I am So I Have Made a Choice Mum

I’ve thought long and hard about whether or not to publish this.

I’ve chosen to. I’ve made a choice.


I’ve changed my mind a thousand times.   See that’s the thing about choices; about decision making. You consider your options and you weigh them up and then you choose.

You can change your mind if you like. You can decide what’s best for you. You can talk to others, get professional or expert advice. Then you can change your mind again.

And so I have made a choice.  Not about my vote, no, that choice wasn’t a difficult one. It’s quite simple for me really.

The choice I made was whether or not to write about it.  And you can choose whether or not you want to read on. No one is forcing you… because you have a choice. You have the right to choose.

Generally, you can make a choice about EVERYTHING; well, unless you’re a pregnant  woman in Ireland. Or indeed an Irish Man who has been faced with the unthinkable situation of possibly losing his wife, partner or daughter.

Here’s the thing.

I am Pro-Choice.  I am NOT pro-abortion. I do not condone it. I would never encourage it. I would never want to have an abortion.  But you see. I have never needed an abortion.  I have never been in the situation where abortion was an option, or a requirement for me.

Lucky me.  Lucky, Lucky me.

And so, having never had to have one, or consider one or even think about one, why should I have a say on the issue?  Why do I have the right to speak on this private taboo which is in dire need of public support? Who am I to even think about writing my views and publishing them?

I’ll tell you shall I?  I am an Irish woman.  I am a mother.   I am a wife.  I am a sister.  I am an aunt.


I am so sad that in this day and age, if faced with an utterly terrible ordeal or medical dilemma, that as an Irish woman and mother, I do not have a voice.  I do not have a say.  I do not have a right to my own body.  And my surgeons or doctors do not have the right to help me if the procedure I need happens to be a termination.

None of us know what is ahead of us. I do not have a clue what is ahead of me. I don’t know what is ahead of my daughters.  I don’t know what lies ahead for my siblings.  I don’t have a clue what is going on in the lives of my friends.  I do not know what other women face, have faced or WILL face in the future.    NOR DO YOU.

If I were to find myself pregnant tomorrow, aren’t I lucky that I’d be happy about it?

But tell me this. If early in the pregnancy, a medical professional were to tell me that my worst nightmare were a possibility;  that if I continue with the pregnancy, there is a certainty that not only would the fetus die, but possibly, so would I;  would I happily accept my Irish constitutional requirements to give my life and body up to the 8th? Would I lie back and think of Ireland?

Would I hell.


If you think for one second that I would make the choice to leave my beautiful daughters without their Mum, or my husband without his wife, or my parents without their daughter… my friends, you couldn’t be more wrong.  And yet, when we’re not in the situation, NONE of us know what we would do, do we?

But how important it would be to have a choice.

There’s that word again.  CHOICE.

Unfortunately, in our progressive and wonderful little country, this Mamma Bear would not have that choice.  There would be no choice.  Not here anyway. Not in the land of opportunity and equality and freedom… Not if you’re a pregnant woman.

And suddenly, without warning, I too would be a statistic.  I too would be one of the many, many thousands of women who have to make the horrific, demeaning and absolutely cruel journey across the Irish Sea to seek help from our neighbours.  I would be in the same boat…or on the same plane…because the journey for termination is not exclusive to class or age or job or marital status.

Any woman, from any background, for a multitude of reasons can find themselves on that journey. Never mind dealing with the emotional hell of making such a decision, they are damned for it by our society.


To be PRO-CHOICE does not mean that you are Pro-Abortion.

You can be a mother and still be pro-choice.

You can be Grandmother and be pro-choice.

You can be a father and be pro-choice. Because guess what?  This affects men too.  It affects the men who will hold their partner’s hands when faced with the words none of us ever want to hear.

It affects the husbands who are helpless to save their unborn baby or their wife.  It affects Fathers.  It affects brothers.  It affects sons.  There are so many situations where these men can be faced with losing one of the women in their life.  None of them include choice for the man OR the woman.

So if you are a man, do not think that this is a problem for the women. If you are a woman, who thinks that it doesn’t concern you, think ahead. It might.  If you are on the fence, get off it.  No one is asking us to legalize random abortion for all.  No one is asking us to agree with it.  All that we are being asked to do, is to make a choice to GIVE a choice, to our daughters, to our nieces, to our sisters…and maybe even to ourselves.


