Monthly Archives: August 2013

Pickling Beetroot

Tonight I decided to preserve the two mammoth Beetroot that I picked from the garden a couple of days ago. I’d love to claim ownership of this recipe, but I wouldn’t take that away from a certain Delia “Lets be Avin you” Smith. That was a football reference for my non football following followers, google it! The steps are easy and I’ve attached some of my photos from each stage.

Quantities required are:-

450g of Beetroot
175ml of Red Wine Vinegar
1/2 teaspoon of Mixed Pepper Cloves
1/2 teaspoon of Maldon Sea Salt Flakes
2 x Shallots

This little lot cost me £6.90 but then I grew the Beetroot so probably around £8 if you had to buy them. I also chose an Organic Red Wine Vinegar, it only seemed fair!

You will also require a 1/2 liter glass jar to keep this in once completed. This must be sterilized before hand. I just wash it and put it in oven at no more than 130c to dry out. The rubber seal is washed by hand and placed in kitchen roll to dry.

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Firstly you need to cut back the stalks and roots to no more than an inch on the Beetroot. All you need to do then is wash them but leave the skin on. Wrap these in a parcel of foil and put on at 190c for a minimum of 3 hours. Mine took just under this but I tested how well they were cooked by using a skewer tip to see if it glided through softly. They should look similar to my effort below:-

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It was at this point I peeled the two shallots as this allowed for the Beetroot to cool down and chopped them finely. Once these were chopped, I started to prepare the vinegar.

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The vinegar sauce or dressing whatever you call it is simple to make. Take the 175ml of Red Wine Vinegar and add the 1/2 teaspoon of Pepper Corns and Sea Salt to it. Being to the point of simmering and then you can take it off the hob. This gives you a lovely mixture of colors and a very strong smell. I ended up requiring 250ml of the Red Wine Vinegar so be prepared to pro rata extra Pepper and Salt to suit this. It was at this point I peeled the Beetroot that had cooled down and started chopping them finely.

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Now you need to take the sterilized jar and make sure it is still warm. If you don’t you risk a cracked jar. You need to layer the Beetroot and Shallots so they form nice compact layers. Once you have done this to just below the top of the jar, you are ready to add the Vinegar.

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I poured the Vinegar from the Pan back into the glass jug as it is easier to fill the Jar this way. In order to ensure the risk of cracking is removed, once the vinegar had reached simmering point, I sat the jar in cold water. This allowed it to be cooler. I then poured slowly the Vinegar with Pepper Corns shimmering into the jar, ensuring the top layer is covered.

Once this was completed, I shut the jar tight and clanked the lid down. According to Delia this will be edible in 2 days. It can last up to 2 years, I think I will be nibbling on this sooner. Please note the Shallots are added raw and not cooked. Only time will tell how good these taste, but I’m going to give the ease of this recipe an 8/10. The only down side is the 3 hours waiting for the Beetroot.

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DarcyB

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34 and Counting

Well today is my Birthday, goodbye 33 and hello 34. If only life itself could always be as simple as the changing of a number to represent your amount of time lived on Planet Earth. I’m only joking mind you, I am very fortunate to say that my life so far has been pretty special. I don’t believe in regrets and can safely say I have a terrific set of people within my life’s theatre and the right people are always on stage with me when required. 34 is nothing to fear, especially as there are even more exciting chapters awaiting ahead. I’ve been unfortunate enough to work today, however when you consider you spend the majority of your time with the people you work with and customers who visit you, it’s really only fair that they are part of the special day. Coming back home from work this evening has certainly confirmed even more so, that my partner is the most awesome one for me. Not only a surprise cake but the most impressive Birthday Banners grace our back door and kitchen walls. It’s National Burger day today, I think I may just have to celebrate with one this evening.

