I have surpassed myself this time. Stand back in awe. Prepare to BE AMAZED.
I ice skated.
I was a natural. I floated centimetres above the ice, carried forth by my own style and grace. I span, I piroetted, I completed a triple axle followed by an amazing finish where my partner threw me across the ice to stretch gracious and dramatic in a center spotlight, a vision of beauty and inner torment.
Ah, no. That was a teenage dream. Thank you Torvill and Dean.
Got a bit carried away there.
But I have now ice skated. Can tick that one off on my list of 100 Things To Do Before I Die.
The Christmas market has a tiny little icerink set up. It´s terrifyingly cute and christmassy- all lit up, Christmas trees on every corner, rugged up Germans drinking Glühwein hanging over the rails watching people speed past, the Castle on the hill above, walls glowing warmly in the snowy air.
Oh look, I´m getting all poetic. Must be the season.
So back to the reality of the situation. I was with a colleague and a few of his friends. This colleague, who I will nickname Torvill simply because it suits even though he´s a he, had come prepared with his own ice skates. Hmmmmmm. Yep I doubted I was going to be able to give him any serious competition out on the ice. The other two had to hire with me, and the three of us battled with ill-fitted shoes and wet laces for the rest of the evening while Torvill merrily skated circles around us.
With my boots finally laced and the blood from my damaged lacing fingers suitably staunched, I braved the ice.
Skate One placed on ice. Check. Skate Two placed on ice. Check. Upright. CheNooooooookay, Check. Handrail firmly grabbed. Check.
A few deep breathes and I pushed myself forward, left the security of the handrail behind me and entered the furious maelstrom. I slid forward, people young and old alike swerving to avoid me. I slowed. I stopped. I was still upright, but not moving forward. This would require moving my feet. Nope. Wasn´t happy with that idea. Not at all.
Then came Torvill to the rescue. Screaming up behind me at a hundred miles an hour he grabbed my hand and yanked me forward. There was nothing I could do. My ankles wobbled dangerously. I fought for balance. My left arm span frantic windmills in the air as I was propelled forward: skates first, body second, mouth yelling in fear a close third.
The first curve... negotiated. Although I do apolgise now to the elderly lady whom I whacked in the ear on the way past. I didn´t mean it, really I didn´t. Down the straight again. Next curve coming up. Hang on. Torvill had pulled the old slingshot manoeuver and whipped me past him. I was there! In front! Leader of the pack! Still upright!
From then on it was no holds barred. I tore around that rink. I stayed on my feet. I even tried some fancy stuff from my rollerskating days. I went backwards. I stood in the corner and discovered you could spin and spin and spin and spin. Although maybe I shouldn´t have had that Glühwein first.
I left the rink to a round of applause.
Thank you, thank you. I´m here till Thursday!