03 April 2011

Blue Moon

We're not usually very extravagant with our birthday gifts. I'm sure some of that has to do with the fact that we have to share the same birthday on 10th April, but a year apart. Yep I'm a cougar - ha ha! Even though this will be, let me count, the 13th birthday we've shared together, it still doesn't get any less strange waking up on your birthday, rolling over and cuddling your loved one and wishing them a 'happy birthday' too.

So this year, I decided to do a 'once in a blue-moon' and treat myself a Grab One/Groupy/1-Day type coupon deal, booking a 2 and 1/2 hour pamper package at Asiana Day Spa which was around 1/3 the normal price.

Mark, on the other hand got himself a survival knife. Being a big Man vs Wild fan, and wanting something versatile to go in the emergency kit meant a win-win situation when he found this knife. It has all kinds of bells and whistles so I am told. Let's just hope I don't meet him on a dark night in an alleyway though - I think I'd come off second best!

Anyhow, back to the once in a blue moon experience.

So I walked myself down to town this morning, making the most of the stunning morning Wellington put on, snapping a few pictures here and there. Sipping on my coffee. Admiring the sun, the views. Autumn leaves. Hills bathed in sunshine.

Although what you don't see in these photos is that I was running a tad late, so in between snapping shots on my iPhone I was running helter-skelter down steep hills to get to the day spa by 9am. Lucky I had the sense to wear my running shoes then!

The pamper package was made up of a 90 minute hot stone massage, 30 minute facial and 30 minute jacuzzi bath. I've had a few massages in my time but not for ages, and it was my first ever hot stone experience.

It was pleasure, and it was pain. Either the massage therapist was able to produce incredibly good pressure, or I've just become a heck of a lot more sensitive over the years. Probably both! There was lots of grimacing and curling of toes going on when she was massaging my calves and hamstrings, and I let rip with a few 'eeooows' as well. The best part of the massage was the stones themselves, where hot, smooth stones removed from a crock-pot were rubbed over the area that had just been massaged. Then leaving a hot stone on the soles of my feet, or inside the palms of my hands while moving onto other areas. Hello Bliss!

Once we moved onto the facial, we got to talking a little. I found out this lovely lady was from Bali, and has been in NZ for 18 months. She has a 3-year old son back home in Bali who she has only seen once during this time. This made me really sad. You know, much as there's moments I'd quite happily give mine away for a few hours, I can't begin to imagine not seeing my kids for a year or more. The reason she has come here is so her son can afford go to school. She told me that it's incredibly expensive for the average Balinese to afford schooling for their children. The cost is in the region of $20 NZD a month. Which doesn't sound a lot, but when she said the average monthly household earnings is only $100 NZD I could see why it is so out of reach for people there.

This lady was so gracious in telling her story, so matter of fact about the life she has to lead to give her family a chance at a better life. It really moved me. Especially when you consider that I just spent the equivalent of a Balinese monthly income on my 2.5 hours of pure indulgence. I felt incredibly torn - both guilty and lucky all at the same time.

Once my face was feeling suitably smooth I hopped into the half hour jacuzzi bath, where I sipped my bubbles whilst surrounded by bubbles. I couldn't help but seek the lovely massage therapist out afterward to give her a tip as I left, feeling like it wasn't much, just a token, but the very least I could do.   

And then, rather relaxed, oiled and stretched in all the right places, I made my way back out into the sunshine for the hilly climb back home. Stopping to admire the view of our gorgeous city from the top of the cable car once again.

And then I was homeward bound. To where three boys and an afternoon adventure awaited.


Sarah said...

Sounds divine and am so glad you enjoyed a little special time on your Birthday to relax - but, oh, that ladies story made my heart ache so much :(

Hope you have a lovely evening and sounds like you've had an amazing weekend x

Jason and Jacinda Papps said...

Wow, sounds amazing.

Hearing stories like your therapists makes me realise how lucky we are!!!!

Enjoy the rest of your weekend.

Love Jac...

Anonymous said...

That's awesome. I think these experiences are such a treat and I love that you took the time to hear the therapists story and give her a tip. Even in the receiving there is space to give!

Leonie said...

oh what a lovely day :) My birthday is a few days after yours... its a big one for me and I am struggling that I wont be sharing it with my hubby this year as he can't get back until later in the month.
But, listening to that lady's story - makes me appreciate that I will be spending it with my children.
Have a lovely birthday (both of you!)

jacksta said...

My birthday is the 11th! How bizarre that you both share the same birthday! Its .like you two were made for each other...the M names in all!

Sammy said...

Sounds amazing! And very well deserved for someone who is so NOT a cougar (hehe!)


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