Choice.  I’ve made my choice to write this.  If you’ve made the choice to read it, thank you.  You also have the choice to decide whether to agree with me or not. I would never insist that you agree with me. That is not how I am.

I also however, would not attack or criticise you for your choice even if it is different to mine. If you disagree, that is your choice. No one is forcing you to agree. No one will make you. It’s yours already.  It feels good doesn’t it? To have a choice?

You also have a voice. Use it.


(Maria Rushe  March 2018)




I am Suck it up Mum

I’m walking like John Wayne.

NEVER again will I abandon my Jim. I went back on Tuesday night after over 3 weeks off. Between the show, being away for work and then hurting my back, I haven’t been able to train. Yesterday, I was smug as I wasn’t too bad. Today, I could go up stairs, but going down them wasn’t too hot. I’m feeling better after another session this evening and I know the aches will pass so I’m sucking it up and getting on with it. It’s only 12 weeks until the bikini goes on and Himself has challenged me to step out of my comfort zone and start some different training with him. I’ve been doing classes for years and love lifting stuff so he’s doing me up a new plan which will be a mix of classes and weight sessions.

Speaking of Sucking it up, here’s a wee repost of one that got a huge reaction a few months ago.

Now calm yerselves. I know that not everyone is interested in fitness and so I won’t be posting about it on here. If you ARE interested however, follow my Instagram account for stories and updates. I’ll keep it over there and on the lifestyle section of my website.

In other news, the week of 43 days is almost done. I should be cleaning my house. I am NOT cleaning my house. I am cooking dinner and shall be parking my arse on the sofa until it’s time to hobble to bed.
A hot bath might be just what I need.

Happy nearly the Weekend Lovelies. xx

The S-Mum

Right. Feck it.

I’m doing it.

Before and After Posts… Let’s call out the BS.

This is my first Before and After post. The two photographs were snapped only 3 seconds apart. 😅

So what did I do? What did I take? A magic pill? A Fantabulous Super-shake? A cup of Magic Tea? Nope.

A breath.

I took a breath. 😅

I straightened my back, turned my body slightly and sucked it all in!👇👇👇 You see, yes, I might be back in my favourite jeans, (after 16 months of training in Jim- NOT overnight), but after 2 magnificently STRETCHY pregnancies and two VERY messy C-Sections, my Belly is not what it might APPEAR to be when you meet me in my clothes! 😂

It’s squishy. It’s soft. It’s covered in stretch marks. There is extra skin that sags when I suck in my tummy. If I relax my tummy muscles…

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I am Sweet Jebus, What Did She See Mum?

“Mammy I wrote you a note.”

“Did you Darling?”

“Yes.  I wrote it the other night when I couldn’t get to sleep and I forgotted to give it to you.”

“Ok. What does it say?”

“It says My Mammy and Daddy were very happy doing the rumpy.”


“Erm. Okaaaaaaaaaaaaay?”

(Inside I am thinking FAAAAAAAAACK. What has she seen? What have we done? Ohmygodohmygodohmygodohmygod… I have scarred my child for life. What…when…how…WHEN?)

Outside, I TRY to remain calm and composed…

“What is Doing the Rumpy Darling?” (Tread carefully Mammy.)

“No.  DURING the Rumpy.”

(Sweet Japonica on a big bike, shoot me now…)

“And what is Rumpy?”

“That game you were watching…”

(Now I’m utterly lost.)

“What game?”

“When Ireland WON the match with the funny ball.”

“OH!”  (Joy and rapture and Thank the frivoulous fecks!)  THE  RUGBY?!

“Yes,  The Rumpy.  Remember you and Daddy were all excited and jumping up and down and smiling?”

“Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!”  (Hallelujah!)

Yes we were Darling. Yes we were.  Right there in the middle of the kitchen, in broad daylight…and not a door locked or anything!




I am S is for Special – World Downs Syndrome Day

It’s World Down’s Syndrome Day. But that really is every day when you’re blessed with an extra chromosome in your family. x

The S-Mum

It’s World Downs Syndrome Day. ❤❤

It’s a day to celebrate the extra chromosome that makes some people just a little bit more special.
One of the first images I saw on Facebook today was of my good friend Lee Gooch and his handsome little man Noah.