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On other news I must say that I’ve not experienced a level of such high altitude on Facebook. Since we’ve announced our Engagement to the world of social media, the red globe with notifications has gone crazy. I even doubted it could count up to the numbers reached yesterday and today. I would like to put on record to those people responsible for this, that I am truly blessed and humbled by the kind words and comments. These mean so much to me and also brings back memories of why Facebook was so cool and special in the earlier days pre-2009!

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It’s long overdue but I need to rave on about how happy the Red Sox are making me feel. They are currently top of the American League East as they head into the final 30 matches of the season. They hold a 1.5 game lead over the Tampa Bay Rays who got absolutely crushed away to the Kansas City Royals last night to give us a fraction of breathing space. The series win away in Los Angeles was a true mark of how well Boston is playing this year and also shows that if they could make the World Series that they could more than handle themselves amongst the other heavy weights of Baseball. Only these next 30 battles will tell if they can do it, however it’s a far more encouraging place to be from where we found ourselves last year. Go Boston and Go the Red Sox!

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And finally, I started writing a book a couple of years ago and have the 1st Chapter completed. I’ve never shown this to anyone but would love to know if anybody is interested in reading it? It’s about my Travels to Australia and if I’m honest I’d probably be keen to continue it if there was any interest in it. I won’t push it, but please get in touch on my contact page if you’d like me to post it.

Here’s hoping Leeds United can provide me with the final Birthday Present today. A win at Doncaster would be very welcome indeed.

DarcyB

Life’s amazing

This weekend has been a very special one. It will be one that stays in my mind for an extremely long time and as I find myself sat back at home following it, I am smiling on the inside.

Whilst I was away in Cornwall a couple of weeks ago, I asked my partner to marry me. It was one of those moments that is extremely nerving and if any guy tells you otherwise they are either lying or have never been in that situation.

We spent this weekend back in my home town after finally revealing to the Facebook world that we are Engaged. We enjoy tradition and wanted to at least tell all of our family in person or on the telephone before splashing the news over Social Media. The weekend comprised of a lovely evening and BBQ at my sister and her partners with my family, before spending this afternoon catching up with my old school and college friends. If there is one thing I’ve learnt from this weekends antics, it’s that I’m not coming out of retirement and taking up playing football again! Oh and another thing, Mohitos are extremely addictive (thanks Luke!)

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On Sunday we went to Stratford Butterfly Farm which is a truly magical and amazing place. It was fairly overcast and chilly before we went inside, however by the time we’d left it had certainly warmed up. There were a huge variety of Butterflies that had lost all interest in landing on my grey T-shirt, however there were many situations where they intentionally moved just as I was taking their photo. I am almost certain they knew what they were doing. This place also homes snakes, scorpions, spiders and quails. The latter were out and about roaming with the butterflies, the others fortunately not. I can confirm that at one point the place felt like a Disney Film with colorful Butterflies filling the skies and fluttering around our faces.

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If this wasn’t enough, I’ve been clinging onto the number 33 with both hands clenched firmly around them. It was also a Birthday celebration for me and a rare year where my birthday didn’t fall on the Summer Bank Holiday. Tomorrow (or Tuesday, depending when you read this) I turn 34 and have been so grateful for all the surprises and gifts I’ve received so far. All I can say is that I am truly blessed and am very very fortunate to have the life I do. The sad thing is I’m back at work tomorrow where I’m pretty certain I will be buying cakes for my work colleagues. This is one tradition that I have no idea how and why it exists!? If anybody knows then please feel free to enlighten me.

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Finally I harvested some vegetables from our garden tonight. It was a pleasant reward for all of the hard work and effort put into watering and feeding our raised beds. I pulled up two beetroots the size of tennis balls and foraged around and found some potatoes and onions. I will be pickling these Beetroots tomorrow night and will let you all know how they turn out. I am half tempted to buy a cutter that gives them that crinkled crisp effect. Fingers crossed I can actually do it right. This follows on nicely from my blog about Self Sufficiency earlier this month. I think there may be a weeks worth of Beetroot in our household, wow!

