I Woke The Old Man Up Early

After drinking lots of water yesterday and sleeping during the day, I didn’t need much sleep last night. I woke Richard up at 4.30 and headed straight to the city, via St Paul’s Cathedral.

IMG_20180817_060930.jpg(I’m back to being the star today.)

From St Paul’s it’s just a short walk to the millennium bridge, which provided me with the opportunity for a few more poses. Richard hates being photographed but I love it.

IMG_20180817_093225.jpg(Millennium Bridge, River Thames, Tate Modern)

IMG_20180817_092256.jpg(River Thames, The Shard, a glimpse of Tower Bridge.)

Sometimes life just walks you into wonderful opportunities and experiences, and this morning has been serendipitous.

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As well as the dancer being photographed, a newly married couple were having their wedding photos made before the chaos of the daily grind.

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After a quick visit to Starbucks (I’m sticking to water), we meandered slowly to the Shard via Borough Market. I found it to be more appealing than the Old Spitalfields Market yesterday.

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The Shard viewing platform doesn’t open until ten, but Richard is meeting his friend Jonathan (going to Tate Modern) who also studies photography with the Open College of the Arts. We’ll go to the viewing platform afterwards and then Richard wants to go to Hobby Craft.

Where’s Wally???

It’s been a mixed day for me, partly because of my hangover and partly because Richard only took two photos of me.

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To be honest I slept through this morning. Richard met his friend Sarah from Foundations in Photography, and they went to the Barbican to see an exhibition:- Dorothea Lange – Politics of Seeing. I slept in his rucksack. However, Richard and Sarah had a wonderful time, and not only did he enjoy Sarah’s company, he felt he learned a lot from how she viewed some of the images. Think he will blog about it, but I can’t say when though.

It was mid-afternoon when they left the gallery, and Richard and I went for a walk and saw the famous Boris Bike’s. I used to like the guy, now I know he’s a Wally. Couldn’t spot him though.

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This morning on the way to the Barbican Richard messed up a bit. He wanted to go to Spitalfields Market. He had no idea about there being an old and new market. He got off the bus at the New Spitalfields Market which is in the middle of nowhere. He had a quick look around before getting an Uber to the Barbican. What a fruit loop.

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We took a walk to the Old Spitalfields Market via Liverpool Street (first photo of me at the top of the page) this afternoon. Modernisation can be a bit of a let down at times, and sadly this was one of those. Although he did make one average photo. Maybe earlier in the day would have been more lively?

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After the disappointment we took a walk down Brick Lane, and oh my god what a bright, vibrant, colourful, energetic and multicultural place. Love love love Brick Lane. This is the Britain I love. Britain is made up of people at the end of the day, and Brick Lane is people, people, people. Unfortunately Richard didn’t take any photos there, he was flagging a bit by then, so we stopped at Starbucks, (I’ve stuck to the water today) and then got the tube back. I’m having a rest now.

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Richard and I are both loving London. Let’s see how he feels in three weeks time. I’m aware he can be impulsive, and he’s already having thoughts about moving here. I’ll get him to pause and chat things through with N and K, he listens to them. They can help him think things through and make a decision, either way, with consideration, time and reflection, rather than acting upon impulse

Off to sleep now. Good night.

I’m Still Partying

Oh my god. After Richard went to the meeting yesterday I had a walk around in search of quality clubs.

Jager bombs are amazing aren’t they. They loosened my lips and got me talking with a group of guys, and we hit the town.

Somebody, and I can’t remember who, gave me this silver vial, and I think he said it was nitrous oxide, or was it helium? Jesus, high as a kite, my legs are so wobbly, so I’m having a break before I take the next one.

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I have to be on my best behaviour today. Richards meeting one of his peers from foundations in photography. Think I’ll just hide in the rucksack and sleep.

And This Is Why I’m A Soldier Not A Sailor

What a fab day Richard and I have had. We started off at Stratford and paid a quick visit to the Olympic Park.

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Being six years late meant there was no running, no swimming and something called West Ham United are now squatting at the Olympic Stadium. Bit ironic really, West Ham, in East London and no pigs around???

