Tomorrow I leave this delightful haven that is the Viva Mayr clinic. I think everyone should come here, at least once. I have discovered several important things about my health that will change my life.
First the reason I have always had a pot belly is not because I am built that way but that I have an inflamed small intestine. So my tummy has swollen up to protect it, just like your arm would swell if you fell over and bashed it. The good news is, it should be gone within two weeks. So if I am allowed to wear a bikini on the beach in Abu Dhabi, I will be doing so. Second my doctor has told me that due to my body’s reaction to stress (throwing calcium at it to reduce acid levels) I will almost certainly develop osteoporosis unless I start taking supplements (and avoiding stress). This is particularly emotive for me as my mother suffers from the disease. Finally (and also linked to stress) I am exhausted and have to allocate one hour a day to myself, along with one day a week and FOUR WEEKS a year – this is going to be the most difficult thing to do.
I don’t feel exhausted, I feel great. I have been working hard but also enjoying massages, saunas (to prepare me for Abu Dhabi) and lots of reading. I am almost at the end of A Thousand Splendid Suns which has been a huge international best-seller. It’s a really lovely book, totally gripping and a great if horrible insight into the plight of women in Afghanistan.
I have been trying to define it. It is not great literature, nor is it pure chick-lit. But somewhere in between. I would say, and this is no way a criticism, it is chick-lit for grown-ups. It is compulsive reading, the characters are well drawn but I think one of the differences between this and say F.Scott Fitzgerald is that here we are told things and with Fitzgerald we are shown them. There is a scene in The Great Gatsby where he describes Daisy Buchanan and Jordan Baker sitting on a large comfortable sofa, their white clothes being gently lifted by the wind, the view from the window and the billowing gauze curtains. In that paragraph he tells us more about the characters and their world than any passage that is purely descriptive.
Talking of chick-lit, a spa would make a great setting for a chick-lit novel. Maybe my next one could be set here with a cast of characters including: The attractive and successful female City executive deafened by the sound of her biological clock, looking for someone, anyone, to silence it. The gruff owner of a Premier League football club and his wife who share the exclusive suite at the top of the clinic, but what goes on up there? The brooding Spaniard, a man who seemingly has everything, but who is riddled with sorrow. The aristocratic playboy with a dark childhood secret…..I could go on. A good excuse to come back next year.
Copyright: Helena Frith Powell 2008