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not ntc 2013-11

mo 11 no 13
Remembrance Day

Just off the A12 by the B1389 junction near Vegetarian? Weird? Gay?Witham is a coffee stall where lorry driver food and smart rejoinders are served from a very clean van.  For what seems like the 20 years we've been asking for a strong coffee there's been a poster advertising eggs and cheese starting Vegetarian? Weird? Gay?  The day we finally man upped to photograph it the sign had changed ... #Essex eh?

th 31 Oct

The last surviving aborigine world war II combatant in the state of Victoria Australia Bill Edwards died earlier this month, he was buried in the Framlingham Australia cemetery near where he grew up.  In Framlingham Suffolk this weekend the White Horse is having the first of regular table top sales.

tu 6 Aug

Not unreasonable to assume road works imminent on the A12 just south of Witham at the B1389 junction as multiple average speed cameras have appeared.

we 26 Jun

♫Not surprisingly Gretchen Peters was pitch perfect last night inGretchen Peters Great Bardfield Essex, slightly surprising as just a trio with husband Barry Walsh, enigmatic Canadian Christine Bougie and slightly quirky instrumentation they could get such a driving sound.  A moist eye with happiness evening was made even more special when we got to ask support act Ben Glover about his chum Mary Gauthier ... and on the way home we saw a badger crossing the A120.

th 21 Mar

Severn TorrentSaturday in Oxford we admired the Severn Torrent's uniforms and asked a jammer if the uniform had any padding No, it's all woman.  Severn followed in the west country tradition set by Wilts and despite being a short handed 11 against 14 steadily moved away ... more roller derby

fr 8 Mar
International Women's Day

Greg Butler is really committed to analogue.  For his Cambridge 105 radio show yesterday he humped in and out a load ofGreg Butler (L) and John Halsey (R) gear, dutifully kept changing cartridges to match the disc, used a kitchen sponge to drip soapy water on to some crackly vinyl whilst it played (audibly quietening the surface noise), and played a Rutles transfer on a cylinder ... I will repeat that ... on a cylinder.  His guest John Halsey is now landlord of the Cambridge Castle Inn but 1988(ish)-1995 John was the Stradbroke Queens' landlord and he's also had a long career as a drummer including Beatles parody the Rutles, Viv Stanshall, lots of others and is effectively the only remaining member of Patto a 1970s band we still admire and enjoy.

su 10 Feb

We would have liked to be at the Snape Maltings yesterday for the ♫singalong♫ Rocky Horror Show but we went to this in Oakham instead.

su 6 Jan

Look what the Milton Keynes Concrete Cows sent us in the post and a badge too.

mo 10 Dec

There's a bit of what was the A11 north of Bishop's Stortford that for competitive cyclists is the E1 time trial course.  As a teenager we raced it's neither sporting nor drag strip rolling route through Essex and Cambridgeshire.  Maybe 25 years later we returned to spectate our nephew compete in the national junior (under 18) 25 mile championship.  Time may have gilded the memory but we recall he came something like eighth in a time that would have put him in the adult elite twenty years earlier.

Nephew Ben racing as a veteran

On our spectators' side of the road the verge was wide enough to have bushes and teensy trees amongst which a tramp lived.  He'd decorated his camp with small chipped plaster figures of dogs.  The tramp appeared, his face was heavily streaked with dirt and he was pushing a wheelbarrow with a small dog in it.  We said Good Morning and he flashed an enormous smile made more gleaming by the contrast with his filthy face, presumably passers by mostly pretended he didn't exist.

Maybe we should all try to acknowledge estate agents, town councillors, management consultants and the like because after all they are our fellows ... sort of.

th 4 Oct

Things to do this Saturday include John Cooper Clarke at the Ipswich Corn Exchange (as we think he lives near Colchester he may even not be late), Framlingham Writers will be reading their work in the library and the Fat Band with Polly Gibbons and traditional hog roast at the Stratford St Andrew Riverside Centre.

th 30 Aug

The Paralympic flame in HackneyYesterday we went to Hackney town hall near Chelmsford for the Paralympic flame visit, no bunting but lots of security, barriers and not a lot else.  We walked the wrong way along the flame's route ... not a lot.  We stood by a useful looking traffic island ... bloody Olympics!

mo 20 Aug

Milton Keynes Concrete Cows skateoutNot surprisingly Saturday the hottest day of the year so far in the Bunyan Sports Centre Bedford the listless crowd for The Seabourne Menace derby didn't really get in to it but that didn't stop highly committed skating and the bloke coaches of the MK Concrete Cows v Hertfordshire ... more roller derby

th 26 Jul

The boxing maxim that a good big 'un will always beat a good ... more roller derby

we 18 Apr

The Romsey Town Rollerbillies had their first home bout Saturday in a large Cambridge sports hall on the first floor?! and universally painted a green which though it complimented the Billies uniform gave everything an ... more at roller derby

sa 10 Mar

The Meres Leisure Centre is a cold war concrete bunker set in a barren industrial wilderness on the outskirts of Grantham where you have to pay for more than two sachets of salt with your chips, living proof that councils can't do fun ... but by some oversight last ... more at roller derby

we 7 Mar

Kim 'Kapow' Powell and babyOur snap of Milton Keynes Concrete Cow Kim 'Kapow' Powell and a baby at Foul Portents in Grantham is derbylife.com's pic of the day.

