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.