How Do You Spa Alone?

Almost 9:45am Saturday, March 21st, 2020

I felt just a little verklempt yesterday morning when I looked at the clock and realized that my massage would have been happening just about then. Sigh.

But what could I do? I began to feel sorry for myself.

I know, I know. People are experiencing far, far worse than having to cancel a massage these days.

This apocalypse has wreaked havoc, and then some. I mean, when have we experienced anything like this in our lifetimes? It’s unprecedented.

But I digress. The spa.

Every year for the past 15 years, my friends and I have traveled up island to a little town named Parksville here on Vancouver Island to spend a weekend together. We bring food and wine (lots of wine) and we laugh and go to the outdoor hot tub, and then we have our spa appointments on the Saturday, and then we eat more food and drink more wine…

You get the picture. We’ve never missed a year until this year.

2020. The year of the rat.


As I allowed myself to soak in self pity, I suddenly had an idea. Instead of self pitying, what about self spa’ing? There’s an idea!! I bounded out of my chair (okay, bounding isn’t something I do anymore) and began to think about how I could replace each element of the weekend without actually going anywhere.

First, there’s the wine. And wine. And wine.

Usually, we all take turns posing with the wine. But since my friends would likely be horrified to be seen posing with so much alcohol, I’ve only posted a pic of me and the wine. It’s a lot of wine, no? To be honest, we often bring a bottle or two home at the end of it all. Or one.

This year:

Well, at least the liquor stores were still open when I went looking for something! Small blessings.

Then there’s the food. We will often go to a restaurant on one evening and then just bring our own food to the condo for the rest of the weekend. This year, we were going to make it all ourselves.

One of my favourite times, as far as the food goes, was our 10th anniversary at the spa, when we hired a chef. Yep. He came with the food, and the dishes and everything he/we needed, and cooked up a fabulous meal. He even took the dirty dishes away. All we had to do was eat and drink.

It was amazing.
This year I’d planned to bring Danish open-faced sandwiches. Something like this:

I couldn’t get to the store to buy all the trimmings. But I did get the rye bread! So…

      At least we have lots of butter….

The complex we stay in has a couple of outdoor hot tubs. It is our tradition, on each night (and usually after a certain amount of wine) to throw on our bathing suits and robes, and head off into the night out the hot tub. Sometimes there are other people there. They don’t last long. Five giddy, soused women is usually enough to drive them away. Here’s a pic from a long time ago. I don’t know who took it, probably someone we cajoled into doing so before they ran away:

I feel that we are hidden well enough by the steam to keep us anonymous. But the smiling Thrifty’s bag in the back is a bit creepy.

So what was I to do? I don’t have a hot tub.

But I have a tub! And it has hot water!

Not quite as fun as having my friends with me. But it set the mood.
And then there was the spa part. Okay, that was a bit more tricky. No one in my house was willing to give me a massage. Well, one was, but let’s not go there.
I do, however, have a back scratcher:
Don’t be fooled. I enjoyed that.
The very last element I had to reproduce was the pedicure. Now, that’s easy enough to do by myself, but if one has a man servant, well, why not try that? He was willing. It went well. At first.
Just slip on the toe separators and off you go.
Not bad for a start.
Okay, slipped a little…
You can only imagine a guy thinking of using tape to isolate the nail. I got lucky because he was actually looking for painter’s tape.
And, well. 
Okay, I did the rest.
The thing I really missed most? Okay, I missed all of it, but the thing I REALLY missed most was the toe shot at the end. We always line our feet up and take pictures. I can’t tell you how many toe shots I have. Well, I guess I have fourteen sets of them that look something like this:
Yeah, it was a bit lonely this year:
To be serious for a moment, even though I do really miss my friends and our weekend together, I am very happy that so far, at least, we are all healthy and safe at home. And when this pandemic passes, and it will one day, we will meet again. I’m betting that we are going to enjoy THAT spa weekend most of all!
Love, your pal,


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