A mixed bag…

Morning folks
I trust you had a fandabadozi weekend.
Here is the weekly Lima wrap-up of happenings in Chaos Central…
What’s gone wrong?
Facebook seems to have a daily habit to remind us what happened a year ago, two years ago and back to the beginning of FB time.
This weekly rambling blog keeps popping up and glancing at the past, I must sound like a scratched record at time: Noise, neighbours, traffic, blah-blah-blah.
Why can’t I just adapt and get on with it?
We’ve been here over 3 years now (5yrs+ myself in 3 very different stints).
We’ve moved house and really had hoped for a fresh start, a new beginning and to put all the crappy things that happened in the past behind us, but oh-the-irony, it hasn’t actually panned out that way.
We’ve moved to Miraflores, a different district, full-circle for me (it was where I lived when I first came here as a volunteer, with the very sadly-missed Armida and her lovely family).
Miraflores is where most tourists stay. It is generally seen as a safe neighbourhood.
My problem (well one of them) can be traced back to when I first started working shifts at the Brewery in 2007. Shifts are like a washing machine cycle for your body, not great and if you don’t get some decent kip in between, you’re gonna come out the other end in a bad way.
In addition to this, a switch must have been flicked inside of me when the Nipper arrived, as I went from being a super-heavy sleeper to the World’s lightest sleeper.
Or new neighbours are even noisier than the old neighbours we moved away from, plus we live next to a HUGE Chinese restaurant which has a live band playing almost every night until 1am, which is not great, as the neighbours start up their music around 6am, so you get 5hrs shuteye, on a good day.
Lack of kip leads to rattiness which leads to arguments and a vicious cycle that is hard to break.
I’ve even mentioned the word “move” after just one week, but we’d lose our deposit and don’t really relish move #38 just yet!
The good news is that the Nipper has a new bike seat and grips, after the old ones were chewed by the owner’s pooch!
In my eyes, so many social problems here could be solved here with one thing that is sadly, sadly lacking and that is a bit of consideration for others, but like always, I’m living in dreamland sadly. It will never happen here :-(
My grand plan of running either to-or-from work (to avoid bussing it both ways, for this reason)
was bound to fail at some point and it did.
I used to pushbike to the British Library from my old house in Robin Hood.
A beaut 21 mile commute for which I never quite broke the hour (it was hilly in my defence!)
One day I arrived to work to discover that my “supply chain” had snapped, as I only had cycling shoes to wear, which are about as comfortable to walk in as a pair of mousetraps for shoes!
Friday night, getting changed, I realised I’d forgotten my shorts. Risk running home in my Joe-Boxers (a fetching yellow pair) wasn’t really an option. D’oh!
Handbags at dusk!
Which led me to be on a bus with my work friend Lourdes. I was rambling on about something when a commotion started on a crowded bus. A punter was not happy about something and the “Cobrador” (conductor) was getting a severe tongue-licking as a result.
Some Cobradoras (many cobradoras) are absolute cowboys/clowns/crooks, but this particular one was ok. It must be a bloody stressful way to make a living anyway.
As is often the case, a lot of shouting went on, with the same inoffensive phrases being slung.
“Eres huevon” (you are an idiot).
“Hijo de puta” (son-of-a-beach).
A lot of hot air (especially when some passengers piped in too) but no fisticuffs.
I’ve never actually seen a fight out here. It would have added a bit of spice on a Friday night on the bus home…
Valentine’s Day near-massacre.

