Monday, 2 February 2009


We just got back from a weekend in Holland visiting family and friends. You know, I like to imagine that as I've got older I have developed a certain amount of willpower when it comes to food and the bad stuff.

Until, that is, I cross the channel. I haven't totalled it up, you understand, but I think I've eaten more bad stuff in the last 3 days than I had eaten in the previous month. The cheese, the fries, the cakes, the croissants, the delicious unidentifiable fried brown stuff... It's a good thing I don't live there, I would be the size of a house.

Not that the Dutch seem to be, particularly. Something to do with the fact that they cycle everywhere, perhaps, or that they just fit exercise into their daily life in a much more routine fashion than we seem to be capable of doing here. For example, there has been a cold snap over there recently - you may have seen the photo I put into this post - and for the first time in a few years the lakes and canals froze allowing people to skate. Now, amazingly, this happened in the UK around the same time, in Norfolk, and a few die-hard skaters travelled up to the Fens to take part in 'Wild Skating'. But as far as I can tell, that was it. No fan-fare, no fuss, no real interest, to be honest...

In the Netherlands however, I'm told there were traffic jams next to the prime skate spots, as the Dutch rediscovered one of their national past-times and dug their skates out of their attics for a quick turn around the ice (who has skates in the attic over here?). This weekend, a doctor friend of ours over there told me that the hospitals were flooded with resultant broken wrists. You want to know how many accidents there were? This should put the Dutch interest in skating in proportion.

10,000. Ten thousand broken wrists directly attributable to skating accidents, in the last 3 weeks...

But hey - it's all good fun, right?

Somebody bring me an extra hot chocolate please; it's snowing and icy outside, and I think I'm just going to stay put for a while...


  1. That's some serious national past-time! Do we Brits have anything to compare? Other than our united dash to the seaside the minute the sun comes out... We have snow and ice in Budapest today and I am digging out my big slippers!

  2. It's true, we are crazy about frozen stretches of water and just have to skate, it is in our blood and we pass it on to our children and any foreigner who comes to live here. It is called skating madness and it makes us absolutely delirious and mad with happiness. The whole country is in a good mood and it is as if we are all having our birthday all at once for as long as the ice lasts. It doesn't matter what age you are either, everybody skates. You better start teaching your sons, Potty Mum.

  3. They do a lot of that here too. In fact we have several pairs of ice skates hanging up in the garage - gathering dust I'm afraid.
    But how nice to be able to "pop" over the Channel to be able to visit family.

  4. Can't get my head around ice in the UK. My children have never seen snow..

  5. Goodness! But now I want to live there. I've broken my wrist before, so I'm used to it. And R would love it, because then she could go skating (think she only wants to go because Peppa Pig wants to, though, not because she's going to be the next Torvill).

    Your Google Ads was showing a link to find local ice rinks (, interestingly). I clicked on it with great hope, but unfortunately, as I thought, there are none close by. So, I really should move to Holland (or Bristol or back to Oxford).

  6. Ten thousand??? It should be banned on health grounds immediately. Could you pass me another deep fried chocolate clog please?

  7. Hi N&M, I don't have a big slipper but love the thought of it. So do my chilblains... (ow!)

    Laura, or in mine...

    Irene, I'm trying - really!

    EPM, yes, I know we're nearer to our family than you are to yours - but it didn't feel that close when we left home at 5.30am on Friday morning and didn't arrive until 3.30 in the afternoon...

    MTFF - will be checking out where you are shortly - and if this continues, may well be moving there soon!

    Tasha, don't pull your clogs out yet - this is the first time in around 10 years the Dutch have been able to do this...

    Pig - would you like that with a cream or praline filling?

  8. I heard it snowed so much in London that everyone took a day off work - at least that's my clients excuse for not coming into work today

  9. I've tagged you. Come on over to my place.

  10. So - are the boys still leanring to skate then?

    I can't say I've been near an ice rink in years - but I came pretty close on my walk from the tube station this morning!

  11. I love ice skating - for about 10 mins.

    Then I start complaining of sore ankles/feet/shins and run off in search of the nearest mulled wine vendor...

    I used to be really good when I was about 11/12 too - often down 'Blackpool Pleasure Beach' ice rink on my CCM Mustangs.

    Altho to be fair that was mainly because all the skating boys were hot.

  12. PS - I was snowed in yesterday - no buses running in London and my nearest tube station is over an hours walk away. More snow please!

  13. Rachel, well it did snow a lot - certainly more than I've ever seen it do here, and I've been living in London for a scary 22 years - though it was probably negligable to people who live through hard winters. We had around 40cm of snow. And since most of the tubes were down and there were no buses, your client probably couldn't get to work. Though no doubt they were working from home rather than taking their kids to the park like the rest of us...

    Iota, I've looked, that's a good one - watch this space.

    Mud, in a manner of speaking, if 'learning to skate' = trying to stand up straight on the ice without falling over, then yes, Boy #1 is still doing it...

  14. Brown Book, I know - we're supposed to complain about how the weather is inconveniencing us, but all that happens to me is I get excited by how purty it all looks... Not a good mummy...


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