I step out onto the slick, frozen, expanse, tentatively, feeling my way forward. A gust of wind tugs at my cheery bright red scarf, making the tassels dance. My face is flushed with the cold, and with excitement, as I begin to glide forward across the ice, first one foot then the other. As I go, I pick up speed as my confidence increases. My skates go schlick, schlick, schlick, faster and faster across the ice! I pass smiling couples and laughing children, all swirling about, skating to and fro. The children’s laughter is infectious, and I forget about my initial apprehension and laughter bubbles from my lips. I am flying free across the icy lake!
It is ice skating season in the North Yorkshire! Ice skating is such a fun and exhilarating outdoor activity, perfect to get your blood pumping and to warm you up on a chilly winter afternoon. It is a wonderful way to enjoy the beauty of the countryside around Fleetham Lodge, and also a great way to practise your English-speaking skills for my immersion students who come to visit us! There are always so many people to mingle with and meet at the outdoor ice skating pond in Stockeld Park or at Newcastle-Upon-Tyne it is easy to get drawn into a lighthearted conversation with a new friend. Stockeld Park is only an hour away from Fleetham Lodge, and is a particular favorite of mine because this time of year they decorate the whole rink with beautifully colored lights. It is glorious to go skating in the early evenings of winter and watch the lights blink to life around you as you glide along the ice. It is a truly enchanting experience!
The first time I go ice skating every year I always feel just a little apprehensive. It isn’t that it is my first time skating, I am familiar with it, but it has been a little bit since I have done it and I just feel a little, well, nervous. But then, once I step out onto the ice and take those first few sliding steps I get into the groove and I forget about my apprehension and get lost in the glorious feeling of gliding along the ice! That is when I can really let loose and enjoy myself!
I imagine that this is exactly the same way that my immersion students feel the first few moments of their immersion course with me. At first it is a little awkward, you are feeling through what you want to say, second guessing yourself, hesitating before you speak. It isn’t that you don’t know English, you have been studying it and working on it, but it hasn’t yet become familiar, it isn’t second nature to you yet. But that is exactly what our immersion experience will do for you! After those first few moments you will get caught up in the fun of it all; the excursions we will take, the culture you will experience, the easy conversations around a satisfying meal, and pretty soon you will be gliding along just lost in the moment and you will see your English language skills make great leaps forward!
If you are interested in booking an immersion experience with us, check out some of the courses that we have to offer. We are always adding new ones!