This post is dedicated to the wonderful Sarah Egan who whisked Sam and myself away to Whatley Manor for the most beautiful and memorable weekend away.
Sarah and I met in the most unlikely of circumstances. I’d turned up for an Oxford tri ride – a very rare occurrence – and when I arrived at the meeting point there were two other riders there – Sarah and a guy on the blingest most expensive shiny over-the-top piece of machinery imaginable. Said guy looked distinctly horrified at the prospect of having his precious training ride ruined by two female tagger-oners and cut straight to the chase: “What type of ride did you have in mind because I was planning on long, hard and fast?” Attempting to stifle our giggles we released Mr Bling to do his own thing and ended up having a lovely ride together to Henley. And the rest is history.
So thanks to Sarah’s extraordinary generosity we were treated to the best weekend away ever. Words cannot describe how beautiful the hotel was – there were tastefully decorated multiple drawing rooms complete with plush cushions and chaise longues to chill out in, the beds to quote Sarah “felt like whipped cream”, the surrounding gardens were simply spectacular.
And it just got better – Sarah had hired out the 40 seater hotel cinema so on Saturday afternoon we had the pleasure of an exclusive viewing of ‘Memoirs of a Geisha’, complete with popcorn. This whirlwind pleasure train continued into the evening with a meal at the hotel brasserie. Sadly the chemo has done very strange things to my taste buds so I wasn’t able to fully appreciate the food but I gather it was very good! Typical, the first time I get to sample truffle oil and I can’t even taste it. (Very odd stuff this chemo business – I actually found myself craving a McDonalds hamburger & fries on the way home. Having given the golden arches a wide berth for the best part of 20 years this was a very odd sensation!)
And so the paradise weekend continued on Sunday with a lazy morning complete with paper and tea tray in bed followed by a suitably decadent breakfast. And what better way to finish a perfect weekend than spending a few hours chilling out in the spa. Because I can’t get the arm with the pic line wet, my sojourn into the jacuzzi no doubt looked a little odd to the bystanders, with my left arm raised, army style to keep it dry. But it was very pleasant all the same.
Sadly all good things have to come to an end. Thank you so much Sarah for making our weekend, month, year – it really meant so much to us both and the timing couldn’t have been better.