Snow Adventures In The BPG

Last weekend, I took my new skates out on the ice! I took two hard falls due mostly to other people stopping in front of me, but I still had fun. It didn’t feel nearly as cold as it actually was while we moving in the sun. We went out to skate purely for the fun of doing so and didn’t wear historical clothes as we had originally intended, which meant that I could convince Mr. Q to go! (He’s behind the camera.)

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Ice skating in modern clothes with the usual suspect.

On our way to the ice rink we wandered through the Boston Public Garden. During the spring and summer there are all sorts of stunning flowers (I’ve seen huge beds of multi-colored tulips during the spring and lovely tropical looking plants during the summer), but with all the snow we’ve had this winter the scene was entirely different!

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The sign, which is about 2 ½ to 3 feet tall, reads “Please keep off the lawn”…
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That line of green you see? Not a railing. That’s the back of some of the benches that line the paths! The snow has condensed so that when walking around on the uncleared parts of the garden you’re walking at seat height (see the seat slats poking out in a few places along the way?).
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There is an island out in the middle of part of the pond that you can’t reach when the pond is full of water (also, it’s often being patrolled by angry looking swans), but with the pond drained and full of snow we were able to clamber about on it!
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For comparison, that same island is behind me in this picture from our May picnic in 2014 (more pictures of the garden are in that post, also).
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And here’s a swan boat on the other end of the pond at an August picnic in 2012 (more pictures of the garden, including the tropical looking plants, in that post).

Quite a different scene! We’re all looking forward to spring here in Boston (can you blame us?), though I doubt our snow piles will melt for months!

Ice Skates! (And Polka Dot Soakers)

I bought ice skates! I was so pleased with skating in my 1895 Skating Ensemble that I really wanted to skate again this winter. I had plans to skate on a lake (so exciting!), but unfortunately we’ve had too much snow here in Boston and the lake was covered in huge drifts and unskate-able (also, we just had a day above freezing, the first in over a month, so it might also be unsafe to go out on naturally formed ice at this point). I’d still like to use my ice skates to skate on an outdoor rink like we did in January, it just means I’ll only have to pay to skate, not to rent the skates! We’ll see if these plans materialize…

In the meantime, here are skate pictures! I bought vintage skates from Etsy. I’ve never bought ice skates before, so I was definitely guessing on the size. I gauged the size partly based off the size 8 skates I wore in January (too small) and also asked the seller for the length of the boot before purchasing to compare to my foot length (he sent me pictures with a ruler, very helpful!). It worked out and the skates fit! We’ll have to see how they work out once I’ve been in them for a bit while skating.

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I’m guessing these skates are from the 1970s based on the clothing of the illustrated skaters. If anyone has thoughts I’d be happy to hear them!
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They came not only in the original box, but also with their tag, skate scabbards (and packaging) and a hook-y thing. Does anyone know what the hook-y thing is used for or what it is called? Do I carry my skates with it? I feel a little silly not knowing what it is, but it’s a cool thing regardless, all wood and metal.
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These skates have never been worn! The only time-damage was on the tongue lining, which had been glued originally. The glue had entirely disintegrated, leaving a dusty foam behind. I cleaned it off and re-glued the tongue lining in place. So far it seems to have worked beautifully!

But those polka dotted doohickeys are not vintage. I made them! They’re called soakers and I understand that they are put on the skate blades after being used to soak up any excess moisture in order to keep the blades from rusting. I came across them while looking for skate scabbards (the doohickeys you wear around the rink while not on the ice to protect the blades from getting dull) while I was researching skates to purchase. The different pictures I found of them looked so cute that I wanted some for my new skates! (Ha, remember my post about thin-gummies? Yup, here I am using the word doohickey.)

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One soaker on, one soaker off.

This is the tutorial I followed for making my soakers. It was super easy. I had to piece my fabrics because the scraps I had were small, so that added some time, and I made my towel two layers thick since it was thin terry cloth, which added a little time and bulk, but those are the only things I changed. The polka dot exteriors are scraps from my 1953 Polka Dot Dress and the terry cloth linings are cut out of a failed robe I made years ago when I was first learning how to make clothes. Yay for repurposing! I love how silly and girly they are. They make me smile! Plus, I don’t use elastic for many projects of my own, but I happened to have just one piece in my bag of random scrap notions that was the perfect length, so the whole project was free and from my stash!

I have no idea if these skates are sharp. I assume that skates come sharp when you purchase them? They don’t feel very sharp… but I thought I’d try them and see what happens. It’s not like I’m a great skater, I sort of just putter around the rink, so if they’re not terribly sharp I expect I’ll be ok…