And oh! How it melted my heart.

Not simply because of the angelic and perfect little face of the wee man, but because of the smile on Daddy’s face.

This 👇👇 my friends is the smile of true pride, of true joy…of true and utter love. 💙💙

And it melts my heart, not only because of the joy it brings, but also because of the memories it provokes in me.
Lee and his family are blessed.

I know this, because my family too were blessed.

A child with Downs Syndrome isn’t just their extra chromosome.

A child with Downs, is special.
Special in…

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I am Salou, Here we Come Mum

So anyone who has been reading my ramblings for a while now, knows that I have not yet been brave enough to venture into the great unknown and unpredictable world of holidaying abroad…with the girls.

In fact, I last year wrote a few posts on how and why staycation-ing was the only option for myself and my wee squad.

And yet, this year, I have decided to go for it. Why?

Maybe it’s an unqualified confidence in the fact that Princess is no longer technically a Baby and so we’ll be graaaaaaaaaaand.  Maybe it’s that I looked at my sister’s family holiday snaps and some hidden longing for family-fun in the sun took over.  Maybe I’m just getting brave in my old age.  Maybe I’m off my head.

But regardless of why I’ve finally decided to jump head first into the blue azure of sunkissed and suncreamed frolicking, I have.  And I have ACTUALLY convinced The Him that it’s a good idea.

Now.  I am one of those Book-it-all-by-myself-online gals usually.  However, because taking the two girls away is such new territory to us, we decided to do the safe and sensible thing and went through a travel agent.


So off I popped to Atlantic Travel here in Letterkenny.  I arrived in with NOT flexible dates, a strict budget and 324 specific requirements and 127 questions.

“Hi.  I am your WORST nightmare Lovely Travel Agent…I want to go somewhere hot but not too busy, with a flight that isn’t too long, with as short as possible a transfer on the other end, to a 2 roomed apartment in a family suitable resort, with indoor options for soft play, a children’s pool area, a kids’ club that is safe and reputable, in an area which isn’t too loud but still with some atmosphere… And the quiet and safe area must have some nice restaurants, a supermarket nearby AND be near public transport. ON THIS EXACT DATE.  Out of Belfast if possible… Please.”

Yeah, so they could have laughed and scoffed at me and my demands, but they didn’t. Within 20 minutes, the amazing Donna had 5 options printed off for me for all types of holiday in a few different places, within my date, budget and ridiculous specifications. No bother at all.

She was able to offer her own opinion on 3 of the resorts and had customer testimonies on the others. She was very open and honest with her advice about the options.  There was no pressure or obligation to book.  Just polite service with educated opinion.

I took some brochures, the printouts and her email address and off I went to peruse my options.


Salou it is so.

Being me, I had to research some more and in doing so, found another hotel on the TUI website that ticked all of my boxes. A few emails to Evelyn with more “Ria” questions and prompt answers were exchanged over the course of the next three days and when I finally made up my mind, one phonecall booked the holiday.

Within a few days, all of our details had been posted to us.

I really feel more comfortable going away for the first time with the kids as we have booked a package and so everything is thought of for us; Flights, Transfers, Insurance, Accommodation and Board. The fact that there will be a Holiday Rep there is also putting my mind at ease.

Now all I have to do is look forward to it. And pack for everyone. And plan.  And save. And worry and get there…


They say that the first step is always the hardest, but for this family holiday newbie, the first step was probably the easiest thanks to the ladies in Atlantic Travel.

Check out Atlantic Travel on  Facebook for more updates before the big event:

Call (074) 912 6193 or visit Atlantic Travel’s offices at Oliver Plunkett Road, Letterkenny to enquire about your holiday.




Mammy has collaborated with Atlantic Travel but as always, my review and opinions are my own and honest.

I am Screen Time Dinner Mum

“Tut tut. Look at those parents using their phones to distract their child. Tut tut.
Lazy young parents of today. Not able to handle their kiddies in public. Whatever happened to conversation at dinner? Tut tut. In my day… yadda yadda fucking yadda.”