Yes for those wondering, it’s me in the photo with my hands on my head. That kinda gives away my footballing decision. 😉

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DarcyB

Simplicity, Easy as 1,2 and ummm…

Now I for one appreciate it when people or companies make things simple. I am the first to find it a relief when faced with something that has the potential to cause concern if there’s an instruction close by.

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My first experience of blind panic came when I was heading to the exits in Tesco. It was as if the technology changed overnight and I found myself presented with a Self Service Till for the first time. I do find the concept of self service redundant when it’s constantly manned, however if it wasn’t for their presence I’d have been stuck. Trying to find a loose bagged bakery product with no barcode is not simple! It was at this point I knew that people would either get it and till attendants would be a thing of the past or they would be an unpopular second choice. The jury is still out!

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Tonight I have experienced the complete opposite, where instructions appeared overdone. it has made me question the extent of guidance certain people require and how they could possibly do this a different way.

As I approached the Drive Thru in McDonalds I was directed to the order point with arrows. It was at this point I noticed a big sign with a number one on it which said “Order” After placing my order I drove to the next window to see a sign with an equally as large number two followed by the word “Pay”
It was after this that the counter assistant that took my money instructed me to head to the next window. As I approached I was then in view with a sign with a number three in it saying “Collect”

This is pretty self explanatory and by going back to my earlier point, I’m trying to see how this process could cause confusion without the three step signage. It was at this third point I was advised that my order wasn’t quite ready and asked to pull into the Order Bay on the left hand side. Strangely enough there was no sign for this!

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DarcyB

Dragons in the Den

One of my favorite TV shows returned to the BBC a couple of weeks ago with the added spice of two new Dragons to replace Theo and the other one I didn’t like, sorry Hilary! I was absolutely fascinated and intrigued about how both Piers and Kelly would handle being thrust into the Den with the old guards Peter, Duncan and Deborah. The result was one of pure viewing delight as they more than held their own and made some quite interesting and bold views known to the other Dragons.

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I have recently read a blog from my friend Jaki who wrote about her love for Big Brother and how it filled a part of her life that may not be everyone else’s cup of tea, Dragons Den is my Big Brother. I’m not going to start a debate with others who dislike it and tell them they’re talking rubbish, the point of this blog is to discuss my obvious likes and total frustrations with what I’ve seen so far in the opening two episodes.

With those not familiar to the show, Dragons Den gives budding entrepreneurs the chance to pitch their businesses to the Dragons, with the view of securing investment from them in order to help take their businesses forward further. The Dragons are five self made business experts who have personal wealths that they have accrued through their business knowledge and expertise. The entrepreneur will make a pitch which lasts around 3 minutes and then the Dragons will grill them over the facts, figures and decide if there is potential of a return that will justify their investment in the business. The concept is brilliant and it makes me squeal and cringe inside when the pitches go horribly wrong. On the flip side it’s totally awesome and high five moments across our sofa when a pure brilliant gem of a business succeeds.

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The Chocolate Teapot is something that I’m awarding to the idea or moment that generated the biggest disaster and cringe worthy pitch. The went to the guy who gave the promise of a hand crafted case which could be used with your tablet computer. The pitch was presentable and the guy was confident with a humble side to him. He brought on with him someone who demonstrated the case being made by hand and whittled with the finest wood available. The detail promised to be fine and the development potential of the product clear. He handed each Dragon a completed product and boldly claimed he’d sold lots and nobody had ever complained about them. It’s at this moment I turned to my partner and said, “I bet one of them has an iPad” it was at this moment Peter grabs Piers Tablet. What then followed was pure TV cringe, the iPad slipped out and didn’t fit! Peter was then corrected and shown the correct way to clip it in, maybe a savior had appeared and this pitch was saved? Nope it still slipped out! Pure disgust from the Dragons and all the Entrepreneur could utter was, “oh that’s a slight item defect, it can be worked on!” Peter totally lambasted him and questioned his credibility in only the way the not so Gentle Giant could! Fantastic!

