Sunday, August 28, 2011

happy endings

Haven't written for a while as had to have big op and bed rest on doctors orders. Sounds bad but actually 6 weeks rest highly recommended, particularly if accompanied by powerful pain relieving medication and plenty of good books.After lolling on couch for weeks though, legs became v. achey so Rich booked us both a massage at spa place.
Never had massage before as v.expensive and just a bit creepy, but was treat, and we were to have massage together thereby substantially reducing potential creepiness.
Spa place was darkened room filled with candles and lots of flowery thing or others, statues and pan pipey whale song music. All much as expected.We were led to side by side massage beds, and instructed to strip to knickers and lie face down. Beds were equipped with face hole for face down lying without asphyxsiation, and bowl of water containing floating flowers and candles positioned underneath for entertainment while face is in hole. We arranged selves and waited for massaging to start.

I am deeply self concious person who would opt for Edwardian Bathing tent at beach if one was available, so by now am rigid with tension. Massaging started with feet, but head was proving too small for head hole in bed, raising alarming possibility of face slipping into watery flower bowl. With massaging  fully underway, was difficult to move as masseur progressively working far up legs and any sudden move might at very least give wrong idea or worst result in result in injury!

Tried prop head on side but kept slipping, and resting head on arms swiftly vetoed by masseur. Eventually executed a kind of dolphin flip which got head further up rim of hole only to be firmly dragged by ankles back down bed by masseur, who promptly moved on to bum massaging bit which is really rather good, but would have enjoyed so much more if not in screaming agony from supporting weight of head. Also about to slip into coma from blood pooling in face. With black spots forming in front of eyes, finally managed to wedge head sideways in hole which allowed blood flow to return to extremities and restore normal cognitive function.

Tried hard to relax but masseurs were carrying on lengthy whispered conversation in foreign language throughout, which I knew instinctively related to our candidacy in their ugliest bodies of week poll. When I did manage to relax was only to be tapped on shoulder and informed our time was up.
Had actually gone super fast as was really v. good, and once I got my head stabilised felt wonderfully refreshed and invigorated and a bit silly. There was no creepy "flip you over and start on the top" nor offerings of the "happy ending" that I'd heard about from others, just a really lovely relaxing treat which, given the chance, I would do again in a heart beat.

Only thing left to do after such wonderful indulgence - relax in patch of sunshine with a long cool drink in hand. Here's one you can make up in advance and leave in the fridge.

Sangria is a Spanish wine and fruit punch. Made from whatever fruit is in season and a bottle of plonk, Sangria makes a cheap drop go a long way .
Vary the ingredients to suit your taste and budget, you can add ¼ cup brandy or white rum or complimentary fruit liqueur such as Grand Marnier, or Cointreau if you want more alcoholic kick or try different fruit juices such as cranberry or apple, you can use fizzy wine or fizzy soft drink if you like a bit of fizz in your drink. The only rules are to let the fruit macerate in the wine overnight and serve the sangria icy cold from a big jug.

Makes 1.5 litres

750 ml bottle of cheap but full bodied red wine
Selection of fresh fruit – a nectarine, an orange, a lime, a few strawberries …whatevers in season
2 cups orange juice
¼ cup caster sugar
1 cup lemonade - optional

The night before slice the fruit and add to the wine. Refrigerate over night to allow the fruit flavours to infuse in the wine – 6 – 8 hours.  
Add the orange juice and sugar and the lemonade if using and taste. The sweetness can be corrected by adding a little more sugar if required.
Sangria can be fizzy or flat, red or white, basic or flash but always ice cold and fruity!