Now. Mammy did not HEAR the actual shpeel of verbal diahorrea that was ACTUALLY coming out of the older couple’s tight-set mouths, but the looks and disapproving glances at our table (and the table beside us might I add) when The Him stuck an episode of “Ben & Bolly” on his phone were more than enough to tell us what they were thinking.😡

Now. I am not one who condones screentime at the table, either at home or in public. And actually, our 6 year old does NOT get to look at a screen when we’re eating. Not a hope… but the twoublemaker? Absofeckinglutely. 😂

The couple Saw a snippet of our day. They saw the 9 minutes where Mammy’s lovely dinner had gone cold as she’d spent her time ensuring that Princess did not launch her plate at Mini-Me’s head or SPILL the glasses of milk all over our dinner.

They DIDN’T see the 2 hours of the girls playing at their Doll’s house and in their bedrooms this morning.

They DIDN’T see the 3 hours of fresh air and exercise in Glenveagh.

They DIDN’T see the 45 minutes of colouring in and general chatter as we waited to order and eat.

What they SAW was the “We need to distract the minion for a few minutes to allow Mammy to finish her food and Daddy to order a coffee trick” that most parents turn to as a last fecking resort when their Knackered child has reached their quota of sitting and behaving like a good little girl.

I’m sure they meant no harm. I’m sure they’re lovely. I’m sure they would never have allowed it. Whatever.

Did it bother me? Eh…no! 😂 But I’m pretty sure it might have bothered another Mammy. This Bad Mammy Wagon seriously considered letting her watch another 3 episodes so I could order another glass of grapes. 😂 I didn’t. Cos see, that WOULD MAYBE have been cause for the tutters to tut.

I finished my Yummy dinner. We drank our coffee and we turned off the EBSD. (ElectronicBabysittingdevice)

Then we drove our fed, watered and quite relaxed wee family home.

And we didn’t give a tut what the tutters thunked. They didn’t see the full movie you see. They only saw the blooper reel. So really, their review doesn’t matter, does it?

A glass of grapes on a Sunday night? How very dare I!? Yay!

Happy Bank Holiday Sunday Bitcheepoos.

Any fun for me?
Mammy x

I am Sunday Fundays Mum

Dreaming of summertime


It’s here. Well it’s TRYING to be here.

And now that Mammy and Daddy are done with rehearsals, our weekly Sunday Fundays must commence! Up in the morning, dress for whatever the weather is doing (layers layers layers so it can change its mind 32 times in 4 hours as usual eh?!), into the car and go!

Adventures and fun cost money, and while there are of course hundreds of things you can do with your minions, here are 7 of my favourite things to do right here at home. They range from absolutely free to the not so free but no matter how often we do these things or go to these places, the girls always enjoy them and feel like they’ve been somewhere special.

In no particular order:

Glenveagh – Now those of you who follow my blog, know that Glenveagh National Park is a firm favourite in our little family.  We go there 2 or 3 times a month and myself and The Him love it just as much as the girls do.  It’s only a short drive from Letterkenny, has absolutely NO phone coverage and has THE most stunning landscape in the country.  NOWHERE beats Glenveagh for beauty. The best thing is that entry to the park is absolutely FREE.

You can bring a picnic or try some of the insanely good cakes and food in the tearooms there.  We walk the 4k to the castle every and usually take the bus back up as Mini-Me’s legs aren’t quite able for 8K just yet! Bikes are available to hire from Grassroutes in the carpark too and you can get one of the little buggy-trailers for the minions.

The castle grounds are beautiful and while ours are too young to do the full bridal path, there is lots to occupy them (and their imaginations) in the gardens.  (Tell your minions that the gates with the stag heads are the Gates to Santa’s summer house.  Never gets old!)

The Beach – We are so blessed to have so many beautiful beaches on our doorsteps. Lisfannon Beach in Fahan is possibly my favourite place in the world.  It’s not only where I often escape for some sneaky Mam-me time, (seriously, some life changing decisions have been made on this beach), it’s also where I take the girls if we want to have some good old fashioned free fun.  It’s only 15 minutes from my house, but the girls feel like they’ve had such a treat, even if we only stop for a 20 minute run-about.

