Saturday, December 26

Hampton Skates

We have tickets to ice skate at Hampton Palace and go early thinking the Royal Grounds open to the public. Fat chance, Boxing Day (Starbucks rule: if Starbucks closed, everything closed) so we stroll along the Thames, pictured, killing time and burning the Shakespeares' energy.  We are west of the Teddington Lock so the river no longer tidal yet it flows eastward. I will need to think about that one.  Sonnet opens her tote bag to a picnic of leftover goose and gravlox and we watch the the sun go down at 3:30PM munching away on a picnic bench. God bless Sonnet.  By five the temperature winter-like and everybody in the mood .. to get the afternoon over with.  But happily on the ice rink the vibe shifts towards fun and soon we are having a family time - Katie an expert on blades while Eitan jumps into the mix. Very different then before.  Madeleine holds back and inches around the rink ever mindful of her safety, the wall. At first, even Auntie Katie cannot pry her loose, poor dear. After a half-hour, though, off she goes, the little trooper, and I am way proud.  This what I am used to.