St. Stephen’s Day, Leopardstown

Leopardstown, St Stephen's day 13 014

The horses going out for the 3rd race in the chill December sunshine

St Stephens Day racing in Leopardstown has a special feel, even more so when Aidan O’Brien says hello

There is the top class racing, serious racegoers looking to make a few euros and check out the form for Cheltenham in March. The roar from the stands is back, haven’t heard that in five years

It’s also a glue-pot  for the young, gorgeous – glamour is everywhere. You see them struggling up the drive in their platforms

Ridiculously dressed (undressed) for a day in December, great anticipation, excitement though

Its early in the day, yet you see a lot of the guys already with drink in hand making their way in.

T here’s a  heap of cans and bottles at the entrance, taken off them as they go in.

What shape will they be in later? Well able to talk to the girls? I doubt it

They don’t need drink, they’re smashing looking fellas

Silly really

 

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Benefits of being alcohol free

There are multiple benefits to being alcohol free, new ones emerge every day

Below is my top ten:

1. HEALTH, both physical and mental, my brain is free from alcohol attack  and insides are cleaned up dramatically

2. WEALTH,  savings of 20,000 euros in cash at least, over two and a half years

3. WEIGHT, ugly fold of flesh around the middle is gone

4. FOOD, more fruit and vegetables, less red meat, chicken with garlic and ginger – yummy

5. KNOWLEDGE, genned up on the effects of alcohol, terribly toxic, no going back now

6. RESPECT, for oneself, from those around you, no more  disrespect to others while drunk

7. TIME, precious, more of it, to do all sorts of things

8. LESS GLOOMY, alcohol can be very depressing

9. NO MORE EXCUSES, eg, worked hard today,  so have to reward self with a few pints

10. NOT DEPENDENT,  was constantly on the look out  for the next drinking opportunity

Hence Drinkawaste.com, alcohol is a waste of health, a waste of money, a waste of time, a waste of life

Full swing..

walker 009

December 21, the shortest day. Sun comes up around 8.30

On the farm the horses go out, there’s no grass, there’s no fighting, no squabbling

Downtown Dublin is different. Last big shopping day, pubs are packed

Get out of the rain, go for a drink.  Meet friends, go for a drink

It’s Christmas go for a drink. Go to mass, go for a drink

On  Christmas Day, come to us for a drink. Only if you come to us on St. Stephens Day

For a drink.

The barriers are down, no caution, no restraint

Is everybody happy? No way, there’s much fighting, squabbling going on in the human world

Alcohol has a tight grip – that’s the difference

It’s Christmas alright, better go for a drink so

Is there a safe limit?

Alcohol is a toxin that kills cells such as microorganisms, which is why we use it to preserve food and sterilise skin, needles etc. Alcohol kills humans too. A dose only four times as high as the amount that would make blood levels exceed drink-driving limits in the UK can kill. The toxicity of alcohol is worsened because in order for it to be cleared from the body it has to be metabolised to acetaldehyde, an even more toxic substance. Any food or drink contaminated with the amount of acetaldehyde that a unit of alcohol produces would be immediately banned as having an unacceptable health risk

There is no such thing as a safe level of alcohol consumption. The idea that drinking small amounts of alcohol will do you no harm is a myth

Professor David Nutt/www.guardian.co.uk

The combination of  alcohol/acetaldehyde and calories/sugar is a potent double threat to human health that most drinkers are unaware of.

Why calories in alcohol are extra fattening

Alcoholic drinks are made by fermenting and distilling natural starch and sugar

Being high in sugar means alcohol contains lots of calories – seven calories a gram in fact, almost as many as pure fat!

Calories from alcohol are “empty calories”, they have no nutritional value. Most alcoholic drinks contains traces of vitamins and minerals, but not usually in amounts that make any significant difference to our diet.

Drinking alcohol also reduces the amount of fat your body burns for energy. While we can store nutrients, protein, carbohydrates, and fat in our bodies, we can’t store alcohol. So our systems want to get rid of it, and doing so takes priority. All of the other processes that should be taking place ( including absorbing nutrients and burning fat) are interrupted.

With a pint of lager containing the same amount of calories as a slice of pizza, the calories soon add up

A pint of Heineken, 5% alcohol has 227 calories

A large glass of red wine, 13% alcohol has 170 calories

A Jack Daniels, 40% alcohol has 111 calories

Source: Drinkaware.co.uk

 

I gotta get drunk..

