Day 63 of 80 — Skates

Around London in 80 days

In these uncertain times, I need a lifeline and a horizon so I  have — somewhat arbitrarily I’ll admit — set a date. April 1st will be  my horizon ; my lifeline will be the 80 days separating me from it.
And as I cannot go around the world right now, I give you A Mad Belgian’s “Around London in 80 Days” : eighty impressions of London, eighty stories, places, thoughts from my experience of this wonderfully mad and maddening city.

Day 63: Skating

I’m skating for the first time in the Olympic Park. It feels like just like skiing. It feels fun, it feels wild.

The road is smoother here, I can feel it under my wheels. Much better than the rough roads and slippery pebbles I had to deal with on the way.

I go round and round — I can skate but haven’t yet learned how to stop. So I stick to the park’s wide avenues, I go round in circles. But despite the repetitive nature of my route, I feel incredibly free and happy.

I come back the next day and the one after that. I skate every time the weather permits. The rain is skating’s worst enemy, you see. But as soon as it’s dry I’m back on the road. I slowly discover the joys and dangers of the sport, I join the ranks of the East London skaters.

A lot of them look slick: they do figures, they dance, they skate fast and backwards. I’ll get there someday. In the meantime, though, I’m just one of these eager “would be skaters” who slide through the park at a sensible speed, with helmets, wrist guards and pads on their knees. It all makes us look like overgrown children, but never mind: it is so much fun.

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