A Victorian love affair… on ice

I’ve always liked Melbourne.  What’s not to like?  Great food, great shopping, shows, parks and gardens, trams… and some very good friends live there too.  That’s a bonus, because it gives us a reason to visit – although never often enough.  This is the first of probably a few posts about the wonderful time we had there between Christmas and New Year.

As soon as I found out that there was an ice rink near our accommodation, I knew I’d have to take Pearl.  She loves to watch figure skating on TV, and has asked to go skating several times.  I always have to say no, because there is no rink near us (by which I mean within an hour’s flying time).

I kept it secret from her until we got to Melbourne, then extracted promises of good behaviour in return for a trip to the rink.  It was a bit much to expect, really, given the excitement of travel and Christmas, and stresses of time-zone and accommodation changes.  But she was “good enough”, and so we went.

We went to an evening session, leaving the little ones with The Dad to be bathed and put to bed.  Fainjin, in particular, was most put out.  “I need to go skating too!”  He probably would have been racing around the rink in no time, leaving me crawling on the ice after him.

Pearl and I put our skates on, and tottered towards the ice.  “If I can’t walk on this carpet-stuff, how on earth will I manage on ice?” I wondered.  Pearl echoed my thoughts.

We managed.  The pair of us made a circuit of the rink, clinging like limpets to the barrier, regularly losing our footing and making cartoonish flailing motions to regain balance.  It could have been embarrassing, but we were both having too good a time to care, and there were plenty of other beginners there too.  It was so good to laugh at ourselves and each other, and just enjoy each other’s company.

After a couple of circuits, Pearl started letting go of the barrier.  Then she told me not to come with her on the next circuit, because “I skate better without you, Mummy”.  And she did.  She went all the way around without holding the barrier – and without falling.  She shuffled slowly along, very carefully, but she did it, and she was glowing with pride (and maybe exertion) when she came back.

I let go of the barrier a few times, but she was waaaay better than I was.  I was so proud of her!  I had intended to skate for an hour then go home, but that quickly extended to an hour and a half.  Then, since they closed the ice for 10 minutes of maintenance just as we were about to do our last circuit, another half hour.  Neither of us really wanted to leave.

Sorry, no photos, since that would have involved letting go of something to hold the camera!  Next time we skate – and we will again, one day – I will ask someone else to take photos for me.

© UpsideBackwards 2011.

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2 Responses to “A Victorian love affair… on ice”

  1. Veronica Samuels Says:

    Happy New Year, Kate!

    I’m looking forward to taking my daughter ice skating next year. It sounds like you two had a blast! And, I can totally relate to enjoying the moment too much to pick up the camera. Sometimes the memories are worth more!

    Veronica Samuels 🙂

    • Kate @ upsidebackwards Says:

      Thanks, Veronica, and Happy New Year to you too 🙂 We did have a blast, it was great fun. It was only my second time ever ice-skating, I wish I’d had the opportunity when I was a kid – or even to go more often now, and get some lessons or something. I hope you and your daughter enjoy it as much as we did!

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