In my line of work I quite often find myself trying out different experiences from the wondrously luxurious (lucky me) to the frankly quite bizarre (playing naked boules in a nudist camp in winter was an all time low).
More often than not my partner comes along, a slightly jaded plus one these days, who barely even asks where we’re going. He’ll just lower himself into a two man kayak or shrug on a beige hooded dressing gown and disposable slides with an expression of ‘what is it this time?’ resignation. Sometimes he even likes it.
We’ve learned the hard way that there are some things we really shouldn’t do together. Dual massages, for example, are a definite no no. We once disgraced ourselves during a four handed double massage on account of our matching paper pants. The Balinese massage therapists sweetly laughed along with us for the first five minutes. Thirty minutes later they pretty much asked us to leave.
Shared communal tables are not a good idea either, the much-hyped supper club something best avoided.
My husband, not normally known for his reserve, snaps shut like a razor clam in the presence of strangers. Painful times in a tiny, twenty cover Dorset supper club not so long ago. There’s the local lawyer, the butcher and bookmaker, laughing uproariously as they refill each other’s glasses with their BYO Pinot Noir. There is my husband, violently wordless, hangdog expression, repelling advances from left and right. We left before pudding to universal sighs of relief and a visible upswing in tempo.
‘The prudes have gone. Let’s get this party started.’
So I've taken the precaution of finding myself a back up plus one. She's only 14 and pretty enthusiastic about experimental West Country forrays, whether it's fossil hunting in Dorset or bungee jumping in Bath (so far, still in her dreams). Judging by my eldest child's hectic social pace I predict I've got about a year before her enthusiasm for critiquing starts to wane. Which is why I'm already training up the eight year old. Sure of his opinions, a strict yes or no man, I reckon he'll be a natural.