Four words I hate: detox, spa and paper pants


Related Topics

If I’m honest, I rather overdid things over the holidays. Three weeks in Hong Kong and Thailand living as though the British empire was still afloat had done me in. So I was packed off for 10 days to detox in Italy.

The very idea of doing any detox in Italy is absurd, as you are surrounded by some of the finest food and wine known to man. I suppose in some ways, it’s payback time. A couple of years ago, Stacey and I went for a three-day break in a very nice hotel near Siena. We were there to spoil ourselves. I was unaware that half the clientele was there on a fasting week.

To make things worse, the  Gordon Ramsay restaurant was separated from the fasting room by a wall that only went half-way up to the roof. The screams of despair when my Tuscan steak was delivered to the table is something I will never forget.

Fortunately, in my current institution … sorry spa, things are kept very separate. Supposedly there are normal people staying here and enjoying fabulous food somewhere, but they have been well hidden.

My relaxation break didn’t start well, as the M4 was at a standstill because a car had cut a horse in half. Although clearly far more stressful for the horse, it meant that I arrived at the airport with seconds to spare. I hate being late. It’s the thing that stresses me out the most in life after … spas.

What am I doing? I do genuinely not enjoy the world of spa. Stacey loves massages and treatments and padding around in a dressing gown drinking apple vinegar water. It seems to give her Scottish Presbyterian soul succour. It makes her feel good. I have a more Mediterranean outlook on life – eat, drink and be merry. It’s a remarkably happy marriage, considering.

The thing I feared happened in the second room I stepped into. A fearsome looking Italian lady in white clinical clothing handed me a tiny packet. “Put on,” she said and left the room. I hoped against hope that it wasn’t what I thought it was – paper pants. These are clearly the medical community’s idea of a joke. I’ve rarely been to any medical establishment where, even if I’m just suffering from a headache or blurred vision, I’m not ordered into paper pants. Someone, somewhere is making a lot of money out of tiny paper pants. I ripped the little package open as fast as I could.

Experience had taught me that there is only one thing worse than wearing paper pants in public and that is to be caught in the middle of getting said paper pants on.

As usual I stared at them for too long. Which way did they go on? They might make sense for women but for men they are a nightmare. I finally opted for the least embarrassing fit just as the Italian lady re-entered the room. I was ordered to lie down and she painted me in mud, wrapped me up in plastic sheets and laid me down on a waterbed that was getting progressively hotter.

“Twenty minutes,” she said, and exited. I had no idea what was going to happen in 20 minutes, but I felt pretty sure that it would  involve another pair of paper pants.

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

IT Portfolio Analyst/ PMO

£40000 - £50000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...

Mechanical Design Engineer

£40000 - £50000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: Mechanical E...


£200 - £260 per day + competitive: Orgtel: Accountant, Reconciliations, Bristo...

Systems Analyst (Technical, UML, UI)

£30000 - £40000 Per Annum + excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Lt...

Day In a Page

Read Next

I was a Woman Against Feminism too

Siobhan Norton
A screengrab taken on July 13, 2014 from a video released by the Nigerian Islamist extremist group Boko Haram, showing the leader of the Nigerian Islamist extremist group Boko Haram, Abubakar Shekau  

Boko Haram is a vicious sideshow - Nigeria's self-serving elite is the real culprit

Kevin Watkins
Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy': A land of the outright bizarre

Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy'

A land of the outright bizarre
What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

‘Weird Al’ Yankovic's latest video is an ode to good grammar. But what do The Independent’s experts think he’s missed out?
Can Secret Cinema sell 80,000 'Back to the Future' tickets?

The worst kept secret in cinema

A cult movie event aims to immerse audiences of 80,000 in ‘Back to the Future’. But has it lost its magic?
Facebook: The new hatched, matched and dispatched

The new hatched, matched and dispatched

Family events used to be marked in the personal columns. But now Facebook has usurped the ‘Births, Deaths and Marriages’ announcements
Why do we have blood types?

Are you my type?

All of us have one but probably never wondered why. Yet even now, a century after blood types were discovered, it’s a matter of debate what they’re for
Honesty box hotels: You decide how much you pay

Honesty box hotels

Five hotels in Paris now allow guests to pay only what they think their stay was worth. It seems fraught with financial risk, but the honesty policy has its benefit
Commonwealth Games 2014: Why weight of pressure rests easy on Michael Jamieson’s shoulders

Michael Jamieson: Why weight of pressure rests easy on his shoulders

The Scottish swimmer is ready for ‘the biggest race of my life’ at the Commonwealth Games
Some are reformed drug addicts. Some are single mums. All are on benefits. But now these so-called 'scroungers’ are fighting back

The 'scroungers’ fight back

The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
Amazing video shows Nasa 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action

Fireballs in space

Amazing video shows Nasa's 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action
A Bible for billionaires

A Bible for billionaires

Find out why America's richest men are reading John Brookes
Paranoid parenting is on the rise - and our children are suffering because of it

Paranoid parenting is on the rise

And our children are suffering because of it
For sale: Island where the Magna Carta was sealed

Magna Carta Island goes on sale

Yours for a cool £4m
Phone hacking scandal special report: The slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

The hacker's tale: the slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

Glenn Mulcaire was jailed for six months for intercepting phone messages. James Hanning tells his story in a new book. This is an extract
We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

Child abusers are not all the same, yet the idea of treating them differently in relation to the severity of their crimes has somehow become controversial
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

For instance, did Isis kill the Israeli teenagers to trigger a war, asks Patrick Cockburn