I do not have much experience of spa days and beauty treatments. Especially facials. Facials, for reasons as yet unclear, have always alarmed me.

I had my first ever facial in 2011 when my friend Marge came to visit me in Argentina. In an act of quite unbelievable kindness she booked my scuzzy backpacker’s arse into a five star hotel as a 31st birthday present and paid for us to have – amongst many other things – a super-luxury facial. You can read more about our escapades – because many of them were very funny – here and here and here.  But first let me tell you about the facial.

I felt inexplicably nervous as I took my seat on a lovely reclining chair thingy. Mood music was tinkling beautifully; the room smelled of petals n spirituality n stuff and there was a view straight out of the window to a bright blue lake circled by flowers. All overlooked by a mountain. It was ridiculous. I did not belong there.

Anyway. The facial began, and, naturally, I realised I had been completely wrong. This shit was GOOD. The bit where she had to abandon squeezing out all of my blackheads – because there were simply too many for her to deal with – was a little uncomfortable but I was too blissed-out to really care too much. The stuff she was rubbing into my face was incredible and the massagey bits were sublime. After a while she placed some stuff on my eyes and a mask on my face and told me to relax for a bit. (Masque? I feel like it is disrespectful to write it in English.)

So I lay back, relaxed – just like she told me – and felt like everything was pretty awesome until this terrible, pig-like snort rent the air, interrupting my serenity. Appalled, I removed an eye-pad to see who the perpetrator was. This was not the sort of thing I expected in a luxury spa.

The room was empty. Confused, I craned round from my chair bed thing and discovered that she had actually left the room so that I could get some proper relaxing done.

That was when it dawned on me. The pig-like snorting had come from me. I had fallen asleep and emitted a bellowing snort, so loud that it woke me up.

I never told anyone about that until now. I was too ashamed. Nobody snorts like a bison in a five-star spa.

Cut to the present day. It is April 2013 and I have given myself a little holiday because I am a bit burnt-out after finishing my third novel. I’m in Bristol, because The Man is working down here at the moment, and on Friday I booked myself in to a day spa nearby with my schoolfriend Johnny. Our intention was to relax the hell out of ourselves and eat some health food and stuff. I found the perfect option on, which is my new favourite thing, and – don’t even ask – managed to wangle a lift there in a fucking PORSCHE. I shit you not! The roof was even off for a bit!

Anyway. Having been too afraid to try facials again since my Argentinian disaster, I was suddenly overwhelmed with thoughts such as, SEIZE THE DAY, ROBINSON! You can do it! Plus the facials in this place were apparently to die for.

So I chose a facial.

I’m not going to beat about the bush: it was incredible. I was lain on a heated cushioned bed, wrapped in towels and blankets as if I were the baby Jesus himself, and treated to an hour of such wondrous delight I hardly dare describe it on the pages of my humble blog. The beauty of it all would kill you.

The facial ended, and I left. I was elated. Not only had I had the most blissful experience but I had refrained from passing out and snorting like an animal.

I lay down on my sunlounger by the hot tub, smiled happily at the beautiful countryside that stretched away in all directions and promptly fell asleep.

A few minutes later, I was awoken by the sound of someone yelling, ‘ARM! ARM! ARM!’

Shocked to hear this sort of noise in a lovely country spa I put on my best disapproving face and looked around. To my left was an empty sunlounger. To my right was the hot tub, which contained three women. All of them were staring at me with exactly the sort of disapproving face I’d been planning to use once I caught the noisy culprit.

And then I realised it had happened again. It was me. It was me, lying on the sunlounger, shouting ‘ARM! ARM! ARM!’ for no reason whatsoever.

‘Sorry,’ I said, red-faced. ‘Facials do strange things to me.’

The kindlier inhabitant of the hot-tub started to say something like, ‘happens to the best of us’ but then stopped after one word because clearly it doesn’t.

I think I am going to have to stick to pedicures.



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One Response to ARM! ARM! ARM!

  1. Steph says:

    THIS is why I never get facials. That and I’m too poor for anything more than a slap on the back from my local “exotic massage” place… and that’s dodgy at best.

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