Anna Stonehouse’s lovely establishment, the salon called Natural Beauty, faces into Allendale’s Market Square. I’ve heard that men are welcome within, but those of my generation are possibly not completely persuaded, though they might, just, indulge in a little skin moisturiser, might they, possibly? Ummmm, nah. I think the pub is a bigger attraction to guys our age.
Anyway, for the diary entry today, which by the way comes in rather randomly, much like life itself, as regular readers will be quite aware . . . for the entry today I’ve sent Carrie and dear neighbour Georgie Welton in for a beauty session (is that what you call it these days — I don’t think so — more of a facial/body toning session perhaps?) to pick up a few nuggets of local wisdom (no, not gossip, since you ask!). Rather, I asked them to bring home a sense of how the shop is doing, what it’s like in the Market Square, how it feels to be ladies who lunch and are treated in the same day, and by the way, I didn’t send them in at all of course — they were going in as a kind of joint Christmas present to themselves, I think. Today was the best time they could manage in the shop’s busy schedule.
So that’s a sort of clue already to how this entry is going. Since Anna took over the failing Village Shoppe about 5 years ago now, she’s gone from strength to strength. And I don’t mean the strength of the Allendale Spirit cordials husband Will produces from hedgerow berries and strong alcohol, lovely as they are too.
Anna makes her own beauty products now, using them on herself and her clients to great acclaim. Carrie reports that she feels invigorated, more youthful, full of charm and grace (no, I exaggerate — she feels better and more toned within her skin) after her facial massage. And Georgie, who bought a super eye-shadow from Anna’s Moonstone brand, is positively sparkling after her treatment.
It’s not every day you get to have a special salon treatment of expert massage and attention, by someone who loves her job, and loves her clients devotedly. And they give her that devotion back.
They say that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but surely it never hurts, gentlemen, to give the apple of your eye an extra boost of vitality; men of my generation could do better in terms of chivalry towards our partners now, couldn’t we?! And maybe we should try some moisturiser too, what do you think? Hmmm, so that’s this year’s birthday presents sorted then.