I skate for the Middlesbrough Milk Rollers and Team England Roller Derby
The season is well and truly underway for the Middlesbrough Milk Rollers now, and I can’t wait to take on Bristol and Leeds and then head to the Queens of the Sin Bin Tournament in August!
I’m looking forward to the mini bootcamp and scrimmage the Tiger Bay Brawlers are putting on next weekend like LOTS and LOTS, and the massive buzz about the Roller Derby World Cup in Dallas next year is getting me really excited about being on my skates right now!
I was lucky enough to get asked to go guest coach Durham City Rolling Angels some jammer skills on Tuesday this week. It was my first proper session coaching another league and honestly they couldn’t have been more lovely, they are fearless and so competitive - I can’t wait to see them go out and win some bouts!
Oh also MMR made WFTDA Apprentices recently… no big deal or anything. So where do we sign up to play Gotham?
So having a bit of spare time over Christmas let me think back about 2012 and how much time me and my buds have spent of it on the road for derby.
A quick add up tells me we’ve travelled 1,844 miles to WATCH derby and 6,238 miles to PLAY derby this year (that’s not including the Bootcamp in Helsinki!) If that’s not an obsession I don’t know what is!
Here’s to 2013, watch out world - MMR are coming!
So it’s almost bootcamp time again, I’m sure Sk8 Heaven isn’t going to come close to how amazing the Team USA bootcamp was last month but I’ve actually gotten really excited to go. Not really so excited for the learning (although that is always the good stuff), but it feels like it’s going to be a nice derby holiday… kinda what I need at the moment.
I did some sort of weird twisty knee fall in my last jam when we played NRG last month and since then (and after falling on it again at training) it’s been dodgy. So since we’ve got a kind of downtime thing - sorry Prepseason… (that’s what we’re calling it) going on at MMR right now I’ve decided to take a few sessions off skates to rest up and hope that it heals (I know knees are funny buggers so I want to treat it nice).
I’ll be strapping skates on again come Saturday for the bootcamp so I think that’s adding to the excitement, since it’s probably the longest time I haven’t skated since I first started playing derby (almost) 2 years ago… crazy!
In other awesome news our new uniform is almost ready from Queens of The Sin Bin, cannot wait to get to wear these on track!
Damn you downtime… sorry Prepseason, I need more bouts to look forward to please!
So Helsinki was amazing, I was a massive fangirl the whole time, I learnt some awesome skills, got to skate with amazing people and some familiar faces and got up to some antics in the meantime.
I’ll try and sum it up as short and sweet as I can, lets cram 6 days down into concentrated goodness…
Stay at Von Sleaze’s (beautiful house) and give ourselves sore arms with the Powerball challenge
DO NOT like getting up at 3am. Valium is STRONG, acts within 15minutes and makes me a floppy Ella as we board the plane to Amsterdam, not before I wolf down a £5 sausage sandwich. Flight isn’t as bad as I imagined, made a lot better with a free sandwich and tea.
Security to transfer through Amsterdam takes mega long, running late -we have a 7 minute walk to get to our gate - we do it in 3 minutes like a bunch of BAWses.
Second flight, valium not so strong - distracted by another sandwich. Steal a sick bag and Coffee creamer for one of Moose’s presents. Land in Helsinki.
Steal a load of panflets at the airport, consider taking the elevator tour of Helsinki… lol yep that’s a real thing!
Get bus to Helsinki centre, get off bus - immediately bump into Pat Rat (a ref from Helsinki Roller Derby) who recognises that we play Roller Derby and so kindly offers to show us where our hotel is!
We then realise we’re at the wrong hotel… (bless him, he did apologise and there are 2 of the same hotels) so we wander around and find it round the corner- paired with a sexy looking pizza place. Eat some Reindeer on a Pizza. Boom.
Drop our stuff at the hotel then go find a supermarket for foods and then go wander and see the streets of Helsinki, end up in a local Karaoke bar then decide to get an early night.
Waking up feeling like we hadn’t slept! But it didn’t matter we were about to go get taught by TEAM USA!!! Get on tram to Pasilla, apparently we don’t pay for public transport there because we got away with a free ride… we get off and we have no idea where we are. After 5 minutes we spot some Team Finland players who show us to the bus stop, Swede Hurt and Mad Malooney (Team Sweden) walk past, then Stefanie Mainey (Team England) turns up so quite a bit of Roller Derby huddled around one bus stop already and we hadn’t even got to the bootcamp yet!
Bus pulls up (which from now on be referred to as the ‘Bus of Dreams’) and I look into the window casually when who do I see looking back? ONLY FRIGGING JUKE BOXX!! So I had a little hyperventilation session and climb on the bus, the USA spotting marathon began.
Queue up and get signed in by Smarty Pants, Suzy Hotrod wrote on my arm (no big deal, whatevs… okay so we kind of squee’d just a little bit) then went down to test the floor. Floor was amazing, grippy as.
Photo credit: Marko Niemelä (http://www.facebook.com/punkmarkophotos)
Drills started with the beginner’s session. Went over the basics, stride, then Agility, then blocking then we ended the day with Suzy and Wild Berry Punch’s session which was partly off skates. They started to put the track down and that was it, skates off time - get ready to do all the viewing.
We see some more Brits at the game including our superfaves Tiger Bay Brawlers <3
The game was saweeeet, crazy agile moves and the team really demonstrated why they are so amazing. Plus we got THE BEST seats in the house, suicide seats by the team Bench.
