Amazingly, we still have frost. Frost in different guises. Somehow, after all the gloomy predictions last summer, floods, global warming etc., I did not think I’d ever have to scrape my car again, not in England at least. Some of my shrubs have just started to reflower and hey ho, there it is, frost all over the place, a lovely white lawn, car thick in grey hardness, fields all cool and still, hard looking, an endless sheen of grey, silver, white, a thin layer over a hard surface. Strange this, but lovely and for some reason or other it all reminds me of skating. And of course, the Dutch have their very own ‘elf-stedentocht’, at least they used to have in the past. Not sure where that has got to nowadays. Such an unheard of activity in England, except for the indoor rinks. What I’m talking about is the real thing of course.
I used to skate across fields in Holland, long distances, swaggering like a real pro on those high blades with their black leather shoes in with feet senseless with cold and feeling like iceclumps but which I bravely ignored. Who cared about frozen toes when what you had all around you was that space and you were the icequeen! A different one from the one advertised nowadays. More like, well, like what? Somebody wrapped up in thick jumpers, a hat, scarve and woollen gloves, not looking feminine at all but feeling just great! Perhaps I just dreamt it all. ..