Roller Derby. Well, it’s just an excuse really.

I have come to realise that Roller Derby has become more of an excuse. An excuse to go to strange places. Places I’d never go. There’s no reason to mostly. Many bouts are held in out of the way places. Even if they are in a tourist town the venues are usually sited well away from places of interest. Except of course, if you get a buzz from industrial estates.

Even the biggest events are held in bizarre places. The World Cup, in an old bomb proof ammo dump on an old air force base. The track laid where iron slicks once lay, waiting to be loaded on to a B52 and dropped on unsuspecting Russian citizens.

Travelling to unsavoury areas sometimes has its drawbacks. I’ve spent my fair share of time with racist taxi drivers. Staggering around lost in derelict areas waiting to get mugged. Exiting the coach in Glasgow I said my farewells to the team and headed in what I thought to be the right direction to the hotel. When things started looking like Beirut I knew I had taken a wrong turn.

The taxi driver I finally flagged down, at least wasn’t racist, however I had to endure the tale of the 13 litres of yellow paint he had to pick up from Walsall. He wasn’t happy with the prospect of driving all that way, but the cost of a courier was prohibitive. I agreed with him on this point. I’ve tried to contract a courier to transport acids and they weren’t happy. This paint was special. The last 13 litres ever produced. I gathered from what he was saying, that it was similar, but a slightly different to magnolia. Mmmm I thought. Can’t you just paint, whatever you are painting magnolia? I kept this thought to myself. The story had gone on long enough.

My forthcoming trip to Edinburgh is different. It affords me an excuse to go back to a city in once I lived. To wander the streets and visit the old haunts. A pie and a pint at Berts is a must. Then a slow wander up to the museum of Modern Art to see one of my favourite paintings. Favourite for all the wrong reasons. I don’t know what the title is, but it’s by Otto Dix. If you are going to paint nudes you should at least have the draughtsmanship skills to be able to draw the whole figure, not just the bits that interest you. Well, that’s just my opinion. I can draw hands. But it makes me smile.
Then a saunter back to the station and home.

Has anyone thought of putting a bout on in Kamchatka? I’ve always wanted to go there.


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