I originally purchased an amazon voucher for an offer at a beautician as a present for a friend of mine who likes this sort of pampering. However when the redeemed date approached rather than risk losing it altogether I presented myself for a massage, manicure and glass of champagne.
I must admit this was the first time I had visited a beautician and I went there with a open mind. My first impression as often more or less accurate was a lack of life about the place. The only person having a treatment was the owner herself .
I was asked to fill out a form, offered a cup of tea but it was more like a medical appointment than indulgent pampering. After a good 10 minutes of hanging about ,a middle aged but handsome woman introduced herself as Daffina, a Kosovan. She showed me to a small but tastefully decorated treatment room and begun the massage. I know a bit about massages as like many I have suffered in advance middle age, tweaks pulls and back ache. This massage was of the firmer variety but no criticism of that. Both the back ground music and absence of my siesta induced me to nod off a various moments.
After an hour’s massage I was given a mini- manicure. Daffina had already admitted the salon was suffering hence perhaps the offer . Its location in that anonymous area between Regents Park and Mornington Crescent was probably not the best . It lacked warmth . I speculated that the owner might have been set up by a rich husband or lover as the decor and treatment couched and chairs were costly. I can imagine some mug in the first throes of romance with a younger seductive woman sinking a hundred grand into the project . And losing it. I thought of two friends of mine that backed their wives in similar ventures that went bust in 6 months. I am not qualified to say what are the ingredients for a successful beauty salon but location, staff, sensible pricing and a counter business in products spring to mind.
At various points of the treatment I was bored stiff. Are you supposed to make conversation with the beautician? She seemed agreeable enough, had a daughter, I showed off my ethnic knowledge of the region gleaned some years ago from an animated Albanian who was my squeeze for 6 months . Hearing my mobile ping in my overcoat , I wondered if it was my wine merchant telling my bid at Christies auction of Chateau Petrus 61 was successful, early movements in the New York stock exchange and whether an invitation to the Excelsior at Florence in the spring for a few days had been accepted by a Venezuelan model I met in the dining car of the Venice Simplon Orient Express . One thing for sure I did not have 2 hours to be on massage , off message .
So I thanked but did not tip the owner now on the desk safe in the knowledge that I would be unlikely to return nor had I understood any further why such places are of attraction