Carleton U has mercifully fixed its fieldhouse freezing problem, so we were able to doff the cuffs and hats and scarves and walk unimpeded once again this week.
Now if only old man Ottawa winter would lay off on those sub zero temperatures just for a change. Ironically almost every day it is Florida sunny but none but the direly demented dares go for a dip in these climes.
By the way, realization just dawned that a common expression often uttered on that kind of day this month was probably misspelled. Shrugging resignedly after cussing the coldness in the air, we’d tend to mutter “Well, at least it’s a nice day.” What we really ought to have said was “… it’s an ice day!”
That chilly indoor walking episode brought back to mind the many winter hours spent happily indoors indulging in the marvellous pastime of skating. Before deserting the practice some years ago for fear of mishap on sometimes shaky pins, an hour’s skating at Walkley Arena was our favourite exercise during lengthy Ottawa winters. Zipping leisurely around the ice surface in time to lively recorded music proved highly satisfying without the discomfort wrought by wind, snow and frosty temperatures outdoors. The Jim Durrell Recreation Centre is blessed with two full size ice surfaces, one of which regularly caters to recreational skaters.
Yet, for skaters, nothing quite matches the joys of whizzing along the magnificent Rideau Canal skateway on a bearably cool sunny day. This has been a banner year for ice conditions there, but frigid temperatures have tempted mainly the hardier of skating enthusiasts. For us, canal skating endures, alas, only as a happy memory.
More on skating days’ fondest recollections to come a little later.