Sadly we don’t have a permanent ice rink in our neighbouring towns and cities, but one of the newer Christmas traditions has seen a rise in temporary rinks to allow ice skating over the festive season. Whilst most of these are outside and located near Christmas markets, the one local to us is inside at a large conference centre and rather than closing at the New Year, remains open until the end of the February half term holiday. This gave us an ideal opportunity today to introduce the children to ice skating in a quieter session. I love ice skating, from my childhood memories of Torvill and Dean dancing the Bolero to the best student job I ever had as a receptionist at our now demolished ice rink, ice skating has always seemed a special activity. Today’s visit to the ice rink only emphasised my delight for the sport. The hall with the rink has been decorated beautifully, blue lights sparkle against the snow white ice and a great play list only enhances the experience. The little ones took their first tentative steps in the mini rink and supported ably by the penguins (such cool names including Barry and Mark) they were soon whizzing around the ice, I think Daddy could have done with a penguin too as he clung to the side, adults don’t have the fearlessness that young children possess. Once our confidence and skills grew we progressed to the main rink, which was lovely to skate around. Our session was for an hour and I was so impressed by the children’s enthusiasm and interest in ice skating, nobody noticed the time and we were all a little sad to come off, full of ideas of what we would try next time.
Living on the coast, it is quite unusual to have snow, so I tend not to get too excited when it is forecast around the country. And so it was this morning, I was following my usual morning routine when Little Man rushed in to say it was snowing, I hadn’t even looked out the window! I presumed this was a little flurry but was really surprised to see lots of snow falling and the roads and pavements blanketed in white. After wrapping up warm, I left DH to do the school run and walked to work. The steam trains looked beautiful covered in snow and other features which normally look so ordinary looked special. School started a little later today but once we had all arrived, we decided to make the most of the weather and had one of those amazing moments when we all piled into the playground for a snow ball fight, the giggles, screams and exhilaration, a perfect moment. Once we had used all the snow, it was back into class to dry all our soggy gloves and to warm up with a hot drink. Sadly, that was the end of the snow, the temperature quickly warmed up and by 10.30am there was no sign that it had ever snowed. However it was the memories ( and photos) of the day that will linger on, an unexpected magic moment.