Winter doesn't mean hiding away inside for months on end, it's the opportunity to wrap up warm, head outside and see the world we live in under a magical dusting. Watch as your breath condenses in the air, as Jack Frost sprinkles ice in his wake and feel the chill on the back of your neck.
With Christmas right around the corner, it is actually starting to feel like it.
Last night Leo and I wrapped up warm under our fur lined 'His' and 'Her's' Saltrock Hoodies and made our way to Webbs of Wychbold ready to give ice skating a go for the first time this year!
Webbs is a garden centre near Droitwich, and it's about a 35/40 minutes drive from us. Leo and I had been invited along to their press day, and we were both incredibly excited. Flash backs from last year flew to the forefront of my mind and we were ready to get over there and let Christmas flood into our systems. We were ready for the chill of the night on our cheeks, we were more than ready to get our skates on and even more ready to sing along to some Christmas music.
The rink is constructed especially for the festive season, but you wouldn't know it. It's a generous size and just like a permanent rink, only this one is outside so you really get to enjoy the atmosphere as you whirl around. There are Christmas lights, Christmas music and assigned sessions so that it doesn't get to busy.
We arrived and made our way over to the skate hut where they kit you out with skates for your party and offer skating aids (Additional £5.00). Leo and I got ready, he had already told me that he just wanted to sit on the Banana boat and be pushed around... But slowly and surely he seemed to be coming around to the idea of actually giving skating a try! Last year he screamed as soon as I slipped the skates over his shoes, but this year he sat as good as gold as we sorted out our footwear.
The wind was picking up by this point, Storm Barney was blowing up a right fuss on that blowy November evening. You could feel Barney's efforts even on the inside. It forced around the building and the cover over the ice rink was really being caught in it causing the Christmas lights to shake. We didn't let this stop us though, this just added to the excitement of the night.
We picked up the Banana Boat and slipped onto the ice, Leo was all smiles and demanded for me to go faster and faster. I picked up the speed knowing full well that there was a massive smile plastered all over my face. We took corners, we skated in circles and we had an incredible time.
We had been on the ice for about 30 minutes when Leo said he didn't want to go on the boat anymore. I took his hand and he stood up on the ice for the very first time, he took those first tentative movements and soon discovered how slippy it was. All of a sudden though he was brave, he was willing to give it a try!
We asked if we could swap the boat for a Penguin aid so that he could give it a go with something a little more stable (than me... I almost went flying at one point too!). He was in his element and I was so proud to see him giving it a go, and I could see how proud he was of himself.
The braver he got the more he decided to let go. At one point he had pushed the penguin right away and was trying to go it alone. He told me 'Mummy stop following me!', he was all about going around the rink solo, and he didn't want me cramping his style! Luckily for him I ignored the requests and followed anyway, as he manage to let go, fall against the handle on the float and slump onto the ice. He was such a brave little trooper though, getting right back up again and carrying on like nothing had happened.
As the time came up on the ice and it was time to make our way off, Leo managed to slip to the floor. I took both his hands and tried to pull him back up to his feet. He was slipping and sliding, and I was laughing until tears almost rolled down my cheeks. I couldn't help myself, I was well and truly tickled. The supervisor looked over and asked if we needed a hand, but aside from finding the situation more than a little bit funny...We were absolutely fine.
After the ice skating concluded we headed inside for a hot chocolate and chocolate muffin. The perfect end to the perfect evening.
I highly recommend a visit to Webbs Ice Rink, and I know for a fact that Leo and I will be going back over the coming weeks to give it another go because it really is a lot of fun, and I can't think of a better way to kick start the festivities of Christmas 2015.
Disclaimer: We were invited along to the Webbs of Wychbold Press Evening and provided with complimentary ice skating and refreshements. All views and opinions are completely honest and my own.