“Isn’t that cold?” I asked Helena and her friend as for the third time they completed a dash across the skating rink and dived headlong into the snow. The emphatic response from the children, as they rolled around, was “no its fun”.
We had decided to take the children up the hill to one of the local skating venues, something that has the making I think of a regular event for the next few months. In this instance the Villa Aurora was to be our destination, a pleasant tradition Viennese restaurant with a great view from its terrace out across the city. At this time of year a large part of the terrace is converted into a skating rink which is open to the general public.
My first surprise of the day had been the argument between mother and daughter as we prepared to leave the house. R announced that we would drive up the hill instead of walking, which was greeted with howls of “NO” from H. As I have comment in previous blog postings, it is a given in our household that Helena never walks anywhere if she can avoid it and R will want to walk whenever possible, hence my surprise and confusion at this turn of events. It transpired that Romana favoured driving as we were expecting guests later in the evening and she was concerned about getting back in time to finish the dinner preparations. Helena, as became obvious later in the evening, viewed the trip up the hill not some much as a chance for walking but as a great opportunity for snowball fights. Just like politics everywhere, the policy positions of the party’s in the Bates household cannot be taken for granted as changes in climate or agenda’s can cause unexpected shifts in what are thought to be ardently held views.
After some skating and rolling in the snow a general consensus developed that everyone was cold. As we stood there with new snow falling and the temperature dropping the adults announced that we would all walk round the corner to a small Christmas market and stand in the snow drinking some (children’s) punch. H looked at her clearly deranged parents, gave a sideways look at the Villa Aurora, and suggested in that tone that says ‘and you’re supposed to be the adults’ that it would be much nicer to simply go into the warm restaurant. I have to admit that I turned to Helena and congratulated her of the good sense of her suggestion and we all swiftly entered the restaurant.
The Villa Aurora has a very warm and cosy atmosphere. The menu although a little pricey, in comparison to some venues we like, has a good choice including for the likes of myself vegetarian options. This evening we discovered that its wild berry Gluhwein is one of the best in the area and the children reported that there snack, which I would describe as rolled pancakes with whipped cream and plum sauce, was delicious. As has now become a tradition, pictures were taken of all the food and drink to add to a collection of images to be sent to Helena’s uncle Philip (that’s H’s football Uncle Philip not the car Uncle Phillip as they are known).
For H and her friends the current weather conditions and the local facilities provide a winter wonderland, so long as the adults can be kept in order.