29 Jun 2007

Minerals and Mountains (and my Birthday)

It was my birthday on Monday. Gordon booked a night in the Slieve Donard hotel in Newcastle, and arranged for my dad and step-mum to come and babysit. We had such a nice time. We were away for just over 24 hours, but it was a wonderful break. The hotel was beautiful and our room (paid for with Tesco vouchers, yippee!) had views of the sea and the Mourne Mountains from all 5 windows.

Dinner in the hotel wasn't great; not what we'd expected. Breakfast was perfect though. If there was a world contest to see what country made the best traditional breakfast, Ireland would definitely win!

We spent time in the health spa (why's it called a spa?) on both days. There was a 20m pool with huge windows along one side, with views of the mountains sweeping down to the bay. It was all so luxurious.

I didn't bother with any of the 'treatments' though. I'm far too tight for one thing, but for another, it's such nonsense. Me and Gordon were cracking up, when I was reading the leaflet in our room, describing the 'Hot Stone Therapy'.

Hot Stone therapy has been used for thousands of years for harmonising, cleansing and relaxing the body at its deepest level. Volcanic in origin, Basalt lava stones are rich in minerals and can be heated and used for deep body massage and intensive energy work. They may be placed on specific energy points or Chakras to help the body clear blocked energy centres and help relax and dissolve stress, drawing excess hyper-energy away from over-stimulated areas, bringing new energy to depleted zones. Different mineralogy in cold stones may bring a cooling, clearing effect when placed on the eyelids.

Isn't that fantastical? Rich in minerals eh? Minerals must be good. But isn't arsenic a mineral? And what are the benefits, how are they absorbed? And how do you relax at 'the deepest level' and my favourite bit of all, the new physics described, whereby 'hyper-energy is drawn away from from over-stimulated areas, bringing new energy to depleted zones.'

But anyway, we loved the place. After checking out, we drove around the mountain roads, stopping off for a peaceful walk in the Silent Valley. It was a special birthday, and the best thing about it was the company. We arrived home just after 5, with a little gift for the children who had, as always, enjoyed their time with their grandparents. They'd been to the park and had ice-creams and everything! Also, my dad had mowed our seriously overgrown garden, he's such a good Daddy!


Club 166 said...

Happy Birthday, Sharon!!

Glad to see that it was a great one for you, and the kids.

That is one swanky/posh looking hotel!


VAB said...

Sounds nice!

There is (or was) a town called Spa in Belgium where they had the first spa. It's just the same as why we say bath.

Heidirific said...

Happy birthday! I am glad that you had a good birthday. I have to say that hot stone massage can be wonderful, though. When done well, the stones are placed on tight muscles and the heat helps them relax (really just a stone heating pad I guess). Really, it's just a fancy way to relax. :)

kristina said...

Happy Happy Birthday! I've never been able to do any of those "treatments"----- maybe hot stones are the next "hot" autism cure.

Sharon McDaid said...

Thanks folk for all the good wishes!

Joe, it's a nice hotel all right.
VAB, so now I know...ta!
Heidrific, I'm sure the massage is lovely. I'm a plain spoken person, and would be more inclined to go for it if it was described the way you just did. But then, maybe they wouldn't be able to charge such high prices!
Kristina, when I was reading the leaflet, it did put me in mind of the kind of waffle used by DAN! and its ilk. Though the stone therapy etc is a lot less dangerous.