We (my children and I) hadn’t planned to visit Berlin again this year, but the opportunity to stay in the flat up from my sister presented itself and it was too good an opportunity to pass on.This was our longest to date I think, ten whole days there.

It was day two before I braved the roads and took an early morning skate out to Tempelhof airport. (I’m always a little nervous the first time out skating distance on the roads/cycle lanes/pavements.) All went well and once there I paused to check that my wheel bolts hadn’t shaken too loose. Whilst tightening them up I spotted another in-line skater apparently being pulled along by a dog.

I set off to do a loop of the airport and soon caught up with her. I couldn’t resist asking about the dog, in my very bad German. She replied in perfect English and so we got chatting and skated around together. Once we got around to the entrance we seemed to be getting on very well. She asked for my phone number and said that she would be skating most mornings. So that was most of my early mornings sorted out for the remainder of the holiday!

There were some mornings where we didn’t skate and on those I set out with my camera and captured the textures of Berlin. You can see these on Flickr.

My sister and her family were generally buys, being back at school/work and so most mornings we missed breakfast with them. We did though have dinner with them every day. Thomas is an excellent cook and it was such a joy not having to think about what to eat every day.

Sunday evening was Skate by Night, though this time I only did the first loop. I’d been skating just about two hours most days, so already got the kilometers in.

On the last evening we ended up going to a park and listening to live music and drinking beer. A perfect way to end the holiday and one that made me fall in love with Berlin a little more than I already had.

Abducted by Aliens?

If you were to beginning to think that this is what had happened to me, then (1) thank you for noticing and (2) nothing so exciting, I’ve just been crazy busy. I still have a kitchen cupboard door full of post-it notes, each one a task to complete.

HARD vs Harlots

Rosie PeacockThe smart thing to do before leaving for a ten day holiday would have been to sort out the flat. I though made the short trip to Leeds to take photos of the games there.

The first game was my lovely Hull’s Angels against Nottingham’s Hellfire Harlots. Both Iron Giant and Claud Apart were missing from the line up. The Harlots were clearly the stronger team and controlled the game from the start. The final score of 344 to 35 reflected this.

Leeds Roller Dolls vs Checkerbroads

On the edgeWhilst I was there I had to stay for this game, and I was very pleased that I had. On paper LRD should have enjoyed a comfortable win against Manchester’s Checkbroads, but then paper doesn’t *always* translate well on to the track. The Manchester walls were very disciplined and LRD’s jammers didn’t slip through as easily as I’ve seen them do in the past. Of note was Tori Bee whose jamming skills were excellent. During the second period Leeds pulled ahead and won with 192 against 125. A very respectable score by Manchester.

I spent the evening backing up photos and preparing for my holiday.


BuchstabenmuseumMy sister and her family live in Berlin. This would be perhaps the fourth time I’d visited, from memory the second Easter visit. I’ve twice been over in summer and taken part in Skate By Night. I wasn’t expecting great weather this trip, though I packed my in-lines just in case.

I was impressed by EasyJet (both outbound and on the return journey) and would definitely fly with them again. My children were with me, of course, and Elliot found the leg room a little tight.

It was lovely to see my sister, Thomas and their children in their home environment. They visit England, but spending time with the children there was wonderful. They are so funny. Calisto is into electronics, as am I, so we had lots of interesting conversations. Summer came out with some hilarious dry lines – and eight year old who owns a Sarcasm Ball (rather like the Magic 8 Ball) is going to go far.  Sol is rather grown up and lived on his X-Box. Tom was funny and polite.

Many of the evenings were spent playing card games. Super Mario across six DSs was also popular and playing GTA V and getting “wasted” was also great fun. We visited museums and landmarks, as you do, though we’d been to some before.

On the skate front I made it out onto the square a little, though I did hit debris whilst going backwards, which stopped my skate and landed my on my left butt cheek. It hurt a little but I carried on. Since then a huge bruise (NSFW) developed and bending on that side has been painful. This didn’t stop me skating further though. One day we went to Tempelhof (ex-airport). Thomas, Tom and Calisto cycled there, I skated, skated 10km whilst there and then skated back. Later in the week I got up early and skated about 20km in a little over three hours. An easy pace – most enjoyable.

Every time I visit Berlin I fall in love with it a little more. This trip was no different; I need to come up with a plan to move out there. Friday I was suffering post holiday blues an spent the day moping around the flat.

Berlin photos on Flickr

Reffing Cherry

Since attending the LRD Referee Boot Camp back in March I’ve been keen to practice what I’d learnt. The HARD Easterish Scrim provided an ideal opportunity and that filled my Saturday. I was pleased to spot some track cuts, though I was too slow to call them – other refs calling them ahead of me. There’s a lot of concentration required – I’d rather be on track – it’s easier!

Many thanks HARD for the practice, especially Beat Monkey for his guidance and Miley Si Rush for lending me his zebra top (and letting me keep it for the time being).