The perfect place to turn 15

Mum told Gray he could have his birthday anywhere he wanted this year, as long as he organised it himself. Gray is a fairly safe bet.  He’s quiet and not very outgoing. He’d much rather be with his mates out on a field before popping party poppers.

“You can start by researching kids birthday party venues. Melbourne places are busy this time of year so don’t put it off too long.”

Mum is super busy herself. She runs two businesses from home and flies in and out of the state a lot on business trips.  When it came to finding a great place to have a party in Melbourne, Mum would actually already know. She doesn’t leave a lot up to us, but when she drops a responsibility bomb on us, we’ve learned that she expects us to come back at her with a result.

Gray had to ring around and get quotes and work out everything he needed to do. Mum gave him a list, and on it was everything he’d need to find out to make sure they could walk in and walk out of the party without needing anything else.

I tried to talk to Mum about how much I thought it was a bit much, I reminded her about how Gray could hardly look anyone in the face without blushing.

Mum widened her eyes and gave me the shtick about doing the things we are frightened of the most.

‘We don’t go around problems. We go through them.”

Anyway, Gray sailed through his problem like nothing we expected. He bought mum back a print out of the quote he’d been given for a party for six of his friends at an ice-skating rink near one of Melbourne’s docks. Mum took one look at the quote, nodded and looked him right in the eye, folding the quote into her handbag.

‘Get started on your invitations,’ she said.

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Elegance on Ice

For the record, I’d just like to say that we were doing things on ice before it was cool. In the last five years, it seems like ice skating has exploded into this super sport. There’s that Yugoslavian guy with his inspirational biography and excellent teaching methods. And then in Docklands, ice skating rinks just seem to be everywhere, like it’s suddenly the ice skating rink capital of Australia. Now everyone’s talking about this new book about ice skating with your cat, which I think is just a load of rubbish, and…well, I’m sad. I used to be involved in a niche activity, and now it’s totally mainstream.

Still, I haven’t heard of a string quartet that ice skates at the same times as their performance, so me and the guys still have that to our name. The ‘Cryo Bros’ is our name, and we give unique performances at birthday party venues that also have ice skating rinks. For the first part we give a bit of a skating demonstration, a few of the crowd pleasing moves. Then we pull out the violins, play a jaunty shanty to get everyone in the mood…and that’s when things get interesting. I don’t know if it’s always what people are expecting, but that’s when we combine the two and give a performance that took two solid years to perfect. Ever seen someone do an ice skating somersault over another person while wearing a kilt? Or seen four guys performing synchronized pirouettes while serenading the audience with Winter of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons? That’s the showstopper, obviously. People love spinning, even more so than stuff that’s actually hard to pull off.

So at least we’ve got that. We’re just about to go on tour, having been picked up by a major music magazine. I’m hoping in other cities it’s more of our ‘thing’, you know? Ice skating in Victoria is pretty much us, so I guess we’re taking our awesome tunes to the masses. Taking them, and just sort of…hoping they enjoy them. But then it doesn’t matter if you miss a few notes in the middle of a somersault.

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