Today was birthday number 2. I went with four friends and my sister to have a pamper day at the very beautiful Hotel Karina, in Jarnac. Those of you not from the area might know Jarnac for its most famous alcoholic export, Courvoisier. Photographs don’t do the hotel justice, as it’s an absolute haven of tranquility and relaxation. We didn’t go into Jarnac itself, which is a lovely town that always seems remarkably quiet, but to the outskirts, tucked in between the vines and the maize fields. And if yesterday had been a bit ‘meh’ with the weather, today was glorious. Not too hot. Mid twenties. Perfect pamper day weather.

Hotel Karina, Jarnac

Although I could have stayed beneath the gazebo all day, we managed to drag ourselves pool-side to make the most of the sun.

And just to make you all jealous, the day went a little like this (following an interlude at the bank. When Francois Hollande realises that more cash machines = more spending, austerity might end):

  • coffee, fresh juice and patisseries on the veranda as the day warms up and we all decide what we’re having. Pedicures and reflexology are the order of the day.
  • Sitting by the pool, having a dip, chatting, gossiping, working out who liked 50 shades and who didn’t, finding out just who’s had what medical complaint resulting in a suppository, who’s had colonics, whose neighbours might be swingers, who’s been to a nudist colony, who was asked to manage a swingers’ bar and who would indulge in toe sucking.
  • Having a wonderful pedicure and turning my hammer-toed monkey feet into something less unattractive.
Lovely lady feet!
  • Having a gorgeous salad, lovely steak and rosti potatoes and a divine ‘mini’ pavlova (wait until you see this ‘mini’ pavlova…)
Mini pavlova

And as if that wasn’t quite enough, we had afternoon tea and chocolate cake. Now, birthdays just don’t get more lovely than that!

Only 38 left and I’m already feeling a little sad.

Birthday stats

Number of friends celebrating with me so far: 10

Number of days to my actual 40th: 130

Food consumed so far by me: moules & frites, caramel ice-cream, bacon salad, sirloin steak & roast potatoes, mini pavlova

Most fun moments: splashing in the sea with Damon and Jacob, eating mussels with Damon, watching the fireworks with Deb, Damon, Jacob and Haydn, the boys all asleep on the way home at three in the morning, Rachel after a glass of wine (okay, three ‘English’ size glasses…) and discussions about suppositories and toe-sucking.

It might be 130 days until I finally get there, but so far, being 40 is fabulous!

I had a lovely discussion with Allie about how lucky we are to live and be able to celebrate and how being 40 is an achievement that many people don’t have. I truly believe that. If I can’t celebrate with every single one of my friends this year, I will need a few more parties next year too!


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