With the unseasonably warm weather we're forced to search further afield for our skating destinations. 

Last week we drove to Canmore, an hours skating, then back. A long drive for very little practice...

This week we find the indoor arena schedules - a different arena every day throughout the city. Yesterday, in the SW, Today, the NE, it's cheap, $6.20 a person, and you get an hour or two's practice on practically empty ice.

They've senior sessions as well, for the 50+ set, more of those than for the public, and while I hate to label myself, hate to acknowledge that I might have some connection with this group (I'm pretty sure I don't), I'll have to swing by one day to check it out, if only to ...

Strange, this, we're Canadian, and I imagine it's the midday hours that are keeping the ice empty. Or not. Maximum of 5 people on the rink at a time, we count as 2, Canada, we are, Canadians, losing our heritage, although I was impressed to see some less "Vanilla" Canadians teaching their children how to skate, play hockey, the little bastard, at 2 years old, is running down the ice in his helmet and hockey outfit faster than me, I can't help but be impressed, it's laughably cute, he's only a foot and a half tall...

She's getting better, much better, quickly, me, not so much, I was never that good to begin with. I observe some oddities, I'm better skating backwards than forwards, forwards I'm forever losing, finding my balance, backwards, well, backwards I'm fine. I need a couple of sessions on my own, without the pupil, to practice...

Curious this, the physical memory, remarkable even that it exists, my cells, the cells of when I last skated as a teen in high school, they've all died, been replaced, died, been replaced, a dozen times, yet still I retain some physical memory of how it's done, there's a naturalness to it, the physicality of it's carried forward, survived as what? Memory, composed of chemical signals? Electricity? How does it pass on, survive, the death of it's host, messengers, but perhaps a little esoteric and abstract for a posting on skating...to resume...

She's speeding up, teaching her to skate backwards, to lift her feet, practice the crossover steps, she's hesitant, small steps as her confidence increases, but she has her moments where her grin lights up the world and she smiles and waves to an invisible audience, and I have to wonder what's going on in her little brain...

"Stars on Ice is coming" she tells me, breathlessly, May 15, how does she know this? Really? I remember that, or Ice Capades, not sure which, does it matter? From when I was a child...thought of taking my own kids to it, but it somehow never happened...

So soon, the next week or two, the trip to Lake Louise, the reward for her progress, need to shuffle my days off, have to hurry as winter is disappearing fast everywhere, and need to get her up there before the ice melts and the Castle disappears, but she can live her little Canadian dream, and while to me, I take it for granted, it's lovely to be in the company of someone who appreciates it all so heartfelt and sincerely...for an hour or so you're out of yourself and seeing the world fresh through their eyes...