I don't know what HOTH is trying to tell me, but nearly every present he gave me this year was - in some way - geared towards helping me relax. Maybe it's the teethmarks in the banister that made him thought I need assistance. He'd already scored a winner on my birthday by getting me one of those relaxing massage chairs. You know, the ones with big rotating knobs (no, not the Cabinet) that marginally less than gently pummel your back muscles into submission while heating up along the way - intentionally, I might add. It's not one of those hooky Del Boy off of the bloke down the pub things (at least I don't think it is). Despite sounding like a Medieval torture device it's actually really relaxing and has the ability to reduce me to a near comatose gibbering wreck incapable of rational thought or speech. Which I'm sure was HOTH's intention.
Anyway - this Yuletide saw a whole host of relaxing goodies - first, a spa afternoon at a local posh hotel. This entailed a facial, head neck and shoulder massage, manicure with gel nails and a foot treatment. And, because there was a five minute delay getting the room ready, I got a free eye treatment as well. It was all very lovely. Delightfully pleasant smelling unguents were smeared over my face as I chilled out. That's unguents as in 'viscous substance used as an ointment', by the way, and not 'ungulate' which is a hoofed mammal - that wouldn't have been anywhere near as relaxing, having a donkey smeared across my fizzog. While said creams and ointments were doing their thing the nice young lady massaged my feet with more
Another favourite is a facial steamer with an array of aromatherapy oils to boost my immune system, promote healing, support my skin, hair and nail growth and encourage restful sleep. Aromatherapy might be debunked by some as a load of old codswallop but it smells nice, which is always a bonus. There's even eucalyptus oil, should I ever wish to invite a koala around for a spa day. Not that this is likely. A chap once told me that around 95% of koalas carry sexually transmitted diseases - and I hate to think how I'd explain THAT to HOTH...'no, honest love, I must have caught it when the koala steamed his bum last month'. That ain't going to go down well with Judge Rinder, is it? So I'll stick to my Sunday evening pamper session - and try to avoid cooking my face like a pan of broccoli. I must admit, afterwards I do far more chilled.
Speaking of chilled, this brings us to Excellent Present Number Three. A bottle of Cold River gin. This is a potato-based gin - which must be my favourite use of potatoes after chips. And vodka. And poteen. (Has flashback of drinking poteen with my dad. Doesn't last long as I don't remember very much about it - apart from forgetting the word 'prison' and saying 'You know, dad, the place crinimals go'. It was a good night. Probably.) Cold River is lovely and smooth and is a whopping 47% ABV or 94% proof. As such it is deemed a 'sipping gin' and HOTH is not allowed any, since he gollops gin like it's Ribena. It's mine. All mine.....my precious. Since I'm currently doing Dry January it's lasting well and will be rationed afterwards so it lasts as long as possible. You just don't swally something as good as that. I'm hoping to make it last to Gin Fest in March - an entire weekend dedicated to the joy of life that is gin - where I can probably persuade HOTH to buy me another posh one. And the gin advent calendar (yes, this is a thing). I will be reporting on Gin Fest later in the year - although probably not on the actual day. I don't plan on being capable of rational thought or keyboard skills after it. Remember, I do these things so you don't have to.
And so to Best Present. Yes, my favourite of all my gifts is............adult colouring books, posh felt tips and pencils and a set of Sharpie pens. That's 'adult' as in sophisticated and intricate, not adult as in 'Blog Readers' Wives' (though, you never know, there may be such a thing). That wouldn't call for much skill would it? And it might have to come with a health warning about That Sort Of Thing making you go blind. Not to mention the wear and tear on your pink pencil - plus it's hardly a subject where you could display your efforts on the fridge. Instead, the ones I got are the sort you can show your mother-in-law over tea and a slice of Battenburg (I don't know why. Neither of us like Battenburg). One is drawings of wild animals morphing into weird and wonderful fantasy collages of strange creatures, household objects and aliens. No....it's much better than I've made it sound, honest. The other is a collection of Dia de los Muertos (Day of The Dead) sugar skulls from Mexican culture. Even SBOTH has been joining in with these. The best part - particularly for HOTH - is that they take lots of concentration, which means peace and quiet, and they take several hours, if not a couple of days, to complete. I do a couple of hours every night - during which time the Tongue of Concentration makes a regular appearance. I've done several pictures now and, if I'm honest, colouring is a brilliant way to relax and forget about the stresses of the day. Of course, while I'm doing this HOTH gets left alone to do his thing. Hang on......I'm beginning to wonder whose benefit this Relaxation Package is actually for!
Of course, once you start all this pampering lark you have to keep it up. Sunday evening is now spent with me treating myself top-to-toe with all manner of lotions, potions, steamings, face masks, hair masks, twinkly lights and scented candles (in the room, not on me. That would be weird). MOTH (Males Of The House) are banished downstairs watching Supergirl and The Flash while Mummy has some Me Time - sorry, I was just a bit sick in my own mouth at that twee epithet. My girlyness has limits, you know. What I mean is, while I make an attempt at some ladylike activities for once and unwind after a hard week at the office. Plus get to catch up on Tattoo Fixers (that's another story). I must say, all this relaxing malarkey appears to be working. There are certainly fewer teethmarks in the woodwork these days. Whether this continues, well....you'll just have to wait and see.
Leatherface goes to the spa. No...this is NOT the after pic. I'm wearing a posh 'spensive face mask!