On 27th December I began my move from Newcastle to the midlands, more specifically Birmingham city centre.

I left my skates at my mums with the plan to not do any skating in January at all, go to the ref bootcamp in February and then start reffing with the Crash Test Brummies from then in.

Soon changed my plans when Metal Ed messaged to ask me to ref a closed scrim on the 20th, and Boris Snarloff asked me to ref a Leeds intraleague on the 27th…

No rest for the wicked ey?

Speech speech speech speech!

I left the NRG on Saturday night, after working the final bout of 2012 with them.

I’ve had some ups and downs in the league, mainly since I had the teeth issues. That was at the forefront of my mind when wrting my goodbye speech, which is why this is actually the third version of it. I firmly believe that just because other people act like animals, I can rise above it… but sometimes that takes two drafts and proof reading by two women you trust to say NO. DO NOT READ THAT OUT.

So, putting that aside, I want to say thank you to everyone who made my time in roller derby in the North East the enjoyable experience that I will remember. Don’t worry, my memory is so bad I’ll forget the bullshit in about ten seconds. Here’s the speech:

“Thank you.

You all know how much I love quotes, so I thought I’d start with one: “Great teams are not made up of many well-rounded players. Great teams are made up of a variety of players, each having their own strengths.”

You may experience greatness on track, but remember a team isn’t built from the moments of triumph; it’s built from the trials and tribulations in between.

To truly be the best we can be, we need to work together. Encourage each other.
Check in on your team mates that are off skates… they need you right now.
Don’t shit on your fellow skaters. They’re the ones that will take you to A&E.
A team is like a family, so act like one.

Congrats to the Captain and Vice, ladies you will be superb. Everyone else – remember these ladies have taken up a challenge. Help them. Don’t demand they work for you, you should work for them.

I wanted to say a proper thank you to a handful of people… Gin and Big Smack, for supporting me more than I ever expected. Stiff and Sven for welcoming me into Team Zebra. And Snipes.

One final quote… “A trophy carries dust. Memories last forever” so to everyone who has made my time with the NRG enjoyable, I love you. To everyone else, feel free to go play on inflatables in the sea with Sniper…”

It seems apt to finish with an update on the teeth since I mentioned it above… I’m being referred to an orthodontist to get a brace fitted and get them back where they should be. By next year it will be all back to normal again.

Extra thank you to Big Smack for making me this:


F-you Boris

Friday night, prepped my kit, everything washed and laid out ready for the next morning.

My final day with the NRG, benching for the Belters, and then reffing the Tyne and Fear.

It’s a weird feeling. As with every bout since I’ve been with the league, I planned this bout and am the go-to person. Trying to keep a record in my head of all the jobs I’m asked about, and all the people I deal with so that I can pass the info on to the guys who will be taking over from me.

As usual, it’s organised to within an inch of its life, and the bout goes well.

1) Benching was horrendously stressful. I don’t think I’ll be doing that again soon.
2) Reffing was brilliant.

I was on team awesome for starters. Boris Snarloff as my head ref, Cherry and Stiff there. Polly, who has been learning the ropes alongside me at NRG was OPR too.

I took up rear OPR, first time in this position, and that’s my hat trick of outside pack reffing DONE.

Got through the first half without calling a single penalty. Every time I went to say something, Boris called it. This pretty much carried on for the full bout actually. Managed to get… like one? Yeah probably one call in there that no one else called.

Final minor that I’ll ever call goes to Sunday Sanchez from Lincolnshire Rolling Thunder, who earned himself a back block.

Lessons I learnt: 1) It is bad form to say “fuck you Boris” to the head ref, even when you really mean it. It’s probably even worse if his or her name is not Boris. 2) It’s really hard to not congratulate Lil Joker on a fab jam when he grins the whole time. 3) No matter how many times you tell Porky he’s not allowed to talk to you when you’re in stripes, he still will.

Fab time, couldn’t have had a better send off from reffing in the North East really. Lots of lovely feedback from Boris and Cherry, and invites to join them both in London and Leeds. Two thumbs up!

Not in the Reffing mood

It’s been a frustrating week for me. A friend at work said its because there’s been a full moon and apparently I “always act odd after one”. News to me, but ok.

I have to find somewhere to live when I move to Birmingham. I’ll be moving there between Xmas and New Year. I need to move out of my house. I need to pack. I need to do prep work for my new job and finish my job here. Ill be leaving friends, colleagues, someone special.

All of this has left me STRESSING MY HEAD OFF.

Tonight I took that out on the Tyne and Fear by sending them to the box. Even when they didn’t really deserve it.

I apologised afterward. To most of them.

I remember as Vice of the league telling people to leave their shit at the door and not take it on track. Mainly when you’d see feuding friends going for each other. But tonight I could have done with my own advice.

I actually shouted “what was that?!” when the jam ended and I had lead, only to be told 2mins were up. Ouch.

Doing my last bout of the year on the 15th. It’s my final bout with the NRG before I move to Birmingham, and it is the morning after I come back from a week of long training days in the Midlands.

I think I’ll have to remind myself to not be a douche. It will be an emotional one regardless. Not sure how I feel about this.