Tenuously linked to the above, Valentine’s Day here is a big day.
For many years I was confused as to why everybody said “Feliz Dia” (happy day) to each other. Did they really fancy each other (openly too?)
Then I found out that February the 14th is also “Friendship Day”. In a similar way to “Non-competitive sports days”, it is so people who don’t have somebody giving them a heart-shaped balloon, feel left out, apparently.
On my jog home, a taxista decided to share the love by almost mowing me down. The closest shave I’ve ever had. (You don’t expect somebody in the far/inside lane to cut across two lanes of traffic and jump a red light. Well I didn’t but I should have! Never, trust a Lima taxi driver, ever).
It would have been a very pitiful way to have gone.
My epitath “Use your (deleted expletive) indica….”
To the montañas…
Met up with my good mate Charlie for a brew in the park. (Yorkshire Tea and a flask, he was a special guest!) Whilst the two Nippers played we planned and plotted next weekend, when I will escape the clutches of the city for 48hrs for the mountains of Yungay, Ancash!
Personal preservation.
Next week.
The next round of the “Storytelling” tour takes place on Thursday. Having to go up a few gears as it is at “Centro Cultural” the main auditorium of the business!
2hrs of rehearsals last week had me almost have my story polished, but a week is a long time to remember your lines :-/
(So distracted was I with memorising my lines, I tried to pay my bus fare first with a defunct 1980 100 soles coin and then a 25c Ladbrokes token. Not sure how they ended up in my wallet!)
Watch this space…
Lights-camera-no action!
Had a phone call from the Casting Agency (like you do) just as I was leaving for work on Thursday.
“Mr Parsons, do you have a beard right now?”
“Of sorts”
“Can you come for an audition for a Movistar advert?”
Looks like I won’t be the new ugly mug of Movistar then.
Valiente Valentina!
The Wee One was in the wars this week :-(
She took a bad tumble and cut her chin open.
Four stitches at the hospital later, without a tear, (she’s made of tough stuff, just like her Old Man, no more like her Mum!) She is a brave little trooper.
I was such a clumsy kid. Hoping she isn’t taking after me in that respect!
Ruricancho Recce Rumble!
Running this week had been mainly lumbering home from work, which is never going to be:
a) Fast
b) Much fun.
Got out for an early doors run along the coast, but it was so foggy I could have been in Redcar!
So, the real highlight was trip up into the hills of San Juan de Lurigancho, which at just 131km2 and cramming in over a million people is Lima’s biggest and most populous district.
Desafio Ruricancho is my first planned race of 2018. It is Lima’s toughest “trail” race. 35km of switchbacking desert mountains, passing through a multitude of shantytowns and finishing atop of Cerro San Cristobal, the cross-topped hill overlooking downtown Lima.
It has a bit of everything, from technical stuff, some scrambling and some fast bits, with toe-grabbing boulders every step of the way…
The electric train would have taken me to the meet-up point, but with a 6am RV and the first train getting there at 7am, I had to resort to the World’s fastest taxi to get me there.
With a long street full of discotheques still in full-swing, it seemed surreal to be heading into the yonder hills. Another bus took us further afield to our start and by 7:45am we were off!
I got through 5 pints of fluids in just under 3.5hrs, and the sun didn’t really get out. Race day is a worry as there is no shade/escape from the sun up on them tops.
I knocked 40mins off my 2017 time, felt pretty good and recovered from no less than 4 downhill-flailing-limb-potential-hospital-falls (without actually falling), so I was feeling pretty good with myself until I got the wrong bus home and ended up heading towards Ecuador.
Raiders round-up
What a season and it’s only the 3rd game!
The mighty Shipbuilders were at home to the formidable Leigh Centurions (favourites to bounce back up to Superleague).
Every game is going to be like a World Cup Final this year, and the Raiders played out of their skins to win 24-20. Not an expected result. Get in!
Onwards and upwards :-)
That’s all for now folks!
Have a superbly outstanding week.
Johnny, Lina & the Nipper

p.s. If you recently had a full-spec triathlon bike relieved from your ownership, I saw this dodgy young scallywag pedalling down the Panamericana on it :-/

28175713_10160077953860302_1097380144_np.p.s. At the age of 46, I have resorted to a shopping trolley, what next? Slippers?

28176438_10160077953835302_1554631549_np.p.p.s. Not sure about some of these beanbags…28277970_10160077953880302_1850856850_o


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