It was always going to end in tears.
When I book these things it is normally under the influence and with a misconception that my family are actually the Waltons.
I forget that I am actually mother to three, shall we say robust children, who all shout instead of talk and are prone to random outbursts of rage at each other.
When I booked to take them all to a festive ice skate in a winter wonderland. I actually envisioned us all in white hats and muffs, our feet wrapped in sparkling skates. In my minds eye we were going to hit the ice all holding hands, skating perfectly in harmony, whilst Santa’s elves sang carols on the side.
As I said, when I book these things I am rarely sober.
So we rocked up to the rink. Santa elves must have been on a break because the only people on the side were horny teenage boys ogling the flirtatious teenage skating girls.
We got our skates and I felt several muscles seize in my back as I wrestled little feet into shoes and tied a trio of laces.
Within seconds of having his skates on his feet, Owen had managed to stand up, fall down, and walk over my bare feet. No way was I ending this day without limited mobility.
We were not even on ice.
It is a good job those skates were blunter than Jeremy Kyle because if not we would have been in a&e earlier than we actually were that night.
(sorry to give away the ending but did you really think a Ice Skating trip with my three was going to end anywhere else but hospital?)
We made our way into the ice.
And the carnage began.
Four year old Libby-sue, dived in with the enthusiasm of a child, the ambition of a warrior, the desire of a figure skater and the mobility of a new born lamb.
Owen leapt on with the grace of a donkey, the anger of an ice hockey forward and the skill of a lame pidgeon.
Both of them were in a tangled heap, drenched from head to toe before I even placed a blade onto the rink.
Only Molly, who saw the quick demise of her siblings, had the good sense to hold the rail to mount the ice and managed to keep her body vertical.
Our session was forty five minutes long, twice I got off the ice to check the time. The first time was after five minutes, the second was after twelve.
Then I realised that the ice rink was clearly caught in some time warp hell and no amount of checking was going to speed this session along.
So we stayed, we fell, other people laughed (at us).
Our skates didn’t sparkle, but my eyes did when I clocked the bar that was immediately off to the right of the rink.
All I had to do was make it to the end and my mate Pinot would be waiting to make it all better.
So we battled on, cruising the ice together, one kid on a seal, two falling off me.
With minutes to go…
Then just as the end was nigh, the wine was on chill, and the spotty youth was about to tell us to leave the ice.
Molly, my little nervous Molly, the kid who was so scared of falling that she had moved slower than a sloth for the whole session.
Well, she suddenly found her balls.
Like a rocket she sped away from my grip…
“Watch me mum, watch me.”
And I watched…
As she flew like a bird, swam gracefully over the ice, twirled like a princess, and then tripped over an imaginary stone and went splat like Bambi…
Mr Pinot waved to me sadly from the bar and poured himself back into the bottle.
We left the rink, went to the car, drove the familiar path to a&e.
We and half of the town are here now. This place is kicking after eight pm….
I may never see Pinot again…..