Category Archives: Stories

My Blog is 1 Year Old – Happy Birthday

A year ago I decided to start my blog, over 80 posts, 5,000 views and 70 followers later I have never felt more accomplished than I do right now.

I must once again place my thanks on record to my friend Jaki Jelley whose similar minded approach to her blog gave me the final push I needed to start my own. So what has happened this year and have my random ramblings really entertained my readers or drove you to despair? I’d personally like to think it’s been a mixed ride with many different topics covered.

So what have been my highlights? Well this year I’ve written about Leeds United on quite a few occasions, I am still hopeful that I will get a piece published by one of the fans pages this season. I’ve had some fun adventures and holiday trips with my awesome fiancé, mainly involving the tent.

I’ve written about my travels, gardening and nature stories including our ever so near attempts to get a blue tit nesting in our garden right through to creating a hotel for our bee to lay it’s eggs in. I’ve cooked pickled Beetroot, attempted to grow tomatoes and even written up a couple of my favourite recipes.

I’ve managed to get an article on the Autumn Towcester Beer Festival published on the about my area website and have written further blogs about my love for local ales. There have been some exciting pieces on Music Festivals including the surreal In The Woods Festival.

I’d like to thank you all for taking that little bit of time out of your busy days to read my blog and I promise that this second year will see even more stories from my crazy world and the life I lead.

On one final note I’d like to share some awesome news with you all. I secured my promotion at work and have finally become a Branch Manager. This is something I’ve wanted these last three years and from the beginning of August I’ll finally be there. This is a big deal for me and I am so proud of myself and also would like to place on record my thanks for the support my fiancé has given me throughout my career.

So as we embark on another adventure this weekend in Snowdonia, I can already feel my next piece formulating together in my head. Here is to the future and the exciting times it promises to bring.

Thank you.

DarcyB

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Facebook Funnies

I’m not going to use this post as a window to vent my frustrations at Facebook. I like most of the original members still vaguely remember the days when all you’d get on your wall was a post from your friends. Now all you get is a wall swamped with adverts, reposts, promotions and maybe just maybe a status update from a friend.

It’s safe to say Facebook has changed, it’s now a money making machine on the stock market. My biggest gripe is that one of your best friends could announce the biggest life changing status update and you miss it if you’ve not checked your wall for a few hours. Anyway I’m going off subject, this post is actually aimed at some of the funniest things I’ve seen recently on Facebook.

Amongst the usual array of garbage and ridiculous posts asking you to like photos for publicity, I’ve actually been impressed with some of things I’ve seen on my wall. Right here goes…

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1. Being a Leeds United fan is challenging enough. Seeing one of your biggest rivals suffer at unknown levels makes it less painful when things go wrong. Manchester United have had a torrid year so far and after various home defeats this made me chuckle. Seeing David Moyes and his record signing Fellaini pictured as police catching drivers speeding is genius. The link between 3 points for speeding and away wins for teams at Old Trafford is clever. Love this one!

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2. This one starts all cute and warm . There’s nothing kinder than handing a friend or stranger an umbrella when the weather isn’t nice. I love the wicked twist at the end, nobody likes spiders! This is my wicked humor summed up perfectly.

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3. I knew the media could paint a picture in many different ways. This shows how easy it is to be mislead. Never again will I watch the news on TV and be 100% certain that what I’m seeing is completely accurate.

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And Finally……..

4. A Christmas post that I couldn’t help but smile at and think that I want a reindeer cat! I am not usually won over by these types of post, this one is the exception! Christmas summed up perfectly. I think all cats want to be a Reindeer.

I’d love to hear about your sightings online on Facebook.

DarcyB

The Northampton Clown

Friday the 13th came and passed by with relatively little trouble. I’m not that superstitious however I do have a thing about walking over three adjoined drain covers. I don’t know if there is a story behind this or why on earth I must always do it, but that’s my one thing. I do however believe in the unexplainable and have my share of fears. It is because of the latter that I had to write about what I’ve read this afternoon online.

I very rarely take notice of the Social Media rush when it comes to silly and random stories. These are usually constructed in an attempt to drive up followers and likes. It is because of the close proximity and nature of this one that I had to take note and read about it. It is at this point that I would like to make my opinion known regarding this story, I find this truly fascinating and mysterious.

Since the aforementioned date there have been sightings of a Clown in the Abington and Kingsley areas of Northampton. The motive and understanding of why this is happening is unknown at the moment, however it has certainly divided opinion of people since its taken to Facebook.

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One of my personal fears is clowns, I have had this for as long as I have known. I can’t honestly understand why this is, but this story has sent shivers of nerves down my spine with a little hint of excitement. I personally love testing my fears and to live close to where this has started is almost like flirting with my fear itself.

The first article about this Clown appeared yesterday and confirmed that 3,000 people had liked their Facebook page titled:- Spot Northampton’s Clown. This figure has raised to over 7,000 in less than 24 hours. The reaction as mentioned earlier is mixed, but there appears to only be a minority against this so far. I can imagine that something like this can make people feel uncomfortable and this is where people’s true colors and characteristics show their face. After three days since the first published sighting, there have been photos taken at: St Michaels Road and Cedar Road in Northampton.

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I am sure this will gather pace and develop further as the days and nights pass but what do we know so far about this? Well from their Facebook Page it appears that this is purely a way to get noticed and coverage. So far there has not been anything reported to suggest this Clown is a danger. The last post on their Facebook Page went as far to put people’s minds to rest and joked that they needed exercise and were planning a jog around the pond in Abington Park. The whole story has also inherited its own Twitter hash tag #northamptonclown

My concern with this is that it will inevitably strike the wrong chord with someone and it could end up causing danger to the Clown itself. Some people have tried spreading rumors about the Clown carrying a knife, which has been immediately dismissed. Social Media is a dangerous animal and the power of a few choice words can be the fuel to any fire.

So my opinion? I think this is magical and very very mysterious. I love the fact it’s Halloween next month and this is providing a thrilling storyline leading up to the event. I think about how I’d react if I was to suddenly be greeted by this Clown or to see it as I am living my day to day life. I really hope that their Facebook page is used purely to post photos that other people have taken and to give a public update on their sightings. The one thing I hope for the most is that this story doesn’t end in an unpleasant way. I’m sure there will be another blog regarding this in the not too distant future. Beep Beep Sleep Safe 😉

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?