A north-east couple have surprised their skating-mad daughter with a rink in their back garden.
Eight-year-old Adonia Marshall, who has additional needs, asked her mum Kate and dad John for an ice rink for Christmas, as her regular venues in Aberdeen and Dundee are closed during lockdown.
The chances of granting that wish seemed remote at the time but when temperatures at their home in Gourdon began to plummet, Mrs Marshall urged her husband to have a go.
She said: “I follow a lot of ice-skating links on Facebook, and I was just looking at all the outdoor ice rinks in Canada and thinking, that would be amazing if it ever got cold enough.
“My husband was saying, ‘I’m not sure it’ll freeze and I don’t think it’ll work’, and I went, ‘just do it now’
“He’s really handy, he was an engineer on a ship, and he just did it within an hour.”
‘She went on it for three hours’
The family had to wait around two weeks before Adonia’s older sister Charlotte woke up and announced the water in the rink had frozen solid.
Mrs Marshall, a hairdresser and holistic therapist, said: “I don’t think Adonia even got out of her pyjamas, she got her ice skates on first.
“She was just over the moon, she went on it for three hours non-stop, and she used it for two full days.
“It was just brilliant.”
Adonia’s passion and talent for ice skating became clear around a year ago, when she went along to an open rink day in Aberdeen.
Not long afterwards, she joined the Linx ice skating club where she was coached by Andrea Law, and was later her daughter Anastasia at Ice Dundee.
However, lockdown has meant that she has only had access to rinks for around six months, and she hasn’t been able to step onto one since the start of December.
Kate said: “It’s her thing, because she has development language disorder, and verbal dyspraxia.
“We didn’t know how much she was going to excel.”
She said ice skating had been her daughter’s “saviour”, adding: “Anything to do with ice or ice skating, she’s just obsessed about.”
While the rink in the garden can only be used when the temperature is particularly low, it has already brought a lot of joy – both to Adonia and her mum.
Mrs Marshall said: “I did have a go, I’m not like my daughter though.
“I can skate, but Adonia’s well overtaken me now.”