Tomorrow I embark on an aggressive programme of relaxation and beautification the likes of which the world has never known. From massages to manicures, facials to fake tans, even a brief but thrilling foray into acupuncture: my spa attendance in the next three weeks will represent a 10,000% increase on the whole of the previous three years. It's going to be... intense.
Stylist magazine (Emerald Street's big sister) is compiling a list of the top beauty treatments in the UK and I selflessly volunteered to help with the reviews. Hey, what's a fledgeling freelance career for if you can't indulge in a few perks now and then? It's free, I'm Scottish, this was always going to happen.
Between now and the beginning of June, I'll be leaving no hot stone unturned in the name of journalistic research. Sunshine will burst from my every pore. Soothed muscles will cover my bones like jelly over ice cream. My skin will be so radiant, people will have to wear sunglasses just to look at me.
How lovely, you might think. What could be more relaxing? I'll tell you what could be more relaxing. Not trying to cram seventeen spa therapies into a full-time working week could be more relaxing. Not having to drive to Perthshire and back the day after a hen do could be more relaxing. Not building a spreadsheet of opening hours versus length of treatment versus distance from office versus fickle salon owners' availability could be more relaxing.
What's that noise? Is it the sound of the world's tiniest violin? I know, I know, I shouldn't complain. In truth I can't wait, fickle salon owners aside. The first time I ever had a massage I felt like I was walking on air; every massage since has been an attempt to recapture that euphoric high. So far, as is often the case with these things, it's never been as good as the first time, but maybe my forthcoming massage marathon will be the answer. Or maybe it will release a noxious cloud of toxins into my body and make me horribly ill. I guess we'll find out.
Are any of you lot closet beauty addicts? I have to say, you don't seem the type (said with love, since I myself haven't darkened a beautician's door for months and I like to think I'm not a hairy troll). How about acupuncture? I generally prefer to put my faith in modern medicine, but acupuncture intrigues me. There must be a reason it's survived so long. Plus, porcupine chic is so in right now, darling.
Images by Nirrimi Firebrace