Category Archives: Australia

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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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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

Northampton Clown, Red Sox and Carlton Blues

Since my post yesterday the mystery of the Northampton Clown intensified with a Sunday Night appearance in the town square at Abington in Northampton. This story has continued to roll forward through the night, which has seen this hit TV screens in Australia and the USA. Cynics have labelled this person as a time waster and think that they should spend their free time in a more productive manner, many others are in support.

It is wonderful that Northampton has been put on the map for something so interesting and strange. I have not experienced something along these lines before and I think this is why it’s stuck a loud chord with the world. As I drove into work today I heard this mentioned on Radio Five which is pretty damn cool. The web page on Facebook has grown from 7,000 likes on Sunday Night up to just over 38,000 this Monday Evening.

It is hard to see people losing interest as things currently stand and I wouldn’t be surprised to see this figure double during the week. One strong rumor circled around a company called Doctor Frights Night and the story that this was linked to them. I can imagine it was to most people’s relief that this story was dismissed as untrue and keeps things going. Last nights photo was published just before midnight with the promise of further appearances during the week. All I can say is keep your eyes peeled Northampton, the eerie mystery continues….

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On other news regarding a couple of my sports teams from opposite sides of the globe. Carlton Blues who are my Australian Rules Football Team have over achieved this year. Mick Malthouse who is their coach was tasked with getting Carlton into Finals contention. Not only did he manage that but he oversaw an Elimination Final victory which saw the Blues bow out in the Semi Finals at Sydney. Some people would question that Carlton shouldn’t have played Finals Football this year following Essendon being stripped of their place due to the drugs scandal. I would say this is totally irrelevant and it’s a breath of fresh air to see a team being hit hard and disqualified for cheating. Well done Carlton, 2014 promises so much more. I also loved the rallying spirit that the club drove with the hash tag #BELIEVE which asked fans from around the world to post photos spreading the word.

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My photo made the Carlton page on Facebook so I was very happy. For my non following AFL followers, the league comprises of 16 teams. The season comprises of 24 games of which the top 8 sides compete to play Finals Football. Carlton finished 9th but took the 8th spot because of Essendon and their Drugs Scandal.

Finally my American Baseball team are absolutely flying. The Boston Red Sox have gone from strength to strength and find themselves needing only 4 wins from their final dozen regular season matches to secure the American League East Title. In the last couple of weeks they have smashed both the New York Yankees and Tampa Bay Rays. Last night they completed a 3-0 series whitewash of the NYY at Fenway Park.

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Boston have not seen success of this nature in the last few years and it is certainly a season of over achieving fairy tales. I am so pleased to see my team close to playing in the World Series and I’m hoping they can see it out and who knows hit 100 Regular Season wins. That would be the icing on top of a sweet cake. Go Boston Red Sox!!

Oh and I just had to get a final mention in for my beloved Leeds United. A gritty 1-0 win at Bolton has put us into the early Play Off places. I am making my first away trip this week at Reading and I will post some photos and details on this later this week.

DarcyB

Chapter 1 – Realisation

Last month I mentioned about a Book that I had started to write about my travels and year spent in Australia. I started this back in 2010 and it is very much work in progress. I’d like to share the First Chapter with you all today and am equally keen to hear back from you regarding it. Who knows if I get enough positive feedback then I may carry on and complete what I’ve started! Right here goes….

DarcyB

 

Realisation

I lay there, it had been a strange night, a cocktail of mixed emotions. The night previous to this I was there with my close friends celebrating my exciting holiday, this morning I just couldn’t move. Last year I had endured what could only be described as the year of hell, well probably not that bad but as the year played out it certainly was eventful but mainly for the wrong reasons. I experienced many things, asked my girlfriend of 3 years to move in and then watch her move out, allow my work to take over my life which probably led to the previous thing and then move out back into my mother’s home. I really had no idea what was to follow but subconsciously I had to ask myself why I had done these things, there must have been a part of me that had already realised that I was not returning home.

