Where my parents live is right next to a sizeable park, where there’s a cricket pitch, pathways, flowers, a play area and a duck pond.
It’s lovely – and a reminder that parklife in the UK is dotted with scenes and characters you never see in the UAE. On my visits to the park, I see joggers, dog walkers, gangs of scantily clad teenagers drinking alcopops, frisky lovers mauling each other in full view, and the odd Heineken-drinking, paper-bag-carrying fella – usually the only person who actually talks to me.
We take the boys to the park after dinner, to burn off energy under the ever-changing, summer evening sky. They go on their scooters, and I go on mine – with me trailing far behind my charges, but getting faster. (It’s amazing what an uncoordinated 42-year-old can master without breaking a hip!)
When my BF visited today, I told her: “I’ve discovered this great new way to exercise – a cardio workout you don’t even realise you’re doing until it’s DONE!
“You should try it!”
BF, wearing a skirt and heels, rests one foot on the kick scooter, and gingerly pushes off. She wobbles a little, smiles (it’s impossible not to while attempting to balance, flail a leg and not fall over), then glides round in a semi-circle in the drive.
“But doesn’t it just exercise one leg?” she asks, getting the hang of it, even in nice shoes.
“You’ll see!” I respond. “Let’s go!”
With the boys blazing a trail, BF keeps up admirably while I bring up the rear on foot. There’s no stopping them – BF is hooked. They come to a skidding halt only after reaching the bandstand, where a brass band is playing, bringing some unexpected pomp and circumstance to the park.
“That was GREAT!” a breathless BF gasps afterwards, wiping beads of sweat from her brow. “And you’re right, the weight-bearing leg on the scooter works just as hard.” (Kids make balancing look easy – don’t be fooled.)
But it’s really fun to zoom along, not to mention join in with the children (and we all know how much they love that). If you’ve been wondering how to keep fit on a long vacation, remember, you heard it here first: kick-scooting in heels.