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Celebrating Brilliant-Online’s Top Five Stories of 2023!

Updated: Jan 7

As another year draws to a close, we decided to cast our eyes back across the past 12 months and revisit some of the Brilliant stories we have brought to you.

That might sound a touch grandiose but we genuinely believe that the number of informative stories we have presented covering so many diverse and eclectic topics are all, indeed, BRILLIANT!

In the past year we have met Cavoodles and Poodles from Ruff n’ Roll, glimpsed into the future with ChatGPT and Artificial Intelligence, talked with one of the producers of the Greatest Elvis Show on Earth, heard about the merits of a no-carb diet, been introduced to a whole host of superheroes, including one the world’s youngest solo flying pilots, and been on a roller coaster journey with Australian women’s football team The Matildas.

We have learnt more on topics as varied as diabetes, scoliosis, Hari Raya Haji, Black Friday, Ramadan, synchronised swimming, peanut butter, sleep, youth entrepreneurs, the Melbourne International Film Festival, mooncakes, rooftop bars, Spanish monasteries, dementia and The Sydney Hot Shots.

We have welcomed regular contributions from our friends at Port AdVenture Cruises, TG’s Child Care, AC Healthy Solutions and been presented with numerous travel stories and suggestions by our resident globetrotter Susie Boswell.

There are so, so, so many more that it would literally be impossible to recount them all, so we decided to recap the top five most read, most popular stories of 2023.

The Gypsy King opens up

In June we heard about British World Heavyweight Boxing Champion Tyson Fury and his battle with mental health challenges. When not fighting tough battles against opponents in the ring, Fury opened up with brutal honesty regarding the ongoing battle he endures with invisible internal demons outside the ring, how it has undermined and destabilised him and how he strives to best cope.

For a man deemed amongst the toughest on the planet, Fury’s candid openness was welcome and is a huge boost for progression in men’s health. Since the article, Fury has released a hugely-popular reality TV show on Netflix charting his homelife and supposed retirement, was given a scare in the ring by a former UFC fighter and has confirmed a date for the winner-takes-all heavyweight showdown against Ukaine’s Oleksandr Usyk in Saudi Arabia on February 17 next year. Certainly never a dull moment when The Gypsy King is around!

Sustainability the key in Spain

Elsewhere, in late May we learnt about the measures in place and progress being made in Spain in relation to sustainability and how the country is setting an example to others. Sustainability is a term that is becoming increasingly prevalent in modern-day discourse - whether in relation to economic, environmental or social sustainability, it is a topic we cannot, and should not, ignore.

Policies set at governmental level, and the adherence to such by a conscious public, has seen significant progress by Spaniards and residents of the country in relation to issues such as climate change, pollution, irrigation, food production, waste management and alternative power sources that we could all take note of. You can read much more on the fantastic work being done here.

Flying High at Port Macquarie Airport

Another of our top five stories focused on a key infrastructure upgrade at Port Macquarie Airport in the guise of the opening of the new $8 million taxiway project. Reported back in March, the story explained how “together with the renewal of the existing general aviation (GA) taxiway and apron pavements, the new taxiway is an enhancement of the safety, access and operational efficiency of the airport.”

Port Macquarie Airport, of course, is an essential link for local communities to the rest of the country and beyond and thus news of the taxiway development opening, considered by many the final piece of the airport upgrades, was a hugely popular one among local readers. You can read the complete story on the official opening by clicking here.

Trumpeting the values of Faith and Love

Knowing what a kind-hearted, loving bunch our readers are, it perhaps came as no great surprise that one of our top five stories this year featured an animal! Written purposefully in a playful tone from the protagonist’s perspective, the adventures of Trumpet was wonderfully received and generated some genuinely lovely feedback. Trumpet is a cat living in the jungles of Phuket, Thailand who embraces life’s challenges and joys in equal measure.

He relays his fondness of his elephant friends and suspicion of humans until he has to trust his own instincts and befriend the latter, which pays big dividends. His story is one of innocence, wonder, growth, faith and love that we can all associate with and learn from in one way or another. You can read it in full here.

Since the story was published in August there have been a few changes in Trumpet’s life as his new found human friends were forced to move away and were unable to take him with them. However, a kind and loving local lady took him under her care and has built a beautiful bond since – Trumpet now gets daily fish treats and lots of fuss, we are assured, proving that happy endings are the best!

A Trifle of Great Importance

Last but not least, it just wouldn’t be a Brilliant top five without a story on food! Ahead of Britain’s King Charles III’s official coronation in May, we got the right Royal scoop on a mouth-wateringly delicious Strawberry and Ginger Trifle recipe from Adam Handling.

The hugely popular dish was the official desert of Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee 12-months previous and was thus reclaimed for her son’s ceremony, no doubt going down equally well. It’s a yummy dish perfect for any time of year so why not give it a go yourself? You can read more and get the full recipe here.


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