world can feel, even with a flat tyre, if you have just been to a spa and happen to break down next to an ice cream shop!

If there was a “Best Place to Have a Flat Tyre” competition, I reckon we’d have been on the podium that day, possibly only to be beaten by someone who’d had a blowout right between a Kwik Fit and a Free Pizza and Beer Festival. 

Whilst contemplating my navel waiting for the AA, I became very aware of how stressful reactions are a bit like an overflowing cup. If you already have a lot of things you’re scratchy about, then something like a car breaking down (even next to an ice cream shop) can feel maddening. 

However, if you take all the stress out of the mental cup, you can add quite a bit of bothersome stuff into it, and you won’t overflow into swearing and foot-stamping. 

Just something to bear in mind if you’ve been feeling snappy or stampy lately…

Maybe Forest Nesting isn’t your thing, but you might need to find another way of emptying your cup…

The author 

Vicki LaBouchardiere

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