Weeks! #23: birthdays and birthdays and Adelaide and other stuff

2014-06-02 08.39.37Starting the week walking the boys to school. Zachary and Jude are still impossible to separate from their new jackets.

2014-06-02 08.39.43

Monday also had the joys of Senate Estimates. Here I am in the waiting room. Our Department makes sure it keeps us in lollies. Fortunately, no questions for me this time round.

The boys had taken to the loom band thing with some enthusiasm.

2014-06-02 20.25.12The results weren’t half bad either.

2014-06-02 20.25.45The weather is getting wintery so it is all coats and tights and woollen dresses.

2014-06-03 08.50.23Some Canberra public art appreciation.

2014-06-04 17.47.11On Sebastian’s actual birthday he was abandoned by his parents do they could go and consume a game degustation at Pulp Kitchen. (Delicious by the way)

2014-06-03 19.17.33We made it up to him the following night with dinner at Jamie’s Italian.

And a week really isn’t complete without some sort of opportunity to slay horrible monsters.

2014-06-04 20.41.34Sebastian and I headed off to Adelaide Thursday morning for our great TGSS adventure.

But before TGSS, time with family. Parents’ favourite pub (of course).2014-06-05 17.58.19

Sebastian was very keen to go to the beach. And I can never resist the ocean, so Mum and I took Sebastian to Henley Beach for a wander and lunch. We even walked the jetty.

We had afternoon godparent (or equivalent) get together with godson (or equivalent). Also best friends.

It was then out to dinner to the co-celebration of Sebastian and Emilie’s birthdays!

There was also some quality cousin hanging out time to be had. Sebastian played many games of hide and seek amongst other entertainments.

For Emilie’s birthday party on Saturday, Sebastian helped with preparations, assisting Lucy with the cake and the lolly bags and various other tasks, while popped over to the Great Southern Slam to pick up my pass and say hi to folk.

I returned in time for the big party. Emilie seemed to enjoy it almost as much as the adults, and she certainly appreciated her cake.

I was lucky to get my own belated birthday present from Sam and Tracey which included awesome new skate laces! I resisted for a bit but eventually had to lace up my skates, party or no.

Once the children had all gone to bed, some of the adults still kept partying. Given I was playing the next day, I had stuck to water for the afternoon, but I was still required to participate in sibling sing-along to the War of the Worlds musical and Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood (predictably).

2014-06-07 22.12.25-1And then Sunday was all about TGSS

2014-06-08 10.33.54

Melissa, Sebastian and the DHRs go to TGSS!


2014-06-08 08.09.47-2Here we all are, ready for the Great Southern Slam adventure. So much derby! So many amazing teams to watch! I popped in for a short while on Saturday, but Sunday was our day. 2014-06-08 09.27.43

Our first game was against Murder City, an Adelaide team we didn’t know a lot about. I was line up managing for this one. it was a good game and we played hard, but we suffered from being without Reaper and Diazaslam who couldn’t make it to Adelaide for various reasons and ended up working Lass and Blocktopussy super hard in the jammer line up. With slightly less experience in the blocking line up – especially with Lass taken out of the blocking equation, we held our own, but couldn’t quite get in front. The final score was Murder City 155 – DHRs 125.

2014-06-08 10.34.01There was a bit of a break between games – time to watch more derby! Another wonderful thing about a huge tournament like TGSS was the chance to catch up with other derby friends – and I definitely caught up with a few. My favourite is of course Copter, so it was excellent to spend some time hanging out, watching games and talking derby together.

2014-06-08 11.58.10We watched the Blue Mountains take on Murder City – our only hope of getting through to the quarter finals was to have the Free Sisters beat Murder City and for us to then beat them afterwards. Sadly it was not to be, but it meant some of the pressure came off for our second game.

2014-06-08 12.16.30It is always fun to play the Blue Mountains and they were in excellent form. At the moment they have a consistent line up who plays each game, and I think that really helps in their teamwork – knowing exactly where each other is going to be on the track. In contrast, our tournament team had a few players who haven’t played so regularly in the DHR line-up, and, while we all train together, the lack of game-time together does make a bit of a difference. I was playing this game, leaving line-up managing duties in Wycked’s very capable hands. It was another tight, closely fought game with a few lead changes. With six minutes to go, after leading for quite a lot of the game, we were down 94 to 79 and, like in our first game against the Free Sisters this year, I was starting to think we wouldn’t do it. But just as with that game, we pulled it back and, in the very last jam with some awesome work on the track by blockers and jammer alike, we won 107-102. Much relief and celebration all round.

2014-06-08 16.55.16

One of the upsides of not having to play a quarter final that night was that we could celebrate with a post game beer – or four.

2014-06-08 17.25.48There was also some attempts to spell out VDL in people.

2014-06-08 17.00.49 Then we headed off for a team dinner. Some of the team were a little tired.