Afterparty = funny as, we weren’t drunk but proceded to act like we were. Looking like Team USA superfans it was dance like an idiot time and Terri was imediately up the stripper pole displaying her core strength by flipping around. We also made Sleaze go up there which made some entertaining viewing, not to mention AWESOME pictures. We then attempted to get some sleep before the next day of bootcamp.
Up and feeling less achey, had to buy water. Bought water (4 euros!!!) = realised it was fizzy. Massive disappointment. Damn carbonated devil water! Got on the the bus of dreams again, more Team USA along for the ride YAY!
See more Brits on track yay. We start intermediate while the track is getting torn up/put back down. I start the day by crashing into an NSO whiteboard at speed in front of everyone… not my best move.
We get on to the good drills, after a few hours take ourselves away for lunch. We go be fangirls and ask Suzy for a photo. Never had a bigger smile on a photo for realz. Make notes on drills from the balcony and try to
evesdrop accidentally overhear juicy Team USA knowledge in the cafe.
Back to drills, kick it up with Advanced - make more notes. Flagging, need energy - eat some glucose tablets. Get ready for scrimmage. THIS IS WHY WE’RE HERE.
Photo credit: Marko Niemelä (http://www.facebook.com/punkmarkophotos)
Sneakily put my black top on so I can go in a group with Terri and Mills, get split up anyway. I’m on track 2 with the crap tape, great. Meh I don’t care THIS IS AMAZING. I see Andracula in my group, good times. Against some TBB awesome. Team USA starts to disperse into groups. I see V Diva on the other team, wow she’s gonna be hard to get past. Donna Matrix comes over to the black team, YES GOTHAM. Suzy comes over in a white top. Wait, yes…?
Everything goes really fast. First time jamming, schoolboy error - let the other jammer score points. CRAP WHY did I do that? Buster Cheatin comes over and tells me about it. MEH *I DON’T NORMALLY DO THAT I PROMISE!!!* I nod, yes I completely agree *CRAP CRAP CRAP* Okay lets do better next time.
Got Lead, got points, got Addy Rawls Point = WIN.
Got Lead, got points, got Suzy’s Point = YAYYY!
YES I’ll jam again, all of the jamming. Varla Vendetta just did wicked offence for me. Okay now I’m getting battered still, I’m really tired- keep going. AHHH THIS IS AWESOME ANYWAY!
Come off track buzzing. Everyone puts their hands in. Justin Campoy gives us some posters, Dot goes on a signing spree. Take kit off. Don’t want this to end. We have 3 minutes to get out of the hall. Now I’ll go slower. MASSIVE HIGH.
Go back, get showered and ready. Go get food, chatted up by chef. Daquiris! Henrys pub, singing loud - make Brie cringe. Try to go to The Vatican night club to party like a Roman - not open. Lame. Karaoke bar it is. LIVING ON A PRAYERRRRR. LOOSE = dirty rock club. Afterparty type antics; handstands, pile ons, gun shows, lapdance… the locals ask to take pictures. NO. LONG DRINKS. SCHNOBLIKOFF. They must really like the Beatles here. Sleep.
Hanging a bit. Lets go rent bikes! Okay first lets get food. Okay first lets get ready. Find needle cap and a stash of HEROIN in our room. FEEL DIRTY. Ew ew ew ew. Okay food. Memphis bar, Terri’s on the cocktails again. FOOOD. Okay it’s raining, no bikes. BOAT RIDE! Attempt to find the Port to meet the rest of the girls. Fail at navigation. Find out there’s more than one port. Awkward cross-language conversation with Taxi driver. Overpriced Taxi. FLEA MARKET! Wow there’s lots of dead animals here. Find a fox. Find a bear! Pay 50cents to pee. BOAT RIDE. Sleepy.
NAP NAP NAP.
Lets go watch the England bout! Netbooks, check. Free Wifi, check. CHICKEN WINGS. SHNOBLIKOFF. Awesome game. WE SPOT MOOSE!
MMR ARE COMING”
More Shnoblikoff, Karaoke! WHY IS EVERYTHING CLOSING EARLY? Don’t want to leave. Party at the hotel, popcorn! Sleep.
I don’t want to leaaaave! NRG come up with a word game giving us such gems as “HEL-CLINKI, HEL-THINKI, HEL-WINKI, HEL-KINKY…” You see where I’m going with this.
Airport check in. Can of Spam (energy drink) explodes in my suitcase. DRIPPING, EVERYWHERE. Buy reindeer and sweets in duty free. Shop full of Moomins, cray!
To Amsterdam. Free Sandwich YES! THE MOST ANNOYING CHILD IN THE WORLD SITS BEHIND US. SCREAMS AT THE RATE OF 10000000000 DECIBELS FOR THE ENTIRE DESCENT. Valium helps. Consider giving the child some. Landed Amsterdam.
To Newcastle, read the in flight magazine for the 4th time, more snacks. Land, back on home soil. Sleaze pursuades us not to end the holiday and we go for
Lesbian Lebanese food. It’s AMAZING, I like eating Lezbanese. Now holiday has to end…
Drive home to Boro was long, partly because we took the sceneic route, mostly because we got lost. Was nice to be home but I wasn’t looking forward to unpacking my kit… #HELSTINKI
Good people, lovely place, Best times. #Heldrinki