On Saturday I went ice skating at the Natural History Museum. It rained on me all the way there and I was in a foul mood by the time I arrived. Then I met my pals, we got booted up, and just as our turn came to get on the ice it stopped raining. The sky was blue and the sun was out as we staggered around to Catatonia's Mulder and Scully and other fine tunes, although the inch of standing water on the rink made the physics interesting and falling on your bum an even less welcome prospect than usual (I managed not to).
Skating, I reflected, is not unlike motorcycling: it's about balance and alertness, exhilaration and constant low-level terror.
When time was called the five of us joined hands for the final skate to the exit, a display which made up in quantity what it may have lacked in quality. We unclipped our boots and I discovered that I'd gone through the toes of both my ski socks, but they had served their purpose.