Without wishing to turn this into a medical journal, I am currently undergoing a course of inhalation treatments at the spa. Our local town is famous for its foul, hot, sulphurous waters which bubble up in lots of different places. The water is said to be very good, if drunk, for one's digestion, but it is also used to create steam which is dispensed to those with respiratory or sinus problems. I get the latter in the winter so I booked my series of sessions. The place is very, um, Germanic and 1960s, acres of white tiling, spotlessly clean, few decorations and staffed by frau-like female attendants* who brook no buggering around. The poor shot above, taken at great personal risk, gives a glimpse of one of the row of sinks where the inhalers sit, faced by a slightly vulgar nozzle out of which the steam jets. The view upon entering, particularly when it is full, is terrifying, with rows of old bleeders sitting rigid at their sinks, the women in hairnets, eyes tightly shut, their mouths wide-open in a ghastly blow-up doll rictus as they take the steam orally. Factor in the constant hissing, the clouds of steam and the background aroma of sulphur and it's a sort of healthy hell.
I always leave feeling a little light-headed after all that sulphury steam and on the first flight of stairs on the way out invariably miss my footing and nearly twist my ankle when confronted with the above.
*Oh nursey, nursey, I've been naughty, haven't I nursey?