I woke up this morning and switched my phone off. No emails, no tweets, no Facebook nonsense – I was fed up with all of it, I was going to have a day just the wee man and me. I packed us a bag, stopped off at the bank to pay a visa bill cos the online payment I set up didn’t work and drove the hell out of Glasgow.
The rainbow stayed with us all the way to Finlaystone. I didn’t care that it was drizzling, I was desperate to see the daffodils, hear the river and breathe fresh, damp, earthy air. I parked, paid our entrance fee into the honesty box and bumped off down the track, the wee man’s head on a swivel taking it all in.
I’ve been going to Finlaystone since I was tiny, so I don’t know if it was the familiarity, the tranquility or the solitude that made me feel so relaxed – probably the combination. And when the wee man fell asleep, clutching his toy and sucking his thumb, I just sat and looked and appreciated.
When he woke up we had a picnic in a leaking greenhouse. Then we went back to the car, where I changed his nappy on the backseat. I wasn’t ready for our magical day to end so I decided we’d go for a coffee and to see the horses at Ingliston.
We sat together on the couch like pals, talking nonsense and playing. I shared my carrot cake with him and drank my coffee while he chewed Sophie giraffe (not My Little Pony, waitress, he’s a boy) but his favourite bit was watching the show-jumping. He was properly awe-struck. He didn’t utter a peep for twenty minutes and craned his wee neck to follow the horses round the course. He was in the car-seat all of three minutes before he conked out. Best day I’ve had for ages.
I hope this is what's waiting when I die
When it comes to life’s little disappointments, a tepid bath is up there with soggy chips and films whose trailers steal the best scenes.
A roasting hot, bubbly, candlelit bath, with chilled out tunes playing in the background – now that is my idea of heaven. That moment of leaning back in the only-just-bearable heat, resting my head on the rim and closing my eyes as I exhale every last bubble of air in my lungs – it’s magical! There is no other way to relax as instantly and completely.
Now that I’m 31 weeks pregnant, I’m appreciating this zen-like experience on a whole new level. I felt actual joy the first time I realised that the upside of having the heating on almost constantly was instant baths. Usually I’d have to decide an hour in advance when I wanted to soak so that there’d be enough hot water in the tank. One of my friends bought me The Sanctuary’s Mum-To-Be range for Christmas, which includes bath salts, so I have been generously sprinkling them and indulging in a bath nearly every night. It’s actually getting to the stage where I look forward to seeing my tub more than my husband at the end of a day’s work!
The funny thing is, now that I’ve fully appreciated how much this small experience enhances my life, I’m completely reconsidering my view of a water birth. My sister-in-law has done it twice and swears by it, while I’ve always shied away from the mere thought. All that gunk floating in there with you? But if the key to a good labour is remaining calm and breathing deeply – well, I’ve just argued that very point.
I’d be very interested to know if anyone’s had a water birth and if it is, in fact, just as soothing as a bubblebath?