I think I’m generally, most of the time, a pretty relaxed sort of person. That is when my cat does not plot against me and does something or other to raise my blood pressure.
You can imagine therefore my skepticism when it was suggested that as a family we’ll try a few relaxation techniques to help us all “get better” – whatever that is!
First off the mark in this new regimen of prescribed relaxation was music. Off went the bagpipes and drums CD and on came some turgid soft music played on some wooden pipes accompanied by humming from a tone-deaf singer who would have benefited from some throat lozenge.
“Hmmmmmm” went on and on the female singer, “Tweeeeet tweeeeet” accompanied the pipes.
As this did not work the CD was changed for one with recordings of gentle rain from the rainforests. I mean, what’s the point in that? It rains here most of the time. Why do I need the recorded sound of rain in a far off land?
This was followed by waves splashing against the shore. Every so often … “Woooosh” went the waves. “Woooosh” again and again. You’re supposed to close your eyes, listen to the sound of the waves and relax.
There was no chance of this happening whatsoever. Instead of relaxing me the continuous woooshing sound made me want to go to the toilet!
The next track was no better either. It was the sound of whales singing.
What’s so relaxing about that?
Have you ever heard a whale sing? It goes something like “Woooooo Woooooo”. It’s an elongated intermittent very tedious screeching whistling sound which is neither tuneful nor relaxing. If a whale went to a music producer or agent and said “I want to sign a singing contract to make records and to perform in Carnegie Hall” it would certainly get thrown out of the building quicker than it got in.
The annoying high-pitched shrill sound reminded me that the kitchen door needs oiling to stop it squeaking. Yet another neglected job which would have been attended to after being reminded several times had it not been for my relaxation schedule.
I would have been more relaxed if the whale was dressed in an evening suit and bow tie and sang “Nessun Dorma”.
Since music did not soothe the beast it was suggested that a long soak in a warm bath would do the trick.
When I reluctantly agreed to get up from the football match on television and make my way upstairs I found that, to my surprise and total bewilderment, the bathroom lights were off and the place was lit by a million candles.
“It’s relaxing!” I was assured.
Believe me, there is nothing relaxing or reassuring about standing there amongst all those flames and fearing that you’d singe parts of your anatomy.
Why do people light candles in the bathroom? How can sitting in a hot tub like an ornament on an over-sized birthday cake supposed to make you feel relaxed?
I believe candles are bad for the environment. Just think how many candles are lit all over the world on a daily basis. In bathrooms, at the dinner table, in restaurants, churches, birthday cakes as well as numerous other places such as outdoor concerts at night to add to the atmosphere created by a supposedly melodic singer! All these candles contribute to global warming, you know! Not to mention the swarms of hard working bees busily producing the wax to see all their hard work go up in flames.
And then the bathroom was filled with this lingering smell of lavender, or was it lily of the valley, or some other concoction of plants and herbs infusing in the hot bath water and meant to convey to the imagination relaxing feelings of beautiful idyllic countryside meadows and hills covered with every blossom one could imagine. It was all feminine and gentle and beautiful and …
I mean, what’s wrong with Wright's Traditional Coal Tar Soap, with its long-established strong manly smell used by generations on end to their satisfaction?
Why do we need all these bottles of liquid soaps in a variety of colors and perfumes and silly names like “Angel Bubble Bath”, “Zingvigorating Shower Gel”, and “Action Hair Shampoo and Conditioner”?
Can anyone tell me the difference between a bubble bath and a shower gel? And the ingredients you find in these things makes one’s mind boggle. Some have coconut oil, and mango juice, lemon, passion fruit and a million other ingredients you would not imagine would find their way in your bathroom. A hair shampoo we sometimes use apparently has wheat germ in it; although what purpose this particular ingredient is meant to provide totally escapes me! I suspect we have more cooking ingredients in our bathroom than in the kitchen.
I sat gingerly in the hot tub and felt far from relaxed with all those candles burning around me. I was very nervous in case the cowboy hat I was wearing at the time might catch fire.
Can you imagine?
If the long feather in the hat accidentally came into contact with one of the nearby flames and that spread to the whole hat and then to my bountiful curls? What a disaster that would be!
I just remained there rigid amongst the pink bubbles all around me and did not dare move an inch for the prescribed thirty minutes or so which are meant to make you feel relaxed and wash away all your troubles and worries. Far from being tranquil and stress-free I dreamt longingly for the soothing companionship of my rubber duck and little sailing boat which had been confiscated from me for the purpose of this exercise.
“Are you nice and relaxed?” asked the voice from outside.
“Yes … never felt more relaxed in my life. This is wonderful!” I lied through gritted teeth.
I then got out and treated myself to a pint of Guinness and a large measure of single malt 12 years old whisky.
Now that’s what I call relaxation.