Published: January 19th 2011January 14th 2011
Since we didn’t get to ice skate in Paris, we thought we try to get it down here in London. Somerset House at Embankment on the Thames is a museum but over Christmas has an ice skating rink in the centre. Unfortunately, only one of us could skate at any one time for obvious reasons, so Jas being the ski instructor that he is, took Mykenzie first. Skiing/skating...it’s really all the same when it comes to teaching so I thought it would be more appropriate for Jas to start, then we would swap tickets and I'd have a go.
Each skating session ran for an hour and by the time we found the “box office” to buy the tickets, we were 15 minutes late. We still had to pay for the full hour though so to hurry things up I went to help Jas get Mykenzie all booted up in the skate rental room. It seems the skating rink is as dangerous a place these days as a nightclub because a big, burly bouncer approached us and asked for our tickets. Of course we only bought one adult ticket and therefore, not unlike a lot of nightclubs, I wasn’t allowed into the skate rental room! Off I slunk in search of a cappuccino and several minutes later from my warm vantage point in the bordering cafe, I watched them both stumble onto the ice. Well Mykenzie was stumbling; Jas was trying to keep himself from being pulled to the ice by a stumbling Mykenzie. It didn’t help that there were about 150 stumbling, school kids all trying to hold themselves up, whilst careening for the barriers. It was like watching a live game of Frogger (that’s an old-style Atari game for all Gen Y’s). It was hilarious in a frightful sort of way. Several times, whilst sipping on my cappuccino, I was trying to find Jas and Mykenzie when all of a sudden I’d see a petrified, wide-eyed teenager flying towards me, arms flailing, followed by a loud thump, then nothing. Seconds later, I’d see the same teenager slowly pull themselves to standing again before performing the whole, sorry episode on the opposite side of the skating rink! God help my family!
Thankfully, Jas and Mykenzie had found relative safety at the end of the rink in a small, separated area. In this area there were little penguins for kids to hold into whilst learning to skate. In theory it was a great idea but I think either Mykenzie was still a little young or we were just being pushy parents! She tried valiantly for about 15 minutes and then got tired so that was the end of that...almost.
The whole ice skating thing is great for a couple out on a romantic date but not so good for a family with young children. It’s way too much to expect a child of 3 to stand and skate for an hour at a time. We know that now, unfortunately, Somerset House don’t and they still charge any child under 12, the same amount. On top of this, there is nowhere for a parent to leave a small child whilst they have a little skate around. Jas couldn't leave her on the side of the ice rink for fear of the “ice marshal” reprimanding him, he couldn’t leave her in the skate room because I wasn’t allowed in there, and he couldn’t leave her just standing on the ice because she couldn’t stand by herself. So in the end Jas got so frustrated that he had a little verbal altercation with the rental staff. I could see steam starting to rise from Jas’s ears so I barged past the bouncers (if only I had the guts to do that back in my day) and in Jas’s defence, the staff were acting like 5 year olds. They were refusing to give their shoes back and basically being combative. Anyway, after that died down, I certainly didn’t feel like going for a skate and was certain the bouncers wouldn't let us swap tickets anyway, so off we went to find something else to whinge about!
We found ourselves walking down The Strand and up into Covent Garden. We wandered around this complex which was originally a fresh produce market and generally looked like tourists. We ended up in the London Transport Museum which was a very pleasant surprise. It was so full of interesting facts about the history of all forms of London transport and had lots of buses to climb on, trains to drive and other cool stuff to keep Jas, oops, Mykenzie interested as well.
Tonight we had a second attempt at getting all the girls together and I was proud of our effort. It’s so hard to get people together in London, that when any more than about 4 can drop everything and come out for a spur-of-the-moment gathering, it’s a big success. Anyway, it wouldn’t take much other than a few glasses of wine, to get a party happening tonight because we were at a bar with karaoke. And of course after a few glasses of liquid courage, Clare, Steph, Emma and I had a crack at.....well, does it really matter what song we sang? All I know, was that we sang at least one Pink song and maybe something from Glee!!! It was a great night and a missing camera battery and lost specs prove it!