We were starting to think Jack Frost was listening to our plans and deliberately foiling us. We went to Mongolia in search of snow – it started one hour *after* we left. We had already been to south China, where we had been told we’d be sure to encounter it, but all we had found was condensation on our tiled floors. We saw plenty right across Russia – but we were stuck on a train that would stop for no more than twenty minutes at a time and only a couple of times a day.
We gave up on the snow idea, suffered through English rain and headed to Greece in search of sun, resigning ourselves to the fact that we had carried a bag of thermals and another of woollens right around the world….to be worn only a handful of times. Then our friends in Romania assured us it always snows in November, so we decided to spend a month here, finally making good use of the long johns.
Hmmmm. It’s halfway through December and the snow has fallen no closer than the weather forecasts, which the kids check religiously every day. Of course, we are informed it will snow ALL NEXT WEEK….we leave on Monday. See what we mean about Jack Frost ganging up on us?
But today we woke to a light dusting. Snow at last!
It might not be make-snowman-quantities, it may not even be enough for snowballs, but you should have felt the excitement when the children looked out the window this morning. Big kids helped little kids wriggle out of their sleeping bag liners and held them up at the windows to see. The air was electric. Buzzing.
yes, it’s still dark at 8am
Mind you, perhaps there was still residue excitement from yesterday hanging around.
We’d decided that in the absence of snow, we really should at least go ice skating.
Kboy12, a pro (having skated once before), glided out into the middle of the rink.
Lboy9, a novice (having never been before), saw how easy it was and followed his brother. Only he ended up straight on his bot, and with a split lip. Not one to be easily deterred, he got back up, periodically wiped the blood away, staggered around looking like a puppet and then found himself gliding smoothly.
The smaller-than-him siblings did not fare quite so well initially. None of them had realised it would be hard! ERgirl3, the most excited of the lot, had no idea her feet would slide out from underneath her, leaving her feeling very very very insecure. But with love and a strong embrace from people-bigger-than-her, she was soon happily sliding around.
Tgirl5 and Mboy7, clawing the barrier, slowly slipped their way around the outside of the rink, frequently finding their feet well in front of their bodies and then up in the air! Within half an hour both were disillusioned, and the male was particularly melancholic. After a short sit *off* the ice, they rose to the challenge issued: Let’s try going slowly and holding on and see if we can get the whole way around the rink without falling over.
They did it once.
They did it twice.
Tgirl5 started letting go, and after an hour was staggering in the middle on her own.
”If T can do it, I’d better try,” Mboy7 declared aloud to himself.
And he joined her.
Their victory wobble was full of falls, and they really needed another session to become comfortable, but they came off the ice delighted. Judging by the homeward conversation, their success grew in their minds with every step!
The big kids alternated between flying around the rink and helping the little ones. The one, who fell the most often and certainly most spectacularly, donned his falls as a badge of honour, insisting – quite correctly – that it was because he was taking the biggest risks. (He’d be the one, who got so hot he had to take his jacket off!)
Lboy managed to pull Mama off a horse in Mongolia,
and expert-skater Dadda to the ground in Romania!!
SO CAN I!!!!!
PS. We’ve decided to take a week-long trip to the mountains this winter!
When there’s snow. Powdery snow.
Our long johns will be ready-and-wating.