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The Glass Hammer award is awarded to the Entrepreneur who pitched a product that looked useless but somehow managed to secure an Investment with it. Now after reading the interview from Kelly Hoppen it didn’t surprise me when she invested with Deborah for the mobile mat that you could exercise on. She has made it clear that she would rather invest in people she likes and not ones who necessarily have the best ideas. This rules this lucky lady out who despite Duncan slating her, got £60k from the two female Dragons.

This award has been awarded to the young lad who came out and presented a ready made meal that had the promise of no artificial ingredients. His pitch was stumbled and there was a quite hilarious moment where Kelly thought she may have an allergic reaction to the contents of it. Despite Deborah’s best attempts to find papers to back his claims, it transpired he’d said the wrong ingredient! Duncan had almost topped himself, Piers was bored, Kelly relieved she didn’t have a fit and Deborah out! Peter quipped at the beginning that his meal tasted clumpy and took longer than he stated even hurrying him along in an impatient manner at the start of his pitch. This is when the pure shock and disbelief of the Den occurred, Peter made an offer and gave him the investment because he loves his dream and wanted to help him. I have images of Peter 6ft 8 and let’s call him Dan 5ft 10 huddled around a pan on a hob creating ready meals together! Absolute shock and stunned silence followed.

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Finally the Golden Egg award goes to the most successful and polished pitch in the Den. This is also coupled with the product and business and the Entrepreneur. Texan Joe Walters came into the Den with a musical introduction and then gave the most calm and collective pitch I’d seen in a while. He knew his market, knew the market share currently available and all with a graveled Texan accent. He wore a Cowboy Hat and a striking outfit, he was just missing the gun holster and sheriff star. After the pitch when grilled by Deborah, he revealed he already had backing from Brew Dog and the £37.5k he required was to match their investment. He then silenced her with a written order for 10,000 units at £1.75 a piece, not a bad thing to have folded up in your back pocket!

The pitch was brilliant and his apparent laid back chilled almost drug induced performance would have given the impression he didn’t care. In fact it was the complete opposite, he knew he had a great choice of product and one that could eat into the 90% market share enjoyed by the market leader of Beef Jerky. This resulted in 4 offers of investment and Peter Jones offering more than what was requested. This tactic gave him the upper hand and when he asked for 25% and not the 22% Joe wanted to offer, Joe quickly quipped how about 23% as I still want a controlling stake of my business. Peter replied by saying “I know what you are doing, ok how about 24%!” Fantastic drama and a lovely conclusion to the show. Well done Texan Joe, you were an absolute delight! This is why I love Dragons Den.

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DarcyB

The Liebster Award

My lovely fellow blogger and Twitter friend, today nominated me for the Liebster Award. I’ve never had this before so I was quite excited to accept it and take part. I’ll tell you a little about it shall I?

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The Liebster Award is given to new, up and coming blogs who have less than 200 followers. Awards like these are a fantastic way to spread the word about new blogs who may be struggling to make their name amongst other blogs. Liebster is German for dearest, kindest, sweetest, lovely, valued, endearing and welcome. Sweet, huh? We all know that blogging is all about sharing, connecting and building a community. And these kind of awards are a great way to help promote smaller blogs, and to get to know the person behind the blog.

There are of course some rules, these are as follows…

1. Show your appreciation by linking back to the person who nominated you.

2. List 11 facts about yourself.

3. Answer the 11 questions given to you by the person who nominated you.

4. Nominate another 11 blogs, preferably with less than 200 followers, to pass the award on to.

5. Compile 11 questions for your nominees to answer.

6. Notify the bloggers you have nominated.

liebster blog

As I said at the beginning, the lovely Jaki nominated me and you can find her over at http://stilettosstarsandrocknroll.wordpress.com or on Twitter as @Jakstweet. She is the reason why I finally got my act together and set my blog up. It was certainly something that I had been thinking and even talking about. Because of that it’s only fair that I nominate her back for this award.

