“London Baby!”- Two words An C Hammer, Cherry Moshpit, Sex’ass Chainsaw Mascara, E.V. Wonder and I kept chanting from the moment we tresspassed the check-in lines, until the moment we set our feet on St-Pancreas’ floor.
We were all so excited, we made the perfect stereotypes of “tourists”, and so, we danced our way to the Starbucks to start our first morning in London. After the drinks were done, the long haunt for a ticket machine for the ‘tubes’ started. Finally, once we communicated to each other what our day’s plans were, An C Hammer and E.V. Wonder rolled off to Brempton Hall for their Roller Derby Bootcamp. The next time we’ll be seeing them would be at 17:00 cheering for the teams of the London Roller Girls League.
Meanwhile, the three of us left had to go to SkateAttack (a skate shop located near South Gate) to buy derby-equipments for some dolls back in Antwerp (and ourselves of course!). In addition to that, our lovely Sex’ass Chainsaw Mascara bought her own skates! I guess we spent about two hours in the shop alone, because by the time we got back to our hostel (the Earl’s Court Hostel), it was already 14:00, and we wanted to SHOP before the bouts start.
Where better to start than the Piccadilly Circus??!! (Piccadilly, don’t you just love the way it sounds?Well, I know I do!) Once there, we had to take three different streets to finally get to the avenue where all the shops were. Gosh, so many people, so many joy, so many SUSHI restaurants! Cherry Moshpit and Sex’ass Chainsaw Mascara had to take out their professional cameras to picture out the beauty of London’s most entertaining show: the people. I just took out my phone ^^.
Once they were done, we wondered about the stores in and out, until Sex’ass Chainsaw Mascara guided us to a cupcake-candy paradise place! My, my, my! I swear those cupcakes looked as if they had just come out of a Disney cartoon movie! Once we got our cupcakes in hands, we noticed it was already 16:00 and had to hurry back to Earl’s court to be in time for the bouts!
Back in the tubes, which by now we managed to know the lines, we were nervous; this was to be the first bout we see in LIVE through our own eyes, and not through a TV or laptop screen. We were about to experience, for the very first, ROLLER DERBY.
17:00 sharp, we spot E.V. Wonder waiting for us at the entrance of the hall, while up the stairs, An C Hammer was waiting for us.
I have to say, while standing on the escalator, as we got higher and closer to the floor where the bouts were to take place, I couldn’t hold myself anymore that I just ran up as fast as I could, and there it was. IT = EVERYTHING! The roller girls rolling past me, the welcoming booth, the rock ’n roll music, the crowd, the anchor woman’s voice echoeing, the flashing colours of each team’s outfit. EVERYTHING!
Once the five of us had the pink ribbons around our wrists, we chose to sit on the floor, the nearest possible to the amazing game we were about to watch.
The introduction of the Sufra Jets and the Steam Rollers was made. I tried to memorize the names with the faces, but I found it easier to associate the girl’s number with the face. The bout starts, the crowd cheers, the girls hit, the others fall. What amazed me most, was the strength of those girls, and the fact that YOU, as a mere SPECTATOR, feel every vibe, every roll of the wheels, and every fall each of those roller girls did.
Halftime was called, the dolls ad I head towards the merch and buy London Roller Girls shirts, bags, pins.. whatever we can get that will forever remind us of this day.
Back in the second halftime, the game was even more exciting, because the roller girls were even more warmed up. It was insane. I couldn’t believe I was here, watching roller girls so close to me that if I closed my eyes I could feel them pass by me. I think it’s silly and funny that I’m amazed as such, because I am a roller girl too. We all are!
After a first great bout, the second bout (Harbour Grudges VS Ultraviolent Femmes) knocked my mind out! The jammers were breathtaking, the skaters were literally flying off the ground!
For every fall, you’d hear a united ” OOOOOOHHH”, for every grand slam you’d hear a “YYEEEAAH!” Overall, it was the most amazing experience any of us had so far. We, each and everyone of us, fell madly and insanely in love with Roller Derby even more! What a great way to end the Saturday night, and the first day in London. With the bouts in our heads, we each dive into our beds, ready to attack Camden Town the next day.
Sunday morning, we all head back again to Picadilly Circus and have a pure and full English breakfast: bacon, sausages, mushrooms, beans, scrambled eggs and toasted bread.
D-LICIOUS, may I say. The most perfect breakfast to start a day in Camden Town. Camden Town was as great as its reputation. We rolled around the shops in and out, amazed by some outfits, disgusted by others, trying hats on, buying boots, bargaining with the salesmen, etc…
Our train was at 16:04, and it was 15:00 already, and we had to leave now if we didn’t want to miss our train, although, we, deep deep inside, wanted to stay one more day in London. After some difficulties with the tubes (again, trouble with the line connections) we make it safely to the station, and ready to get in the Eurostar by 15:45.
London is a great city, but the roller derby only made it more magnificent. Yet, aside from all the derby techniques An C Hammer and E.V. Wonder learned from bootcamp, aside from the tourism experiences Sex’ass Chainsaw Mascara, Cherry Moshpit and I had, we learned something greater. We learned about each other most. This trip not only strengthened our love for roller derby, but it also strengthened our love and sister bond between each other. And, for some unknown reason, it made us all realise that we are not simply an E.V. Wonder, a Cherry Moshpit, an An C Hammer, a Sex’ass Chainsaw Mascara and a Nisfit Hussy, but that we are the one and only One Love Roller Dolls.
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On this, I hope that the next time we go to London, it would be to play against the London Roller Girls, because London still needs to be forever imprinted by the traces of our wheels.
Derby love to the London Roller Girls League, and to our own derby-sisters and brothers (the refs), the One Love Roller Dolls.
Nisfit Hussy, Xxo