 I keep a blanket and buckets in the car, so if we find ourselves nearby, it’s easy to stop here.  I also keep a bag with a change of clothes and a towel in the boot, just in case it’s warm enough for a paddle.  There’s loads of parking and in the summertime, there’s usually an ice-cream van in the carpark.

Nature Walks – Mini-Me loves these.  We live in the backend of beyond, so in fairness, even a play in the garden can be a learning curve, but if I really want to occupy them for an hour, I plop Princess in the buggy and off we go.  Mini-Me is beginning to recognise some of the tree types (reminding me  of things that I used to know!) and there’s a gate at the end of our farm where I once told her the fairy kingdom begins, so she loves to visit there.  She stands on the side of the road talking to the gate, but in her head, she’s on a serious adventure! Fun fun fun and FREE FREE FREE!

Parks – We love Ballymacool Park.  Just outside the town, it’s peaceful and quiet, even when busy.  It’s easy to park, has lovely trails for walking and beautiful views. The little playpark is wonderful; clean and full of playthings for kids of all ages.  The best thing about this little area is that it’s fully fenced off, and so no matter what direction Princess runs in, she’s safe (and enclosed!).

Ards Forest Park  –  Simply pay €5 to park and go get lost in the woods before strolling back along the most beautiful beach. The play park is gorgeous, there’s a coffee shop and there’s even a stretch of boardwalk. Very beautiful and lots of scope for stories and imagination in the forest.  The Fairies live there you know.  And the Grufallo comes on holidays sometimes so keep your eyes peeled for footprints. 🙂

Soft Play – Some days, Soft play is the only answer isn’t it? Especially with the summer weather we get here! The most exciting thing about going to soft play, is going to soft play with OTHER minions.  It’s win:win; A catch up for the mums, excitement (and a guaranteed successful bedtime) for the kids.  Arena 7 and Century Play are wonderful and have different features that the kids love, AND they all serve good coffee.  Keep an eye on their pages for deals and rates.

Oakfield Park  –  Again, we LOVE Oakfield Park. It’s only 10 minutes from where we live and great for famiy Sunday-fundays, but also for random afternoons over the holidays. There is a charge to get in of course, but what I love about this place is that every year when they reopen, something new and wonderful has been added to the park. They add to the facility constantly.

The new Buffers Tea rooms are lovely, but you can also bring a picnic along with you. We bought the annual pass this year and it’s great value if you use the park often. The park is stunning, so well kept and beautifully presented.  There’s a play park and the Fairy tree is a favourite of Mini-Me’s.  The steam train is a real novelty.

I’ll be adding to this as we go on more adventures over the next few months.  I’ve already started our “Adventure List” for the fridge.

We have many places to return to and many more to visit for the first time. Where are your favourite Sunday Funday destinations?

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I am Screw-top Lid Mum

Is there anything more frustrating than jars?

You know jars?

With Screw top lids?
“Oh, S-Mum, you are being ridonkulous and melodramaria now.  HOW can you be frustrated by a jam jar, you silly woman?” I hear you scoff.
And usually, I would agree, but tonight, if YOU had witnessed the EPIC meltdown offered by my Princess because S-Mum here couldn’t get a FECKING JAR OPEN, you would not be scoffing.  You would be popping to the shop to buy me grapes.

And chocolate.

“You want toast Princess of mine?”

“Mmmmhmmmm” she nods.

“Mammy get you toast now.”

“Mmmmmhmmmmmm” she says, wobbling her fat little arse to the fridge, where she stands grunting at it and at me until I open it.

“Will we get out the butter, my cherished cherub?”

“Mmmmmhmmmmmmm” she nods, reacing for the jar of jam from the fridge door.

“You want jam on your toast?”

“BAAAAAAAAM!” she squeals, dancing her happy nappy dance…

“Mammy get you jam surely pet.”
Except she won’t.


Because this Jam jar has not yet been opened and it seems that its lid has been welded to the jar by trolls, using their extra special concrete mix, which is completely unmoving regardless of how much you twist, or turn, or grunt or swear.
Mammy was certain of ONE thing after a few minutes.
Mammy was NOT getting the lid of the blasted jar. 😭😭
Now, let it be known, that I am a stubborn sort of Ladybelle.  I am not beyond smashing a jar (or bottle) with a hammer to get at the contents, but considering that Princess was SCREAMING “BAAAAAAAAAAAM” at me, whilst swinging off my legs, and considering that smashing things would NOT be best parenting practise, I opted to control my temper and distract her.
I was unsuccessful.

