I can’t believe how quickly the last month has gone.  I am now finished exams, finished uni in Canada.  Exams sucked, so damn stressful it was not fun.  But on the plus side, as soon as exams ended all those fun things exchange is about have started to dominate my schedule again.  All-you-can-eat sushi with friends, walks through dodgy streets and other adventures were my celebration after my last exam.

I finally got to test out my new-old ice skates yesterday.  I got them for less than $5 ages ago, and have been excited to take them for a test… slide.

I have only ever been skating a few times before and I am not very good. My saving move is to hold on to the end to stop or regain balance.  When I told some friends this, they informed me that the outdoor rink in Hamilton didn’t have an edge.  This shocked and frightened me.  No edge?!?! How do you stop? How do you gain confidence?! So many problems! Regardless, I laced up my snazzy skates (a process that took much longer than expected) and tentatively stood on the ice.

The laces are very complex.

I told Mark that I was holding his hand not only because I liked him but because I needed to gain balance – and to NOT let go.  My skates are figure skates.  They are very pretty, but are basically shoes on blades.  They don’t provide much support and I think you are supposed to have some sort of talent to operate them.  I got the feel though and tested out the ice.

The ice was, as expected, slippery.

It’s so fun to skate outdoors!  The rink is right by the harbour so it feels as though you are skating on the huge.  I started to get the feel of it eventually, and if I didn’t look at the amazing Canadians who seemed to skate as naturally as I walk, I didn’t feel too embarrassed about my skills.  We don’t have a lot of ice in Australia after all, it is mainly confined to the freezer.

After skating around in the cold, Mark and decided to warm up in the cafe.  I have come to really love Williams Fresh cafe.  They have been my study spot during session but work just as well for ice-skate breaks.  There was even an open fire to go with my hot chocolate and apple pie.

It got dark quickly (the sun is setting around 4.30pm these days) and we had to brave the cold once again.  But it was much easier with warm food in our bellies.  Winter brings a whole new dimension to not having a car.  It is really cold to walk a lot, and to wait for buses.  But on the plus side you can to appreciate the lovely views and play with the frozen puddles.


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