08 January 2009


On my morning walk with Bella today we passed the frozen lake in the English Garden again - this is the one with the warning signs instructing people to stay off the ice. It was a playground.

As well as the curlers, there were also five people out ice skating, a bunch of kids playing ice hockey, one guy running, a woman walking her dog and some parents just wandering around with their kids.

We stopped to watch the curlers for a while, then Bella decided to join them. I held her back. Unlike these Germans with their complete lack of respect for rules and authority, I had no intention of disobeying the warning signs. Besides, it looked really cold and I have a lousy sense of balance.

(I should point out that the comment about the Germans' lack of respect for rules and authority is a humorous play on the traditional stereotype of Germans. I feel I need to explain this because, as is well known, Germans have no sense of humour.)

Further round I spotted 'competitive dad' who was playing ice hockey with his small son - or possible daughter. He had cleared a patch of ice and placed two nets to make a little rink. Most of the time he was obviously trying to teach the kid how to play, but every so often he would beat the kid four times in a row and then score a spectacular goal.

Altogether I counted around thirty people on the ice - and one dog. I assume these are all local folks who know when and where the ice is safe. Even so, I can't help feeling nervous when I see all those little kids out there.

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