God, I love December.
It began today with my visit to the Somerset House Ice Rink (see above) with my sisters + brother-in-law to be.
As a skating experience, it was kinda mediocre. The rink was very small, and so felt a bit cramped, and had many many people on it. Because of the latter, the people making the rink sweep it clean with fresh water every hour, betwen sessions, so the ice shifts from slick, wet and very slippery (at the start of the session) to massively churned up, rough and slushy (at the end of the session). The crowd on the ice included huge numbers of incredibly unsteady skaters, who seemed determined to hurl themselves beneath my blades, which left me really nervous.
As a Christmas experience, it was glorious. Skating outdoors is wonderful, and the environment is heavenly. The lights, the smells of mulled wine and the Christmassy music - it was just glorious.
I went with my two sisters and future-brother-in-law who proved to be a scarily good skater - one of those men who can skate sideways, whilst going backwards, before pulling up from high speed to stationary in 10 seconds and a spray of ice. Youngest Sister hadn't skated in years, but picked it up quickly, saying cheerily "this is a lot like cross country skiing". Middle Sister hadn't been on the ice since breaking her wrist a while ago, but we actually got her to go round a couple of times, with future-brother-in-law and I holding each of her hands.
Afterwards, there was hot chocolate and then we went for dinner.
I'm home now, warm and comfortable, and in a fantastically good mood. It was a magical magical evening.