Shall we start then? Here we go!

11 Facts About Me…

1 – I’m 33 years of age and have a very vibrant, adventurous and busy lifestyle. I love writing and having the opportunity to do this in the form of a blog is so very awesome.

2 – I applied to be on the Apprentice when I was 25 and made it through the first 3 rounds before bowing out before the auditions in London.

3 – I gave up my life in the UK when I was 29 and decided to spend a year travelling Australia on my own.

4 – I have found the perfect person to share my life with and am very very happy.

5 – I have six tattoos and still have a craving for more.

6 – I have an amazing ability to ignore television shows and discover them once there is more than a couple of series or seasons to watch. I do however have a bad habit of starting too many and forgetting about them. I have made it through Lost though!

7 – I get so very frustrated by people who don’t realise that they are annoying me. A great example is when people bumble around Supermarkets as I just want to get my things and get out.

8 – I love camping and will take every opportunity available to get the tent packed up and escape, even for a couple of nights.

9 – I started playing Baseball a couple of years ago for a team in Milton Keynes and haven’t looked back.

10 – I tried playing the Guitar as recently as 3 years ago and just couldn’t get my head around it.

11 – I completed a Diploma in Construction and Surveying this year in a dramatic attempt to learn and develop myself further.

11 Blogs I Nominate for the Liebster Award…

Well I feel really bad as I only have 6 so I will nominate them as follows, these people have followed me and shown interest in my blogs so far which I appreciate greatly. Obviously I have already mentioned Jaki at the beginning who has kindly nominated me.

http://tobygant.wordpress.com/

http://letitcomefromyourheart.wordpress.com/

http://thepublicblogger.com/

http://italianrentalblog.wordpress.com/

http://projectlighttolife.wordpress.com/

http://walkandbikeinfrance.wordpress.com/

 

 

My 11 Question Interview…

1 – What’s your favourite kind of blog to read? Anything that has variety in it, a blog that keeps me interested and one I can either relate to or find it gives me motivation and makes me smile.

2- Why did you start blogging? Because I have an active imagination and wanted to find a way to document it and give others an insight into my life and what interests me.

3 – Where do you find inspiration to blog? From my many day to day experiences. I have a busy life and it certainly gives me the inspiration to blog.

4 – What’s your guilty pleasure? It has to be those little White Choccy Bars called Gold, they are yummy!

5 – First song or album you ever bought? First song on Cassette single for Billy Joel – River of Dreams.

6 – Best childhood memory? Driving up with my Dad to Elland Road for the first time. We played Liverpool in 1990 and I remember us driving all the way and not being able to get a ticket. As we left the ground we were losing 5-0. During the drive back we pulled it back to 5-4 and nearly drew the game. The drive and experience was awesome, despite not getting in.

7 – What’s the one thing you can’t go a day without? It has to be my IPhone for materialistic value but a kiss from my partner certainly starts the day perfectly.

8 – Who would play you in the movie of your life? Tricky one, I would have to say Josh Radnor from How I Met Your Mother.

9 – What song would feature as the credits roll in that movie? Romeo by Dire Straights.

10 – Where would you like to see yourself in ten years time? Married, Two Children, Living abroad, Business started and looking to build on my success.

11 – What is your biggest regret? Since I came back from Australia in 2008 it has wiped out any I may have had previously.

11 questions for my chosen bloggers…

1 – What is your favourite TV Show? 2 – Why did you start blogging? 3 – Have you ever won anything unique? 4 – What is your favourite artist and song? 5 – Who would play you in your movie of your life? 6 – What is the next thing you intend to buy? 7 – If you could change anything in your life, what would it be? 8 – 10 years time, where will you be? 9 – Next year, where will you be? 10 – Do you have any famous friends? 11 – What is your idea of a random adventure?

Thank you everyone. I look forward to reading your answers!

DarcyB

Being United, Cheering Coyotes and Reality!