We then hopped on a bus and had a walk along the Thames to the Cutty Sark and the Old Royal Navy College and the Royal Observatory Greenwich.

Must admit I stopped on the way for something to drink. Richard had flavoured water (raspberry and cranberry) water flavoured with hops.

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Now the Cutty Sark is a wonderfully preserved Tea Clipper that was once owned by the Dutch East India Company. As well as bringing tea from China to the UK it imported wool from Australia, as well as importing and exporting all kinds of wonderful goods. History is wonderful and the boat is amazing. But…

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A bilge pump. A boat that sails on water, around the world, and needs a damned pump to keep water out. That’s a risk I’m not prepared to take, and that’s why I didn’t join the Navy.

The  Old Royal Naval College is absolutely stunning. The architecture is drop dead gorgeous, but greatly improved by my presence.

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A pro photographer introduced himself to Richard at this point, he liked Richards creative approach to travel photography by tagging me along. Well I’m the star and Richard gets the glory, is this fair?

After Richard carried me up the steep hill to the observatory, I needed a rest.

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Maybe it’s the fresh air, or maybe I’ve become lazy since Richard has insisted on giving me piggy-backs. I just had to lay down and have a nap.

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Apparently I slept on something called the Greenwich meridian. It’s supposedly 0 degrees longitude, which means that east is one side, west is the other. My head was in the east, my feet in the west, so where on earth was my chest? Greenwich mean time is also important in relation to time. If your to the west your said to be so many hours behind GMT, and to the east your ahead of GMT and clocks are set worldwide according to this. Really? Somebody has come out here with some rolled metal, stuck it in the ground and made this up. Bring back quantum physics and special relativity I say.

Anyhow, Richard’s been brave enough to head off to an eating disorders self-help group. R E S P E C T. His first actual day of his holiday, going to his first ABA meeting.

I’m still off to get drunk though.

 

My Heart Is Racing – I Need To Run

Two coffee’s and it’s only 11am.

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I have no idea why Richard is buying me coffee. I don’t drink it, ever! Perhaps he’s trying to fill my belly to keep me off of the beer. I’m a bit of a party animal, it’s second nature for a soldier.

The drinking got worse once I left the forces. My mental health was bad, and I wasn’t sure how to cope with daily living without regimented routine and a string of blokes who had each others backs.

Since I started getting help from SSAFA, who are an armed forces charity, life has started to turn around. I’ve got so many transferable skills from my military career and I’m starting to see how I can use them.

It helps having a mate like Richard. He’s a bit of a dick sometimes, and he does go on about curving the excesses and finding balance, but he’s a good, caring bloke and I love his sense of humour.

He doesn’t understand what it’s like to serve, to be on the front line, but I’ve learned that he doesn’t need to. He listens, he lets me talk my shit out, and he never tells me what to do. Priceless.

Anyhow enough of this gushy, soppy shit, time to finish my coffee, then fuck him, I’m on holiday and I’m gonna get so pissed he has to carry me home.

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Action Man Turns His Back On Richard

mdeI did turn my back on, but after a period of silence and reflection I have forgiven him.

He’s found his lenses, thank god. My distress was that he was thinking that I had stolen them to fund my cigarette habit, so I got more wound up as the day went on.

What happened was he repacked both rucksacks last night AFTER TAKING HIS MEDICATION (damn fool). To be fair he needed to. He had got way to much and hadn’t packed tidily. Should have listened to me, but doesn’t understand how soldiers have to live and travel in confined spaces.

The rule is that camera, laptop, lenses go in the small rucksack so it can be kept on his person and never put in the luggage hold. But with pills inside of him, once he had taken stuff out of the large rucksack (it was too heavy for me), he put the lenses in there. Of course he didn’t search it because the re is ….

The Underground Distresses Action Man

From Victoria to Wanstead in rush hour and I’m at my whits end. Its been a hard day as Richard has either lost his spare lenses or left them at home. The bus company say they weren’t on the bus and Nero said they aren’t there. I hope he has left them at home. Somehow Richards so calm he’s updating WordPress whilst I’m left having a smoke, maybe two.

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