Wednesday, 10 April 2013


an activity put to me by a friend in london; "an adult roller disco in vauxhall til 2am, spandex compulsory". now as a regular at tranny bingo,  i was already well aware of the fun to be had in vauxhall, however, i decided to spend a week in manchester visitng my friend instead and here is where things go askew.

inspired by my vision of spectacular lighting, the whirring of attractive people on wheels and a soundtrack of tears for fears, i suggested we seek out a similar affair in manchester. one google search and we had it, not only was it of a similar description but most importantly the highly coveted acronym BYOB shone out as i imagined the glint of my nylon leggings would against glare of bright lights. 
interesting how anticipation/expectation can cloud any early warning signs that might contradict the mind's ideal. indeed, once the location had been google mapped it revealed itself as being in a sports hall on the outskirts of manchester, but wait, the sports hall was called 'Arcadia' that sounds cool. it will be fine. also to reassure us (*blind us) was the fact that this was the training ground of the roller derby team, and as isabel reassured me from her knowledge of the film 'whip it', that again could only mean good things. 

(i'd like to sidenote this but i can honestly say in my mind as i yanked up my disco pants that i worried i would look too 'try hard' 80s, definitely no neon, cos that'd be lame). 

having waited an hour for a bus, got on the wrong one, walked for half an hour in the dark, relieved ourselves thrice in surrounding shrubbery, necked half of our BYOB, we finally arrived at the golden gates of ARCADIA. 
turning the corner towards the entrance it suddenly hit us: manchester suburbs, bring your own alcohol, friday night - this was an event practically made for underage scallies. having trudged our way through the group of bleach blonde 14yo smokers we sheepishly payed the £3 entrance fee, all the while smiling manically so not to upset anyone.  

my 80s arcadia was in fact an even less glamorous copy of where i'd practiced 'gymnastics'  age 5. 
hysterics ensued as, trying to stand up in mismatched skates, we realised that not one of us had the ability to roller skate. i had assumed it was something that came naturally to the limbs when removing them from the flat and placing them on wheels. a classic middle aged lush informed us "its like if you were squatting over the toilet" - surprisingly sound advice. 
i don't think i need delve into description about the bambi-like extravaganza that took place over the next hour, but what i will say is that any establishment that ok's the drinking of ros√© from a glass bottle on a wooden floor BY A PERSON ON WHEELS is not a safe environment. 

at one point they played bulldog, that's right, bulldog. 

we styled it out to europe - the final countdown, left pissed, arrived home realising it was only 11pm. 
and after a somewhat scathing revue i can confirm that in this case, reality surpassed expectation. go to a shitty roller disco it will crease u up good and proper.  


  1. hi helen :)
    massive fan of ur blog posts they're great!
    just wondering if you're glad you went to goldsmiths uni and what the student life is like there? really wanna go but unsure what it would be like living in london! thanks xxxx x

    1. thanks v much i actually really appreciate that
      i absolutely love goldsmiths, had a tough time to begin with because my flat mates weren't great and the uni puts on very little in terms of fresher events, but i think that was just unlucky and i've met loads of great people since then. its a really cool place to live cos its like a little town in itself (loadsa students) n its rly well connected to east/central. basically a lot of arty/pretentious people in a bit of a charming shit hole. hope that helps x