This blog post is a weird one. Weird because it actually has less to do with cake and everything to do with one of my weirdest “spa” experiences.
I don’t know if it’s because of the full moon, or stress, baking cakes in this bl00dy heatwave, tax returns or having a baby that really doesn’t care for sleeping, but I’ve been sleeping terribly. My neck and shoulders were tight AF, hunched over making fiddly fat unicorn fondant models, with big knobbly knots in and I was pining for a massage for days.
So my husband dearest surprised me by booking me into a massage at this one great little Chinese acupuncture massage place where we’ve been together before. Just to be sure it was the same place, I quickly looked it up on google and found them...with a shocking 2.5 star rating. Curious, I looked into them more, because we’d been before and it was great and I couldn’t figure out why it ranked so low. And then I saw this review by a “Kate”:
Now, I wasn’t born yesterday, and had a good guess at what the extra service might be, but knowing that review sites are full of fake reviews by competitors, slander by disgruntled customers etc I figured meh whatevs, I’ve been before and it was fine! So off I go, trundling into the familiar reception to see a small lady eating a very juicy nectarine quite briskly and wearing a very tight and incredibly short Love Island-esque leopard print dress that left very little to the imagination. I said, “Hi, I’m here for my massage”. She didn’t stop slurping at the nectarine when she asked, “You want massage now?”. I answered with well yeah cuz I’m booked in. She looked a little confused and scanned her diary which I poked my nose into and saw two appointments for the day - one of which had my name on and I pointed at it. She looked up at me, still smacking away at that nectarine, “No, this is man”. I then explained that it was my husband who booked it for me, and I’m not a man.
I could literally see the abject disappointment in her face and I started feeling really sad - she might have been disappointed because she thought I was passing trade in addition to her bookings for the day, or that I’m not going to be opting for any “extra services”. She then put her half eaten nectarine in the nectarine bowl and told me to go along into the first room on the left - the most brightly lit room that may as well be an operating theatre.
Now if you’re still reading, I hope you can kinda sense how awkward I was feeling at this point, like a lamb to the slaughter. I undressed and plonked my pregnancy ravaged body onto the massage bed face down in the hole and she literally attacked my shoulders saying, “Deep tissue massage”. I should’ve said noooo just the gentlest lightest Swedish feather like massage please but part of me thought no pain no gain and maybe this is the only way to get rid of those knobbly knots. But it doesn’t matter anyway, she was karate-chopping and kneading so hard that I couldn’t even breathe properly, let alone respond. She then climbed on top of me and used her elbows to grind down for 60 minutes which actually felt like 600. It was torture. My eyes were squint shut, palms sweaty and fists rolled tight. She tried to make some small talk, asking me what I did, where I worked, and I managed to respond in monosyllables - Cake, Bake. What kind of cake? All. Where you make cake? London. I like cake. Yes. You want more pressure yeah? NOOOOO.
Finally, it just stopped and she said “Finish” and left the room. I could barely turn over and move off the bed, hobbling over to my clothes and getting ready to leave. On my way out, I saw her back at the desk eating the rest of her nectarine and she pushed the bowl of nectarines towards me. Maybe that was her way to make amends for the absolute pummelling I got, or maybe it was the “extra service” replacement but I declined politely and tried my best to smile through my pained face.
Baking with the sorest and swollen neck and shoulders has never been more challenging. Even lifting my arm to hold a whisk was a feat, let alone piping and decorating three tiered versions of our popular fat unicorn cake!
I am never having a deep tissue massage ever again. The end.