Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Ice, ice, baby ...

I love shopping centres.

I mainly love them when I have money to spend whilst I'm there, but I also love that during school holidays they pull out all the stops to attract the hoardes.

Which is why we found ourselves at Indooroopilly Shopping Centre yesterday, for a spot of ice-skating!

I really think Indooroopilly Shopping Centre should be paying @Tutu_Ames a commission, because it was she who alerted the World of Twitter that there was an ice-skating rink in the middle of the shopping centre.

We met up with her for a coffee (and she is every bit as lovely in person as she is on twitter and her blog), before the kids dragged me off to the rink.

To be honest, the rink is TINY compared what we're used to, but that kind of made it a more enjoyable experience too.

Also, the ice-skating was only open to kids, so you didn't have flashy teens and show-offy adults racing around sending smaller humans flying.

The people running the event were really lovely, and there were plenty of helping hands to guide the newbies and pick up fallen angels.

The ice skating isn't free, but at $10 for a 45 minute skate, (which includes a two-for-one ice-cream at New Zealand Ice-Creamery), I thought it was good value.

Also, unlike normal ice-skating rinks, it was normal temperature for spectators, so I didn't end up freezing my butt off (handy as that would be!) while I watched.

The kids' little legs were tired by the time their time was up, and they were hungry and thirsty, so it was a decent period of time to skate, without exhausting them too much for shopping.

Miss 8 rediscovering her skating legs ...

Mr 10 pulls a silly face ...

And a lovely time was had by all! 
If you go:

Saturday 25 June to Sunday 10 July
Mon-Thursday 9am to 5pm
Thursday 9am to 9pm
Sunday 10am to 4pm
Centre Court, Level 1, outside Myer
It's $10 for 45 minutes including skates, or spend $100 at participating retailers and receive one free skating pass.
Each day, one family will win four tickets to Disney on Ice presents Worlds Of Fantasy showing at Brisbane Entertainment Centre.

Tip: Miss 8 fell over quite a lot. She wasn't hurt, but her pants got really wet from the ice. So if your child is balance-challenged, you might want to carry a spare pair of jeans or leggings, or be prepared to splash out on new ones at one of the shops.


Sunday, June 19, 2011

Disney on Ice ...

One of the coolest things about my career as a journalist, writer and now blogger, is that I can usually manage to work around the kids.

Even better, on frequent occasions, they are either able to come with me to certain events; review movies and books; and enjoy perks of the job, like meeting celebrities and attending concerts.

As a journo, I was never been intimidated by celebrities. I always found your 'average', everyday person, far more interesting than celebrities, who were often over dealing with the media; and sick of answering a zillion questions a day by the time you got to them.

But when I had kids I began to appreciate the benefits of my job, as my kids started getting impressed with some of the work I did.

Attending various Wiggles concerts (both Greg and Sam versions), and special VIP events? Awesome.

Meeting Hi-Five and being cuddled by Kathleen and Charlie? It was like meeting rockstars.

Hanging out with a Bengal tiger in the Big Brother House - cool as.

And don't get me started on the Dora the Explorer, and Spongebob Squarepants years.

I even had mobile phone numbers for all the Wiggles and Hi-Five at one stage, and yes, I was sorely tempted to sell them to Dads and Mums at the school gate. But of course I didn't, because that would be highly unprofessional. Cough.

Recently, my ice-skating-loving kids got to join me when I interviewed the stars of the upcoming Disney On Ice Extravaganza!

As it happened, the press call was held at the skating rink we frequent, so the kids couldn't get their heads around the facts that they couldn't just pull on a pair of skates and do their thing. Oops!

Nevertheless, they were impressed as I chatted to one of the stars Brian Duckworth, who grew up in sunny Australia dreaming of performing on the ice.

An infamous series of teachers' strikes gave him just the opportunity to nag his Mum into taking him to the nearest rink.

Guess what? He was a natural.

Brian is now principal skater with Disney on Ice, and tours the world with his talented principal skater wife, Melanie Carrington, who has been skating since she could walk. (Mel comes from a family of Dutch ice-skating royalty, and travelled the world with her performing parents as a child).

Currently, Brian plays adult Simba the Lion and other ensemble roles, while Mel plays the adult Nala, and Rosetta, one of the Disney fairies.

Incredibly, the couple live, work, travel and practise together. And are still in as much love as ever!

They officially have no fixed address as their jobs performing takes them all around the world! Now it's my turn to not be able to get my head around something. I mean, I love to travel, but I couldn't imagine not having a place to called home.

But the talented duo insist they couldn't imagine any other lifestyle, and there will be plenty of time to settle down one day. Perhaps when they want to have kids. I'm not sure if the presence of my kids was discouraging or encouraging on that particular goal!

Brian and Mel perform alongside Townsville-born, Brisbane-raised fellow ice-superstar Daniel Harries, the only Queenslander in the cast.
Daniel started skating at the age of nine as a way to keep cool during the hot summers in North Queensland. Who would have thought a respite from the Townsville heat would land him in a starring role in a world-famous ice production?

Produced by Feld Entertainment, Disney On Ice presents Worlds of Fantasy is performing at the Brisbane Entertainment Centre from Thursday, June 30 to Sunday, July 3. It's also touring the country. For tickets and more details, phone Ticketek on 132 849 or visit http://www.ticketek.com.au/.

Miss 8 gets up close and personal with the talented ice-skating couple Mel and Brian.

And here are Mel and Brian in action!
 And in action on stage at Disney On Ice ...