She screamed for approximately 13 minutes, before instantly calming herself down when she heard the opening notes of In the Shite Garden and toddling over to chat to Macka Feckin Packa, leaving Mammy a sweaty, traumatised mess in the kitchen.
Did I threaten to hurt the Jam Jar?  Did I promise to smash the fecker off the back step after she’d gone to bed?

Of course not.  That would be mental…
It is sitting on the counter awaiting The Him and his Manliful Muscles to come home.  He’ll pick it up, twist it like a milk bottle and tut at me for being such a girl.


He too shall struggle with the fecking thing and I will regain a molecule of my sanity, laughing at him.
Fecking BAAAAM…

It HAS to be Grape o’clock already no?

How was your day?

I am She was wearing the Blue Jumper Mum

Mini-Me’s powers of description and interrogation are wonderful. There are departments of Intelligence all over the world who could do with hiring her.

Daddy was driving yesterday as we passed a local school.   

Mini-Me announces:

“My friend Nancy goes to that school.”

“Very good Darling.”

“She doesn’t go to my school but we’re still best fwends.”

“I wonder if they were in Daddy’s gym the day the school visited.”


“Some of the boys and girls from that school came to visit Daddy’s gym last month. I wonder was your friend there.”

“Are you JOKIN?”

“No. I’m not joking.”

“You mean to tell me that my BEST fwend Nancy came to see your gym and she NEVER told me?”

“Well I don’t know.  Maybe she wasn’t there.”

red hair

“Was there a girl there with Red hair?”

“There were lots of girls there.”

“But was there a girl with red hair?”


“With reddy Blonde hair?”

“Ehm.  I’m not sure.”

“Well it’s more blonde. Was there a girl there with blonde hair?”

“There might have been pet. I don’t…”

“It’s long and wavy and blonde… with red. It’s kind of red but a wee bit blonde.”

“Daddy didn’t notice.  There were lots and lots of girls and boys there.”

“But was there a girl there with red hair and GLASSES?”


“Glasses Daddy.  You HAVE to have seen the glasses?”

“Daddy didn’t look…”

“They are blue…or mabye green glasses.”


“And they might have Cinderella on the side.  Did you see a girl with reddy blonde hair and bluey-green Cinderella glasses in your gym Daddy?”

(Daddy’s eyes are beginning to glaze over…)

“I’m not sure.”

“You HAVE to KNOW Daddy?  She was probably wearing a blue jumper.”

Daddy is now speechless.  Mammy decides to help…

“Come on now Ted, she was wearing the blue jumper like”.

It’s probably a good job he was driving…


I am Spas and Chopsticks Mum

Once upon a time, in a land far away, Mammy went for a massage.
In Mammy’s many experiences of massages, this one was particularly memorable.
Mammy carries a lot of her stress and tension, not only in her wine glass, but sometimes in her shoulders. Every year, around the time where Mammy has finished marking eleventy squillion mock English papers while managing to direct and be in a musical, on top of working and you know, Mammying, my little shoulders tend to seize up and act the bollox.
It happens every year. And so THIS year, Mammy decided to meet the fecker head on by booking myself into a spa, far far away, for a deep tissue massage.
Hah! Take THAT shoulders. I shall go to the spa and have some handy genius “rub my cares” away as I hum to the tune of Fraggle Rock and then I shall leave, relaxed and glowing and detoximified and calm. I shall be so relaxed that when I meet my mates in the hotel bar afterwards, I shall consume only water to aid the detoxifying cleanse that the magic fingers shall have induced.
And then, I went.
Spas are funny places aren’t they? We’re spoiled here in Donegal in fairness, but in general, they’re weird.
Think about it.
You are ushered into hushed and candlelit darkness, with hissing things and smells popping from every corner. We tell ourselves it’s classy. In reality, it looks how a lap dancing club might look.
Then, we put on a robe and slippers which are way too big over our bathing suits. What do you wear to a spa? A costume gets wet and then it’s icky to get off and impossible to get back on if you’re in for a treatment. And let’s be honest, a bikini often requires a certain mood doesn’t it? As in an “I don’t give a fuck” mood.
Then you flip flop your way into a glorified swimming pool which farts bubbles sporadically and you try to be graceful as you descend into it, not having a fucking clue where the steps are. You try not to look out of place amongst the other spa-goers, who are obviously all pro at this crap.
The other spa-goers, already positioned in their bubble blower seats, look ahead, aloof and sophisticated and looking altogether “together”, with expressions of nonchalance and boredom that makes them look cool…as if they BELONG here, pretending not to see you but secretly thinking, “Do NOT sit beside me. Do not speak to me. I can’t look but I want to suss out whether you should be wearing that costume or not… fuck. Is that a bikini? Bitch. I should have worn mine. I could soooooooooo wear mine. Next time. Yeah, of course she sat beside me. I’ll have to move now… Must look composed. Must look suitably bored. Must not smile.”
And you sit among them, pressing random buttons and trying not to scream in fear as things start spurting at you. After a few minutes on sitting in the pool in which you can’t really swim, you get up and head for the steam room and sauna, wondering why the hell you bothered getting your cossie wet when realistically, 89% of your time in this thermal suite shall be spent in the dry rooms.
You sit in the steam room until you are medium-rare and then try to dry off in the sauna, wondering why the place has been decorated like a brothel might be. Red lights are not relaxing.

