Skating into trouble

First published in Your Say Hampshire Chronicle: Photograph of the Author by

I have now conquered the ice rink as well as the gym.

It shows how advanced our society is when we have a lazy afternoon and decide to spend an afternoon hurting ourselves in some artificial cold.

I had only “had fun” like this twice before, 30 seconds of hell on roller skates, most of which I spent on the floor, clinging to a lamp post crying, and the other when I went to the Winchester Christmas rink.

I was about as graceful as a hippo with wind, spending most of the time sliding around on my back/face/both. I wasn’t expecting much. Even before I’d begun I’d been accused of chatting up the ticket lady. Yes I know your name, no I don’t stalk you, you’re wearing a badge.

I was grossly mistaken. As soon as I burst out on to the ice, I was transformed and became Vladimir Bunyanov, Russian Man Queen of the Ice. I hardly fell at all, and even managed to lose the dual windmill effect used by most ice fools, choosing instead a kind of Old-People-Shuffle.

At one point I was skating round when my left skate caught on a piece of uneven floor. This meant my left foot froze, (HAHA!), and my right kept going, turning in a full, panicked pirouette.

Without the time to scream as I normally do, I continued flawlessly out of the spin. I noticed people around had stopped and were watching. As I’m a bit of a showman, I threw in a jump to please my newly-found fans, leaving just time to remember I had no idea how to before I landed upside down.

Later, I had to throw myself out of the way to avoid running over a five-year-old, punching someone in the eye as I did. I apologised to the small, grinning obstacle but weirdly not to the guy now nursing his face.

The kid came to find me later to explain how it was a good job he was talented and agile enough to avoid my useless floundering. I agreed, so he turned around to leave and fell over. Trust me, it happens a lot.

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