Thursday, 29 September 2011

Derby Blogger

You may not be aware of a wonderful new magazine; the UK's first Roller Derby magazine is called Inside Line and published its first edition recently. They also have an online presence and within this is a blog. You can read my thoughts on new kit as well as plenty of other derby goodness at

You can also buy the magazine through the website - it's ace!


Saturday, 17 September 2011


Insomnia should be an -ism – insomnism, maybe.  Like other ‘isms’ it is as natural and uncontrollable a part of its owner as their handspan or taste in wallpaper. says –ism is a “suffix forming nouns of action, state, condition, doctrine”.  Try telling an insomniac at 2am that they are not in the grip of a state or condition and you may as well try telling someone under the grip of alcoholism that they only think it’s time for a little snifter, or someone dominated by racism that Martin Luther King Jr might have been on to something after all.

Like all –isms, it’s fairly incomprehensible to those who don’t have it.  My husband, for example, prides himself on being a fantastically skilled sleeper - all he has to do is lay down and that’s it; sleep, snuffle, snore.  He simply doesn’t understand that it’s not that simple for me.  I play games in my head to try to bore myself into the land of Nod – mostly the alphabet game – and when I was a kid I used to try to sing myself to sleep.  The only thing that seems to work now is writing stuff down if there are particular thoughts running through my head.  I have a rigid (bordering on OCD) bedtime routine and an incredibly comfortable bed but these things seem insignificant as weapons against night time wakefulness.

So what’s the answer?  I don’t know.  I know what it’s not.  It’s not alcohol – I may appear to be sleeping well when drunk but I wake up feeling entirely unrefreshed, and if I’ve had just under the amount needed to pass out then I lay awake for hours with random thoughts chasing each other through my head.  It’s not milky drinks – they make me wake up needing to pee.  It’s not sleeping pills – they’re great in abnormal circumstances but for a normal night in my own bed they just mask the ongoing problem for a night, rather than solve it.

Maybe I just have to accept insomnia as part of the package of foibles that make me who I am.  Perhaps it really is as intrinsic and immutable a part of my nature as my gargantuan thighs or my love of cheesy rom-coms.  What if the solution is not to try to find ways to get rid of insomnia but ways to deal with the results?  Caffeine, concealer and a power shower? 

They can wait until the morning – right now I’m going to try a new A to Z…A is for anchoring…B is for blocker…C is for cleaning my bearings…oh, crap, that’s something else to add to the to-do list…

Wednesday, 7 September 2011


What's so complicated about motorways? You stay as far left as possible and only move right to overtake. Is that complicated? Judging by the numpties crowding the middle lane of the M6 last weekend it's akin to nuclear physics.

I wouldn't say I get road rage - road major-irritation would be more like it. I'm not an aggressive driver; I shout and swear when people annoy me, rather than letting my stress find an outlet in my driving, but there are several things which annoy me rather more than perhaps they should (in addition to poor lane discipline on a motorway). I thought I'd share them with you...

Not indicating
Why wouldn't you indicate? It requires a small movement of one finger and is courteous and helpful to other road users. For goodness' sake, on most cars you don't even need to remember to turn it off afterwards - what's the problem? My husband is a terrible one for not indicating. In my attempt to be ever helpful, I often sit next to him during those indicator-less moments, chanting, "tick, tock, tick, tock," until he puts it on just to shut me up. It's OK, fellow motorists, no need to thank me.

Not understanding lanes at roundabouts
So you're on a two-lane road, dual carriageway or other, and you are in the outside lane coming up to a roundabout, going straight ahead. STAY IN LANE! Where, exactly, do you think that the person on your inside, also going straight ahead, is going to go when you swerve over to your left on exiting the roundabout? I'll tell you where - straight into your passenger door, that's where. Serves you right.

There is simply no excuse for throwing litter out of a car window. What kind of disgusting, disrespectful, selfish, dirty moron could possibly think that it's OK to discard their rubbish onto the side of the road? Nothing more to say on this one.

I'm sure there's more I could add and you've probably got plenty of your own. For the record, I used to get really wound up by 'baby on board' signs. I interpreted them as suggesting that I am likely to be driving dangerously and should be reminded to drive more carefully around you because of your baby; as if I don't take every precaution not to crash into everyone. That's quite offensive. I try my hardest not to crash into anyone, as it happens, baby on board or not! However, sitting in the car with my sister and her two toddlers as she attempted to drive forward while spending most of the time looking in the rearview mirror as her kids distracted her constantly I realised that the sign isn't there to nag me to drive carefully in case I bump into you, it's there to tell me that you are likely to be unpredictable and I should get out of your way. Thanks for the heads up.

