Suzanne’s View from the Hot Tub

You never know what or who to expect when the ladies of the hot tub get together. It’s a rotating feast of taste and opinions. There are always laughs. Laughing is a must. I read somewhere that laughing can burn as much as 40 calories every 15 minutes. If that’s to be believed, each Lady of the Hot Tub must burn off at least 300 calories during our time together or roughly three glasses of wine. It’s the best and most enjoyable workout there is.

Despite the rotating cast of colourful women that pass through the tub each month, some aspects never change. There is always alcohol. Alperol spritzers if I’m feeling flush, a bottle or two of wine, some prosecco perhaps. Hummus is a regular feature. The first few times we all met, I would whip up a large bowl full, the recipe courtesy of Jamie Oliver. Last night it came from Tesco, along with a few other spreads. Ingrid can always be relied on to bring a selection of Sainsbury’s Finest nibbles and a Terry’s Chocolate Orange… or two.

A few weeks ago I ran into my neighbor, a lovely woman in her late 70’s who has lived on my street since the War. “You know,” she said, “I can hear everything you say in the hot tub. You’re lucky that I won’t tell a soul.” She smiled. “I know,” I said. I like to imagine her laughing along with us in her sitting room, having a chuckle while listening to our raucous conversations.

I look forward to our monthly soirees in the hot tub like no other night in my calendar. Tonight it was the perfect gathering of women of a certain age. There was me, Kavida – a real tantric goddess, Ingrid – the Queen of Complaints and Rose, this site’s co-founder, Editor and a goddess in her own right. We are all goddesses, each with our own character and wisdom. If you ever want to observe a group of women in their natural habitat, stick them in a pool of bubbling hot water and watch what happens.

Tonight there was no shortage of stories. Despite not knowing each other for more than a couple of years or at all, we have a shared history. That’s just one of the advantages of age. If you’ve lived in London for long enough and are 40+, you can always find a connection, no matter how tenuous. Clubs we frequented when younger. The same creepy men we couldn’t shake off. Our kids that knew their kids or someone else’s kids we both knew. In the hot tub, I have come to understand how small my world really is and how I am, in one way or another, closely linked to a small community of like-minded people.

In the hot tub, we make plans. We have ideas. We want to take a trip to Havana and dance salsa with sexy Cuban men for a week or two. Maybe we’ll do it as an Advantages of Age group tour. We discuss the power of dance. The way a good dancer can force you into a rhythm for which you may not have a natural feel. We discuss submission and domination and why is it that controlling women (like ourselves) just want to be told what to do (in bed). We rarely talk about our work. That’s just something that we do. We talk about previous partners or current ones, about fantasies. Oh, and would Ingrid take a picture of Kavida’s nipple because she loves her nipples (and who wouldn’t?). There is a natural flow to our conversation. The talking never stops, except when a glass of wine needs to be refilled.

After 3 or 4 hours, rarely less, we leave the tub. Skin like prunes, satiated by good conversation, food and drink, the women put back on their clothes and head back home. I think how lucky I am to have such fabulous friends. I fall into a deep sleep – the perfect end to another perfect Ladies of the Hot Tub night.

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