Last weekend we decided to head to the Eden Project to have a go on their ice skating rink. Although I’ve been to the Eden Project lots (mainly to see the fantastic Eden Sessions), I’ve never been ice skating there. In fact, I’ve never actually been ice skating.
Over the winter, they have their ice skating rink in the same area which they hold their Eden sessions during the summer. Once you’ve paid the main entrance fee, 40 minutes skating is only £6 which seemed pretty cheap to me and included hire of the all important skates.
Although Christmas is long gone, winter certainly isn’t and it was a super chilly day. Luckily I had brought my Zippo Hand Warmer along for the journey. This nifty gizmo is a cold outdoor lovers’ dream. Styled like a large Zippo lighter, the hand warmer has a polished and thin design that slips into your pockets easily. What’s better is that it’s smell free and lasts for up to 12 hours, making it great for long days out and much better than the little ones you see in outdoor shops. I set it going as we parked up and it kept my hands toasty all the way around the Eden Project.
Once we had walked down into the ex-quarry, we hired the ice skates and proceeded to ‘get our skates on’. This is when I realised there had been some sort of breakdown in communication between myself and the man on the desk and I had ended up with size 6 skates. After retrieving the correct size of bladed boots, I was good to go and I nervously made my way to the ice.
I learnt two quite important things on this day:
Firstly, ice skating is flipping hard and abilities in skateboarding and surfing have no correlation to ice skating. It’s a totally different sort of balancing.
Secondly, there are adults who can ice skate and those that can’t.
The ones who can – zip about on the ice smugly.
The ones who can’t – stand on the side of the rink and watch their children.
I was the only person over the age of 12 who couldn’t ice skate. What’s worse is the kids have these ‘penguin styled zimmer frames‘ to support them and stop them falling over. Unfortunately, there is no such thing available for adults.
So I joined the queue of infants holding onto the rail and scuffling around the edges. After about 15 minutes of ‘railing‘ and avoiding falling onto children, I was ready to progress. The next step from gripping onto the side for dear life was gripping onto a friend for dear life.
My skating partner was of the female persuasion so I swallowed some masculinity and pride, held her hand and timidly skated around. What was good though is that I was so concerned with not falling over and getting my fingers sliced off by a backwards skating show off, that I didn’t even think about being embarrassed.
By the end of the session I was confident enough to skate solo for a bit (in a pretty straight line). Despite doing my best Bambi impression for the 40 minutes skating, I am desperate to go back and master this ice skating lark. It was just clicking and I’m sure that if I had another couple goes I would be the next Jayne Torvill!
Feeling a bit chilly, we made our way to somewhere the hand warmer wouldn’t be needed: the Mediterranean and Tropical Biomes. The Mediterranean one was amazing and at this time of year reminded me of the Cornish spring, I haven’t felt that warm outside for months!
After trekking around the connecting Tropical Biome and experiencing how hot and humid a rainforest is, we said our farewells to Eden and headed home.