Curl Up During the Winter

Yes you can curl up with a good book in January. The months will pass, and you will be a well-read blimp by April. OR

Try curling! My husband Peter hoodwinked me into trying this sport when we first met. He took me to a very posh dining room at the Weston Golf (and curling) Club for our first date. It was fancy. Plus we had lots to talk about. Soon he was escorting me down to the change rooms…to change into our curling clothes of course. What else were you thinking?

I liked curling from the beginning. It’s easy for a novice to grasp the essentials and play at an acceptable level. But there are lots of strategies and skills that one can learn, and win prizes, if serious playing is the goal. And curling is a very social sport. There is an unwritten rule that, after each game, the winners buy the losers a drink. We sit around a table, with our drinks and potato chips, and spend a very pleasant hour chatting. And soon it’s Spring!

We made a lot of friends at Weston and things were going smoothly until the management decided one September that they wanted to use the curling rink space for a golf academy. The curlers were declared redundant. We gathered together to commiserate, to vent, and to share our disappointment. Then we scurried off to find other rinks where we could play. It was very late in the season to be registering and the choices were few.

But Peter and I had moved to the city and we had options. We were met with open arms at High Park Curling Club. We were easily accommodated into their Saturday night social league. The club is not as posh as Weston but it’s not elitist either. We no longer feel like rejects!

The curlers are a mix of all ages and all backgrounds. We can be sitting at a table sharing our drinks with millennials, gen-Xers, and a few old geezers like ourselves, all at the same time. The conversation can range from hobbies, to work projects, to music. We try really hard to keep up and even learn new things. For example, did you know that The Weekend is more than just two days? It’s a Canadian pop rock band!

Rarely does the conversation focus on illness, doctor appointments or sleeping problems. Hardly ever does one person ask another person to please speak louder. People talk about the latest food trends, or current events or exercise routines. We follow along and add our opinion where we can. But, when the conversation turns to the latest technology, we start to yawn and put on our coats. There are just some things we oldies will never master.

The club is run entirely by volunteers. There are a number of committees which plan events, clinics, and parties. The Hallowe’en season is alive and well on the ice with background music of “Monster Mash” and “Ghostbusters” while we curl. At Christmas we all don our Santa hats and exchange tacky gifts that we got from an aging aunt whose relatives are cleaning out her condo. Then there are Valentine’s Day and St. Patrick’s Day where curlers search their closets for colourful curling pants with hearts or shamrocks. There is no end of entertainment!

The club was founded in 1911. The building is quite cozy and historic. The drive into the tiny parking lot is narrow, just like the ice sheets because, in this part of the city, land is expensive. Upstairs in the club a banquet room can be reserved for family gatherings. This facility is truly a family affair. And we feel lucky to be part of the High Park curling family. It may keep us young (and thin) forever.


Peter’s curling hat and my curling earrings. Who said curling isn’t fashionable?

3 thoughts on “Curl Up During the Winter

  1. My father curled at High Park in 1936, then went to Tam O’Shanter, which hasn’t had curling for many years and finished at the Cricket Club where he curled for 40 years. I curled at High Park from 1999 to 2004. A great place-right across the street from my house. Patricia Bowness


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