So the drive back today was kind and we made it back in just over 5 hours. We didn’t quite get the dry morning that we were promised on the forecast, so a wet tent and canopy were packed up ready to be put back up to dry out at my partners Dads farm. It was certainly a great holiday and its scary to think a week and one day has flown by so quickly. As I lie down chilling after a well needed bath and shave its made my mind wander a bit. I’ve noticed that the amount of beard I’ve grown is far less than if I’d been working for the same length of time. Am I going crazy or does facial hair need a break too to relax and slow down? I’m also dreading the fact I’ve got an Alarm going off at 6:10am. I’ve not had an alarm for these last 8 days, why do I already hate you Alarm!? On a more positive note I’m loving the fact I will have a comfy nights sleep in our bed, that beats the blow up air bed any day of the week!

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It’s occurred to me that since I’ve started this blog I’ve not spoken much about my beloved Leeds United. Now for those of you now groaning and switching away I’m sorry but I have to have a moment. Leeds have gone through a massive transformation this Summer and the rebuilding is not too far from being completed to a satisfactory level. Leeds new owners have reengaged with the supporters, who lets face it had lost all interest in the club towards the end of last season. I won’t bore you all, but in a very small snapshot Leeds United have done it the right way without being GungHo. A new Chairman and Managing Director who talk and listen to the fans. Rebuilt links with the Supporters Club Chairman that had disappeared in the past. A new structure of ticket pricing and membership levels. Reduced Season Ticket prices and back on BBC Radio. All of this and including major new sponsorships with Sky and Heineken plus being close to buying back Elland Road, which was carelessly sold off by the previous regime. Life at Leeds is buoyant and given the fact we also remain unbeaten after the first 4 games this season it reinforces the belief. We are Leeds and we are United, I’ve even paid £40 for my Gold Membership which arrived in the post whilst I was away! Now that’s commitment on my part.

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And finally a massive beaming smile and pride as my Baseball team the Milton Keynes Coyotes battled their way into the end of season playoffs. This is our debut and inaugural season for the Coyotes and its being one hell of a roller coaster experience. The final day victory against the London Marauders today was enough to clinch a Play Off game on the 1st September. A special congratulations needs to go out to Sid and Mo who have worked extremely hard to organize the day to day running of the club on the diamond. This completed a double of successes for Baseball in Milton Keynes and despite not playing today am so excited about what the Play Offs will bring. I will keep you all updated as to how they go, I have been told we are playing at Richmond Dukes which will be tricky, but then again all games are. We finished with an 8-6 record over 14 games which has seen some memorable wins along the way. Well done Milton Keynes and Baseball, we have all done the city so very proud this season.

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DarcyB

Telling Stories

As I sit down taking shelter from the Cornish wind, rain and mist, it certainly makes me appreciate the week away we’ve enjoyed. We have certainly been fortunate with the weather these last 7 days, so it’s only fair that we had one bad one thrown in for good measure. We have literally zipped up the tent and taken stock of our supplies in an effort to get through the day and night in one piece.

Now it may sound overly dramatic but it is like this when the elements are against you, that you truly appreciate the warmth. Throw in the satisfaction that you can safely erect a tent correctly so that you can enjoy the moments like these. So as we enjoy the sip of a cold San Miguel and nibble on the remaining Dairy Milk Nut Bar I stored in our fridge, I am really feeling the benefit of a great holiday break.

Yesterday we found the energy and desire to drive to the Lizard and visit one of the bays off this picturesque stretch of coastline. It is certainly a place that you could be forgiven for mistakingly thinking was in the Mediterranean. The weather was clear, bright and sunny. It was because of this that you could really differentiate between the greens and blues along the clear coastlines within the sea. I have to admit it looked not too dissimilar to the Aegan Sea that I swam in during our Greek holiday in May. We walked around 3 miles taking in many steep tracks and fields with the cliff top views a beautiful backdrop.

