Roller Derby Part 2 – Scrim & Skate

On Sunday 25th November 2012, with my hubby and 4 year old in tow, oh and my brand new, just out of the box, Anarchy Skates –  I headed to ‘Zombieland’ AKA Upper Heyford Gym, the home of OWG, to watch my first in the flesh Roller Derby Scrimmage. (I wouldn’t be human if I had not utilised YouTube to see what I was letting myself in for). Now hopefully you followed the wikipedia link in part 1 and know all about the sport …. ok, not to worry if you didn’t, here is a brief synopsis from Wiki just to get you up to speed:

Roller derby is a contact sport played by two teams of five members roller skating in the same direction around a track. Game play consists of a series of short matchups (“jams”) in which both teams designate a scoring player (the “jammer”) who scores points by lapping members of the opposing team. The teams attempt to assist their own jammer whilst hindering the opposing jammer — in effect, playing both offense and defense simultaneously. 

OWG are going up against SRT (Severn Roller Torrent) in a closed door scrim, meaning a) that as a scrim, rather than a bout, no points would be allocated to the league table and b) that as closed door, it was not a ticketed event or open to the public. This is also a special occasion – it is OWG’s first birthday and food and a roller disco are planned for the evening


So I find myself a seat on the ‘bleachers’ with hubby and little man and get ready for the action to start. Some official stuff is going on in the centre of the rink with Refs, Team Captains and NSO’s (non skating officials) and then the music starts and  SRT skate out, as each skate name is called out a girl stands up and gives a wave, cool just like I have seen on YouTube, but better because I am here. Next OWG come out for a lap of honour and the same roll call process, some looking a little nervous but all obviously happy to be there. Then OWG line up with their hands out as the SRT girls skate past and hand slap along the line with lots of smiles and cheers. Let the game begin.


Now this is where the problem starts for me, I only have a basic idea of game play, I do not know how points are scored, I do not know what counts as a penalty, and have a sports mad hubby asking me lots of questions. Now luckily for us, one of the OWG team was a spectator, how could we tell, well ST was holding her team shirt that she had just collected, so hubby asked her for answers to his questions and then relayed the information back to me. All too soon, half time came and it was time to say bye to hubby as he was taking little man home – and I was left as Billy no mates. So I joined ST, who skates as Misty Knight Mare, and had a chat about derby until the teams came out for the second half. Now going into half time the score was pretty dire in favour of SRT, they are an experienced team, whereas the current OWG line up have quite a few newly signed off skaters. Well I don’t know what happened in the changing rooms, but OWG really pulled out the stops in the second half, OK they did not reduce the score margin, but hell, they were fired and spectator wise it was great to watch. Now this is what I signed up for.

All too soon it was over, SRT did a victory skate around the rink to applause from the audience, they were then joined by OWG … and the roar of the crowd got even louder and it was time to PARTY … and to put myself on roller skates for the first time *Gulp*


The main lights dim, the disco lights come on and music starts to pound from the stereo system. Luckily all the skaters have disappeared to get changed and ready to party meaning that I can put my skates on and wobble onto the rink without anyone noticing. At this point I am reciting a mantra to myself … you do not need to hold on to the side, you do not need to hold onto the side, you do not need to hold on to the side … and before I know it, and even if I am on shaky legs and frequently walking and moving like Frankenstein, I manage to get around. Go me!

After a few circuits I am already feeling the burn, well what do I expect, I have done no real exercise since becoming a Mum four years ago – chasing my boy around has been exhausting enough – and the teams are filtering out of the changing rooms now and into the foyer and they can see me. OK, they can see me, so self consciously I decide that this would be a good time to ‘take a break’. So I take my skates off, and wander outside for a smoke and bump into a couple of the SRT team who are getting some air and having a chat. One of the skaters makes eye contact, and with a grinning face and shining eyes (probably euphoria from the win) says Hi, I say Hi back, the way you do and the next thing I am asking how long she has skated and she is asking if I am a skater and I say that I have just signed up and start my basic training with OWG the following Wednesday. The skater in question was Beatrix Got’er, and her enthusiasm for the sport, and for anyone joining was immense. Beatrix basically welcomed me to the family and told me about some bouts coming up along with ‘You must come along and have a skate with us after’. I did not know her, she was on the opposing team, which in other sports generally means the ‘enemy’, and here she was giving me the equivalent of ‘verbal hug’.

ImageA Beatrix Got’er hug.

We all headed back inside and I took some time to chat to some of the OWG girls, better to break the ice now, when they were not focused on training, than wait till Wednesday when I would be too worried and nervous to even look anyone in the eye. All too soon it was time for me to head home, leaving the disco in full swing, and put my little man to bed. I went over to say bye to our Derby Mamma SmackHer Lazarou and the first thing she said “I was watching you and you did OK” – music to my ears. With some time and effort I can do this …. and it seems a few others know I can too.

