Yoga Retreats and a toast to female frienships

I met up with an old friend last weekend whom I  have not seen for a while. Viktoria is Norwegian and lives in Gran Canaria having set up a yoga retreat in Venueguara several years ago after retiring from her very lucrative career as a Victoria  Secrets model and an operation which left her seeking a more fulfilled lifestyle.  The yoga retreat with a backdrop of mountains in the sunny and breezy climes ofthe Canary Islands was just the place to start a new life, away from the hectic rush of LA and the cold dark winters of northern Norway. Viktoria and her  English husband Nick have been there over 5 years and with their dogs and horses have acheived a perfect Yin and Yang lifestyle and one which they share occasionally with paying guests.

Viktoria looked great, all clear eyes and dewy skin, having flown back to her native Norway a few days before the clean crisp artic air had certainly blown a few cobwebs away. She and Nick had dropped by visiting his family and we had time for an afternoon of old style gossiping before they headed back to the sunshine a few days later to start the late summer season of yoga-on-holiday breaks that they specialise in. Viktoria looks great at least 15 years younger than her age, whether that is down to those fabulous scandinavian genes (her mother at 74 looks a good 20 years younger) or the vegan diet she and Nick stick rigidly to or the blood circuating Downward Dogs  I’m not sure, but I am very envious.

We sip green tea and remininise over the old days. We actually met at a yoga class -yoga in pregnancy- which was supposed to make giving birth a more enjoyable experience!. Our babies were due more or less on the same day but were actually born a month apart, Missy ( always in a rush) 2 weeks early and Kristian ( far too laid back) being 2 weeks late. Although we rarely see each other in the flesh, we have been friends for almost 25 years  and pick up as if we only saw each other a week ago. 

I get to thinking we should all celebrate female friendships that  usually start in an innocuous way and  blossom into something that is precious and cherished in a way that only women seem to be able to nurture. Rocksey has many friends, men from all walks of life who are fun or clever or just  plain silly, fantastic musicians, poker players and plumbers to name a few. But male friendships take a different turn to those women make. Rockseys friends are great company and I like all of them, especially the guys in the band. However, if I’m not with Rocksey, I prefer the company of my female friends. Many years ago I would have said I preferred the company of men as in male friends but, apart from the token gay male friend, I do now much prefer the company of women, especially so with women who I’ve known for  a long time ( as well as the long suffering Suky and Melodie – I have to say if I was married to Senor Pinguino or Marsh they wuld have long been buried under the patio – I suspect they may say the same about Rocksey!!). 

But back to Viktoria. I have not visited the retreat in Venueguara but as we wandered around John Lewis picking up bits and pieces to add calm and elegance to her guest rooms I decided that next year would be a good time to go. My love for yoga and all things Spanish merging into one relaxing holiday. The villa sounds just perfect with guest casitas around the pool. Nick is over seeing the delivery of 5 Yurts which he is hoping will also be profitable. Its the closest you’ll get to that El Cosmico vibe in Europe says Nick just as proudly as if he was showing off his new born sons to the world. I smile, Viktoria smiles, Nick smiles – all is well in the world.

I wave Viktoria and Nick off with a feeling that all is well in the world , a little of their chilled laid back mix of Scandanavian coolness and Spanish laidbackness permeating into my bones. 

My phone  pings with a text. Suky has been shopping and do I fancy a Processo or two where blue eyes tends bar? she asks.  I text back, see you in 10 minutes . Today has been a good day . I raise a toast to female friendships – long may they continue. 


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