Two Years Blogging On WordPress

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WordPress sent me a notification that I have reached my two year anniversary of being a WordPress blogger. During that time I’ve seen some amazing photography by my peers, followed some awesome blogs from awesome people around the world, developed a new online community, taken advice about what camera would be better for my long term development, and some how I have 1,919 people follow my blog.

WordPress has been a wonderful platform for me, my prose and my photography.  I’m most grateful.

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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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Action Man And The Wars Of Ireland

Humph – there’s three wars for me to chat about today; The Wars of Ireland; The Wars of the churches control over the people; My war with Richard. Let’s start with that muppet Richard.

Who on earth wakes up at 3.30 am and repeatedly asks “Action Man, Action Man, are you awake?”. What’s a guy supposed to say? Do I stay quiet and hope he gives up and goes back to sleep? Or do I say “STFU!!! I was sleeping until you woke me you Bassa”.

I tried the first but had to resort to the second. In the end I was so cross I jumped on his bed and kicked his little to, right on the corn. Ha, that’s gotta hurt.

I bet it doesn’t hurt as much as fighting for the independence for your country though.

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The Irish have had to fight for independence for their Country throughout the centuries. Why did the British have to dominate every country that they could? The political bollox of Brexit has re-ignited the war, particularly over the border. The backstop could potentially force the North into closer ties with the South, and weaker ties with the rest of the UK. It doesn’t sound like a big deal, but Ireland, both Northern and the Republic, has had enough violence, bloodshed and generational trauma. Here’s to the memory of those who lost their lives in the battle for independence.

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The Church is fighting a losing battle as well. There is a generational divide between those who still have faith in the Church and those who feel depleted and disillusioned by generations of control, abuse of power and abuse. Morning worship reflects the divide.

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The difficulty is that the Church professes to represent God, so when people lose their faith in the church, they often lose their faith in God. That’s what happens when a religion is all-powerful, especially when it preaches hell and damnation. What happens internally when you can’t believe in the Church and you believe you’re damned to hell? The loss of direction can make life incredibly challenging.

Enough of the heavy shite. I got to sit with the Virgin Mary. Ain’t I the lucky one.

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It was really peaceful in the church. Not sure that Richard should have been taking photos during morning worship, but that’s nothing compared to what the crazy bugger did next. He only walks around town asking strangers if he could take their photographs for his next assignment. Only one person said yes. It’s a bit different from back home where the majority say yes. I’m not sure if this was a city thing, perhaps people are more cautious in cities? I dunno, I was too embarrassed, so I hid in the rucksack.

We walked down St Patrick’s Street to Father Matthews Statue.

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Bit gutted really. What’s the point of me writing a travel blog if you can barely see me? Does Richard not know who I am? Humph.

It’s quite ironic that Father Theobold Matthew was a founding member of the Total Abstinence Society. After a few short years he was able to demonstrate that Abstinance reduced crime in the city, and there’s me thinking that abstinence is a crime. Shows how twisted my alcoholic thinking is.

Before Richard finished his Christmas shopping, we went for a walk and found some people who were more my size. I’m not sure what country their national dress is from though.

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As for Christmas shopping; the first rule of Christmas shopping is you don’t talk about Christmas shopping. Nuff said. Night night.

Exercise 5.1 To Exercise 5.4 – Setting Up And Using A Blog

This section is in entirely the wrong section of the coursework. It needs to be at the beginning, and I have expressed my views about this to my tutor.

I am competent in using my blog, resizing photos for it, connecting with other students and creatives, and commenting upon others blogs and welcoming critique from anyone.

I will, in time, create a portfolio site, but not just yet.

I’m not going to re-analyse the work of Sophie Calle. I have done so previously and that can be seen here.

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1,500 Reasons To Be Grateful

Today the 1,500th person followed my blog. I’m feeling very grateful. I’m aware that people follow me for different reasons. I hope that I continue to create posts that you enjoy it relate to, as well as my studies.

I’ve also made some friends by following you and engaging with you via your posts. It’s wonderful to have friends from around the world.

I welcome any ideas that you may have so that I can create meaningful dialogue.

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I thank you all and I’m feeling very grateful.

Random Act Of Kindness Award

A big thank you to Michelle from Mws R Writngs for nominating me for this award. I’m grateful for your support and the friendship that we have developed.

Choosing who to nominate is quite a challenge to be honest, because I feel that I have been shown so much kindness on WordPress and in life in general. I am also aware that many people who I could nominate do not have the time to accept the award by creating their own response. This is especially true of my peers from OCA, but their kindness, support and critique is valued immensely. So many other bloggers have also supported me with my photography and in relation to my eating disorder.

Em from From Famine To Feast has become a valuable source of support. having an eating disorder is challenging to say the least, and having support from somebody who is in eating disorder recovery is invaluable. Thank you for your kindness Em, I nominate you.

Kindness has been shown to me by so many people in a whole variety of ways over the years, and in writing this post it is nice to remember some of those people. The example that I am going to give is of a very simple and straightforward act of kindness. Kindness doesn’t need to be extravagant. A former work colleague (he didn’t know that I knew it was him) would leave a packet of sweets or fruit on a colleagues work station. He would do so when nobody could see him do it and he would leave a typed “Youve been RAK’ed” with the gift. As for me… I used to buy a pastry on a Friday morning on my way to a meeting. I would leave the change with the staff member in the bakers and ask them to use it to pay for the next person in the queue.

The guidelines for accepting the award are.

1- Tell who you nominate and why.

2= Copy and share the picture that shows the award, posted above.

3- Share  a paragraph of something that impacted your own life in the way of receiving kindness or how you extended kindness to someone else.

For instance, ” I once was waiting in a drive thru line for 20 minutes. I was in a hurry but the line did not move much, it felt like. My day was getting worse by the moment. When I got up to the drive thru window, the cashier said someone had paid for my meal already. That really made my day a lot better.”

4- Nominate anyone or share to your own page. If you so choose to Participate. Tag or pingback to the original person who nominated you, or the original post. https://mwsrwritings.com/2018/07/30/random-acts-of-kindness-award-ka/

Copy the guidelines into your post.

Blood Test, Justice, Who Ate All The Pies

When Richard told his eating disorder team about our holiday he had to promise that he would have his usual blood test whilst here.

I can’t stand blood at all, so I had to wait outside of the hospital.

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Hospitals can take so long to see people so I went for a walk around Hampstead. It’s a lovely place and has a large parkland called Hampstead Heath, and there’s Hampstead village. I’m a bit to common for this boutique gentrified place. Found a nice sweet shop though.

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We were meeting family at the hospital, Richards cousins L and K, and once they had finished their appointment we went into London and had a look at some churches where family members had been baptised and married, going back 200 years. L is a family historian and is a treasure trove of knowledge.

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On the way to the churches (on the Strand and Fleet Street) we walked past the Aldwych Courts of Justice.

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Now this is where I come into my own. The legal system in the UK is a tripartite system.

  • Those that make the law
  • Those that uphold the law
  • Those who try the law.

This translates as government, which creates legislation, the police who detect crime and bring charges against those suspected of breaking the law, and the court system tries the law, through hearings or trials.

The courts system has magistrates court, crown court, county court, high court, court of appeal and supreme court. It seems complicated but it’s just a hierarchical system. The courts of justice hold the high court and appeal court, both of which are used to either appeal a decision made by a lower court or to examine more complex aspects relating to the meaning and implementation of legislation.

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What a mouth explaining the law is, but not as much as a mouthful as the pies.

Time for me to trapes behind Richard in the flower gardens, so love to you all and I’ll be back tomorrow.

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.