Invited by my friend, Caroline, for an afternoon of total indulgence, to the new Spa at Archerfield, a local golf club, just along the coast from us. We nearly crucified ourselves carving out said afternoon, between various children’s winter coughs and colds, exam weeks, birthdays, xmas, not to mention husbands, work and housework (what’s that?), it was not easy. Thank goodness it was just me she invited – the thought of having to fit this afternoon around anyone else’s domestic schedule, just does not bear thinking about.
Anyway, we made it and what a wonderful afternoon we had. Stepping in to the glazed entrance, you were immediately transported to a wonderful world of flagstone flooring, salvaged and distressed wood, linen, logs, chalkiness and salt, yes, salt…complete with underfloor heating of course, with the odd bit of fur flung in…
The soporifically comfortable lounge
Hey…it’s a bit like my house?? Except a lot nicer!!
Designed by world renowned Spa expert Sian Parry Jones. Please, please, please can Sian come to my house and make it like Fletchers?? Every detail was beautiful.
A mirror made from an old Parisien window frame
Yes, I want my dressing table to be like this. And I want this box for my hairdryer… and this very functional, very ‘industrial chic’ chair…Oh yes…and treatment room lined with salt tiles…
Facebook followers will know that I am featured in the magazine this week, EPSC the Edinburgh Solicitors Property Centre.
They very kindly describe me as an ‘Interiors Expert’ which was a wonderful boost I have to say.
They ask why I blog and I explained that ‘it serves as a useful portfolio for Douglas, that can be constantly updated’. He did snigger slightly when I added ‘in today’s evermore ‘cut-throat’ working environment’ – not that I am melodramatic or anything – you know – death to all rivals! And, that ‘I find it a very satisfying way of preserving, both, work and family memories’ (a slightly more fragrant reason for blogging!)
They asked my advice for readers wanting to improve their homes interior: I am a great believer in not being a ‘Jack of all styles’, so I said ‘decide on a style and stick to it – commitment is everything!’
I also advised not to be a slave to your homes architecture…antiques and vintage pieces can add exciting accents to a modern home and, equally, a period property can be minimilist – it is your house – make it what you want it to be.
As promised, have updated Sharon Randall’s very advanced guide to marriage, that I shared in an earlier post, pontificating the fact that I had been doing this blog for a year now and was, still, married! Have written some rather more achievable tips, I think, based on my own experience. I did try and post some on Facebook every day …but in the end it all got a bit much for me, so before I phone a solicitor, here goes:
25 Tips on How to Stay Married
1. Always put her first – before work, friends, even basketball. Act as if she’s the best thing that ever happened to you, because we all know she is. Pretend you never find him annoying 2. Keep no secrets. Pool your money. Allow nothing and no one to come between you. Agree with everything he says, but carry on buying shoes whenever you need them.
3. Pick your fights with care. Play fair. Show some class. Hurtful words can be forgiven, but they’re hard to forget. I like this – be kind at all times 4. Fall in love again every day. Kiss her in taxis. Flirt with her at parties. Tell her she’s beautiful. Then tell her again. Have sex 5. Never miss an anniversary or a birthday or a chance to make a memory. Memories may not seem important now, but one day they’ll be gold. Have sex on your anniversary and both your birthdays at least…if you can remember the last time you had sex – that is very good. 6. Never give her a practical gift. If she really wants a Shop-Vac, let her pick it out herself. Buy your own jewellery, flowers, shoes…. 7. Go to church together, and pray every day for each other and your marriage. Get drunk together and hope both your hangovers get better soon
8. Pay your bills on time and make sure you each have a living will, a durable power of attorney and life insurance, lest, God forbid, you need them. Yeah – arrange childcare quickly
9. Love her parents as your own, but don’t ask them for money. Never criticize her family or friends. On her birthday, send flowers to her mother with a note saying, “Thank you for giving birth to the love of my life.” Hmmm…errr… being reasonably polite to your mother-in-law at all times is probably enough.
10. Always listen to her heart; if you’re wrong, say you’re sorry; if you’re right, shut up. Apologise profusely if you have bought a lot of shoes this month or, don’t tell him at all. 11. Don’t half-tie the knot; plan to stay married forever. – Errr start organizing the golden wedding celebrations now? 12. Never go to bed mad; talk until you’re over it, or you forget why you were mad. Pardon?? 13. Laugh together a lot. If you can laugh at yourselves, you’ll have plenty to laugh about. Now, why did the chicken cross the road…?
14. Never criticize, correct or interrupt her in public; try not to do it in private either. Don’t hit him in public or private 15. Remember that people are the least lovable when they are most in need of love. Yes, this is true – grumpy misery-guts need a lot of tlc 16. Never fall for the myth of perfectionism; it’s a lie. Perfect people are surrounded by idiots, inevitably 17. When you don’t like each other, remember that you love each other; pray for the “good days” to return and they will. Pardon? 18. Tell the truth, only the truth, with great kindness. This is a very good idea – I will honestly do this from now on – honestly! 19. Kiss at least 10 seconds a day, all at once or spread out. Try and have sex occasionally 20. Memorize all her favorite things and amaze her with how very well you know her. Make sure you go on plenty of girls nights out 21. Examine your relationship as often as you change the oil in your car; keep steering it on a path you both want it to go. Check his mobile for dodgy texts and emails from other women – not nice but prob useful…
22. Be content with what you have materially, honest about where you are emotionally, and never stop growing spiritually. Buy as nice as a house as you can afford, starve yourself so you can afford to go on the occasional holiday 23. Never raise your voice unless you’re on fire. Whisper when you argue. Good idea – scary 24. Be both friends and lovers; in a blackout, light a candle, then make your own sparks. Not such a good idea – don’t try this 25. Finally, be an interesting person, lead your own life. But always save your best for each other. In the end, you will know you were better together than you ever could’ve been apart. Goodness – if you can follow that you are doing well….think it means ‘the whole is greater than the sum of it’s parts’…yes, very good.
Favourite TV programme? City or Country living? What is your star sign and are you typical? Where are you going with your blog? Describe your dream home? What is your dream job? Favourite car? Most useful self help book you have ever read? (Of course you may never have read one!) Your song? Favourite perfume? Dinner party stand by?