Let’s address the elephant in the room. It’s been ages since I’ve written anything. Not that anyone particularly cared or noticed. Apparently it was August, but I thought it was much longer ago than that. I’ve had a lot going on over the last while. Holidays, job changes, damp problems, new glasses, internet issues – you name it etc. Regardless of all these things, I’m still here.
As you’ll know full well, 2017 is drawing to a close and now comes the period of reflection and contemplation on how things have gone and what we all want to change in our lives. It’s New Year’s Resolution time!
Aside from writing a bit more than I did last year, I have one big resolution for 2018, and that is to begin playing competitive darts, in an almost certainly doomed bid to make it to the big time. Gary Anderson was 26 when he first picked up a dart, and look at him now, a 2-time world champion. So there’s hope for me yet.
I can remember, vividly, playing darts with Gramps in his garage as a young’un. Indeed, I still have his old set of brass darts that we played with, somewhere at home. Even then, I’m sure I had an inkling that this could be a sport I could really get involved in.
Since the start of 2017, I’ve been playing with the Packet House darts team, on the Manchester Log End, and it’s been a joy for me. I drag girlfriend Ffion along each week though, and she hates it. It’s not quite traditional 501 darts though, so my resolution is to get involved with the Manchester 501 darts scene – yes, there is one. And a rather substantial one, at that.
Ffion, as many who are in touch with my social media will know, got me a darts board for my birthday, and, since then, Dart Board and I have been largely inseparable. I’ve upped my 3-dart average to a respectable (if still a bit naff) 60-odd. I’ve pinged four 180s, taking my haul to 11 all-time. And I’ve bust a number of stems and nearly impaled my feet at least 20 times. A professional darts career is patently on the horizon.
At Christmas, just like yours, my family likes to gather round the TV and take in the sights and sounds of the World Darts Championship. I used to joke with Ma that she would, one day, be watching me on that Ally Pally stage. That might not be (but definitely is) too far off. Getting involved with the competitive side of 501 is sure to benefit my game. Of course, I’ll have to wait until the start of the new season until I can switch formats. It’s a little like moving BDO to PDC, I guess. I feel like Phil Taylor. Over the course of Christmas, no doubt, I’ll start to look more like Phil Taylor too.
So, that’s pretty much my New Year’s Resolution – to play more competitive darts. I’m missing out on the Darts Open at Leigh 180 Club tonight, but I will be in attendance at the Riley’s Amateur UK Open qualifiers in Chorlton in the New Year. It’s a very slim but possible bid to gain a spot at the UK Open in Butlins Minehead with the pros. Don’t be surprised if you see me toeing the oche with MvG at the World Champs in 2020. But also, be incredibly surprised.