Posted by: Corri van de Stege | December 13, 2007




                     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. ..




  1. Can’t wait to come and visit 🙂
    It’s been rainy and muddy around here. The Christmas market has just been a miserable sight. So, we should be packing our mittens and snow hats then I take it?

  2. Don’t know about the snow hats – mittens and gloves and scarves: definitely (well, that is, if it lasts!) 🙂

  3. If it weren’t because Nature is so wise I’d wish days to have 48 hours. I’m so sorry to have missed your posts, seachanges.

    We had a storm here, of all things! some days ago. Fortunately no one was damaged, but torrents of water poured down on our heads, and even hail in abundant quantities and sizable enough to worry.

    I look forward to reverting to the times when I could read your splendid posts at ease.

  4. Jose: that’s the trouble with days: not enough hours in them! Glad to hear that you and yours weren’t hurt in the storm – it is still amazingly beatiful and quiet over here, with a low orange sun forecasting even more cold weather!

  5. I just spoke to my aunts in Haarlem and Zeerijp and almost immediately asked about the Elfstedentocht, falling back into the old habit of using the Elfstedentocht as a measure of how cold it is. Not likely, they replied. Too bad, because, yes, lacing up the skates and hugging all that open space is a phenomenally glorious feeling.

  6. Spider: good to see you around again: no ice this side of the channel either I’m afraid! We’ll have to hug in wind and balmy weather instead. Happy new year

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