The Icy Peaks of Muswell Hill

“So Chris, how’s your New Year’s resolution going? You know, the one where you promised to update the blog a bit more often?”

“Fine thanks, as you can see by… erm… this.”

Abigail had her second 15th birthday today. Not quite sure when this two-birthday rule came into effect but apparently if your bezzie mates can’t come to your actual birthday you’re allowed another one the following weekend. Abigail assured us this was the case, so being rule-abiding-by types we went along with it.

My decision to leave woolly hat at home was quickly and wholeheartedly regretted once we got down the hill to the bus stop on Archway Rd. We’d arranged to meet A’s friends outside the Fine Burger Co. in Muswell Hill where we planned to luncheon before going on to Alexandra Palace (Ally Pally to the locals) for some ice skating. Upon arrival at the Broadway The Fine Burger Co. turned out to be The Closed Down Burger Co., so we left A’s crowd waiting suspiciously outside the boarded-up, poster-covered facade to rendezvous with yet more girly chums while Karen, Elliot and I set off in search of another food solution. Giraffe across the road looked nice but was full — and full of little brats to boot, so we settled on the Slug & Lettuce, which actually turned out to be quite nice: not too busy, nice atmos, good service, decent food and free Wi-Fi. I could’ve stayed there all afternoon, playing on my new iPod Touch and drinking John Smith’s Extra Smooth, but once the food was scoffed duty called once more and it was back out into the chill air for the walk… yes, WALK… to Ally Pally Ice Rink. I don’t know what it is about teenagers that makes them want to go somewhere cold on an already-cold day. We had to walk because there is no easy way to get there from Muswell Hill broadway by public transport. Muswell Hill — being a, well, hill, has no Underground service so all you have are buses, and to get the 3/4 mile or so to the Ice Rink you’d have to spend the best part of an hour taking at least two buses, so we decided to walk it. On any other day that would’ve been fine but today was FREEZING, and I’d left me hat at home. Twenty nose-dripping minutes later we arrived at the ice rink and Elliot and I took up our roles of bag-guarders-cum-photographers while the four girls donned their skates and took to the ice.

Birthday On Ice

Two hours of sitting in the cold and taking a few photos followed, the highlight of which came when I recognised Christopher Eccleston — yes, the ex-Doctor (Doctor Who for non-Brit readers) taking tentative baby steps on the ice and promptly doing the classic windmill-arms-followed-by-falling-on-arse. I pointed him out to Elliot, who in turn told the girls, and a few minutes later a small crowd had gathered. CE was very nice to all the “Ooh aren’t you The Doctor?”-ers, and even consented to a photo:

Tardis good, skates bad.

Towards the end of the session my camera was starting to get frozen to my fingers, so I was relieved when the girls finally came off the ice to retrieve their footwear. Waiting inside the lobby for one girls’ lift home was even colder than it had been outside previously, and the walk back up to the Broadway to catch the bus home was as bleak as midwinter, topped off by my dropping a glove as I boarded the bus.

Now safely home, it’s taking an age to warm up. The large vodka & tonic to my immediate right is helping.

It’s my birthday next week. A new pair of gloves would be nice.


About Chris Neal

Personal Technology Consultant. Tailored services and advice for people who want more from their technology.
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2 Responses to The Icy Peaks of Muswell Hill

  1. Jen says:

    Yes, he’s an absolute gentleman when it comes to talking to fans and having his photograph taken, need I worry, I’ve met him seven times in five years.

    Nice to know he’s doing his Bambi on Ice routine!

  2. Joanne says:

    I just love Chris Eccleston. Did he tell you why he was there.

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