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.

You Can Take Action Man Out Of The Army, But…

… you can’t take the army out of Action Man.

Richard has taken it easy today. He’s wanted to rest a bit. He doesn’t fancy running around like a tourist at the moment, but that’s no excuse to not have fun.

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So I thought I’d check out the terrain, and create my own party atmosphere. Just coz it’s a sober Christmas doesn’t mean I can’t let my hair down. Not that these Forces hair cuts leave you with much hair.

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If there’s been a wall to climb then I’ve climbed it, the opportunity to hang around, well, it goes without saying.

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I just had to take the opportunity to get as much exercise in as I can. I didn’t realise I still had it in me to do this stuff. Not much of a travel Blog, but I can only present what the day brought to me. I’ve been hanging around by the front door just incase, maybe we’ll get out tomorrow.

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Until then I’ll keep being my angelic self. Watch out Cork, here comes Action Man.

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“Where Are The Beatles?” Asks Action Man

It’s been a long day, but a good day. It helped that Richard was relaxed. He didn’t have much anxiety, which meant I didn’t have much stress to cope with. Maybe it’s dealing with his stress that turned me to drink, just saying!

Consequently I’ve got little to say. Richard behaved himself, the trains were on time, Richard was relaxed with flying, and we made sure we re-charged when either of us needed too.

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So much for John Lennon Airport! I mean I do appreciate that John Lennon wasn’t able to be there, but what about the rest of the Beatles? One of them could have shown up! Still, nice gesture in naming the airport after the best Beatle.

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I know I overstep the mark with my opinions, and I know he’s doing is best, to be honest he’s doing grand and I’m proud of him, but what’s this book about hey?

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I’ve said to him “if you’re hungry then eat, if you’re not hungry then eat.” think he just needs to eat and keep him. Still he is at least gaining weight, healthy and he’s happy as well. Maybe I should keep me damn trap shut eh?

Oh well, at least I can’t be offensive when I’m sleeping. Glad to be back with N and L, glad to be back in Cork. Ha – let’s keep the Cork in the bottle hey, 9ne is to many and a thousand never enough. Good night

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Action Man’s Travel Blog

Hey, I’m back.

Richard’s taking me on holiday again so I thought I’d get back on with me travel blog. Last time was great, but it was a shame Richard had to come back home early. I’ve been cooking for him and he’s doing better.

Not only is he getting well, I am too. I haven’t had a drink since London. One of my army pals came and did an intervention. I have started going to and Richard’s started going to a 12 step group for anorexia.

I’m still better looking than he is, even though he does look well now. A long day ahead. Catch you later.

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Decidedly Chilli On A Hot Summers Day – Richards Anorexia

Another morning where I woke Richard up early. Our day started at 2.30 am, oops and ha ha ha.

We went over to Vauxhall because there was meant to be a 24 hour Tesco where Richard could buy a “safe food”, it’s a Polish chocolate and coconut sweet. It wasn’t 24 hours!

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On the subject of his anorexia I’m feeling most impressed with him. He’s stuck with his meal plan to the letter, a bit late most days but he’s done it. How cool is that? The downside is that with carrying his laptop, camera and lenses his back is now in so much pain. He struggled yesterday and I felt guilt for not carrying his bag, even though he wouldn’t let me.

We went to the Chelsea Physic Garden, nice play but too many plants, trees and shrubs for my liking. I wanted to see more flowers, they have more insects.

Some lovely chilli peppers though. Bring on the heat.

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Another bloody Rhino near the Saatchi gallery. Feels like I’m on a damn Safari. Richard was happy though as he was able to fulfill his book addiction. There’s a Taschen bookshop outside of the Saatchi and he’s brought Salgado’s Genesis. I’ve never seen a book so large, I could fit into it a million times, so he’s asked the shop to post it to him. I’m so impressed with them.

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I forgot, on the way back to Sloane Square we discovered the National Army Museum. Had a drink with my buddies (any veteran or person serving in the forces is a pal).

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After Taschen Richard was in so much pain that we went to sit down near the theatre he was going in the evening, and we accidentally found Trafalgar Square. The most amazing thing was that despite so many, many people there’s also lots of space. The second best thing is how pretty the surrounding square and architecture is. Another effing Rhino. I say that but I like what Tusk are doing to raise awareness of, educate about and protect rhinos throughout Africa. Check them out here.

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Richard then went off to see Jungle at the Playhouse Theatre, it’s about the former refuge camp at Calais, the complex relationships between people of different races and nationalities, the abysmal living conditions and the refugees resilience and ability to create a community, the complete and disgusting failure of the United Nations, the EU, The French and British Governments, and the West’s racist and self centred failure to protect and provide. A bit too much for me, and I’d secretly planned to go to the pub with me mates from the Army Museum. I didn’t drink as much so I’m feeling good day. Flowers at Kew Gardens is on the agenda.

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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.

How Can A Rest Day Include 12k Walking?

Richard is effing crazy.

Finding himself a little exhausted from our adventures he decided that Sunday would be a rest day, with the plan being to sit in Starbucks and play his stupid computer game.

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Wonderful in theory, and to be fair he spent 2 hours doing so, and then decided to walk around Hyde Park and the Serpentine lake, via Marble Arch.

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Marble Arch with the golden arches over my left shoulder. I’m loving it. The rhino is part of a series of installations by Tusk to “Raise public awareness of the plight of the rhino, our conservation work and to raise vital public funds to support our projects.”

That’s my seriousness over, although I had to be for the last paragraph, important stuff.

Onwards to Hyde Park and some exercise. Would you really? In public? I would but there’s no way that Richard will join in.

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Some pretty good birds on the Serpentine, but my favourites were flying around all over the place. London has a whole load of ring-necked parakeets. They started off with a small flock, probably in the 1950’s or 69’s, but nobody knows for sure. They’re all over London now and have started to travel further a field. I didn’t get my photo taken with them.

Different adventures await today, I’ll post about it tomorrow. Whatever you do today remember that action man loves ya all.

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The King And Queen

I’ll start at the end and work backwards this time. Richard took me to see the King Kane that is. Harry Kane was the golden boot winner at the world cup. Wembley is huge, so many people that I’m glad I was in the rucksack until I got to my seat. King Kane scored and Tottenham Hotspur beat Fulham 3 – 1. The best goal came from a Kieran Trippier free kick (he was England’s best player in the world cup).

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My time in the Army meant I was serving Queen and country. Which is crap. We were serving the American government because of our “special relationship”. Anyhow, keep calm and blog on.

Buckingham Palace is whers my Queen  lives. She didn’t come out and wave to me. I serve her and she can’t even be bothered to give me a wave. Better luck next time hey? Bless her, she’s a dear. Gotta love the Queen.

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Richard has never been keen on the Royal Family, although William and Kate, Harry and Meghan have definitely changed his outlook. The younger generation have a much better attitude and acceptance, and he likes that.

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Before Buckingham Palace was At James’ park. Lovely bit of tranquility with some flowers and birds. Green, ring necked parrots. Richard got a photo of a couple of them, but as I don’t fly as yet then I’m not in those.

I’ll sign off with yesterday’s update with a few photos. We’re having a rest today, we may sit in Hyde Park for a bit.

Richard wants to try and catch up with your posts. He’s struggling with this as we’re so busy. He says sorry for not doing so.

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