It wouldn’t have been my prediction

Canal_Jan25

Hard, fast ice on the Rideau Canal, January 25, 2018

I skated by myself today. By choice. I wobble when I skate and I’m slow and I’m afraid of falling. Plus, I don’t want to hold anyone back and I don’t want them to see my ancient skates which date way back to the early ’90’s. They were the first generation of leisure skates. ie. NOT figure skates. They have a thick liner and fasten with velcro. This means when its minus 20 my fingers survive the  20 seconds required to pat the velcro in place.

Have you ever tried to unlace skates, winkle your foot into the boot and then spent the next 15 minutes getting the buggers laced up while you lose sensation in your fingers and your glasses fog over because you’re breathing through your scarf and then your nose starts to drip and your eyes start to water from the cold? When you skate the condensation in your spectacles freezes and you’re blind. Velcro prevents this from happening.Chalet

There I was screewhooshing along on the best hard ice so far this season when I stopped to take a picture at Patterson Inlet. Two women were attempting a selfie and asked if I would take their picture.”Where you from?” I asked.

“Maine and Massachusetts. We’ve been friends for 40 years and we both turned 55 so we came here to celebrate.”

And off they skated with me wobbling behind them. As they slid away they said “We’re sorry for our President.”

I said “Me too. But I like our Prime Minister.”

“So do we.”

Wasn’t that nice?

Moi_Jan25

Photo by Maine and Massachusets

Just Jot It January: Prediction

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22 thoughts on “It wouldn’t have been my prediction

  1. I bought skates this year specifically because I want to skate of the Rideau Canal at some point. The last picture of you with the little bridge in the background makes me swoon! Yes, you are lucky indeed to have this wonderful treasure!!!

    Just for the record, I would be shuffling and wobbling along just like you …. probably slower and less graceful about it.
    … and where was your advice about Velcro BEFORE I bought my skates?!!

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    • I hope you do get the chance to visit in winter. This has been the best skating season I can remember in many, many years. Even with the usual freeze/thaw cycle, the ice has been in good condition most days. Yes, I’m really lucky to work so close to the canal that I can get out as often as 3x/week. My skating is improving, too!

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  2. I envy you Ottawa folks with the Rideau for skating. Although I grew up in the BC interior, I never learned to skate until a few years ago in my adopted home of Vancouver, so now it’s only arenas for me.
    Love the part, “Sorry about our president”.

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    • I was skating again today and said numerous times to my husband “Aren’t we lucky to have the canal to skate on!” I grew up on Vancouver Island where the only skating was in rinks and its not nearly as much fun, that’s for sure.

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  3. We lived in Ottawa for 2 years had relatives in Hull and I never skated the Rideau canal how I envy you Sue. I would spend 15 mins lacing up my skates to do it too!! I would take of my glasses of course, nice pic of you all bundled up and warm! Cute!

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        • I understand that fear. I took a terrible tumble in 2011 on the first day of the skating season. The ice was rough and I went arse over tea kettle and bruised one hip so bad I couldn’t skate the rest of the season. As it turned out it took about 5 years before I was comfortable getting back on the ice and even now I keep my eyes down most of the time looking for cracks and bumps but I’m damned if I’m giving it up. When people skate on the canal they forget themselves. Strangers say hi to each other as they lace up their skates, chat in the chalets, smile as they shoosh down the ice. No one – not one single person – is looking at their cell phone while they skate. The only time you see a device is when someone takes a selfie and then back into the pocket it goes.

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  4. Look at that beautiful ice! And so few people around! One of my big problems, when I’ve skated the Rideau is just the scenario you describe of getting figure skates on–I’m always miserable by the time I get them laced up, and ready to go inside for hot chocolate. Have you seen people with the Nordic-style skates that clip on to boots like cross-country skis do? The blades are really long and I hear they are very stable on uneven ice.

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    • I’ll have to investigate these Nordic style skates you’re describing. My skates are soooo old and the blades are rusty. I sharpen them every year but they don’t hold the edge very long.

      The canal had just opened after 2 days of freezing rain and had been reflooded the night before when the temps dropped down to minus 20 so I got on the ice when it was at its best.

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  5. I envy you northerners and your ice thick enough to skate on – it must be such fun! We only have round buildings with forced ice and loud music to do a turn and I always end upside down in an undignified heap so its been a while since I even tried 🙂 Loved the description of you putting on those skates – and the poor Americans who feel they must apologise for their president wherever they go. You’ve got a good PM and so do we now too. That’s nice too isn’t it.

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    • Yes, we’re pretty fortunate in Ottawa to have a 7.4 Km long canal that freezes and is deliberately flooded and groomed. I grew up in a place where it didn’t get consistently cold enough to freeze lakes or rivers so coming to Ottawa and skating on the canal was so exciting. Plus I didn’t need to learn to stop because you just keep going and going and going.

      I thought it was so funny that the 2 women felt compelled to apologize for DJT. Mostly I avoid the subject. Your PM sounds a treat and how exciting that she’s pregnant!

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