Why I Love: Ice-capades

Lynda La Plante, writer
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I've been going regularly to Hampton Court's wonderful ice rink. I'm hopeless at skating, but you have more laughs that way, falling over and watching other people fall over. You see Dancing On Ice or [the Norwegian figure skater] Sonja Henie with her fur pom-poms and they warp your mind. You think, "I can do that." Then you spend an hour clinging to the barrier.

My sister used to date an ice-skater and in the heat of their passion he gave her some white boots which I have now commandeered. It's good exercise and being out in the open air beside the merry-go-round and Hampton Court Palace is wonderful.

It's much less crowded than Somerset House, where you fall down and people step over you. My son, who is five, is getting much more confident. We come off the ice rosy-cheeked and go for a hamburger. Bliss.

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