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This is a place I visited a couple of years ago with my best mate James, however we went along a different route and the weather wasn’t so clear and kind. One other thing I noticed was the bright dark yellow glows that the Lichen had. Now I appreciate that this isn’t a fascinating subject, however it did drive home the fact of how clean and fresh the air is along this part of the country’s coastline. Lichen thrive on these conditions, which is why when you live in towns and cities the color isn’t that distinct or the areas aren’t as dense. I took this photo which I hope for all you Lichen enthusiasts shows off this fact.

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One thing that me and my partner love about Lichen is the Water bears that live within them. If you haven’t heard or seen these, then please take a moment to go on YouTube and check them out.

On a more somber note it was sad to hear the passing away of Jon Brookes earlier this week. Jon was the drummer for the Charlatans, a band that we are both big fans of. I was very fortunate to meet the band for my birthday last year and we spent some time with Jon and the band before their Telling Stories gig in Edinburgh. In the time we spent with Jon, we found him to be a genuinely decent and friendly family guy. During the gig we were stood at the front and despite being one of many Jon threw his towel into the front row for which my partner caught it. It is rare that the death of someone famous actually hits you so hard. Jon you will be sadly missed and would like you to know that you really touched our lives. It is another painful reminder of how valuable life is.

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DarcyB

Champagne Bucks

As the weeks holiday comes drawing to a conclusion, it’s at times like these that I wish I had really concentrated on the Back to the Future films. I am sure had I really understood it, that I could have created a device and fitted it to my Car in an attempt to go back to last Saturday when we first arrived here. I would obviously pick the moment after the 7 hour journey and also with the tent and canopy all set up. In fact I would like to be in the exact moment of time where I’m sat down in my chair with a nice cold can of beer in my hand! Not too much to ask for.

Since my last blog we have experienced another couple of days out and about and have ticked off both the Saints from the Cornish town list. We went to St Just on Wednesday and despite initially finding parking spaces a challenge to find, we were able to park up and have a wander around the centre. I had my first Cornish Cream Tea, to which I later discovered had got the Jam and Clotted Cream the wrong way around! Only I could do that and a successful shop in a local Craft Shop provided my partner with some creative options further down the line. We then finished the wander with a nosey of the local church. If there is one thing we have noticed in Cornwall it is the tidy presentation and appearance of their churches. This one was no different, however it did provide me with a chuckle when I discovered a certain book title in their give a way section. You couldn’t script it any better a hardback copy of The Satanic Verses, free to a good home!

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The journey took us to Cape Cornwall and another climb to see more amazing scenery off the coastline. Now Cape Cornwall may not sound dramatically interesting, however it is the only point around the entire United Kingdom where two different seas or oceans merge together. I will always try and offer some education along the way and this is my token gesture! Another musing was to discover that the tower on Cape Cornwall was constructed by Heinz as a marker of their decision to purchase Cape Cornwall and donate it to the National Trust. It was exactly at this point I noticed a similarity between the tower and a certain accompaniment to chips!

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On Thursday we went to St Ives and just about survived the crowds flocking to soak up the Summer Rays that were hitting the beach and coast lines. St Ives is a lovely place and one that I intend to visit again when it’s not so in season. If you visualize the letter U it gives you the perfect image of St Ives. There are two extremely high points and the main part of the town is in the dip between them. We were parked on one of these high points and walked over to the other, crazy stuff but even more beautiful views to take in. It was here that I learnt the correct way to eat a Cream Tea the proper way and also to discover they aren’t even scones! In a nutshell St Ives is beautiful, creative and has a nice positive vibe to it. There are however a few too many Art Shops each selling exactly the same pictures and prints!

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On the way back we went via “St Ives Cider” farm and met the guy behind supplying St Ives with the majority of its Cider. It certainly was an eye opener to say the least. He just finished a 10,000 litre batch of one type and it was then we discovered that he bottled it four at a time! Now that is one effort that needs saluting. The set up was no bigger than two medium storage units and it shows the belief and desire that he has in his product. It was this evening that I finally tasted the Cider that my partners step dad has produced this year. Percy certainly didn’t disappoint and I’m pretty certain that the other bottle I’m lucky enough to have will be enjoyed later this weekend.

