Thursday, 26 May 2011

Mud Rasul

A couple of weekends ago my wife and me spent the night in a posh hotel at the south end of Lake Windermere. We got it half price as part of a coupon deal on the internet.

Part of the deal was use of the gym and health spa next door and they threw in a free 30 minute Indian head massage. We spent the afternoon in the gym which was moderately well kitted out but as it was directly over the pool it was a hot as a boiler room.

The river running from the south end of Lake Windermere went right past the window so it was a decent view while running the treadmill.

I had a splash about in the pool while my wife read her book then we went for our head massage. However the girl who did the massaging had called in sick, her hands were probably cramped up with all the customers using their coupons.

We were offered a Mud Rasul instead.

I had never heard of one of these but it entailed putting on a pair of paper underpants and entering our own 'personal temple' which was basically a shower cubicle with two plastic chairs set into the wall with shower heads attached and a thing that looked like an ornamental bird bath in the middle.

We were given a bowl of different coloured muds, each one for different parts of the body and after smearing oursleves head to foot we looked like members of a long lost tribe. This was great, one of the things I loved about playing Rugby at school was diving into the mud and getting as filthy as a Warthog .

Scented steam then came out of the bird bath and we sat sweating in there for 30 minutes. For some reason I was finding this a turn on but I won't go into that right now, this is a blog for all the family.

After the steam came a 'gentle monsoon' which meant they switched the showers on.

After cleaning off the mud we were wrapped in fluffy robes and sat in comfy chairs with a cup of herbal tea and a copy of Mens Health and a nice view of the mountains around Lake Windermere.

To be honest this was a great experience and I could quite happily visit a spa hotel again. Sounds like I am embracing my feminine side as I get older.

Thursday, 19 May 2011

The End of the World

According to several bloggers the world is going to end this Saturday. To celebrate here is a repost looking at the ways Hollywood thinks we will cark it.


James Bond jumps onto the Star Wars bandwagon when tubby Frenchman with evil beard Hugo Drax plans to flood the Earth with nerve gas while he floats about in a space station talking in a montone voice.
His plan to repopulate the Earth in his own image ends in tears when Roger Moore and some space Marines arrive in a shuttle and smash everything up. I didn't even know America had a space army.

Mad Max

Petrol runs out and everybody goes to war, leaving the survivors to eat dog food in the Australian desert.
Everyone drives about in stock cars looking for petrol and nobody seems to have considered alternative forms of transport. The baddies dress in leather bondage gear while the goodies dress in cricket pads.
All apart from Tina Turner who wears a dress made out of pan scrubs and is town mayor.

I Am Legend

Wander around an empty New York City in the company of Will Smith and his doggy. Play golf on an aircraft carrier and talk to a shop dummy while picking up a film at a deserted Blockbuster. You'd be better off reading the book for a better ending (the mutants are now normal society and he is the monster). Best bit of the film is Will singing to his dog.


A band of people trying to survive an apocalypse of zombies. To be honest I don't know why they bother.
The first thing I'll do when the zombies turn up is to get bitten so I can become one.
Then I can shuffle about all day looking like a drunk, not worrying about going to work or personal hygiene and moaning. A bit like living in South Leeds.

The Road

Father and son wander across a burned Earth where nothing grows and all animal life has died. The few survivors stumble through the wasteland looking for whatever they can eat, including each other. The book is brilliant but as bleak as a rain-swept Yorkshire moor in winter and more depressing than a boxful of dying puppies.

So there we are, lots to look forward to on Saturday. See you at the end of the world.

Friday, 13 May 2011

Famous Blast Words

FAME, I want to live forever! Well, you can't because in 3 billion years our galaxy will collide with the Andromeda galaxy causing entire solar systems to smash into each other and be torn apart. So nothing lasts forever.

This theory has not deterrred the neverending supply of deluded people who want to appear on shows like X Factor, American Idol and Britain's Got Talent from queuing outside TV studios. Desperate for a chance to peform in a stadium full of lasers and howling people waving signs saying things like 'WE LUV U DEREK' while a panel of sneering multi-millionaires make them dance like monkeys for our entertainment.

These people don't seem to know what they want, they chase after fame but don't consider the potential downside of achieving it.

Let's say you have achieved your ambition to be famous, you've got money and access to drugs and lots of people want to have sex with you. Now you have to worry about remaining famous, if you slip out of the limelight for a millisecond there are an army of younger, better looking people with an eye on your spot at the top.

If you go to a club you could remain stone cold sober all night but when you emerge the paparazzi will take a million phtographs of you and the one where your eyes are half closed and your jaw is hanging open like a village idiot's will make the cover of the checkout scandal rags.

Is this sort of fame really worth it? Surely the fame achieved by people like Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King or Marie Curie is a more healthy kind. These people had a goal and strived to reach it, fame was a byproduct of this and not their intention.

Contestants on these talent shows often say how music is their life and all they have ever wanted is a career in music. Well why aren't forming bands, writing their own songs and doing the club circuit.

Instead they have a few drunken karaoke sessions down the pub and think they are ready. They aren't interested in achieving anything other than fame. If Simon Cowell told them he would make them a star if they shoved a pineapple up their arse spiky end first on live television, most of them would bend over.

We are so obsessed with the entertainment industry that we lose sight of the fact that if we al tried to achieve fame then our society would collapse as no-one was doing the real, unsung work.

So my advice to all those starry-eyed dreamers out there is to get a real job and contribute something worthwhile to society instead of just another bland, factory produced crooner.

Thursday, 5 May 2011

Modern Art.

A while ago I was out in the centre of Leeds with my wife. We had finished shopping and were booked into a restaurant but we had a couple of hours to kill.
So we decided to spend these in the City Art Gallery.

It was free of charge and open to all so we thought an injection of culture would do us some good.

As we entered the gallery we walked past the reception desk and into a white room. I knew that there had been some building work done on the gallery recently and at first I thought that the room must have been unfinished as the builders had left some stuff behind.

Then I noticed that these items had little cards on the wall next to them with the names of pieces and the artist written on. This was in fact the exhibition.

Amongst the masterpieces on display was a load of scrunched up sellotape hanging from the ceiling called 'Cloud', a broom handle wrapped in tinfoil and leant against the wall, some twigs in a tripod shape with water filled balloons hanging off them and a bolt sticking out of the wall wrapped in coloured ribons.

Oh, and a Lidl catalogue with the middle cut out leaving only the binding and a one centimetre border.

In every room of the gallery there stood a member of staff with a walkie talkie making sure that we obeyed the signs that warned us against touching the exhibits. I didn't see how touching any of these would make the slightest bit of difference.

Now I'm not going to start saying that I think all modern art is rubbish. Art is being created all of the time and much of it is beautiful, but when I see something that looks like it took ten minutes to knock together then I don't see the point.

There seems to be an argument that says art is in the eye of the beholder and reading meaning into something that may not be apparent to others justifies the title of art.

By this rationale I could go to my local builders yard, pick up a breeze block and state that it represents 'The Despair of the Penal System'. Hey presto, instant art.

Art should be something that takes effort to create and provokes an emotional response in those who experience it and not just feelings of puzzlement and annoyance.

Calling something art might make it art but not necessarily good art.

But then I never went to university so what do I know.