Action Man Asks “What The Fuck Is Hurling?” – And A Trip To An AA Meeting

Excuse my language. Richard tells me that I’ve got to get a grip on it, he also says that I’ve been cursing more since I quit drinking.

He was very sneaky yesterday, he said we were going for a walk, yeah, right into the middle of an AA meeting. Which is why I didn’t write my travel log yesterday.

How was AA, Interestingly they said its the first drink that gets you drunk. I shan’t tell you my initial response as it involves more swearing. I always thought that it was the 10th or 11th that got me drunk. But apparently if you can’t stop drinking once you’ve started then it’s the first that gets you drunk.

They said it’s a spiritual program, and the word God was used. Richard’s the one who believes in some spiritual energetic mumbo jumbo, I’m an atheist, so I was adamant that I can’t believe in a power greater than me. How can an atheist work a spiritual program? Well, apparently I can trust the power of the group, a bunch of sober people who most definitely drank like I did, and who are now living sober. Someone even said that I could use G O D as an acronym for Group Of Drunks. I can promise you I’ve turned my life over to many groups of drunks down the pub, in the army, at the football, so I guess I can turn it over to a sober group of drunks.

The crazy buggers even said keep coming back, there’s a turn up for the books. In my drinking most people (not Richard) told me exactly where to go.

Maybe I’ll do just that – go back to another meeting.

Today Richard and I went for an early walk to the Páirc Uí Chaoimh, where Cork play a game called Hurling.

On the way I took a photo of a dawn scene. I like the sky and the reflection, Richard liked the light on the building.

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We were going to take photos of birds on the pond, especially the little grebe (those are on Richard’s camera), and the pond is next to the stadium.

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I’ve had to look up the sport of Hurling, cos neither Richard nor me, knew what it was.

Hurling is a traditional Gaelic game that has been played in Ireland for over 4000 years. Players have a stick, and they can use that to hit the ball (on the ground or in the air), and they can also balance the ball on the stick and run with it. It’s possible to hold the ball and run with it, for a maximum of four steps, before they bounce it or pass it. The objective is to hit the ball between the posts, over the cross-bar for 1 point, below the bar for 3.

Quite a tough game to play and can get a bit rough from time to time. You have to wear protective head-gear as well. Maybe I’ll get to watch it one day. Sounds like a lot of fun. Here’s a link to the Cork GAA website.

The pond was dead relaxing. Mostly black headed gulls, a few swans, mallards, tufted duck and 4 little grebe. There were a couple of Herons nesting in the tree, and also what were either cormorant or shag. The colours suggested they were shag, but I’m no expert on spotting the difference.

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Behind the pond is the River Lee, which runs into Lough Mahon and then out into the Irish Sea, Muir Cheilteach if you’re Irish. The River is vast and from dawn till dusk you will find people rowing on the river or jogging down the path. People on bikes cycle at the pace of the boats and shout at the rowers. That’s a job I must apply for. I didn’t get a photo of the rowers, but Richard took a final photo of me. Catch you tomorrow.

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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.