If you're in a scrape, always trust a girl on skates. That's my motto thanks to my London Rollergirl pals.
I was saved from an evening of dull work by my pal Sugar Bump 614 who invited me to the opening of a tattoo parlour in East London. Triple X is a new studio situated in a warehouse by the Regent's Canal as it winds its way through the London Fields area (famous for it's much maligned population of hipsters). The XxX crew have created an amazing space, more akin to a gallery than a traditional tattoo parlor. The floor is highly polished chipboard, the couches sit in the main room and are shielded by curtains and there is a separate chamber with a stage and bar which can host performers and bands. The walls are covered in outsider art and low brow paintings.
XxX held a party to celebrate their opening, and the highlight (and I use this term loosely) was a suspension. No, not in the school sense, but in the hanging-from-hooks sense. However, the gallery was not tall enough to accommodate a traditional suspension so the suspendees (there were four) vied for a prize by having a tug-of-war. Except they were joined by ropes. With hooks. In their backs. Cue much looking away and grimacing on the part of the audience (and, to be fair, the contestants too).
I should explain about the girls. Roller Derby an awesome and very Girl Power female sport involving skates, a track, girls and lots of cheering. Sugar is a member of the Sufra Jets team (yes, there's a lot of word-play humor in the sport). She and I were joined by some of her team-mates as XxX have kindly sponsored the London Rollergirl league. We skated (a bit), we drank beer and, after the beer, we drew slightly ham-fisted Jeebus* bracelet tattoos on our wrists in biro to "prove" we had indeed been to a ink parlor opening.
You can see the Triple X site here. You can find out more about the London Rollergirls here. And if you're super keen you can see what someone's back looks like when you poke two hooks through it in this close-up photo here (warning: it's really not nice and is certainly NSFW).
* Rollergirl slang for Jesus