Spas have long been part of my life. I was a health journalist and part-time travel writer for many years, so managed to combine my interests by reviewing spas for newspapers and magazines.
Most of those trips were to other countries, but they were not always glamorous. I well remember being thrown into a cold plunge pool in a ‘spa’ in Slovenia and being exfoliated by a scary large woman wearing a leather apron and wielding a loofah in a spa in Tunisia. Then there were the rather dirty ‘natural’ waters in Mexico and the naked spa in San Francisco, where my massage involved someone jumping on the treatment table, grabbing a rope that hung from the ceiling and walking up and down on my spine! I think they were a therapist!
I use Sybaritic Spa as my Spa name as I have reached the stage of life where a little luxury is needed. I do like the good things in life: good wine, good food, good products and good spas. I work hard and I want to enjoy the little downtime I have.
I am very focused on my skincare now. You can get away with ignoring the need for proper cleansing and nourishing when you are young but post the menopause it all becomes much more important. I will be experimenting with products for more mature skin and reporting back on them. I have booked myself in for a series of treatments with a much recommended facialist and will reveal how I get on. I will also test out some of the latest facials designed for mature skin. Often, they are described as anti-aging, an expression that I hate. I have no desire to look younger. I just want to look and be well and healthy.
I am also at that stage of life when your body starts to creak a bit. Add in the damage done to my spine in a major accident a few years ago and I need to look after myself. I see a physio often, work out with a trainer who specialises in spinal injuries and do daily floor exercises to maintain my mobility.
Spa trips help. The warmth of saunas and steam rooms, the support of warm water in the hydrotherapy pools and muscle relaxing massages are all a must for me! It’s part of my ‘self-care’ prescription. I am off to Portugal to a restore and reform course designed to help improve strength and mobility and will let you know how I get on.
My intention for this month: add 20 assisted squats to my daily exercise routine
My new favourite book book: How we Got to Now by Steven Johnson. A lateral take on inventions and technology
My new favourite podcast: The infinite Monkey Cage from Radio Four- a deep dive into unusual aspects of science
My current go-to product: Temple Spa Skin truffle. Feels like whipped cream, brightens my skin
15th March 2019
Warm treatment beds; fragrant steam rooms; therapists who listen to what you say; unexpected treats such as back massages that start with hot towels on your feet.
Small towels; crowded changing rooms; black mould in the showers; therapists who sniff; anyone who doesn't take my lavender allergy seriously - until I'm actually sick on them!
Behind the scenes