The alarm sounded and as I looked across with surprisingly focussed eyes I could make out the red figures on my side clock. It was that day, that time, it seemed so distant when I booked this flight but the time had arrived. I sat up for what felt like an eternity and found it hard to muster the energy to get out of bed, this was not due to the fact I was tired, in fact that was far from the real reason, I just didn’t want to step one foot outside of the warm duvet. It was winter in the UK and the country was enduring one of those normal winter periods. I worked in the Building Industry and following a year of rain, floods and snow it really did challenge the company I worked for. As the months passed by and the year was drawing to a close it hadn’t recovered and the fact I knew I was ready to escape from it all was a welcome reminder of why this was the most exciting day of my life so far.

Flash back to a couple of weeks previous, my family obviously upset that I would not be spending Christmas with them had made their arrangements for me to at least experience some of the festivities ahead of my departure to the other side of the world. I was at my Dads with his new wife and my step sister sitting down sipping a hot caffeine filled mug of coffee. As my cold hands clasped the warm mug we sat and discussed what I was hoping to do once I crossed the globe and touched the land in Adelaide. I really had no idea, my mind went blank. I was fortunate to have had nearly every book, travel guide or article on life in Australia presented to me by my Dad, he was very keen to ensure that I knew what to expect and to make sure I experienced everything that was potentially on offer to me. My Dad was a planner and to be totally honest this was just what I needed, without even realising to myself right then just by the things we spoke about part of me had given in to the fact that this was probably going to be more than a holiday. I had a copy of the Lonely Planet Guide to Australia, this was the most reputable guide I had heard about and one that formed part of the small library of literature I had accrued to date. It was this book that painted the most striking picture and one that that to this very day sticks firmly in my mind, not that I would know that at this exact moment. As dinner time approached and the most delightful roast dinner with an array of steamed and roasted vegetables was presented in front of me the conversation went less direct. I sat there and soaked up the moment, time seemed to pass at an almost standstill and everything in front of me slowed right down. If ever there was a more crystallizing moment than this, then I had yet to witness it as of yet.

Returning to the present moment, as thoughts passed through my mind from previous occurrences I was out of bed. It was an almighty effort, but following what seemed like the longest stretch possible without damaging my back I was up and ready to finalise all the packing that I had left to the very last minute. I was never really a planner, one trait that my Dad had failed to pass onto me, but I always had the ability to complete tasks with the smallest amount of time remaining. The shower felt great and refreshing and quickly changed I launched myself into it, what on earth would I need? I wheeled out the biggest red suitcase, the one that had served me well from the Majorca holiday of almost ten years ago. I had not used it since that eventful trip with my best friend James and I had to rip off all the airport tags and stickers that dressed it, so that I would at least stand a good chance of my luggage arriving in the same country as me worst case scenario. I am a typical bloke when it comes to working out exactly what I require; I think the maths in my head went something along the lines of… 4½ weeks = 31 days, worst case I can use x 3 times etc. etc… Anyway let’s just say for somebody who started his career as an estimator I really had left myself short!

I am convinced as most guys are, that mothers know of this fault and as I finished my breakfast I was almost certain that my suitcase seemed heavier than when I had left it just 20 minutes previous. The main thing was that I was packed, not ready but packed. I don’t think I could ever really be ready. I was certain not to spend the day pottering around the house in anticipation for my Dad to collect and drive me to Heathrow in London, so I made the most of things and my two best mates kept me company that afternoon. It was real commitment from them both especially as they had booked the day off to do so but at the same time I felt like it should have been the three of us going to endure the biggest adventure of our lives together. At the beginning of 2007 when I had decided I was going to Australia, we all had an agreement albeit verbal that if nothing major changed in our lives regarding jobs or security that this was going to be our holiday, unfortunately I was the only one to proceed with booking the flight. I could tell by James and Mikes reactions that they wished they could join me, but just been near them on this day albeit temporarily, took my mind off the day’s flying that lay ahead of me that evening. It was a nice feeling being able to spend with my two best friends, however as time was passing slowly, it meant I could not help but constantly think about that flight. I had only ever flown a couple of times that I can recall, once to Majorca as mentioned previously and the other time was to Munich to watch my beloved Leeds United play in the Champions League. These were both relatively short in comparison to what lay waiting for me. As the afternoon passed the time finally arrived, my phone in my pocket started ringing and without even having to look at the screen I knew who and why they were calling. Without too much hesitation I answered the phone, grabbed my luggage and said goodbye to my Mum and friends.

 

To be continued?