But for a white towel, lying naked and alone on my back on a concrete slab in the bright white cellar of a Georgian mansion, I might as well have been a cadaver waiting for the pathologist’s scalpel. Then in trundled a stainless-steel medical trolley from which bags of clear fluids and tubes were hanging, pushed by a smiling Japanese nurse.

I sat up.


“No sir, no sir,” beckoned the Japanese nurse. “Please just lie back and relash, relash.”

I had laughed with my wife about the enema element of this Japanese spa trip gift weekend. Well, she had laughed at my expense. Now, after a couple of days of eating food – some more suited to a hamster and the rest to a sealion – I was dreading this experience. My first enema. Conceding rights to that most protected part – the one-way street of a (straight) man’s body.

At least the nurse seemed pleasant and she was undoubtedly attractive – I had feared having my discretion penetrated by a sadist, a sop or a sumo. Now I was glad that I had opted for the foot manicure the evening before – it would have been improper showing up naked to this event with the calloused feet of a hobbit.

She smiled and gently lifted my head up with one hand and asked me to drink from a small, earthenware cup. I did so. One sip in and I knew the substance to be alcoholic. It was not sake. It was not bad – a class above Jägermeister but not quite a Bacardi 151. Then the nurse told me, when I asked, that the liquid was umeshu plum wine blended with stomach cleanser – the way she said it sounded nicer than the way you just read it.  

As I lay my head back down, the nurse removed my towel and asked me to lie on my left side. She pushed my knees up and drew them towards my abdomen. With all the creaking, I tightened up. Now I was vulnerable.

“Relash, relash”.

And yet to my surprise I hardly noticed the insertion. There is perhaps no coincidence in the fact that the Japanese lead the world in nanotechnology. I need not explain further. Indeed, it was only when I saw the trolley and its bags of clear liquid being pushed around to where the nurse was inserting the enema that I decided that now was the time to start asking some pertinent questions.

“What are you about to fill me with?” I asked.

“Sea salt mixed with mineral water, sir. Just relash,” the nurse replied. “You will be fine. Relash.”

That seemed sound enough. I de-clenched.

I must say I hardly felt the saltwater enter my body. This nurse was highly proficient. And soon I began to fill up like a balloon which I suppose I should have expected. I felt heat across my chest and stomach, and I tightened up again.

“Relash, relash.”

The nurse, despite her inability to pronounce the letter ‘X’, felt like someone I could trust. So, I just closed my eyes and thought of something else. Anything else. Anything to avoid causing a premature mess in that lovely white room. Anything to avoid bringing frowns to the pretty face of my kind nurse who, poor thing, already had an eyeful of hairy situpon.

It is queer, in the original sense of the word, how the mind first strays to the wrong thing. I started thinking of a sewage plant that was located next to our university playing fields. Then eco trespassers getting sprayed with slurry. Then Labour’s “For the Many not the Few” manifesto. I knew I had to focus on something that wasn’t crappy, so fixed my thoughts on a towbar I’d just acquired with a 5-year guarantee. That did the trick.

And soon I was Michelin man. It felt like I had more water in me than the Möhne dam and we know how that story ended.

“OK sir, I want you to hold the water in as long as you can then I want you to use the toilet in the corner of the room and empty yourself in there,” announced the nurse.

I nodded, towbar still at the forefront of my mind.  

My towbar thoughts did not last long.

“Bloody hell,” I exclaimed.

The nurse escorted me over to the loo. I thought she’d be taking cover but no, she was right next to me all the way through, encouraging me as I exploded. What a trooper! Well worth the extortionate spa fees. I felt most grateful towards her. No-one had sat that close since my grandmother when I was three.

“As you defecate think of things you hate in your life, sir” she said.

“I don’t hate anything in my life,” I replied, “I loo-aagh-ve my life.”

A few bursts in and the experience became somewhat shocking. Despite being in the company of a lady I simply could not hold back. The detonations were lasting longer and getting rougher.

“Please, think of any negatives,” she implored, still by my side. “This experience expels the negatives. And try and relash.”

“Relax?” I cried, “You must be joking!”

“Shout out the negatives as you discharge, sir” the nurse continued to plead.

So, I thought of Manchester City but that didn’t seem to pass muster. Nor did Saracens. So, angrily, I started shouting out the names of my trolls…

“Richard Bartholom-aaagh, Tim Irel-aaagh, that bald trainspotter plonker in Crew-aagh,” I yelled out loud until I had run out of anything to expel.

The nurse congratulated me – as if I had any choice in the accomplishment – and led me to the shower where she sprayed me clean. Then she handed me a fresh towel.

I was left alone to dry off for a while.

Then the nurse returned with a glass of purple liquid.

“What’s this?” I asked.

“Beetroot, sir. Beetroot juice mixed with peppers,” she replied.

I never had much of a penchant for beetroot, but I drank this Beetroot juice down in one. It was lovely. One of the nicest smoothies I’ve ever had.

I immediately regretted doing so.

I was back on the loo within minutes.

“Chris Packh-aagh.”

“Relash, sir.”

“Osama Bin L-aaaagh”

“Relash, sir, please.”

I felt somewhat light headed for my remaining stay at the spa. I think this was down to the enema rather than the food. As I sit here typing up this article – on my second pint of Otter Head ale and munching on the last onion ring that accompanied the first steak since my spa visit – I am glad to say that I am now feeling very much better.

Dominic Wightman is the Editor of Country Squire Magazine.