Monthly Archives: November 2013

Movember Update

So it’s been growing and finally as I head into the fourth week there’s no hiding from my Mo. I’m quite fortunate in the way it takes a while for it to get going, but once I’m into this dangerous territory it’s out there for the world to see.

I’d like to let everybody who reads my blog know that as things stand, I’ve currently raised £88 for the Movember fund. I would also like to place on record my thanks to those who’ve supported me with donations, it’s because of you we will notice a difference.

Movember is fun, it’s an ideal way to walk around as a public billboard to show everybody. More seriously it also gives a timely reminder of the dangers with Prostate and Testicular Cancer and the importance to be on top of your personal checks.

20131123-150652.jpg
As I head into week 4 and with only 7 days left it’s here I ask for all those people who wish to support my efforts to make a donation today via my Movember donation page. All monies sent here will go to the charity so please check the gift aid tab as well. I have been out and about for work showing off my Mo, including this site visit last Thursday.

20131123-151639.jpg
BoltyDoodles is making colourful Movember brooches for the ladies out there, or the guys if they really want one. If you’d like one then please message me your details and chosen colour once you’ve made your £3.50 donation on my page. I would like to remind you that BoltyDoodles is taking their own free time to make these and all monies raised will go to the charity, it’s a great and appreciated gesture.

20131123-151047.jpg
My donation page is:- http://www.mobro.co/MarkBarrow

I really would like to surpass my total of £120 from 2012 so please give generously.

Thank you

DarcyB

Advertisements

Grand Theft Auto V

I enjoy my gaming, however like most I find the free time required to play on my Xbox 360 tricky to say the least. Because of this I rarely buy new games but last month I made the decision to purchase GTAV (Grand Theft Auto 5).

The 5th title in the ever popular series was just too tempting to ignore. For those nineties gamers out there, you will remember like me, the first Grand Theft Auto game released in 1997. The game was played from above and involved very little game play other than running around the city causing a trail of devastation.

20131116-225059.jpg
It’s great to see that where time may have passed, the game itself still has the same addictive traits that made me start gaming. The gameplay is far more structured and the graphical capabilities of the Xbox 360 outshine that of the Playstation One. These are not criticisms of past gaming consoles, it’s just a credit to gaming and how far it’s evolved.

So I’ve been playing GTAV for a month solely focused on the story mode. As I wrote this blog, I’ve just completed a mission which involved buying Boiler Suits and Masks whilst stealing a getaway car, refuse truck and a pick up truck. I’ve had a ten minute battle shooting police cops and security corp officers, whilst sniping and launching bazookas at a Police Chopper. This is one awesome game and just by describing it, you can tell how far it’s evolved.

I’m now 40% complete on the story mode and am finding my limited gaming abilities to be well and truly tested as the game moves further along. One mission entitled Threes Company was the first ” I wanna launch my controller outta the window!” moment. Fortunately I’ve persevered and am still getting through it.

The one aspect of the game I really like is the switching between characters. At first it was tricky to get used to, but now I’m enjoying how this enhances the gameplay. Michael, Franklin and Trevor are all equally entertaining. I have to admit that Trevor is my favorite character so far, his humor and quips are genius!

20131116-231218.jpg
I do find that the large open arena of the game encourages me to wander around causing mischief and the above shot of me ploughing a truck into a fruit stand is one of my funnier moments. I have also chased a train down its tracks in a Camper van!


The small touches like changing radio stations whilst driving and getting a haircut are genius. It’s quite funny when you can go from a shaved head to an Afro in a couple of clicks.

Overall I love this game, albeit this may change depending on how things progress over these next couple of days. Grand Theft Auto 5 is a success and I will give you an update on my future progress soon. Get it if you haven’t done so already.

DarcyB

Victorious at the Valley

My second away trip of the season took me into London to The Valley. Leeds United have not really had such a good record on the road so far this season and the weather looked set to make things even more difficult. On top of this, injuries to key players meant Brian McDermott was forced into giving some of the forgotten men a chance to stake their claims. Danny Pugh came in to replace the injured Stephen Warnock and an injury just before kick off saw the impressive youngster Mowatt pulled out in place of war veteran Michael Brown.

I travelled down from Bedford and got the train into St Pancras International. A short tube trip to London Bridge and I was soon to meet the familiar sighting of our traveling support. We have an awesome away support and it’s because of this that I forget I’m on my own. The train to Charlton was eventful and one that would bring mixed emotions.

20131110-203217.jpg
Word got out on the train that there was a Pitch Inspection at 1.30pm and there was a real possibility that the game could be postponed. Despite the grey skies it had been relatively dry, so this news was greeted with stunned concern. By the time we arrived at Charlton station, there was news of a second pitch inspection at 2.15pm.

