Lisbon – Hail Hail The Celts Are Here!!

Today we docked in Lisbon.

There was only one place that this Celtic fan wanted to see. …

The Estadio Nacionale.

This was were Celtic had their greatest football achievement winning the European Cup on 25th May 1967.

I’d heard that the stadium was in a state of disrepair, not maintained and inaccessible. That the famous pitch had become overgrown and it was a sad state for what was formerly Portugal’s national arena.

Thankfully that was not case and the taxi driver informed us that there had been a recent cup game between Lisbon’s two biggest sides Benfica and Sporting Lisbon.

The stadium looked fantastic,

When we arrived the driver left the car and went to speak with his “friend” the security guard. It was all in the price.

We entered the stadium from an opening on the side and the view of the freshly laid pitch and new seats were breathtaking.

This has been part of my family folklore, I have early memories of watching the game on cine film with my Granda.

Happy happy memories of a black and white simpler world.

My son, daughters and I spent a few minutes taking photographs then Steven and I looked at each other and raced around to the other side of the pitch to the presentation section where King Billy McNeil had lifted Europe’s biggest prize.

We climbed up the stairs to the podium and looked round the stadium with awe in out eyes and pride in our hearts then belted out Hail Hail the Celts are here to anyone who could hear us!

The pic below is the view that Billy had as he lifted the cup.

Got to tell you as we walked back round to the girls, I was more than a little bit choked.


Judging Others, Measuring Ourselves! #Attraction.

They say that travel broadens the mind. And there are no doubts that seeing and experiencing far off places, learning about their culture and history is educational.

But tthe process of travel itself is also educational.

Not the mechanics of how the wheels on the bus go round and round, or how the plane flies or the ship floats.

We all know that already.

But travel forces us to be confined with a group of people for a period of time and we naturally observe and experience them just as they observe and experience us.

The things you see when sitting in amongst a large group of people are an insight into humanity and it’s quirks, flaws and strengths.

It’s only natural that our highly developed pattern matching brains makes presumptions and assumptions attempting to categorise folk into boxes, pidgeon holes to make dealing with the large group easier.

The first decision we usually make on seeing a new person is if they are attractive or not.

That decision happens in the more visually stimulated males of the species in less than a fifth of a second.


Yes or no?

You are or you’re not.

For the gentler sex, attraction according to the research is a more complex affair, partially physical but also the ability of the male to provide and protect.

I’m a fan of Sir Robert Winston, father of IVF which has provided children for families unfortunate not to have them naturally.

But I enjoy his other works on humanity and the human experience including his laws of male and female attraction.

So although we should never really judge people, we do, it’s only natural, it doesn’t make you a bad person.

Sitting here now on the sun deck of a ship heading southwest across the Mediterranean from Genoa, Italy to Malaga, Spain, all humanity surrounds me.

There are people of all ages, races, cultures, religions, most likely sexual orientation but you can never tell from simple people watching unless it’s obvious. Unless they themselves make it obvious.

There are people of all sizes, large, small, heavy, slim, scrawny. Athletic, toned, saggy, droopy, flabby, pallid, bronzed.

Most people here and particularly those over 30 are over their fighting weight and a high percentage within the clinically obese and a smaller but significant percentage in the morbidly obese category.

There are only a few people who look anywhere near model-like and most of these are around 20.

The hard fact is, if people can afford the ticket to the cruise then they probably can afford a decent lifestyle at home including as much food as they desire and as little or as much exercise as they choose.

What we see is mostly just a facade, the outer shell of who a person really is.

As another wise man said, oh what a gift of god to give us, to see ourselves as other see us.

So we should never really be judgemental lest we be judged ourselves.

But still we do.

We make the mistake of judging ourselves, measuring our bodies against a physical ideal projected by an economically biased media.

Sex sells always has always will.

We also measure ourselves against the people we see in their semi naked glory.

We compare ourselves. – Thank god I don’t look like him or I feel fat and need to get fit.

Again it’s only natural.

My advice, try not to be too hard on yourself, no matter where you are in that line of physical attraction there’s always someone better or worse than you.

Just accept yourself, try to make the best of yourself, change what you can and don’t worry about what you can’t.

Did David kill God?

Sitting in a bar in Firenze.

That’s Florence to most of us!

We are all eating pizza and drinking coke with the local chianti in the side for yours truly.

The kids are buried in their iPhones, free wifi is mandatory at any place we stop.

Just completed a most educational walking tour of the city which is famous as the birth place of the rennaisance.

The tour included stops at Michelangelo place if birth and his tomb although he died in Rome.

Florence was also the home of the astronomer and scientist Galileo who famously became a heretic for suggesting that the earth was not the centre of the universe and orbited the sun.

Michelangelo statue of David was the first to portray him before the battle with Goliath. His body is known for its perfection due to the studies that Michelangelo made of corpses.

Strictly illegal at the time.

Around that time Florence was in civil unrest where the ruling and larger Medici family ruled by fear and corruption and extended their power to having two popes chosen from the family.

They were eventually ousted by the Lorraine’s family.

Despite their power and association with the church. The Medici family sheltered Galileo from arrest.

The Lorraine’s continued this scientific rebellion against the church and Rome placing David’s statue outside one of their major palaces.

This metaphor of David’s conquest over Goliath represents not only their own family struggle but their support of science and art against the church.

This led the way for the ongoing scientific and secular development of the renaissance movement.

Today the florentine and roman churches are beautiful but empty monuments to a forgone past when the church ruled by fear.

They are tourist hotspots charging entrance fees for survival as their religious status has almost faded.

A church charging entrance fees?

What was that story about Jesus throwing the market out of the home of God?

So did David kill God?

No, but the symbol of David as the lead of of the renaissance movement killed or has mortally wounded organised religion diminishing the power of the church.