Red is not my colour…

And then you begin to wonder how long you have to wait until your therapist comes to save you. In this case, I was forgotton about and had to go find one. They’d forgotten me. No biggy… I was perfectly chilled after my hour in the steam room and red light district.
A massage will relax me eh?
Well. She was a lovely girl…
Let me sum it up for you in simple terms…
My “deep tissue massage” was a 15 minute head rub/hair pull followed by very strange and altogether frustrating rub on one side of my body because she couldn’t reach the other side and apparently didn’t know to move… It included random pinching of my skin as if she was using calipers to gauge my BMI and then, THEN… she started to slap my skin, up and down my back before doing CHINESE CHOPSTICKS on my sides…
If anyone had been watching my face through the head hole, I’d say they’d have had a laugh at my eyes popping open in shock!  I swear to God, I was waiting for Jeremy Beadle to jump out from the shower curtain with his camera.
Now, she wasn’t putting ANY pressure at all on my back so I figured she was doing very little harm, and by the time I’d plucked up the courage to tell her to stop the massage, she’d moved on to my legs and was doing a grand job chopping my arse. There was a bit more there for her pinchers too so she seemed happy enough.
“Was that OK for you?” Poor wee pet was so proud of herself and I was in a confused state of WTF. I grumbled something about getting a glass of water and headed back to the dressing room.
I’m not a complainer. I wasn’t going to say anything really but then I looked in the mirror.
My HAIR looked as if it had been backcombed ALL OVER. It was standing STRAIGHT UP all over my head. Forget Something about Mary, there was Something about Mammy and it was NOT good. I tried to brush it and Oh my GOD, Ladies I couldn’t get the brush through it. I couldn’t even get my fingers through it. No one should leave a spa looking like this.
I rarely complain. I hate complaining, but sometimes, it’d be wrong to leave without speaking up. I pulled on my tracksuit and headed to reception, where the manageress was absolutely wonderful and so very kind. In fairness, as customer service goes, I can’t fault her. However as spa treatments and relaxing evenings go… yeah, it didn’t.
I had to step into the shower and pour the full bottle of conditioner onto my hair to try to ease out the tangles. I pulled on my clothes to go for dinner.
I was first in the bar. Water my arse. I needed grapes.
My mates arrived, expecting to find me in a sleepy state of smug water consuming relaxation, all chilled and shiny.
They found me with a bottle of wine, three glasses and my hair fecked in a bun because I couldn’t get the brush through parts of it, even after the shower…
As for my back? I thought I was fine. Turns out I thought wrong. I’m currently being fixed by a lovely Physio, who actually snorted when I mentioned the Chopsticks.
My Mother’s Day Fizz was courtesy of painkillers.
But hey! Lesson learned.
My shoulders shall indeed fall to bits every March and Mammy should stick to the local, fablis and non-red-lighting spas I know.
They’re a whole lot less traumatic!