… but at least I did not fall over.

I have discovered that I need to develop more resilience – that is, the ability to recover well from misfortune: not “bouncing back” so much as “struggling well”. Resilience is not a skill or a talent but a set of attitudes, characteristics and abilities which may vary from person to person. They may include, for example, having a number of supportive people around you (friends and family) having a sense of humour and a high tolerance of frustration (that’s ‘longsuffering’ in old money). The ability to do things differently, to learn and thus deliberately to put oneself in an uncomfortable situation is also supposed to help so that when the unexpected problem or disaster arises, you are already used to dealing with a new or unusual situation to some extent at least.

So it was that when the rest of the family went ice-skating, I went too. I am not sure-footed, I do not get on with skating but I was determined to attempt something moderately difficult – I say ‘moderately’ but that is only relative. Physically I found it demanding and spent most of the time just a few inches (at most) away from the side. The furthest distance I may be said to have skated is about two feet (60 cm or so). Emotionally it was not tiring except that it taxed my patience somewhat. The penguins (referred to above) are a device designed to help children with their first steps toward ice-skating. The figures are about a metre high and have a handle each side. I wished there were an adult version and then I might have ventured further out on the ice.

I think I did well to do the number of laps I did. My back did not give way, I toughed out the tendonitis in my right hand wrist and managed not to fall over. However,  it did not benefit my pride to be overtaken at least three times by little children pushing one of these penguins along the ice. At least I did attempt the ice-skating. To those more sensible adults, who watched me from the sidelines with a mixture of admiration and disdain, I simply remarked that I preferred this to the alternative: bungie-jumping.