AS DANCING on Ice returns to Sunday nights, I am reminded of childhood outings with my father and sister to the ice rink in Dundee. Forget any triple-toe-loop shenanigans, staying upright was the goal.
I recall falling over, denting my pride often, only to be rewarded with excruciating blisters on my feet. Why my dad bothered taking us, I’m not too sure; we must have been the two most uncoordinated children in the area.
So in a effort to exorcise past demons, I have arranged a family outing to the newly refurbished Time Capsule ice rink in Coatbridge. Along with my ice-dance partner Graham, and our daughters Eve and Hope, plus one extra best friend, we headed down the M8 for the Time Capsule, which has recently reopened following a £2.1 million refurbishment which took three years.
When I was a youngster, I longed for a pair of elegant white boots; all that we ever got were brown monstrosities. In the intervening decades technology has moved on and we were all kitted out in stylish ratchet-closing skates.
Taking to the ice we were instantly shown up by a tiny tot gaily enjoying her very first visit. Hope sets one foot on the ice and her face is a picture of abject terror, so her experience of skating was short lived. Although for the novice and indeed nervous there is the option of a delightful penguin-shaped Zimmer frame – for want of a better phrase, weighted to give you more stability, which you can push along in front of you. It’s designed for tiny skaters but I confess, I was tempted.
Eve and her best chum are keen to give it a whirl and head off with the confidence of youth. I, however, cling on to the side for dear life and manage only a few circuits, pausing to watch a couple of regulars whizzing around in style.
Before too long we have run out of steam and I’m full of relief that I didn’t fall over. Just in case, I had cunningly hatched a plan to say I was doing the opening to Torvill and Dean’s classic 1984 Bolero routine.
It’s safe to say that we are more confident in water than on ice so we skated off to the warmth of the next door pool complex, as we had opted for the combined ticket which allows access to both skating and swimming.
On our way home there was a queue for the ice disco which is held on Friday nights between 6pm-9pm for 12-18 year olds. Perhaps the nation’s next sequin-clad skate sensation will learn to dance on ice here.
• Ice skating costs £5.50 for an adult, £4 for children aged five and over and £2.50 for children aged three-four. Skate hire is £2 per person and a variety of family tickets are available. A combination ticket for 90 mins in the water and 90 mins on the ice costs £11 for an adult and £8.50 for a child, www.thetimecapsule.info