A long day, after a long week and I’d promised myself a treat, nothing too exciting… but important achieving some sense of valuing self.
There are no baths in this weeks hotel… just swanky walk in showers, (uber designed – but still they leak out onto the marble floor, making it treacherous) so I’m unable to soak out tightness & tiredness after the shows, particularly Saturday’s mega three, to ease my exerted muscles in deep warm water… or else, they’ll shape into impenetrable knots, with accompanying night cramps.
But, this hotel does have a sauna – open till eleven, I’m informed – I’d known about this all week, but our schedule did not previously permit. Tonight however… out of Manny by 10.35, “Should be just enough time” I keep saying to myself, as I lumber from venue to hotel (just next door) like a mad orc with He-Man inflated thighs… up the stairs to the fitness suite, towel clutched, heat and relaxation will soon be mine… almost there… but no – German efficiency insists that the white coated, hair neatly platted fraulien, turn off the sauna by 10.30, so that it will be properly cool by 11, when she will politely, but firmly usher compliant guests out and double lock the doors.
And the boyscouts do their best work in thigh and calf and the cramps do come.
Sunday… Well there’s another chance today.
The two shows go well and I was able to stretch out beforehand, so no strains. Audience applauds and cheers – they loved it, particularly the three little girls I saw in the front row, eyes wide, mouthes open, holding their faces, unable to believe that they were actually seeing their film friends.
7:30… we’re done and the other artistes can leave, while I don my maintenance crew role and begin to take Manny & Ellie apart.
I anxiously check progress on the arena clock… doing fine, ‘going pretty smoothly tonight,
8:30 and Ellie’s collapsed and in her travel container.
9:30 and Manny’s in… just legs, tusks and trunk bags to go.
9:45… pack away tools and tidy-up.
9:55 and I’m sauna bound.
Arrive at the door, where tightly platted fraulien is in the process of locking up… But, but??? “It’s not 11!” I whine.
“No sir, it’s Sunday… on sunday’s we close earlier.”
“Can’t I just have ten minutes… I’ve been performing for thousands… making children happy… helping Fox create a revenue stream…”
“Nien” she curtly says, and with a swish of her tight plat, she’s gone, leaving me with a curteous but somewhat ironic “Gutte Nachte.”
Right! I need to do something… remember that our company coffee stand also sells beer… troll back… they’re about to close, but see in my eyes the need to complete one last transaction… buy two cans of Danish Faxe beer… pictures of rampant, muscle bound vikings as a logo of the biggest cans I’ve ever seen… back to my room… text – ‘does anyone want to Skype?’ Nope, too late for most, but David’s game. Start chatting, pouring and quaffing… the beer is absolute rubbish, but quantity can make up for quite a lot. First Faxe downed, as David tells me of home, of normality and Ely’s pony lesson, of rain, of playing cluedo, second Faxe now well under way, and I notice that in the frame where my monitor picture appears, the ruddy chap sitting there is slowly, but very definitely sinking… the muscle tightness dissipates and I’m melting. Listening, but no longer fully engrossed, I make my goodnights and slide off the chair, plumpf onto the bed and become a puddle of pooped pachyderm, incapable of finishing can number two… no further wassailing for me tonight.
I’d obviously never have made a good viking.