Tag Archives: birthday

Pampering is Compulsory

What do you tend to do to mark your birthdays? I made a vow to myself back when I turned sixteen that I would spend each birthday either “doing something different or be somewhere different,” and I am pleased to say that to date I have managed to stick to this informal plan. To date the experiences have included enjoying chips and champagne with investment bankers at a rooftop bar in the Square Mile, London; diving in Turkey; exploring Florence and Pisa in Italy; and getting my skydiving license.

This year as I turn 21 again (amazing how one can do that, isn’t it?!) I find myself kicking back and relaxing with a very agreeable view over the Yas Marina and the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix circuit, as I sit writing in my room at the rather fancy Yas Viceroy hotel. When deciding what to do to mark my ‘annual addition of 1’ I figured why not just take advantage of the fact I live close to some of the very best hotels in the world, and the Yas Viceroy certainly fits that category.

The hotel is actually the only one to be built pretty much on top of the F1 racetrack, and the room that I am staying in is located in the Marina Building, connected to the main part of the hotel by a really funky skybridge, which literally takes you over the track – a great viewpoint I am sure come race day.

The first thing you notice about the hotel is the crazy web-style shell that it has covering the entire hotel, which makes it look as though it is encased within a pure white exoskeleton – a great way to smooth out and curve what would otherwise be a typically straight edged building. It has the effect of making the place look quite space-age, which I daresay was the intention, especially when you see inside the rooms, all of which are very modern, clean and, well, I guess I would say minimalist.

birthday cake at Yas ViceroyFirst thing was first upon arriving…. order food! There is something very indulgent about ordering room service, even when it is just soup that you request, although the hotel went and did a fantastic job of adding some “WOW factor” to this simple transaction, by including a lovely handwritten note and a birthday cake – yes, a birthday cake – with my order. Nice move Viceroy! Nice move indeed 🙂 Thoughts of cake thus spurred me on to seek out the hotel gym, which I indulgently had all to my self and so could pretend that I did indeed live here in my own, big, expensive millionaire pad!

Before too long the place has seen my bags metaphorically explode and in spite of having only been here for about 12 hours, the room looks like I moved in days ago and have no intention to leave 🙂

yas viceroy, pool
Not a bad way to kick start a birthday stay

Last night saw me suit it and boot it before enjoying the delicious culinary wonders of the hotel’s Indian restaurant, Angars, with so much food that I simply couldn’t force it all down. It certainly meant that I slept like a log and had the pleasure of waking without the assistance of an alarm, to remotely open the curtains (silly, simple but a giddy joy) on a stunning Abu Dhabi morning. What does any self-respecting hotel guest do of a morning? Check out the pool is what. No day is a bad day when it starts with a swim and when the pool is as calm, quiet and, well, awesome as the one here then who can fail to feel rejuvenated and ready to take the day by the horns?!

So I have a couple more hours to enjoy the hotel before checking out and heading off for some wakeboarding at Al Forsan resort. I may just have to make this a bit of a birthday tradition….. Oh, and I guess I had better munch my way through the cake 🙂

cake eating at Yas Viceroy

 

You’re havin’ a Giraffe!

GiraffeAnother fun and adrenaline packed installment of Safari Vet School, with the primary focus of this week’s adventures centering on the capture of two giraffe, a mother and her calf. I don’t think I would be alone in commenting on how beautifully graceful they are and to see them running in their natural habitat must have been an absolute joy to behold – am very envious of the students!

The show seemed to really highlight well the dangers faced by the team from the powerful legs of the giraffe, with a well placed kick potentially fatal. Many a vet will attest to the pain and surprise that can be inflicted form an unfortunately timed lashing out of an animal’s leg, whether it be a cow whilst milking (been there, worn the resulting shitty T-shirt), a horse (unsurprisingly more painful and potentially more damaging owing to the metal shoes), or indeed a wild Safari animal. The job of a vet is one that is filled with dangers as it is often our patients’ natural response to lash out at us regardless of the fact that we are, of course, doing our best to help them.

I was pleased that Chris highlighted the fact that veterinary work is highly stressful and as a result it is important for vets to be able to kick back and indulge in a little R&R. The adage that vet students (and vets) “work hard but play harder” is a certainly a trueism – just look at the famous AVS Sports Weekend – and is actually a very important part of being able to discharge and deal with the huge number of emotions and ‘baggage’ that vets are expected to deal with as professionals. To party in Africa, and especially to spend your birthday out there, is just awesome! Which reminds me, happy (for when the show was filmed) birthday to both Chris and Jacqueline 🙂