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Racing around on my Vespa, I'm a 'busy fool'... but I have Sunday off to watch the match

I OFTEN describe myself as a "busy fool" and this week has been no different. I'm constantly on the go, forever coming up with another 'Pope Project', as I call them.

The majority of my week is spent hopping on my little Vespa and dashing here and there to various photo shoots or launches, day and night.

On Monday morning I start the day by writing five things in my gratitude journal, just little personal reminders of what I am grateful for in my life. It helps me appreciate that, by and large, my life is good and that life is to be appreciated.

Then I headed straight to the Conrad Hotel to meet with my publisher Kevin MacDermot of Irish Sports Publishing, who has persuaded me to write my autobiography.

At first, I was reticent about doing it but he twisted my arm. I would like to think it's going to be a story of the characters I have met in my rugby travels, the funny stories and my experience of life in both Ireland and New Zealand.

After lunch, I have a meeting with a psychologist at the Beacon Hotel. It is another Pope Project that I am working on, looking at doing something for mental heath issues in the schools system.



Godsend

I then rush over to my Outside In art gallery in Stillorgan shopping centre. The project brings together work from people that have faced adversity in their lives.

It is a labour of love and 100pc charitable with all the proceeds going back to artists and their charities.

Luckily I share the gallery space with a local artist Gerry Hegarty who is lending his side of the gallery to raising money for the Laura Lynn foundation.

Gerry is a godsend to me, because I am too busy to spend as much time at the gallery as I would like.

My ultimate dream is to take a stand in the New York Outsider Art Fair next year and showcase the positive work that the Irish are doing for themselves.

At last I head home on Monday evening to cook some dinner and then head to bed about 9pm.

I enjoy cooking when I get the time, but I do not tend to get much time to watch television.

On Tuesday morning I was on the Ray D'Arcy radio show to talk about the Rehab People of the Year Awards. I am an ambassador for the awards and was a judge and presenter last year.

The awards are brilliant and praise people who work selflessly in the community. I grab a taxi home and, as luck would have it, I leave my phone in it.

I managed to get it back, thank God, as I knew the taxi company, so the driver very kindly dropped it back the next day.

Then it was time to throw my suit on and head to Punchestown races with my good friend John Pardy and former Irish International rugby player Bernard Jackman.

I still cannot fully relax as I am at the course promoting Walk in my Shoes Day. It's an innovative campaign that raises money and awareness for mental heath issues that are too stigmatized in this country.

There's a photoshoot in the ring with well known jockeys like Ruby Walsh and Barry Geraghty but unfortunately I don't press them for any tips.

By 5pm I finally get to sit down to watch the racing. But as it turned out, the horses I follow like to follow other horses!

I enjoy a beer or two and have a good catch-up chat with former Irish international rugby coach Eddie O'Sullivan and then head back for Dublin.

We drop into The Goat in Goatstown for a nightcap on the way home to see a distant relation of mine -- namely publican and owner Charlie Chawke.



Legends

Wednesday sees more charity work with a voice-over and meeting in RTE with Habitat For Humanity. Last year I set up the Brent Pope Rugby Legends building tour to Zambia. It's a last plea to get some more rugby lovers involved for the trip in June.

Thursday morning sees me up early and heading over to the IFSC for RTE's John Murray radio show. John is also an ambassador for the Walk in my Shoes Day, along with U2's Adam Clayton and many other Irish celebrities.

For the first time in months, this weekend is fairly clear, especially given that RTE do not have the live rights for the Heineken Cup.

Most game days I would either have radio or speaking commitments but this weekend, I can just sit back and enjoy the games.

Sunday is my day off, and if the weather is good I get out in the garden or take in a movie.

And then it's the start of another week for busy fools.


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