2014-06-08 19.38.28On Sunday it was back for more derby action, this time without having to worry about playing. We cheered for the Vice City Rollers as they took on Sun State in the morning’s semi final. While the VCRs fought hard – and special mention should go to Freudian Slit’s jamming – Sun State were relentlessly impressive and gave an exceptional demonstration of the fact that it is blockers who score the points. They both assisted their jammer and defended simultaneously and efficiently – it was beautiful to watch. Individually I don’t think there jammers were better than, or even perhaps as good as the VCR jammers, but the team play and coordination were outstanding.

Sebastian and I headed off for lunch, but made it back in time for the B Division grand final – S2D2 versus Reef City. Again another tight game, but Reef City were really good and kept on top of S2D2.

2014-06-09 16.40.24At half time in the game, the fire alarms went off and we were all evacuated.

There really were a lot of people there.

We had to take some compulsory evacuation shots.

2014-06-09 17.06.36

Finally we got to head back inside for the second half.

2014-06-09 17.19.37Reef City, a bit of a surprise to us south of Queensland, pushed through and ended up taking out the game convincingly: 225-140.

2014-06-09 18.15.55In between games, I found another Doc in the crowd!

2014-06-09 18.28.19It was very exciting to get to see a team the calibre of VRDL play, and Sun State were no disappointment either. The game was great and the blocking was fearsome. Sun State really had the measure of Mad Mel Arena and kept hitting her out and recycling her back – over and over. But with other jammers like Spruce Caribou in their line up VRDL kept on pushing through. It was close though and hard fought, but in the end VRDL took it out 197-168.

And so it was over. Derby played, derby watched, merch bought. Sebastian and I had a good time and look forward to our next tournament.

Weeks! #22: day trips and seasons change

2014-05-26 17.22.48 Started the week leaving work after dark…but it is dark reasonably early at the moment.


Autumn was nearly concluded, but the leaves said otherwise.

At work, one of the EAs was leaving, and a whole band was organised. I am pretty sure it was an excuse for her boss to get his guitar out.

Jude and Sebastian had a day trip to Taronga Zoo, so it was up well before the crack of dawn to get them on the bus and off to Sydney.

2014-05-29 06.45.55

Early mornings such as this require a bacon sandwich.

2014-05-29 11.35.46Here is a Jude self-portrait from the trip – hello Mr Giraffe!

2014-05-29 19.34.49James and I got comprehensively beaten by Zac at Carcassonne while waiting for the bus to return with the other two.

2014-05-29 19.56.32

A nice balm on a (nearly) winter’s night.

Walking the boys to school again.

On Saturday Sebastian, James and I did another day trip to Sydney, this time for the 5×5 game versus WIRD.  We met most of the team,  coincidentally, at the McDonalds en route. James was reffing in a couple of games, so we were there for the duration. Always fun to watch more derby. And I got my Saturday sausage – for both lunch and dinner!

Of course, by the time we got home, it was rather late.

2014-05-31 23.19.04Jude and Zachary had stayed at Jackie’s house, so we went over to collect the boys Sunday morning. James got the most wonderful birthday cake from his mother.

While James took Sebastian to hockey, Jude, Zac and I went to yum cha to say goodbye to Anna and David who were off to Brazil on their indefinite adventure. Hooray for dumplings!

2014-06-01 11.52.04The boys also fell in love with these “camo puffy jackets” and insisted on buying them with their own money. Probably a good purchase given how cold and wet it was.

2014-06-01 12.58.51

Jude also bought himself a loom band kit, and went to it while we were at derby training.

2014-06-01 13.44.12

5×5 Round Three: DHRs vs WIRD

2014-05-31 12.32.26

It was up to North Ryde for our second 5×5 game, this time versus Wollongong Illawarra Roller Derby‘s Steel City Derby Dolls. We knew it would be a tough game, but we had a really strong team with us, so we were hoping to make a good game of it. And we did that, regularly getting lead jammer from early in the game. Disappointingly, after a couple of strong jams, Diazaslam got an elbow to the face which left her bleeding – not that it stopped her jamming magnificently before she came off and had to be attended by the first aid folk. She was then off for the rest of the first half and came back on to block in the second. In her first game back, GoreJess showed her jamming is still something to be reckoned with, and we had the usual strong performances from Lasseration, Blocktopussy and Reapercussions – perhaps too strong from Blockto who fouled out just before the end of the game.

2014-05-31 12.59.53Strong play from both teams meant the game was tight all the way. At half time the DHRs were up 79-58, but WIRD tenaciously clawed the lead back over the second half. While the DHRs had managed to mostly shut down iKandy who, as one of WIRD’s outstanding jammers we were worried about coming into the game, Kitty Killher had a terrific game and we often found ourselves in her wake. The DHRs started to try and run down the clock in the last six minutes or so, but WIRD slowly crept up and at the end of the final jam we had a tie – 157-157. It was then all down to an overtime jam which runs for the full two minutes. Reaper was neck and neck, but got called for a cut and in the end WIRD took the game 165-161. So exciting!

Despite the last minute lost, the team could be extremely proud of themselves – they played fantastic team derby against and opponent we thought we had little chance of beating. There really were no weak links in the team and, best of all, everyone had a lot of fun!