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Finally I’d like to take this opportunity to congratulate the Milton Keynes Bucks Baseball Team on clinching the AAA title last weekend. I have been very fortunate to play a couple of games for the Bucks this year and its so amazing to be so close to the success. They have played terrific Baseball this year and the First Team are a terrific bunch of guys, well done again you all deserve it so very very much! For my non Baseball followers this is the equivalent of winning the league and earning the first seeded ranking going into the Play Offs. Jon and Ernie a special thanks goes to you guys for making all this possible!

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DarcyB

Local Legend of St Buryan

So following on from my last blog there are a couple of things that I can confirm. Firstly we got here in one piece despite every attempt the A30 threw at us. It was a scene similar to that of The Truman Show, where when he tries to escape he is faced with many man made blockades to prevent him from doing so. The journey itself took a little under 7 hours and once we’d got the tent all set up, we were very very relieved to sip that first cold beer. The second thing I can confirm is that Scrabble didn’t make the trip, my partner has convinced me that the Puzzle Book she bought would be a worthy substitute! Only time will tell on that one 😉

We have certainly made the most of our time down here so far. We are both massive fans of walking and exploring and have found some truly amazing sights and views. To the untrained eye an Ordinance Survey map seems dull and boring, to us it’s pure ecstasy. We have successfully found our first Cornish Stone Circle, located some standing stones, found ancient burial sites and our first Ordinance Survey Marker.

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Now we are also fans of doing the more well known sights, just in case I need to dispel that concern you may have as you read this. We have not only visited the brand new theme park styled Lands End, but we have also survived the Causeway and long winding uneven walk to the top of St Michaels Mount. The views from the bottom were impressive, the views from the top simply breath taking! We spent a day in Penzance and walked along the harbors and along the streets, this is a beautiful town with flags gracing every part of it. The weather so far has been lovely, it’s only rained when we have been asleep in our tent!

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The nature we have witnessed first hand down here has been amazing to say the least. As we walked along the Sand Dunes yesterday from St Michaels Mount we saw a Weasel chasing a Rabbit ahead of us, it was in a comical way similar to Road Runner and Wiley Coyote! We think the Rabbit escaped. We have seen many colorful butterflies including Red Admirals and large Moths which resembled Red Tiger Moths. On our walk to the top of Chapel Carn we saw wild ponies and many birds as well as the sweetest little Field Mouse and yes I got that close to it using my IPhone Camera. Finally the evenings turning into nights have seen many a creepy crawly trying to invade our Tent and surrounding areas, the slugs have proven to be somewhat brave and large.

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Finally our visit to St Buryan proved to be an interesting one. They say the term “legend” is used far too regularly and that it loses value, however I am quite confident that its a fitting term for this instance. We went to grab a pub lunch and popped into the pub in St Buryan. Now it’s always a strange feeling when you aren’t a local popping into a village pub and in this instance it wasn’t too daunting. We were presented with a nice bar area with many arrays of local memorabilia on the walls and three locals, two of them together.

After we ordered our drinks and sat down, we were greeted by an elderly gentleman called Basil. The conversation quickly turned to Cricket and we were talking about the current Ashes Test that was on and how England needed to set around 250 to give them a chance of winning it. Suddenly I was pointed to a newspaper article framed and hanging proudly on the wall. It was a copy of a Schoolboys Cricket match in August 1974 when a certain Basil took all Ten Wickets in a match. I must say it was at this point I realized this was Basil. He proudly talked me through his successes and exploits as if the game had been played yesterday. For any non cricket fans out there, then the equivalent of this is hard to compare. All I can say is this is a very rare achievement and one I’ve never seen before. To that Basil I raise my glass to you, you are an awesome real life local legend of St Buryan!

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DarcyB