Well I gotta get drunk and I sure do dread it

‘Cause I know just what I’m gonna do

I’ll start to spend my money callin’ everybody honey

And wind up singin’ the blues

I’ll spend my whole paycheck on  some old wreck

And brother I can name you a few

Well I gotta get drunk and I sure do dread it

“Cause I know just what I’m gonna do

I gotta get drunk, I can’t stay sober

There’s a lot of good people in town

That’d like to see me holler, see me spend my dollar

And I wouldn’t think of letting them down

There’s a lot of doctors tell me

That I’d better start slowing it down

But there’s more old drunks than there are old doctors

So I guess we better have another round

– Willy Nelson

The dark..

If you’re a farmer it’s a different story

Its  dark, wet, cold. The animals are always hungry. It’s a long time to the spring when stuff gets growing again

You never know what’s around the corner, just when you think you’re on top, something or someone is there  to knock you down

The pub could be miles away, but its the only respite. At least you can meet and chat and share.

For a few hours anyway, you’re not on your own

Its late by the time you get there, so much to be done. You have a pint, its well deserved

Whiskey too for the night that’s in it.

Trouble is 40% alcohol is just that, trouble

Alcohol is not a happy drug. If you’re feeling down it drags you deeper

Alcohol is highly toxic, it kills cells, so your health suffers

If anything happens to you, who’s going to look after the animals, the dog?

Who’s going to look after you?

This can be the blackest, bleakest time of year!

Where are you?

This can be a bleak time of year. For the guys it’s a blur

The pub, office parties. Even if he’s on his own a guy can go into a pub

Chat, enjoy the craic, the cheer. You’re a great fella, so are you, we’re all great fellas

For a woman its different. If she’s on her own, she can’t go into a pub

If she’s married, has kids, can’t go out. Has to be there, feed them

Make sure they have a good Christmas

He is out drinking, where? with who? No straight answer

Sullen indifference

Wish my mom was here, why can’t I go back

Where is he? The one I really want to be with, was happiest with

Have a glass of wine, or two, why not?  everyone else is

Where are you now? Why am I here?

This can be the blackest, bleakest time of year..

Party time..

West Coast Cooler, December 13

Colorful, trendy, cheery,  this poster is right on the button for party time.

“Wearing these heels feels like being in love or walking on a plug”

West Coast Cooler are targeting young females obviously, selling alcohol

Only there’s no mention of alcohol anywhere on the advert

Drinking can get you drunk, out of control.

Or like the young lady on the poster….flat on your back

Watch out!

Sunday morning..

I was just finishing mucking out when Mary came into the barn and asked;

“Would you like to go on a hack to Kilruddery? I want to give Lily some exercise”

The look on my face said it all, “Good, get Honey in, tack her up, we leave at 10”

Soon we were on our way with the two horses in the box behind, Kilruddery only 15 minutes away from Enniskerry

Kilruddery is a huge sprawling place on the East coast, ideal for cross-country

We walked them through the dense forest, the November colours all golden reds and russets

Out into the close-cropped winter fields, a steady trot takes us to the higher ground, on the side of the Little Sugar Loaf

Mary greets some hill walkers making their way to the top, turns to me

“Now keep Honey close to me, Lily will take off, but you must try to keep up”

Lily is Mary’s hunter , a huge grey Irish Sport Horse with a big gallop.  Lily is hard to hold back, snorting, throwing her head, dancing on the spot

Honey is also a grey, a  bit of a plod, with a big heart.

We are on a high track cantering amid the thick gorse. Lily spooks sharp left startled by a shook up pheasant in the undergrowth. Mary sits well. Honey doing her best to keep up

Mary shouts back, “Have a look over your shoulder” Not easy trying to sit on a galloping horse.

I glance  quickly at Killiney and over the grey stillness  of Dublin Bay

We are fast cantering now and Mary again points out  – Greystones this time

Another glance over the  Irish sea.  The mountains of Wales, so far yet so near. Amazing

Honey is running out of puff, Lily far out of sight. When we catch up we’re looking out over Glen of the Downs and the tiny golfers in the distance

Mary says, “I couldn’t hold her, Lily is so strong, too much thoroughbred in her..”

Honey is trying to recover, taking fast shallow breaths. We go back  through the sheep covered countryside into the forest. Mary is happy, says its good for the horses, letting them gallop away in their own place.

I think she is relieved to have stayed sat on Lily all the way

Two hours later we are back at the box. Tired but exhilarated.

The drinking man couldn’t see all this

The drinking man wouldn’t have been here!