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:-
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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!

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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

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Saints victorious at Twickenham

Northampton Saints won their first ever Premiership Trophy after a titanic battle against Saracens. This was an amazing experience, one that I don’t think could ever be bettered.

I left Milton Keynes at 9am for destination London. Despite numerous delays including the part closure of the District Line, we were not to be denied reaching our destination of Richmond. I met some other Saints fans on the way as we descended upon our first pub The Orange Tree. The party atmosphere was unrivaled as Northampton Saints painted a picture of Green and Gold.

Twickenham village was full of fun packed activities including the opportunity to hold the Aviva Premiership Trophy. We met Lawrence Dellaghio and saw Claire Baldwin amongst others who gathered in anticipation for Rugby Unions showpiece of the season. The sunshine was providing a cheerful backdrop as just under 82,000 fans gathered together. There were fans from other clubs including Leicester Tigers and Bath who had hoped to be taking part in the final.

Saracens were the local team and after a terrific season finished top of the league campaign. Northampton Saints finished 2nd and were here not just to make up the numbers. After the breathtaking last minute Semi Final win against local rivals Leicester Tigers, Saints backed it up with their first trophy of the season beating Bath in the Amlin European Cup Final in Cardiff last week.

Saints edged the first half 7-6 and found themselves winning 14-9 with ten minutes to go thanks to George Psisi touching down in the corner. A game full of controversial moments saw a Saracens try disallowed by the Video Referee for a forward pass in the build up that ironically saw Farrell injure himself kicking the ball away in celebration just before it was scratched off.

Saracens did get their first try to tie the game but we couldn’t believe it when the simple conversion striked the post and bounced clear. The game headed into Extra Time and both sides exchanged penalties in the first half at 17-17. Saracens regained the lead up until the final seconds before the dramatic end. Trailing 17-20 with the clock on zero, Saints forced Saracens back and with one final push Alex Waller drove the ball over under a defensive wall. The referee referred back to the video official who after 4 replays awarded the winning try.

The party atmosphere was immense as the final whistle went and Saints clinched their first ever Premiership Crown. The whole experience was hard to describe but it’s one I will never forget. Come on You Saints!!

Some photos from the day:-
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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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.

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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