MY treat," offered my friend Julie.

"I've booked an ambient spa day for us with a beauty treatment of your choice."

Brilliant, I thought. An ambient spa day. The most time I spend on myself is a 20-minute bubble bath every now and then.

After lunch, the four of us headed to a Glasgow hotel where we were asked to fill out the usual forms. Typical, I thought. I took the day off work to get away from paperwork.

With the mundane part now out of the way we began reading through the menu of treatments on offer, until I came across a paraffin leg wax.

"That can't be right." I said to the girls. "Putting paraffin on your legs."

They laughed as they continued to search for their perfect treatment.

A perfectly coiffured therapist called Cheryl appeared to talk us through the variety of treatments on offer, and after much deliberation Christine and Julie opted for the seaweed wrap and body scrub - which the brochure described as 'a unique Scottish experience where you can relax in fresh, hand harvested seaweed from the Hebridean coast followed by a Himalayan salt body scrub.'

"Seaweed and salt," said Christine. "I'm not sure if we've to bathe in it or eat it."

"I need a wonder treatment to de-stress and relax me," suggested an uptight Mae.

"Well," Cheryl offered, "we have the perfect therapy for you called Chakra Well-being.

"This spa treatment will help bring harmony back to your mind and body by balancing key energy points."

Cheryl paused briefly to adjust her pristine uniform before continuing: "Subtle healing of the chakras will culminate by pouring warm oil over the third eye to relax every sense," she added.

"The third eye. Chakras?" questioned a bemused Mae. "Never heard of it - but I'll give it a go."

Cheryl then turned to me.

"Have you decided yet, Janice?"

"Sounds like Reflexology might help me sleep better," I said.

"Definitely," nodded Cheryl. "It's based on an ancient Egyptian tradition and is performed entirely on the feet using a pressure point technique.

"Reflexology induces deep relaxation and improves circulation."

Deep relaxation, I thought. That's exactly what I need.

After changing into fluffy white bathrobes we were shown into adjoining treatment rooms.

James, my reflexology expert, entered the room and after a brief introduction got to work. However, the instant he touched my incredibly sensitive foot it erratically flew in the air and I wished I had opted for another treatment.

"Don't worry, I will be firm," James assured me as he pulled my foot back down to earth.

And firm he was.

He was so firm that all of my little piggies felt bruised and in need of a rest.

Every touch was like an electric shock.

"Ooh! Agh! That's rather uncomfortable," I said, tentatively, but James was unmoved.

"You'll appreciate this later; it produces deep relaxation." James moved his thumb slightly and pressed even harder.

I sat up on my elbows and glared at him, and with a solemn expression he said: "There's a lot of tension in your uterus."

"My uterus?" I repeated.

"How on earth can you tell that from my feet?

"I don't know about my uterus but the rest of me is bloody tense. Are we nearly finished?"

Ignoring my question he continued moulding my feet as though they were made of plasticine.

All of a sudden I was aware that someone in the next cubicle was snoring and I was suddenly envious of their obviously relaxing treatment.

Once changed and having a coffee we swapped stories of our experiences.

"I think I'll stick to an Indian head massage at the hairdressers in future," I laughed.

Mae piped up: "Thank goodness I'm a barber and not a beauty therapist as we don't offer any specialised treatments."

"Although," I interrupted, "my son went to the barber last weekend and even though it was 10.30am he was offered a beer!"

"No way," replied Mae, "some clients would be there all day."

"True," I agreed, "sounds like your profession is more straightforward."

Mae: "Not always."

And we braced ourselves for Mae's next escapade.

SHE said: "Last week a guy with shoulder-length hair came in and asked me for a complete makeover.

"How short do you want it ? I asked. 'I'm not sure, you're the expert', he replied.

"SoI offered him a one or a two."

"What's that?" I dared to ask.

"One is very short cut and a two leaves it a bit longer," Mae said.

Apparently the poor guy was undecided until Mae had a bright idea.

"Well, if you're not sure," she offered, "why don't I cut a one on one side and a two on the other and you can see which you prefer?"

After a lengthy silence the customer asked. "What happens if I don't like the number one side then?"

And I thought, perhaps there is a reason some barbers offer beer.