"I'm off to the spa," I announced.
"Great! Bring me back a can of Fanta and a pasty."
"No, not the Spar. The spa."
It was true. I was not heading off to forge a path to the pastry products through the local youths loitering outside the Spar shop but was instead departing for a place of warm waters, warm scented oils, warm towels, warm hands.
And hot stones.This was to be a serious treat. Times have been hard lately and I haven't been able to run to a rub down with some tepid gravel let alone a hot stone massage. Fortunately I have generous friends who know the best kinds of presents to give.
I wasn't sure exactly what to expect, not having had this type of massage before, but I would heartily recommend it. If you like lying in a dimly lit room, listening to plinky plonky ambient music with heated, oily volcanic rocks on your spine then this is the treatment for you. Though, to be honest, I find just floating in the blue waters, or being fizzed and frothed in the jacuzzi, with a glass of something chilled and bubbly is my favourite part of the spa experience.
At least while you're in the water you don't have to wear the slightly too short, slightly too small robe and sanatorium style slippers. Entering the Relaxation Room when dressed in this institutional-like garb and encountering fellow spa attendees generates a vague One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest feeling. It's the background music, the crimson lipsticked young women with tightly restrained hair and pseudo medical style tunics who randomly appear, select one of the beslippered inmates and gently steer them into a private room for an unspecified treatment. On the plus side, when these towelling-clad women return they are not lobotomised and drooling, just a little bit drowsy maybe, with a slight oily sheen and smelling strongly of almonds. Which is good, as this apparent retention of their faculties meant I didn't have to smother them with one of the many scatter cushions, throw the hydrotherapy console through the window and take off across the golf course. I just took a voucher for ten pounds off my next treatment and left.