(continued from Issue 19)
Lil: Oh, Miguel, that’s amazing! Did anyone ever tell you, you have the smoothest stones in England? Not too hot, though, just right!
Miguel: You are very kind…er, Lil. Do you mind if I rub them up and down your back?
Lil: Not at all, you go ahead. That’s what I’m paying for, or rather, that‘s what Mavis is paying for.
Miguel: Thank you. Please tell me if I press too hard.
Lil: Ohhhh, that feels good. Worth every penny of Mavis’s fifty-nine pounds. I am so glad she organised this relaxation weekend. I didn’t realise how much I needed it.
Miguel: It is a good thing to get away from it all sometimes. Your friend, she have the hot stone massage, too?
Lil: I’m not sure, but I doubt it. Not really her thing…down a bit. Ooooh, yeah, right there…she and my other friends are more outdoor types. As a matter of fact, they went out for a stroll this morning.
Miguel: A stroll? In February? In this weather? They must be very brave!
Lil: What do you mean, “in this weather?” It’s a glorious day.
Miguel: It was a glorious day, but take a look, Lil. It’s now dark and beginning to snow again.
Lil: Ha! Sheila will be happy, she hates the cold! Still, it’s their choice…Ohhh, that’s soooo relaxing. I could just nod off…
Meanwhile, on the moors…
Sheila: Oh, great! Whose daft idea was it to go for a walk out in the sticks in the middle of winter with four bottles of water and a packet of Hobnobs between us?
Gladys: It’s only a bit of snow. Think of all the natural beauty you’ve seen today…
Sheila: A bit of snow! It’s coming down thicker every second! And will you give it a rest with all that “beauty” stuff? I’m freezing, starving and need a sit down!
Gladys: Well, you didn’t have to come! I thought it would be good to get back to nature for a while. You could have stayed with Lil at the guesthouse and be having candles shoved in your lugs, if that’s more your thing!
Mavis: All right, you two, calm down! We’re supposed to be relaxing, not ripping each other apart! However, Gladys, I think Sheila’s right. We’ve been out here hours. We need to get out of this snowstorm, get warmed up and get something to eat.
Sheila: At last, a voice of reason! Let’s head back to The Lemon Grove and sample one of those massages from that Spanish bloke I spied last night.
Mavis: There’s no chance of that, I’m afraid, Sheila. I’m not all that sure where we are in relation to the guesthouse. We can’t see more than ten yards in front of us, so it would be foolish to try and make our way back in this.
Sheila: Nonsense! This is the North York Moors, not the Antarctic! We can’t be that far from the house.
Gladys: We passed a small, stone building about a hundred yards back. We can retrace our steps and take shelter in there until this storm passes, then make our way back to the guesthouse.
Mavis: Right, we’ll do that. Lead the way, Gladys.
Sheila: Well, you two can do that if you like, but I’m going back to the house. If we can retrace our steps to Gladys’s outhouse, I’m sure I can go a little further back to The Lemon Grove.
Mavis: I don’t think that’s wise in the circumstances, Sheila. It must be at least a mile further on and I’m not sure in which direction.
Sheila:Don’t worry about me. Here, take some Hobnobs. I’ll be drinking herbal tea and eating an organic quorn chicken sandwich in front of a roaring log fire while you’re still finishing those off. Have fun now!
At The Lemon Grove…
Lil: Ahhh, Sasha, I thought your mate, Miguel, was handy with his stones, but you’re an expert at this Reiki lark.
Sasha: Thank you, Lil. As long as you’re benefiting from it, then I’m happy.
Lil: Oh, I’m benefiting all right. I’ve never felt so relaxed in my life. How do you do it?
Sasha: Well, by the laying on of hands I give the negative energy a pathway out of the body leaving only peace and positivity in its place.
Lil: Oh! One of my ex-boyfriends told me that once. He said he specialised in women’s chest complaints, but I wasn’t convinced. It sounds very simple.
Sasha: It seems that way, but there are only certain areas of the body that can act as channels to release the negativity. The secret is knowing where these are and having the correct frame of mind to allow yourself to be a conduit.
Lil: Really? Did you have to study long before becoming qualified?
Sasha: I took a two-year correspondence class from one of the top colleges in the United States, the Temecula Institute of Therapeutic Studies in California, followed by a three-year course in arc welding from the Open University.
Sasha: In case the healing thing didn’t work out.
Lil: Oh, very wise. You must be “raking” it in then, if you’ll pardon the pun.
Sasha: Very clever. I’ve never heard THAT before. Anyway, it’s not about the money, it’s about making my patients feel refreshed. If they’re happy, that’s all that matters.
Lil: So how much do you charge?
Sasha: Three hundred an hour plus tips, and for an extra hundred, I’ll fit rear spoilers to your car.
At the croft…
Gladys: Ah, that’s better. It’s good to get out of that snow, even if it is as cold in here as it is out there!
Mavis: I don’t like the idea of Sheila walking back to the guesthouse in this weather. She should have come in here with us and waited for the snow to stop.
Gladys: I agree, but you know what she’s like – stubborn. She was having none of it, so best just let her go. It won’t be that far back to the house and she’s not a child. I think she can look after herself.
Mavis: That’s what I’m worried about: she’s not a child, she’s a woman in her fifties out alone in a blizzard, at night, in the middle of nowhere.
Gladys: I’m sure Sheila will be fine. Now, I’m f-f-freezing. Give me a hand with this fire would you, Mave?
Mavis: Well, I suppose we had better keep warm and get some food inside us. Pass those logs over, Gladys, and there’s a box of matches on that table over there.
Gladys: Okay, Mavis, here you are…heck, these logs weigh a ton! I have to say, it was lucky this place was open. Rather trusting of whoever owns it…here’s the matches. All right, there’s not much here, just the table, a couple of chairs and there’s an old kettle and some cups over by the sink, but I wouldn’t like to think my place was open to all and sundry.
Mavis: Yes, but it’s a different way of life in these rural areas…pass a few sticks of that kindling would you, Gladys…I’ve seen little crofts or bothies like this when visiting Scotland. They’re left open deliberately for just such an occasion as this…oh, thanks. Now let’s see if I can get this fire going…If anyone is out hiking and the weather turns, they can take refuge in one of these places until it blows over. There isn’t much here, but it’s better than being stuck outside exposed to the elements. There, that’s got it! Put some of that bottled water in the kettle and we’ll boil it on here. If you have a look in my bag over there, Gladys, you’ll find a couple of tea-bags. I like to carry a few with me, just in case.
Gladys: Mavis, you’re a life-saver! Now pull those chairs over here by the fire and break out the Hobnobs. We’ll live it up!
Mavis: I don’t know about living it up, but I am ready for a cuppa. I only wish Sheila hadn’t gone on alone. The snow does seem to be easing, though, so as soon as we’ve had this, we’ll set off ourselves…
To be continued…