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Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Getting my skates on

Action stations here! I've been cleaning and painting and shifting and whatever else it takes to clear one space and shift another.

I finally got the home studio (which is a triple garage space) cleared and the walls painted before I went to Sydney for a Print Council of Australia meeting. It was in conjunction with the Sydney Printmakers 50th Anniversary, so I met a lot of very interesting and talented people, and also, on the way home, managed to sneak in a quick catch-up with a couple of blog-friends and have a look at Lawrence Finn's fab home studio.

When I got back I painted the central pole and the connecting door from the garage to the house a nice browny-red colour, and then swept the floor and...

skates on

got out my skates
.

I haven't used my skates for over 14 years, or certainly haven't had them on since Bumblebee was born. I did do a little bit of roller hockey about 15 years ago, with everyone else on the (casual) team wearing rollerblades. I don't like iceskating, too wet, too cold; I can't do rollerblades, they lock my ankles in a funny position and do my knees in. But rollerskates! Aahhhh...

When we lived in Townsville in 1980-81, pretty much the only recreation was the local Kirwan skating rink (and of course, it isn't there anymore). I almost lived there, and it was a fantastic place to hang out with my friends, meet boys, hone my skating skillz etc. I never wanted those wussy white girl-skates, always wanted the soccer-boot style, and once I got them, always wanted to be in the speed skating sessions.

One of the 'happy places' in my head is zooming around the rink, trying to be faster than everyone else, accompanied by 'I See Red' by Split Enz.

I practiced for a while, feeling pretty wobbly at first, but the more I went round my little personal rink, the more confident I got. I asked my cousin-in-law, Vince, when he came by last night, to take some photos of me having a skate in my studio. He thought it was pretty funny. He also took a video, but when I looked at it, I thought I could do better; I taped one for myself, and here it is, with a classic 'me' moment at the end, when I tried to be cocky and almost ended arse-up.



I will say that at NO POINT in the afternoon did I fall over!

I would love to skate more regularly, but the only option these days seems to be to join a roller derby team, and I value my limbs and neck too much to do anything even mildly contacting. I'm going to get some street wheels, and skate around the neighbourhood, I think.

Today I'm laying down recycled-tyre rubber flooring and on Friday the heavy machinery comes in. Goodbye, private rink!

Rollerskating in the studio

19 comments:

ronnie said...

ahhhh skating memories....

(I had a pair of those white boots with cool red wheels and brake)

saturday mornings - cobargo school or arts hall (turned temporary roller rink) the wozniaks provided suitable music on cassette tape and portable (big) player... the floor provided splinters...

or

kings theatre bega..... disco ball and lights, KISS ('I was made for loving you baby'....) space invaders table top machine....

or

narooma outdoor rink (with skate hire) next to the swimming pool .... swimming club meets followed by body bruising high speed skate action...

or

any footpath in cobargo, or narooma, or bega, or bermagui - circa 1978-82 they were all fair game for our skating exploits (I was known to fling myself down flights of stairs and see if I could land on my feet rather than my head...)

jeeez I don't think I would be strong enough to turn a perfectly good roller rink into a studio.....

naomi said...

That is SO cool! You look so elegant in your floaty top with those smooth moves ... I can't roller skate at all. Heaps jealous!

The Elephant's Child said...

Oh wow. I too remember skating. Magic.

On an entirely different note, on a garden exploration the other day I noticed that the honesty plants are, life the bulbs, coming through. Would you still like some?

Anonymous said...

Ahh -- Kirwin, Claude, Amityville Horror, Gone With The Wind - such fond memories!

Ampersand Duck said...

Ha! Colonel Duck finally delurks! Oh, there's a whole blogpost in that comment...

Yes, EC, I'd love some... the question becomes whether you want to come to me or I come to you. I'm happy with either, but it might have to wait a week or so until the dust settles with the studio!

Naomi: ta luv

Ronnie -- and for me, when I moved to Orange to go to school, there was an old dance hall with a wooden floor that we used! Loved the clunky sounds we made.

antikva said...

We used to do the rounds of the rinks in Townsville, after school at Railway Estate, West End was a weeknight and weekends at Willows. So much fun & the speed skating free for all LOL It was so depressing when they all shut one by one :(

I have a pair of skates still, I thought I'd be able to skate on the footpaths down here but they're not smooth enough, so they sit and mock me.

antikva said...

Oh and the couples skate was always to Macarthur Park ;)

birdmonkey said...

Kingswood, then Penrith skate rinks where one of my "happy places" too- and as an adult the Petersham rink till public liability made them have to shut down.

Ditto roller derby....
maybe we can start a nana league....

You've got a few more skate moves than me

street wheels.. the lake cycle track... hmmm...

The Elephant's Child said...

No rush. Whenever suits you. They are still tiny seedlings. Given my non driving probably you to me, but we can sort that out later too.

Alexia said...

Ahhh speed skating - I was addicted too, but my thrill was ice-skating. I loved the ice-rink tucked under the Cashmere Hills in Christchurch. I wonder if that old building is still there, or if it has been shaken apart by the earthquakes? I used to head down there every weekend and in school holidays.

Even better was when Lake Ida froze over, up in the Canterbury hills near the Mt Hutt skifield - long frozen days, thermos flasks and woodsmoke. Magic.

Ampersand Duck said...

antikva: at least you still have them! I love being faithful to my skates.

Birdmonkey: A NANA LEAGUE!! Like touch footy, all we're allowed to do is poke each other with our fingers and shriek with laughter! I'm up for it! We could be the warm-up gig for the roller derby :)

EC: cool, I'll be in touch... if you send me your email address to mine (ampersandduck *a*t* g mail *dt* cm) -- sorry, the spambots are so smart. You know what it is.

Alexia: single blades just don't do it for me, but I can imagine skating on a lake would be AWESUM!

Angela said...

Excellent and I love the video! I used to roller blade quite a lot, but got a little fed up of being shouted at and the terrible pavements in Cardiff. What I didn't understand was why people needed to verbally abuse me when I was skating. I wasn't an aggressive skater or anything. People used to shout at me from cars too. My friend had the same problem when he skated. One day I feel very badly right on my coccyx and I lost my nerve a bit after that. (I have no idea why but I decided to jump a pavement) So I stopped skating on pavements and eventually stopped skating in the park.

I love the feeling of skating and would love to go back to it but have no skates at the moment. I did get very big muscles in my upper thighs when I skated regularly though!

Cat Drawings said...

Lovely vid and it looks like the world's greatest studio. Am V jealous.

Sara Bowen said...

So cool! From someone with apparently no balance or co-ordination whatsoever. And happy to sit on the sidelines, thank you. Maybe you need to convene a Ladies of Letterpress on Skates meeting?

Freight Audit said...

Looks very cool huh. Very nice exercise for this one.. Keep it up

Amanda said...

I am SO impressed! I roller skated a bit but could never manage in a space like that - I'm one of those hopeless people who do well in a straight line, and can just about cope with a gentle corner at a large rink but don't ask me to do anything trickier than that please!

Mummy/Crit said...

lovely vid. I hope it's as good a studio as it is a roller rink. 1982 was a big year for rollerkskating for me too, up until 84 even I think, but I can't remember where the rink was...

fifi said...

oh, you are SO CUTE!!! I'm impressed! I was vnever anywhere near as good as that....

Jen said...

ha ha lucky you. i swept our shed out in order to roller skate.I made my family come and watch me calling "look at me, look how good I am.' Then I kept them annoyed by stating every now and again another design for a skating outfit for my skating exhibition. you've definetly sparked my desire to do it again. thanks