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My glorious week in Baden-Baden. Oh darn. I’m mixing myself up with Victoria Beckham


What a week! What a stupendous, glorious week. You, my friend, may have been gnashing your pearly-whites in your mangy bed, sleepless with worry and deranged with despair over a beleaguered existence of droplets and disease – but not me.

Nope, I did not sprawl in my fetid pit, listening to the rain, staring at a cobweb on the yellowing ceiling, wondering if I’d ever again break free of my suburban cage, wondering indeed what kind of world would be left out there to break into.

No, siree! I, along with my acrylic eyelashes, my permanent pout, my ridiculously slender thighs and my tiny, tiny, tiny little bottom, went to Baden-Baden!

Yep, that’s correct, I’ve just returned from the Black Forest, where my heavily tattooed husband and I indulged ourselves in a week of “immune boosting” in an exclusive health resort.

Oh yes, there, deep in the woodland, our treatments included ozone therapy, lymphatic massages and several oxygen-inhalation sessions. (Yes, real oxygen, the kind you actually breathe into your lungs)

Our relaxation routines were combined with personal training and fitness activities, including aqua-gymnastics, yoga, Qigong, Nordic walking and, of course, hiking through the pedunculate oak and silver birch, with our smartphones and our minders in tow, so that we could post lots of snaps of ourselves in our baseball caps on our social media platforms.

Oh whoops, hang on. Nope, sorry, I’ve just realised that I’m a two-faced lying toe-rag!

How could I have forgotten? It wasn’t me who went on a mini-break to Baden-Baden to gargle forest mushrooms and mung beans. And I’m not the one with the tattooed husband and the delicately diminutive posterior.

Darn! I’m mixing myself up with Victoria Beckham, fashion designer and former Spice Girl, who recently did go for an immune-boosting vacation with husband David, father to their four children: Brooklyn, Boston, Behola and Ballyhaunis.

Some media reports suggest that their spa trip may have been in response to Vic and Dave allegedly contracting Covid-19 while – allegedly – partying in LA. Whether the couple did or didn’t contract the virus, Victoria appeared, in the Black Forest snaps (which I perused on a gossip site in a fit of soul-blistering pandemic-induced ennui), as happy as Posh Spice ever looks: defiant, self-aggrandising and hungry.

Oddly V’n’D’s holiday snaps kind of cheered me up. They were precisely the boot in the posterior that I needed on that monsoon morning.

Mind you, could you be arsed running up Machu Picchu in a diving bell, or achieving a tripod headstand with lotus legs on a howling seashore?

The celebrity couple may have been paying through their diamond-encrusted noses for their healthy holliers, but, as I said to the cat, when you boil it down, an immune-boosting retreat is well within all our grasps.

Seriously, I said to her, “we’re an island nation. How difficult can it be to get out for a walk in the woods, or a gentle jog by the seaside? A bit of deep of breathing, a spontaneous downward dog, throw a few chick-peas into your dinner, and we’ll all be bending it like Beckham in no time, eh?”

Momentarily resisting the obsessive pleasure of licking her own backside, the cat looked up at me through her gummy peepers before whipping her scrawny neck back to her posterior to continue her ablutions.

“Mind you, could you be arsed running up Machu Picchu in a diving bell, or achieving a tripod headstand with lotus legs on a howling seashore, or snow-skiing across the Arctic plains in a pair of heavy-duty assault boots, being pursued by a pack of hungry wolves, or whatever it is that people do to look svelte? I mean, I believe in the mental-health benefits of fresh air and exercise, but look around you – it’s going to take more than a mung bean to get us out of this mess.”

The cat stopped licking herself and sat on the kitchen floor staring vacantly in my direction, my words falling like confetti around the translucent tips of her veiny little ears. Through the milky prisms of her old cat’s eyes, she looked as if she was trying very hard to understand me.

I wondered what it’d be like if she was one of those purring, cuddly cats, the kind that used to adorn chocolate boxes, a moggy that sat affectionately and reassuringly on your knee when you were struggling with hard realities.

I stood to let her out into the rain-soaked yard to blindly scour the cloudy skies for flocks of migrant starlings. At this late stage in our relationship, I suspect both of us would find displays of greater sympathy oddly disconcerting.

We Will Not Back Down Until We #EndSARS – Conveners

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