Thursday, 30 March 2017


Fantasy Bob has recently returned from his annual visit to the Austrian ski slopes.  It was perfect cricketing weather.  Indeed for the Scottish cricketer it seemed unnatural - the sun shone continuously and the temperatures soared to 0 degrees.  Well beyond the usual temperature at the high point of the Scottish cricket season.  FB felt renewed, rejuvenated, ready for anything (maybe even facing leg spin).

But the weather may have had little to do with the new spring in his step.  In his hotel room he found the following exhortation.

Nature is our most beautiful example of holistic wellness. As is wellness in the Ötz Valley. It spurs us on to keep thinking. To create new things – to go one step further. To grow and evolve. Our wellness concept in the Ötz Valley picks up on this idea and achieves it in a world of simple elegance. A world where precious materials and perfected aesthetics meet in a seductive duet with a symphony of perfection, balance and harmony. You are invited to become acquainted with wellness in the Ötz Valley in its purest form.

How could he resist this siren call?

Readers who have had the misfortune to follow FB’s Witterings across the span of time will know how his every move is a  seductive duet embodying a symphony of perfection, balance and harmony.  (Particularly when he faces leg spin bowling). They will therefore understand how he hurried to accept the invitation to become acquainted with wellness in its purest form.

With simple elegance he entered the Hotel’s Wellness Centre to find a pristine world of saunas, steam baths, sprays, herbal tea and relaxation couches.  Bring on the Wellness - FB was ready to grow and evolve.

Pride of place in this complex was a large glass sided sauna with a commanding view of the mountains. This was a temple, nay a cathedral, of Wellness.  This was Wellness taken to a new level.  FB was about to discover there are levels of Wellness that he could not previously have imagined.

Celebrants in the Cathedral of Wellness

As FB sat contemplating the mountain view (and growing and evolving in his own manner), a high priestess of wellness entered the cathedral.  She greeted the faithful as they sat pink and perspiring on the benches.  She was here to perform the ritual aromatic infusion.  She assured them that the aromas of Meadow Herbs, Woodland Flowers, Alpine Spruce, Mountain Pine, or whatever was that day’s infusion, would regenerate them, banishing all manner of ills affecting their liver, heart, lungs and all other bits restoring them to the level of new born babes. 

She lifted her bucket and poured her magic solution on the coals.  With a hiss of steam the already demanding temperature soared to the barely bearable and amongst the faithful thousand pores opened.  The badness of wurstl, knodel, and in FB’s case, empire biscuits was eased away. The high priestess then took a specially designed ceremonial fan and wafted the sweetened hot air over the faithful.  FB inhaled deeply and sweated it out with his fellow disciples.  But he began to worry – Mountain Pine was all very well;  Alpine Spruce had its place.  But there was one aroma that seemed necessary to this level of Wellness.  He approached the High Priestess in mid-waft.

‘Achtung’, he intoned, summoning up his impressive command of the German language derived through painstaking study of Commando war comics in his misspent youth.  ‘Habenzie ein aroma auf linseed oil?’

For what other aroma could compare?  Even the smallest hint of linseed oil in the air would stir FB’s pulse, would cause all the world’s cares to slip off his shoulders, would bring to is mind images of sunshine, green grass, and the sound of leather on willow as that leg spinner was despatched to the far boundary.  It was real Wellness.  Wellness with a capital V.

‘Linseed oil.  I think not so.’ came the reply.  Noting the crumple in FB’s features teh priestess bravely tried to console him  ‘But we do serve Linsen suppe in the restaurant.’ 

FB returned to his perspiring contemplation of the mountain view.  He felt a little superior.   There was still a lot these people had to learn about true Wellness.