Blog Archives

Apologies for the Quiet

I must apologise to my followers for this moment of silence. I know there isn’t a need to do this, however I want to. I am extremely proud to have over 80 followers and I feel the very reason you followed me has been put on hold, well this has ended tonight.

As I appear from the shadows it is at the time of year the world we live in takes on a festive holiday filled feeling. So what have I been up to and how is 2014 concluding as we head into the final throes of the year.

I’ve had some fantastic weekends and day trips away with my fiancé which included a fun weekend exploring Leeds for a family members birthday. Leeds is a fantastic city and one that we both love. Who knows what the future holds with regards to this awesome city….

Last Tuesday we went to London and visited the Tower of London Poppies. We tried to go a fortnight ago but couldn’t quite battle our way through the crowds. This time around we were able to walk right around the tower and saw some amazing sights.

I have a couple of my favourite photos below:-
IMG_0542.JPG

IMG_0457.JPG

I witnessed Northampton Saints lose against Exeter last Friday which was slightly surreal. It’s the first time I’ve seen them lose and now the disappointment that Leeds United provide has been mirrored at Saints.

Towcester Mill has had a handful of visits as the nights draw in, it’s very cozy inside. It’s a shame we can’t quite enjoy the long evenings in the amazing gardens. It’s a good job the Winter Beers are on tap, there will be some reviews coming up soon!

Our hedgehog who became our fourth family member has gone into hibernation. I do have a photo from last month below as he made the most of our feeding station. We also seem to have a new kitten who visits our garden. It’s all go round our neighbourhood!

IMG_0374.JPG

IMG_0279.JPG
So what does the rest of November hold? Firstly it’s a certain special persons birthday. I can’t say anymore as it will spoil the amazing plans I’m rapidly compiling as next weekend approaches.

Work is going very well. I am into the fourth month of my new job and so far so good. I’ve always wanted to be a Branch Manager, now I have it, I won’t be letting go of it!

Ummmm oh and my Dad ran his first half marathon. He is running 2 more and his first Marathon as he raises money for Cancer. Please check out his sponsorship page and if you feel generous then please send him a message or even better a donation.

https://www.justgiving.com/Paul-Barrow3/

Phew! I promise I’ll write again soon! It’s far too hard trying to fill so much in one blog post!

Mark

Advertisements

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

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

A Night for Jon Brookes

In one of my first posts entitled Telling Stories, I spoke about the sad news of the passing away of Jon Brookes. Jon had collapsed whilst performing on stage in America to be later diagnosed with a Brain Tumour. Jon battled through treatment and was able to rejoin the band and take to the stage again in 2012. We learnt of his death the day after I asked my partner to marry me and the emotions felt that moment were simply numbing. We met Jon before The Charlatans performed in Edinburgh during the Fringe Festival in August 2012 and would describe him as a down to earth, honest, friendly, hard working family man who was clearly enjoying the dream of being part of a successful band. Jon was their drummer and he quite simply blew us away with his performance during the gig that we were fortunate to witness from the front row that August night. Three weeks after that performance Jon’s condition suddenly worsened and he never fully recovered again.

Tim Burgess and Friends hosted an evening last night (Friday 18th October) to celebrate his life. It was also a fitting stage to highlight the devastation that Brain Cancer has on families all across the world. The stage was as grand as could be hoped for with The Royal Albert Hall showcasing this emotional event. The journey time from our front door to arriving on our seats was little more than two hours, which considering it was a Friday night in peak travel time, was delightful. There has been talk of further trips into London now we’ve realized how quick the journey takes.

20131019-105958.jpg
This was our first visit to the Royal Albert Hall and from the moment we entered it, I could feel the expectation and history generated from its structure. It just has one of those atmospheres which is hard to explain. The circular corridors were graced by photographs of previous performances including Elton John and Kiki Dee right through to Sir Cliff Richard. Despite it’s age, the building was looking very very grand and all the intricate detail in the architecture was a delight to view.

We went to the Elgar Room where there was a bar area and purchased a couple of reasonably priced ales. In the corner of this open room, there was a striking gloss red piano on a small stage which could only draw your attentions to it. We then made way to our seats in anticipation of the nights offerings and celebration of Jon’s life.

20131019-111515.jpg
Adrian Chiles was the MC for the night and his shared love of West Bromwich Albion was the obvious link to Tim Burgess. The opening performance came from Birmingham based band Dumb. Dumb were managed by Jon Brookes and their four song set was clearly full of emotion for the man who had given them a chance to succeed. It’s not every day you get to perform at a venue like this, it’s such a shame and tragedy it’s under these circumstances.

One of the most memorable performances of the night was then to follow as Tim Burgess performed with members of The Vaccines and New Order. Tim who needed the aid of written down song words to sing with both bands performed a breathtaking rendition of New Orders classic “Love Will Tear Us Apart” which brought the near capacity crowd to its feet.

20131019-112400.jpg
The Chemical Brothers performed a live DJ set in between acts on the night which kept the energy levels up on a night full of emotion. There was a video presented by the Brain Tumour Charity which showed real life families coming to terms with the effects this terrible disease has or has had on them. It was at this moment I could feel a real lump in my throat as it hit me right then how fortunate I am. This important charity was set up by a family who lost their 16 year old daughter to a Brain Tumour after realising there wasn’t a specific charity set up to research this Cancer. If you wish to donate after reading my blog their site is at:- http://www.thebraintumourcharity.org/donate

James Dean Bradfield then took to the stage to perform an Acoustic set. The Manic Street Preachers front man delivered an almost haunting version of “If you tolerate this” and an equally emotion filled performance of the classic ” A design for life”

Liam Gallagher followed with support from Bonehead and others and delivered two 90’s Oasis classics. “Live Forever” was a fitting choice of song and one of my all time favorite Oasis tracks as well as “Supersonic” Liam certainly delivered and it was great to see them turn out in support of Jon.

20131019-163402.jpg
It was only fitting that this amazing night of celebration was brought to a close by the three guys who have really felt the loss of Jon Brookes. The Charlatans performed an hour long set with classics included such as “North Country Boy” and “One to Another” it was another emotion filled set and one that brought the crowd once more back to their feet.

It was a truly amazing night and one that we will never forget. Jon’s wife wrote a piece that Adrian Chiles read out, thanking everyone for being there and the truly devastating effects that the family have felt because of this. All in all this was a fitting tribute to Jon and one that raised the importance that there is still so much work that needs to be done to beat Brain Cancer.

DarcyB