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Monday, February 13, 2012

Eine kleine Eismusik

There was ice, the last two weeks. That means several things. Apart from the fact that our country, traffic-wise, turns into a complete chaos - as I described earlier - many people are suddenly completely focused on outdoor skating. People who seldom go to skate on indoor ice rinks suddenly feel the urge to skate in the open, on `natural ice', as we say - either a rather limited round on a pond-like outdoor skating rink, or a proper tour over our canals and lakes.

I used to skate a lot (one year even up to three times a week - nothing else to do in the evenings) but fell out of that habit when starting a family 7 years ago. And this was about the first time in those 7 years I went out skating by myself. I had been on skates various times the past few years, but only on small ponds in order to help the kids getting used to being on ice. But now I could do an afternoon of skating by myself.

It was great. The local skating society had prepared a round tour of about five kilometres on the local lake which you could skate a couple of times; each round you gather a stamp, at the end you get a medal with the right amount of kilometers on it. I skated 12 rounds which added up to 60 kilometers, although rumour had it that the round this year was only 4 kilometres. Not that I really care. I love medals, of course, but the main reason to join the stamping-and-getting-medals-thing is that by paying for it you support the local skating society, so that they can keep preparing the tour in the future.

And there was music. For as long as I am skating on natural ice, it is usual to have a sound system blaring music over the ice. The repertoire is usually Dutch language songs, in older times lots of accordeon things, nowadays also the variants with dance-beats behind it. But skating outdoors and music is connected for many people; someone I interviewed spoke about `the skating rink feeling' some music gave him - music he did not really like apart for that it gave him that particular feeling. (There also exists a repertoire that specifically sings about skating - but that's for another time.)

I had mixed feelings about the music. One part of me detests amplified music outside. I prefer the quiet. Another piece of me does not agree with the choice of music these days - away with the dance beats, in with the accordions!!

But luckily there are always the third and fourth part of me. The third part is the observer part - taking a step outside the situation, looking at it, finding it interesting.

And the fourth part of me simply doesn't care. If there is no music, then there is no music. And if there must be music, let there be music.

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