I keep starting a lot of my posts with ‘So I was getting a massage and…’
But um, I was getting a massage this morning and Alula wandered in.
‘Hello mummy,’ she said.
‘mgrhrmrmrm,’ I answered.
‘Is it ok if I sit on the bed?’ she asked, clambering on the bed.
‘Yes, ok but you have to be silent and shut the door I don’t want the gardener seeing me naked.’
Suddenly I’m aware that instead of a two handed massage I’m getting a four handed one. With vastly different results.
After a few minutes of Alula patting my shoulders whilst Nyoman attends to my legs Alula bends down so her lips are brushing my ear and she whispers, ‘Mummy, who’s massage is better? Hers or mine?’
I’m giggling too hard to answer. And thanking goodness she didn’t come in ten minutes earlier whilst I was getting waxed.
A few seconds later I feel her nose against my back. She takes two giant sniffs. ‘Mmmmm minty superhero perfume,’ she says, ‘you smell good mummy.’
She disappears for a few minutes and I start to relax. And then a voice in my ear asks ‘mummy, is it ok if I make magic fairy juice?’
‘Go and ask daddy,’ I mumble.
She runs back into the kitchen.
‘Daddy! Daddy! Daddy! Daddy!’ I hear her hollering. Alula is turning into me in the laziness stakes. She hates climbing the stairs hence the standing at the bottom hollering.
This goes on for ten minutes until I’m so tense that the masseurs fingers are practically rebounding off my muscles as if they’re made from rubber.
Eventually she stops hollering and I hear cupboards banging and the outdoor tap running. And I try to focus on drifting to another realm but all the while I’m just imagining the chaos I’m going to walk into in the kitchen when my hour is up.
Eventually I manage to forget it for a few minutes and start dreaming up new characters for the book I’m moving onto next and trying to figure out why my last few books have all ended up with the theme of revenge at their core.
Then I hear several male voices outside. I know that the handyman is coming by to quote us on a few oddjobs and I already told John to listen out for him.
I hear a man’s voice saying ‘Is your daddy at home?’
I am lying in the ground floor bedroom. There’s a carved wooden door between my oiled naked body and three strange men. I wonder if I can stay silent enough that they won’t know I’m here. But Alula isn’t answering and they’ve started pacing and anyway I think the slap of Nyoman’s hands on my thighs is probably getting them to thinking that John and I are otherwise busy having banished Alula to the garden.
‘Alula,’ I finally yell through the door, giving myself away, ‘Go find daddy.’
‘NO.’ she answers and starts hammering her fists on my door.
‘Please,’ I beg. What on earth must they think I’m doing in here?
‘I’ll give you three chubba chups.’
‘URGH. O-KAY.’ She skalks off and I hear her start to yell DAAAAAADDDDDDDYYYYYY. And yell. And yell.
After five minutes of yelling I can’t take it anymore. I am starting to think that maybe John is lying dead upstairs. Or probably and more likely he has his headphones in. And our daughter is too lazy to climb the ten steps necessary to actually find him.
So I jump up from my massage, quickly pull on my clothes and unlock the door. The three men stare at me and my wild crazy hair do and half undone dress and I can see them peeking into the room where Nyoman is crouched on the bed on all fours, her hands oiled and waiting.
I rush past them and tear up the stairs (Alula sitting half way up still yelling ‘DADDDDDDYYYYYY’). And what do you know? There’s John asleep with three pillows stuffed over his head.
I whack him awake. Then run back to finish my massage past the waiting men who I don’t even look at I’m that embarrassed.
And once again I’m lying on the bed and I’m having my head massaged –mmmm lovely and I’m sinking back into heavy plot action (Maybe the new character should be a cross between Nathan from Misfits and Han Solo…) when suddenly all I can hear is John outside trying to puzzle out my odd job requests with the non English speaking handyman.
I’m groaning to myself thinking heck if this isn’t the most ridiculously pointless massage in the world.
‘We need a concrete cover built for the washing machine,’ I eventually yell through the door as Nyoman moves on to my shoulders.
‘Why?’ John answers back.
I roll my eyes. Seriously I am not about to enter into a debate about corrosion of electrical items left outside in the tropics whilst someone is rubbing down my body with warm minty superhero scented oil.
But I do.
I look at Nyoman and I tell her we may as well just forget it – this massage is dead in the water.
I exit the bedroom and find John drawing up plans for the washing machine cover, Alula still sitting on the stairs and the three men staring at me quizzically. That will be the last time I opt for a massage at home on a Sunday morning.