I'm off to get me a 'judgemental woman on board' badge; maybe that'll make people drive a little more considerately (for 'considerately' read 'in the way I'd like') around me. I can but hope.

Friday, 2 September 2011


You know how they say that anorexics look in the mirror and see a fat person?  My problem’s the other way – if I’m honest, I look in the mirror and think I look OK (verging towards not bad at all, in the right light).  It’s only when I look at myself in a photograph that I realise I look like a jolly salad dodger.  Who wants to look ‘jolly’?   (Apart from Father Christmas, and he’s hardly sporting a body to die for.)

Several years ago I lost a lot of weight.  It was the best thing I’ve ever done and at the time I was full of confidence about keeping it off.  Since then, however, two cheeky stone of excess flab has slowly sidled up to my stomach and thighs (surely it can’t be anything to do with my love of food and wine and apparent lack of a ‘feeling full’ signal?) and the time has come to do something about it.

Losing the weight (aiming for three stone as even at my lightest I was a stone heavier than I ought to have been) will have several immediate advantages.  LBRG have some really exciting bouts coming up and I’d like to play in as many of them as possible – this involves being fit, and wheeling three stone less around the track will definitely help.  I’m planning on trekking to Everest Base Camp next Easter and three stone less to cart up a mountain can only be a good thing.  More importantly, my clothes don’t fit and I’m too tight to buy new ones.  Oh, and it’ll make me healthier, blah, blah, blah.

Losing weight is simple – eat less, do more – but as anyone who’s tried it knows, it’s not quite as straightforward in practice.  Also, I am the queen of cheating.  I have always enjoyed a good debate and will happily argue that black is white, just for kicks.  Unfortunately this means that I am quite capable of convincing myself that a bottle of red is no worse than a glass because if I have it all in one sitting my body can’t absorb it all and I’ll just pee it out; when I am drunk, having clearly absorbed the whole bottle, and it becomes clear my logic was flawed, it’s too late.

Being quite sporty, it’s also easy to deny the importance of my fatness by claiming that I’m fit and healthy, despite being only 1.3 BMI points off obesity.  I’m certain that I am fitter than many people of my size but I need to face the fact that I’m simply not as healthy as I would be if I were slimmer.  I know Roller Derby needs people of all sizes, but I’m going to take the chance that I’ll be just as effective a blocker if I’m littler, and who knows, maybe I’ll be a decent jammer one day?

So, with all these thoughts in mind, I embark upon the dieter’s journey.  In the meantime, however, it’s lucky my team play in that most flattering of colours, black!

Thursday, 1 September 2011

Reluctant Blogger

There’s something very egocentric about blogging which makes me uncomfortable.  I wouldn’t stand in the street in the real world and assume random strangers would be interested in knowing more about me, so why should things be any different in the virtual world?  I guess the main difference is that here in cyberland, you are only a click away from getting rid of me – it’s much less awkward than getting rid of an over-eager sharer on the High Street.  Also, if you’ve found this blog, you’re probably interested in reading what other people have to say – blogging’s self-selecting in that way, I guess.

So, why am I doing it?  There are a couple of reasons. 

Firstly, as it says on the right there in the ‘About Me’ section, I play Roller Derby, which makes it very easy for people to label me.  They assume variously that all rollergirls (should that be one word, or two, I’m never sure) are lesbians, ‘alternative’ (whatever that means), or very cool – or, indeed a combination of these.  Whilst clearly many roller girls (tried two words that time, let me know which one you prefer) do fit into one or more of these categories, one of the things I love about Roller Derby is that it truly does accept all comers.  I would not categorise myself as a lesbian, alternative OR cool, but I am still a valued member of the Lincolnshire Bombers Roller Girls and, hopefully, the Derby community at large.  Through this blog, hopefully I can show that those of us who enjoy hitting people while wearing roller skates are more multi-faceted than some might think.

Secondly, and much more selfishly, I want to get my writing out there.  I have a job which I really like (more on that in an upcoming post) but I’d love to write for money – become a word-whore, if you will.  That means getting readers, and that is where you come in.  In future posts there’ll be links to various things I’ve written and I’d love it if you’d read them!

For now, though - toodles. x