Ice skater

Karen Magnussen Community Recreation Centre, North Vancouver 2019

Karen Magnussen Community Recreation Centre, North Vancouver 2019


The new telly stood in its smooth polished cabinet in the corner of the living room.

Dad had bought it last Saturday with his bonus.

He’d said, I’ve bought something. A special treat for everyone.

A bonus at work. Extra money for doing ‘a good job’.

I’m not sure what he does. He goes every day dressed in a smart suit, ironed shirt and a tie that Mum selects for him every evening before she gets into bed. She tells me this as she pours herself a cup of tea. His shoes shine and he smells of Old Spice aftershave. The advert on the telly couldn’t be least like my Dad. A muscled man riding huge ocean waves on a surfboard. I don’t think my Dad even owns a pari of swimming trunks.

The telly was really for Mum. She loves watching ice-skating on a Saturday afternoon. The old telly was black and white and she complained that it was hard to tell ‘who was who’.

Now she says, It’s so much better in colour.

But she hasn’t watched much. I sit down next to my Dad. He sits in a big squashy armchair and I sit on the floor. I like to spread out all my pens and drawing paper out around me and colour while the telly’s on. Dad isn’t watching. His breathing has slowed and snores begin to echo out of his mouth. His left foot bobs up and down next to me. I look up to see the next skater glide onto the ice. She stops and positions herself waiting for the music to begin.

Who is it? says Mum coming in and sitting on the sofa behind me.

Canadian I think, I say. Karen somebody or other.

Oh. Yes. Mum says as the music starts and the skater begins to dance.

Feeling brave? Want to share your story? In the words of one Disney princess, Let it go, in the comments below.