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What's this blog all about?

Hi, I'm Nicola - welcome to a blog about family travel around the world, without leaving the UK.
I love travel adventures, but to save cash and keep my family's carbon footprint lower, I dreamt up a unique stay-at-home travel experience. So far I've visited 110 countries... without leaving the UK. Join me exploring the next 86! Or have a look at the "countries" you can discover within the UK by scrolling the labels (below right). Here's to happy travel from our doorsteps. See www.nicolabaird.com for info about the seven books I've written, a link to my other blog on thrifty, creative childcare (homemadekids.wordpress.com) or to contact me.

Monday, 31 December 2007

Skates on

Pete, Nicola, Lola, 9, and Nell, 6, spent three happy months during summer of 2007 traveling around Britain. Now we’re home, but the travel bug is still there. Join us for the occasional sightseeing plus tips on how to shrink your carbon footprint. This post is from Nicola

London has temporary ice rinks at the Natural History Museum, Kew Gardens, Hyde Park and (as the pic shows) in the courtyard of beautiful Somerset House by Waterloo Bridge. Last year I made some effort to get Lola to learn to ride – this year I thought we’d all try skating. Although we will visit Somerset House (open until 27 January 2008) for its eye candy thrills we’ve decided to learn at the Broadgate ice rink by Liverpool Street until April 2008. It’s a much more intimate rink – though big enough to host games of broomball (players in trainers trying to stay upright and sweep the ball into goal with a broom) on Friday nights.

Skating is definitely a skill I cannot teach the girls (although the elegant women from skiing lands, especially the French, are all introducing their little ones to the ice). So I paid for an half hour lesson to get us all started (#18). We really struck lucky with the teacher at Broadgate – Jacky – who is a twice world champion and an inspired teacher. Even in that short time she got Nell brave enough to slither to the middle and experiment with standing on one leg and showed Lola how to jump safely using her arms. And I survived an hour on ice, which was all that I wanted…

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