Tag Archives: health

A Tale of Irrationality and Mandel-thingies

I’m on a Swiss train waiting impatiently to feel hungry so I can eat the mandelhoernli I have laid up in my handbag. To some extent, I don’t even like them. Continue reading

Throbbing in the Black Forest: Sauna as an Extreme Sport

At its best a sauna is a place of extremes. And sometimes it requires all my will to take it to the max. It’s not the heat that gets me so much as the cold.

The sauna I frequent is a little hut at the bottom of the garden. (Fairytale settings just spring from the German ether – thank you, Brothers Grimm)  Around 5.30pm the potbelly is lit with pine. About an hour later it’s ready – depending on the ambient temperature and one’s predilection for heat. Fifty degrees Celsius is sufficient for my ageing parents. (Bear in mind that the highest air temperature ever recorded in Death Valley was 57°C (134°F) in July 1913.) However, for me it still feels clammy at 60 degrees.

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The Tick That Roared

The fine and ancient art of tick removal, which my grandmother taught my mother and my mother taught me, involves the use of a suffocating agent, such as methylated spirits or oil (whiskey will also do if you can bear the wastage), or something to put the wind up the creature in question, such as the hot head of a recently-extinguished match. The aim is to make the blighter let go. There’s no point pulling it off because its head remains with the jaws clamped in position causing a maddening itch for days. Continue reading

Taking the Waters

My Catalan cousin-in-law told me I must ‘take the waters’ whilst in Caldes de Boi. When on childhood holidays, her mother made her and her siblings do so. I thought, ‘How lovely of her, taking care of my health and helping me get the maximum from my stay.’  Continue reading

If Only I Felt Like Being Covered In Chocolate

Oh, that’s right – I did. And I was.

I had had a guided tour of the Caldes de Boi centre and was pondering the extensive menu of health- and beauty-enhancing treatments available. The moment of choice was upon me. Continue reading