The walk from the station to the Valley was relatively short and the location of the Away stand meant that we had a street to ourselves as we approached the ground. We were stood outside the stand waiting patiently for the news. The turnstiles were kept shut until just before 2.30pm when we were advised the game would proceed, but with a delayed kick off at 3.30pm.

20131110-203904.jpg
I headed straight to my seat through very dated man operated turnstiles. The computer operated turnstiles no where to be seen. I got to my seat and was presented with the ever familiar sighting of minimal leg room. It was a good job I was on the back row, I was never going to stay sat on this seat. I started talking to a father and son from Anglesey in Wales and before we knew it kick off was upon us.

20131110-204300.jpg
The pitch was showing some obvious signs of surface water and it quickly became apparent that the field was going to cause some trouble. The opening exchanges were disjointed and the ball was in the air and out of play more than it was in. It was a surprise that we managed to carve out a decent opening within 20 minutes where Dexter Blackstock knocked the ball down to Ross McCormack to steer past from close range to give us the lead. The remainder of the first half petered out into a scrappy affair and in typical Leeds fashion we conceded through sloppy defending. The goal itself was a fantastic finish, but our inability to clear the ball properly led to it. We were fortunate to go into the break level as another Charlton effort was cleared off the line. What was to follow in the second half couldn’t have been predicted as the teams left the field, the home team buoyed by their late surge.

20131110-210000.jpg
The second half started with a disheartening pump into the air and out from the kick off. We were either trying to use the wind or were being plain lazy. What then happened was a master stroke as from their throw in, Danny Pugh won the ball and was brought down as he strode into the area, a penalty was awarded. Step up Ross McCormack who calmly slammed the ball centrally into the roof of the net to make it 2-1.

Leeds had chances and as the next twenty minutes passed we were starting to hit them on the break as they pushed forwards. Once again as we were looking the most likely to strike again, slack defending saw Pearce and Lees beaten twice by the same player. A simple knock back saw Kenny beaten and we were back to 2-2.

Once again just as Charlton appeared to have the ascendency, Leeds broke clear and a delightful volley from close range saw Ross McCormack claim his hat trick. He ran down to the opposite end where me and the other 3,300 Leeds fans were and celebrated his first professional hat trick. As the game entered injury time a foul on Rudy Austin presented us with a free kick to the right of the goal and Ross McCormack picked out the top corner to claim 3 points and his fourth goal of the game. As the whistle was blown we were on fine voice celebrating the 4-2 win and 3 vitally important points.

20131110-210757.jpg
This win keeps us in eighth position but only one point outside of the Play Offs heading into the international break. Well played Leeds.

DarcyB

Movember 2013

It’s already here, I am one week into Movember. This is my third year of taking part and it is one charity event that means so much to me. For those of you unaware, Movember is a world wide event originating from Australia. It is primarily, when a man will clean shave himself on the 1st of the month and grow and style his mustache throughout the month of November, or Movember as it’s more familiarly named.

20131108-192435.jpg
This is all done in the name of Prostate Cancer. Prostate Cancer is the most common form of Men’s Cancer and effects one in three men. It is also one of the most curable forms if detected early which is why it’s important to shift focus onto men’s health each November. We are all guilty of turning a blind eye to sensitive issues which is why it’s so very important.

In 2011 & 2012 I raised just under £300 which I was quite proud of. My fiancé has had to put up with some quite disturbing stages in the month, we joke that days 8-12 are the most concerning! Either way, I will keep doing my bit and this year is no different.

20131108-192952.jpg
The rules are simple, only a Mo is allowed, no beards. My effort in 2012 pictured above raised £130 which more than made up for the look. In 2011 pictured below I raised £160. It sounds quite silly but I preferred this effort, I find it a funny thing because I don’t really have the required “growth” to style my Mo differently.

20131108-194314.jpg
So here we go again, for my friends and family they will be sick of my constant begging, pleading and hopeful cries out for donations. I would say sorry, but for the worthy cause this is, I feel there is no requirement to do so.

There is one easy way to make a donation and it’s via my official Movember page, the link is below. Here I will post photos of this months progress and also any funny stories that occur along the way.

http://mobro.co/MarkBarrow

For those Mo Sisters out there who wish to take part and wear their Mo then you are in luck. I would like to place my thanks on record to BoltyDoodles for her determination and efforts in helping me raise donations for Prostate Cancer. For a £3.50 donation on my page above, she will make you a Mo Badge in your chosen colour. These felt badges are shaped in the iconic Movember Tash and are a bright statement to show your support. If you’d like to do this, then please make a donation and message me your contact details including colour to me on here. Below are some Movember badges available. You can also check out her other pieces at the below Facebook Page, please check her out and give her a like.

https://www.facebook.com/BoltyDoodles

20131108-195609.jpg
Right that’s about it, please help me along with this years efforts and thank you for taking the time to read this, it means so very much to me.

DarcyB