Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Get Your Skates On, It's Roller D-I-S-C-O!

Way back in August a friend of mine Facebooked to say she was at a friend's daughter's rollerdisco birthday party, I was immediately transported back to 1982 and I was 8 years old again, skating on a Sunday morning at Dunstable Leisure Centre with my Mum and Sister.  I lamented as much on my Facebook page and was amazed at the overwhelming response from my friends wanting to relive their relative youths and rollerdisco once more.  So I decided to organise a glide down memory lane and it's finally come round, tomorrow I rollerdisco for the first time in over 25 years.  I am writing this now as I tomorrow I may be in traction.  See, in my mind's eye I can skate like I did over a quarter of a century ago, the reality may be a different story entirely!

"If she's not in action, she's in traction!"
My new mantra?

I was hoping beyond hope that my Mum still had her original rollerboots (white ice skates converted into rollerboots, the stuff of my childhood dreams) and amazingly (if you know my Mum she never keeps anything) she had, although the bearings were shot and they needed a clean to me they looked wonderful.

One of my Mum's boots before the spruce-up
So I gave them a clean and put them away until Mr Right (worried that I might break every bone in my body on the dodgy old wheels) surprised me by fitting some new sparkly purple wheels.  I added some pink sparkly stoppers and I'm off into town tomorrow morning to seek out some deely boppers (windmill ones as they are the dogs and I will truly be 8 years old once again) and I will be all set for tomorrow night.

"Tonight rollerdisco, tomorrow slipped-disc-oh!"

Let's hope my evening doesn't pan out like this!

"Tonight I was 8 years old again, something tells me tomorrow I'm gonna feel 80!"

Well, it's the morning after rollerdisco and I'm still alive!  I don't even ache as I'd suspected I might (there's some elasticity in these tired old muscles yet).  I had a fantastic time with the six other like-minded Rollerbabes that weren't struck down by various illnesses.  
The six brave Rollerbabes in their boots and boppers

We all donned our skates and the deely boppers that I had managed to track down in the local market as a last ditched attempt to recapture my youth, sadly not the windmill variety but the silver glittery ball type, a close second (I forgot how heavy they are!) and staggered onto the rink.  The venue (Roller City in Welwyn Garden City) itself was ideal, small enough not to feel threatening and large enough so that you felt you had space to skate.  OK there were the die-hard skaters that love weaving in and out and cutting the novices up but we were really surprised to see all ages and abilities skating together.  We were also shocked by how many older men were there.

My Mum's skates with the new wheels and stoppers did me proud and by the end of the evening muscle memory from the years and years spent in skates (I even used to ride my bike wearing them!) was starting to kick in, although my confidence was still a little lacking. I couldn't call it a night without at least trying to go backwards and I did manage it but I should have tried at the beginning of the session when the rink was a little less crowded.
My Mum's boots after the spruce up, ready to go!

I did have a near-death experience when one of my wheels hit a foreign object on the floor but I managed, by some miracle, to stay upright, although I must have looked hilarious flailing around with my silver deely boppers bouncing wildly like a set of clackers perched on my head as I struggled to stay vertical and dignified (as dignified as one can look whilst flailing with deely boppers on!).
Should I put these babies on my Christmas list? :)

There were some characters there too, it's a great place for people watching, there were middle-aged men with beer bellies gliding effortlessly round the rink, a little old lady nearly took out one of our rollerbabes as she sped past, there was 'Tiger Feet', so-called because of the luminous pink, yellow and black tiger striped fake fur boot-warmers she wore and the pot-bellied figure-skater man who was very graceful and had all the arm moves of a ballroom champion, to name but a few.

Tiger Feet!
Although the music wasn't to our taste, the venue was great and it was a cheap local night out.  All in all we had a blast and hopefully we can don our skates again soon and give those Rollerbabes missing in action the opportunity of 'wheely' good time too.
Me, flouting the 'No Photography' rule, cheeky!


  1. OMG what a fab night out.

    I'm going to get some practice in with me 'new' old Converse rollers, maybe I can tag along next time?!

  2. The more the merrier, it's a great night out and your Converse boots would fit right in there, there's a lot of retro rollerboot love in Welwyn.

    The venue is great and is a bit cheaper if you have your own boots.

    I really must get round to organising another trip now that the evenings are lighter, my boots are gathering dust!


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