My next roller derby blog will be all about my favourite pastime – shopping!


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Always have a PLAN B – and if not, make the most of what you have.

Well here we are, the first day of 2013, and last night the inspiration for this blog occurred.

 Here is my last Facebook status update for 2012.


Here is the story behind the post.

 Plan A

This is the plan, and also a bit of a tradition. Having Scottish heritage, Hogmanay is a big event for my family and me. H is a superb host and an excellent cook and enjoys hosting our annual Hogmanay dinner, and I love being with H and her hubby S to bring the New Year in.

30th December: Head to big sisters (H), have a date night with hubby (J) while H looks after C.

31st December: have a leisurely day with sis – a little retail therapy, have a bath, do nails, get glammed up ready to see in the new year.

1st January – do nothing apart from eat, if you can find the room.

2nd January, think about heading home (this can be quite difficult as H and S make you so welcome and comfortable that you don’t want to go).

Well that was the plan, until H gets sick, and I mean really sick, H does not do sick, I have never known her to take a day off or cancel anything; she is a fighter and soldiers on, but not this time, whatever has got her, has got her good and hubby and I decide that we will leave her in peace and head home, so with a double check that she does not need anything (and her hubby S on standby) we jump in the car for the journey home, carrying a third of the pork shoulder that H was going to cook us for supper and a punnet of fresh raspberries. My sister has a very good heart, and was worried about those who had been invited (hubby and me and two other couples) so asked S to split the meat and give us each a portion to cook at home. I wish I could be that thoughtful when feeling that ill.

So J and I arrive home with little man C, who after hearing us talk about it for weeks, wants a Hogmanay Party … he is only 4 and this is the first time he has been aware of New Year, and Old Father Time and I would like to celebrate too, this will be my first ever New Year at home.  J and I just stare at each other, OK what do we do? We have very little food in the house (I don’t grocery shop for Christmas and New Year as we are away most of it) and NO PLAN B!

Do not despair, all is not lost – we have a shoulder of pork, raspberries, carrots, apples, onions and half a bag of Aunt Bessie Roast Potatoes … we also have a Co-op store around the corner. Ha ha, plan B is taking shape.

OK, I have never cooked a pork shoulder so first things first … Google Pork Shoulder Recipes, after looking at a few and realising that for each one I was a couple of ingredients missing I decided to do a combination of the recipes – herb combo from one, butter glaze from another, and apples from another … a new dish is born Sharon’s Caramelised Butter Pork and Vedg Roast – ok you can read caramelised as burnt if you want – with roast potatoes and carrots.

Ready for the Oven


Cooked and resting.

OK not much of a New Years Eve feast but it’s a start.

Now my favourite part of any meal is Dessert! Hubby suggested Eton mess as I always have cream and meringues in the pantry, and although I like it, I much prefer a chocolate dessert on a special occasion. So hubby kindly offered to go to the co-op and see if they had any of the gorgeous brandy profiteroles that they do, alas they didn’t, however, they did have a key lime cheesecake and hubby also bought a rather expensive bottle of Pinot Grigio to make up for the lack of chocolate (God I love that man)


Great we now have two courses, but no dining table as it is currently hosting a crafting project of J’s and now I am in the mood I want this to be special and different for C than a normal supper, and to be honest I really want to make an effort for and with myself too, so with 15 minutes on the oven timer before I have to put the potatoes in I jump in the shower and put my party dress on (no time to dry and straighten my hair) then back into the kitchen.


A delve in the fridge, looking for the carrots, unearths a small Camembert cheese, ha inspiration hits, and on investigation C’s snack box still contains some mini bread sticks – that will be our starter then. So bread sticks get poured into a bowl and the Camembert gets shoved in the oven.


I am on a roll so start hunting out anything that will make the table look special, I find a white table cloth in a drawer but on its own it looks to stark, not a problem, I bought a red linen effect table cloth for my Mums party a couple of weeks ago and cut a length off as it was too big for the table, its not in the best shape, but is sufficient enough to act as table runner for my impromptu dinner party. As a bonus I also find three lonely Christmas crackers left over from the party and some mini sparklers – crackers for the table, sparklers for the desserts – I am a happy girl.


OK what else do I need to make this table pretty, simple, a few wine glasses, a few baubles and a few tea lights, an idea inspired by the hours spent on Pinterest, put them together and you have a table centre – or in our case and off centre as little hands tend to grab.


We are ready to ‘rock and roll; dinner is served.


Well, I really feel like I achieved something – I managed to turn around what could have been a miserable evening with a take-a-way into a fun one, with a nice dinner (not as good as my sisters though) – what great way to end the year.

All it leaves is for me to say


And just remember for every problem there is a solution, you just need to find it.

PS My big sister H taught me (nearly) everything I know, especially how to smile through pain or disappointment and more importantly how to make the best of your  circumstances and what you have. Get well soon H, I love you.

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