A musing or two

Since the heat struck a few days ago the telly has Ad’s for all sorts of Summer stuff. But the most mystifying are the ones for spas. Spas in Ireland are the sister equivalent to the golf courses that erupted like weeds all over the place. So much so that you could damn near wallop a dimpled ball from coast to coast on whatever line one happened to choose. Spas performed a similar function and given the sheer volume of them they are offering all sorts of ‘treatments’. Some of these treatments are just off the ruddy wall. What conceivable good can come from having a bunch of fluvial stones placed on spots down ones back, heated or otherwise. I could see a benefit were these of a heft that might cause serious pressure, but these are about the size of a fist. As to aroma therapy, lets just say ‘a right proper seeing to’ would probably remove catarrh much more effectively. Anyway, it seems every third or so Ad’s on the telly is for this or that Spa. And this or that treatment. But what is a Keralan threader. And why the devil would some smiling chick from the Deccan plateau be headhunted to some health resort in the depths of the Irish countryside.

In 1985 and since the price of Wool has been so low that it costs more to get it off the sheep than it is worth by some distance. And since the national flock isn’t and never was of sufficient numbers to demand a cohort of fully professional shearers like they have in the Argentine, Australia and New Zealand. Even in the UK, or France for that matter, the flock numbers won’t justify such an economic group. So what we get each year is an influx of professionals from those countries where they would be otherwise unemployed during the southern autumn and winter. They arrive here in Europe and do much like the harvesting gangs in the American mid west and Canada, move north with the summer. In France from the first week in May and will shear about 150+sheep per day through France England Wales Ireland, ending up in Scotland about the third week in June. Leaving behind them thousands upon thousands of happy tidy trimmed sheep well able to withstand the suns rays. Frankly, use of the word gambol wouldn’t be over-egging the pudding when you see the difference pre and post the clip.

Being assiduous in my devotions to the blogosphere. Or in other words bored witless watching schlock on the telly where the darn Ad’s had more creative and acting content than the programming they bracket. Anywoos, I went questing the new to me term/profession;  Keralan threader. And if the gobshite poring your coffee deserves the compliment of the Profession of Barista then these ladies (for ladies it is to a man) deserve at the very least an MD. For having searched the internet and nary a peep with the term.  I asked the ladies of the family. Who informed me. Well, it seems, the gals from Kerala perform much the same function as those gangs from the antipodes.

I don’t know if this profession has extended outside Ireland. OR even how long these women have come to Ireland to perform their magical painless metamorphoses. But it would seem they are in early this year as normally the requirements don’t occur til the kids are off school and the Mná na hÉireann are out and about on beaches and swimming pools. So this year it seems they will have three trips to the ol’sod instead of the normal two.

As to the why’s I’m writing about this. Well I’m not going to be the only one with these visions in my mind. And if you think there is nothing that would deserve a MD then remember the way they go about their task has them holding a thread between one hand and the mouth while drawing with the other.


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16 Responses to A musing or two

  1. Kelly says:

    Okay…I’m still confused about the whole Keralan threader business. Maybe it’s getting lost in translation so to speak.

    As for wool…I can count on one hand the number of wool items in my house. Not much call for it in my clime. Besides, it makes me itch.

    • Vince says:

      The Indian women come over to remove hair from the women. Depilation I think it’s called. But they have a special method with a thread to painlessly remove from the root. And I wish I didn’t know this.

      Surprisingly, wool is making a big comeback. Even down your way. It wicks better than cotton.

      • Kelly says:

        Ahhh, now I understand.

        • Vince says:

          Frankly Kelly understanding has eluded me on so many levels on this subject. Why, for instance, would having an Indian chick with her nose inches from your armpit be a selling point. And it is. Granted they developed this method. But it’s hardly under copyright.

  2. R. Sherman says:

    We don’t have many sheep in my area. They’re mostly out west, especially in northern Nevada, I think, because of the Basque immigrants. In fact, I’ve not seen a lamb chop in the local grocery ever. The wool makes nice sports coats, though and I wouldn’t trade those for anything.


    • Vince says:

      Yeah, there’s nothing like a good jacket. Can be hard to get a good one though. I find the penchant for ultra thin cloth, frankly, annoying. Bloody Italians are to blame.
      The Germans do a nice felt type garment down where your wife comes from that makes one feel snug.

      On the wool question in the USA. Friends who come from Vermont have told me that there are similar walled fields from the 18th century and earlier that were forested over in the 1820. They lost the market to Australia and New Zealand. While the areas in New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada and California where there were flocks historically the settled Indians like the Navaho and the Hopi had village flocks. Even the Apache had large flocks which they crossed the border in search of grazing. We forget that the Spanish had free run of the western area for 320 odd years before the first northern European came in any numbers.

  3. Kimberly says:

    I have been threatening to try threading, but haven’t yet. Some say it’s better than waxing because it doesn’t stretch the skin, esp the sensitive areas. Waxing is painful but quick, while threading is supposedly a long, dull pain. Six of one I guess.

    I had some really soft and warm wool sweaters when I lived in Boston, but not really needed when I came home to CA. I did keep a wool winter coat, but have probably not worn it more than twice in the 12 years since I’ve been back. I’m sure with your heat wave (is it still warm?) that the local sheep don’t really need their wool coat either and are thrilled to be rid of it.

