Last weekend I bumped into a couple of old friends, Lawrence and Carly. I know them from when Imogen and I were skating at the YMCA.

They said that they were setting up a male roller derby team. The practice sessions are on Wednesdays at the Mytholmroyd community centre. Would I be interested? How could I say no?!

So I ordered some “quads” from Rawk, rush delivery, and on Wednesday last I went to my first practice session. I was such good fun! There were only a handful of us there, which worked really well for me as it was a nice easy start. I immediately found that my previous knowledge was useful – I know what “lemons” are! We practised falling, single knee, two knees (rockstar), knees and elbows (pornstar), slide and some others. Then slalom, jumps and ending on cross-overs.

Gillie (our instructor for the session) asked if we wanted to do anything else. I quietly suggested cross-overs going clockwise. I was amused when the idea was declined; roller derby is played on an oval, skating anti-clockwise. Why would we need to practice going the wrong way! :-)

Looking forward to more training and hopefully making it on to The Skateful Dead team some day :-)


Flattr this!

Red Nose Day 2009

Yesterday was Red Nose Day. A few of us at work agreed that we wanted to do something, but what? Cycling home the idea struck me – lets wear wigs!

Me, as Amy WinehouseThe following day we announced it and other ideas were added, a Bring & Buy sale and a puzzle, with a bottle of wine as the prize. I managed to borrow six wigs from a friend (thanks Vicky) so I had a good choice, and spares for others. To get people in the spirit, Mo photographed me wearing each one and I made a voting sheet. I put it up in the kitchen at work so that colleagues could choose my look for the day. Ten of the seventeen votes were for the long black wig, with suggestions (and doodles) of Brian May, Charles the First and Amy Winehouse.

When I mentioned it to Mo she said “Ooh!, I’ll do your eye make-up!” and that was decided.

Anyway, it was a really great day. I wore a wig, tattoos and eye-liner all day at work and for skating in the evening. Others joined in, wearing wigs, ribbons and red hair spray. There was a Red Nose lunch in the Piece Hall. The Bring & Buy was a success too. We had enough for me to hawk around the building at the end of the day.

Lots of fun and we raised almost £130 for Comic Relief. Thank you to everyone at Westgate House.

Flattr this!

Lots of skating

leaves_on_the_lineI’ve managed to get out and skate five days in a row this week (though only for 20 minutes on Tuesday before the ground was too wet). It’s sunny today, so this looks like day six. Yesterday evening was wonderfully autumnal.

I’m also there with the paperwork that will let me teach skating. By 27 September it should be sorted. Hope this weather lasts a few more weeks at least. If you’ve never skated then you should try it – it’s fun!

Flattr this!


When we did the ICP course (way back in April now) we were given names of a few companies to try for insurance. Well, having spoken to both, one won’t provide cover, the other seems very friendly.

So I’m recommending Into Sport, based in Leeds. Phone number for them is 0113 232 0704.

Flattr this!

Teaching Practice

I spent some time today practising to start to teach skating. I still need to get insurance sorted out, but I’m hoping to afford that this month. I’m a little nervous about teaching and so I’m looking for some guinea pigs who want to learn to skate. I’m offering four free lessons for up to four people. Are you interested? Do you meet these criteria?

  • Can’t skate (rollerblade) but want to learn
  • Live in or around Halifax, or can make it to Peoples Park at the weekend
  • Own a pair of recreational skates (with heel brake), pads and a helmet
  • Are prepared to commit to four one hour sessions
  • Might even practice in between sessions

(I may need to add more criteria, depending on what the insurance policy says.)

If you are interested then please send an email to

Flattr this!

ICP Vision

On Friday evening Mo and I went skating at the YMCA – as usual.

A lady there asked me how to go backwards. Well, what could I say?

When people, usually kids, have asked me that in the past I have recounted to them how I learnt. We have laminate floors at home – good for skating. I learnt “backwards” by pushing myself off the kitchen wall. Then I got so I could push myself back using my left leg as support leg and right foot slightly toe-in. Repeated this with the left foot. Then started to wiggle my bum and eventually got it.

But that was then.

Now I’m ICP qualified I could see so many things that needed to be fixed. I advised her that she practice going forwards before she tried to go backwards. (She kept on trying, as her friends could do it, and she managed a little.)

My perceptions have been changed. I found myself correcting my own mistakes and felt frustrated at being confined to travelling one way round in such a small space. I saw children falling, windmilling their arms as they landed with a bump. I wanted to shout “stop” and show everyone stage 1, just so that they could skate without falling.

I need to get outside more and I need to get some teaching done.

Flattr this!

Learning to skate (again)

I’m sort of in the middle of trying to learn how to teach in-line skating to beginners.

I’ve skated myself now for about five years. I love it and I want others to enjoy it too. So last year I considered getting ICP1 level certified. The Inline Certification Program is an international organisation that is “devoted to the development of professional inline skating instructors”. I only considered it last year, but didn’t do it. I am now though, and I tell you something – it’s tough!

After the two hour evaluation session I found that I had loads of bad habits. Now I’m putting in loads of practice trying to fix them. Next weekend I’m down in London again for the course proper – two days of intensive skating.

I’ll post back on how I do…

Flattr this!