mo 13 Feb

Cambridge cycle poloLike cycle speedway (we saw it for the first time in Norwich just a few years back) it's taken us a lifetime to get round to seeing cycle polo and then it was in Cambridge and we couldn't give it much attention.  In cycle polo you have to make a penalty dash if you put your foot down so surprising that single freewheel is favoured these days rather than fixed, apparently it makes a long stretch easier.

sa 11 Feb

In the way of the working man (remember bendy toys on the front of dustcarts?) a warehouse in Sackers scrap yard Great Blakenham has been decorated with metal

Metal pub signs at Sackers

pub signs.  They're all that once good brewer Greene King (including a rather gay Green Man but with a big stick), except the Yeldham Stone & Faggot which we think must be Little Yeldham over the border west of Sudbury.

we 1 Feb

People in daygloIn a chilly Great Blakenham this afternoon people in dayglo were standing around looking at other people in dayglo trying to look interested in a crate of knives as the conclusion of the constabulary's Bin A Blade amnesty.  You can't help wonder if some people got it as included were keys, forks, and scissors ... but also blades it's comforting to know aren't on the street anymore, especially if like Holly Watson you lost your brother to knife crime.

we 18 Jan

We were back in Cambridge Sunday, this time to shoot the Billies for Leadjammer magazine and to see the Billies play choochoos.

sa 14 Jan

Dennis Rollins at the Snape Maltings♫ With a sound like a charging rhinoceros bass guitarist Jack Bruce is going out on the road again including the Cambridge Corn Exchange in March.  In his BIG blues band is trombonist Winston Rollins ... who looks to us suspiciously like Dennis Rollins.

th 12 Jan

Last Sunday we travelled to Cambridge to see hosts the Romsey Town Rollerbillies scrimmage against the MK Concrete Cows and it was well worth the effort.

mo 28 Nov

Referee Cherry Fury at half timeSaturday we went to Southend to see the Seaside Sirens bifurcate into Guns and Roses for their first intra-league bout, and first time for us man derby from Southern Discomfort and Lincolnshire Rolling Thunder.  Blimey!  Man derby is 100 mile an hour stuff with very BIG hits and a 'loose' skating style that includes lots of skating backwards and some running backwards on your toes ... but still that roller derby quirkyness.

su 6 Nov

Yesterday one Norfolk Brawds' car wouldn't start, another Brawd left her contactBrawds captain Jessica Whackit lenses behind, in Houghton Regis the satnav decided to send the 50 seater down a tiny lane that had a locked gate across it, just 30 minutes for the after party and a 170-33 beating from hosts Rebellion Rollergirls in a closed door bout that had five Brawds injured including one hospital visit ... but there was the warm enveloping chattering companionship of the 50 seater plus the group laugh passing Stevenage's CHEAP ADULT DVD SHOP and well ... it's roller derby!

mo 17 Oct

Young cyclocross riderIt's been a couple of years since we've seen a cyclocross and though a nice day may have helped it was still impressive youthful involvement at the Amis Velo Supacross in Colchester.  Old timers complained like they always have that the course was too easy and national junior cross champion and Ashfield cum Thorpe resident Hugo Robinson won the event with such ease it must have been little more than a training run for him ... mind you he still broke sweat.

we 17 Aug

A tiny at the Goodwood roller marathonLast Sunday the 10th annual Goodwood roller marathon had an incredibly mixed 1000+ fieldHuge bunch start of the self propelled raising money for the NSPCC; some real tinies, hurtling lines of mostly in-line skaters, a girl competing with her arm in a sling and huge support from roller derby ... from Cardiff a coach load of Tiger Bay Brawlers, Southend's Seaside Sirens, the Brighton Rockers, a fledgling yet to scrimmage league from Eastbourne, Haunted City (where's that?) and loads more!  Looking forward to next year already.

sa 28 May

♫ Gil Scott Heron has died aged 62.

we 6 Apr

A camera found in Orford possibly belonging to a teacher with connections to Singapore and Norfolk.

fr 4 Mar

The coalition? What do you think of it so far? What do you think of it so far?

su 2 Jan

We think William should dump Kate Middleclass (his dad did it for christ's sake and he was married at the time) and wait for Karen from Outnumbered ... she's played Princess Margaret in The King's Speech so she's forewarned and it would mean a really sensible consort for the monarch later on this century ... who's with us?

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