    • Vince says:

      In the normal run of things I’m of the how sausages are made and how you lot keep yourselves being co-equal mysteries best left alone. But this one got in while exhausted at the end of a day spent entirely outside. And once in, it’s hard not to process it.
      Now leaving the hoohawh aside. What about the pits and the stink emanating from them. These women are Hindu. Non beef eaters. Just imagine the aroma of rotting flesh wafting from even the most scented armpit. And just how near to the subject they work would make evasion impossible.
      Technically though, as it were. The threading lessens the hair over time since it corkscrews the site with a degree of tension and with it the root and any baby hairs. So after a few treatments the post winter simian look, delicately referred in these parts with ‘she’s gone for the French look this year’, disappears over time.

      On the wool, apparently they are using wool in those hi-tec sports rig. It’s wicking ability is far better than anything man made. The wool having linear ridging. And it’s the same for tee’s and other light weight casual wear once it’s in a blend.

      • Kimberly says:

        It would be a job very much to be desired wouldn’t it. Not one I would want. Yes, the whole hair removal process should be kept to one’s self. Like sausages (laughed at that comparison by the way) its best to not think too much about anyone’s methods. I would have said women’s methods, but men have jumped on the hair removal bandwagon too. In fact the first I ever heard about threading was from a man – a gay man, but a man nonetheless. :).
        The spa experience is lost on me for the most part. Whether it’s I’m not willing to waste an hour or two at one or that someone I don’t know touching me gives me the heebie jeebies. Regardless, other than a few basic services I’m not keeping spas in business.

        • Vince says:

          Ah I don’t know about that. But I feel if it takes me longer to get ready to go out than the chick I’m with, something is wrong. What’s the point of two attempting for beauty. Where’s the contrast. And really you’d have to say there is a latent lesbianism and a hankering for the hockey playing sorority chick if a woman is expecting her man to de-hair anything below the neck.

          • Kimberly says:

            Ha ha ha! I couldn’t agree more. Making an effort is one thing, but I just don’t get the primping and preening metrosexual who uses more hair products and moisturizers than I do. And the shoes? I’m the girl, I should have MORE shoes! 😉

  4. Shrinky says:

    The thought of a woman sewing off my hairy bits doesn’t do that much for me, least of all the idea of actually paying her for this dubious privilege., Funny how they’ve replace the term “Health Farm” to “Spa” these days. Back in the days before I married, and had more money than sense, I frequently booked myself away for a week’s worth of pummeling and pampering in such establishments – but that was well back in the days when I was still happy to lay my flesh bare, without near bursting with the effort to suck my bellies in (sigh)..

    I didn’t know we imported sheep-shearers.

    • Vince says:

      Near as I can figure the method is like a twine twist. Like a swing turned on itself. A length of cotton doubled over and twisted on itself. Then the mouth holds the loop, with the ends in each hand. Drawing them apart and them returning on itself the hair is would round one of them and drawn out. It seems to be unbelievably simple. But *&^%$£ who would want to be that near anybody. Well….

      Yeah, imported sheep-shearers. They are really fast at it. They go through huge numbers a day.

      What I mind about the Spa notion is the utter insanity of it. The stripping of hair seems a valid use but there are a whole heap of ‘treatments’ that can only be describes as fucking with the gullible. If putting stones in a line down your back actually did anything we’d all be tush-up with ruddy cobbles sitting on our spine. And I get cupping, that has an illustrious history. But tea-lights perched on your forehead, chest, navel and each thigh smacks of black-ops interrogation.

  5. Rebecca S. says:

    I’ve only ever heard of threading over here where it pertains to eyebrows. My hairdresser has a Phillippina sister in law who performs the procedure to bring the bushiness down and trim the eyebrows. I would think that in India, armpit threading would only be done by a lowly servant type.
    The hotel where my husband works is a ‘resort and spa’ but it has always been so because it was built in the early 1900’s around the main attraction, which were and are the hot springs pools. They do have all kinds of treatments as well. I like a little ‘aromatherapy’ myself – lavender essential oils in the bath help to relax me, and I do love some good massage therapy for my aching back. However, I don’t spend money on pedicures and the like. I’d rather go out for a good meal 🙂

    • Vince says:

      You have Spas and spas, and a tap in a building down some country lane doesn’t a Spa make.

      Really. Aromatherapy. I get the massage. Not the rubbing on of oils massage, that’s just porn. No no no no, the Turkish one or the deep tissue one. There are a few others. But massage that causes things to break up, crack and snap. The ones that has you coming off whatever surface with more that a tinge of wonder that you are in fact still able to do so.
      As to aromas. I light tea lights with lavender, eucalyptus or teatree oil to ward off pong in the house. I cannot abide those aerosol ‘fresh air’ things. Sometimes dumping a bit of dried sage with a bit of water into a oil over tealight burner thingy does wonders for you can seriously let rip.

      Yeah, the pedicures are part of the package. Most are connected to a hotel. So it’s an all in type of thing. They come out stained, polished and varnished all ready for whatever feminine judgements they meet.

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