I've just been to a spa for the third time in my life. The second time was last night. The first time was at Heathrow about a week ago, which involved a lady trying to rip my spine out and which subsequently needed a great deal of Champagne to aid recovery, Luckily I had a nine hour flight, and so limped on board and mumbled something like "Grand Siècle and keep it coming" before collapsing. But clearly it wasn't mentally or physically damaging enough to put me off as I've just been twice on the trot. This is the new metrosexual me, and the most recent visits were wonderful. I'm not talking the kind of spa where people have bits of cucumber stapled to their faces, or are karate-chopped to within an inch of their life, though this is available too should you require it. The 'signature' treatment involves being lain in a bath and converted into a giant living piece of sushi with hebridean seaweed, but I didn't go for that either. Instead I went for something billed a thermal experience, with all sorts of different rooms of varying heats and latin names, as well as a couple of pools with SIGNIFICANT BUBBLES. In this respect it is somewhat similar to the turkish baths I once and never again went to somewhere in north London about ten years ago. Booked by a highly cultured friend keen on the finer things in life, and as a latin teacher someone in the know, a lowlight was entering one particular room to find one fat naked man whipping another comparably fat and identically naked man with some kind of stick contraption. I've never really recovered from seeing that and have not set foot in any remotely similar establishment since. Until yesterday.
I had a somewhat short turnaround from Poland to Glasgow, where I now am. Did I mention I went to Poland? No? Well, more on that later, but my three hours of sleep between airports did not have the kind of refreshing impact anticipated, and so after a solid day of work I retired to my hotel and noticed that it had a spa. I've stayed here many times before, so many times in fact that the loyalty points would get me a 52-piece cutlery set that I don't need. But I have never been to the spa. Colleagues who have also stayed here report that the spa is in fact the main selling point, whereas I had actually thought it was the bar. Not feeling in the mood for cocktails, and noting that the spa might have a relaxing effect conducive to the kind of sleep normally reserved for the dead, I shimmied into the provided bathrobe and headed to the dark recesses of the basement. And what a revelation! I enjoyed a pool with side-mounted and upper-back height water jets powerful enough to downgrade a certain lady at Terminal 5 to a mere tease, as well as a something billed as a vitality pool whose main draw was the ability to to create thigh farts at will and inflate my trunks in about three seconds flat to then cause a massive bubble explosion. Yes, I am very zen. There was a sauna which was too hot, and something called a saunarium which was bearable but incredibly boring. Top place however went to a steam room infused with pomegranate. No, really. It was like stepping into a tetrapak and then being microwaved. I swear that when I sneezed a pip came out. There was some guff on a sign near the door about pores, but reading it would have meant less time inhaling fruit. Wow! I am a convert, a slave to the lure of steam and tropical aromas. And with apologies to anyone visiting the Blythswood in search of purity, abundant health and things like that, pomegranate must have unique healing properties as the massive blister acquired in Poland slogging it up mountain tracks has almost completely disappeared.