Auf Wiedersehen Pet…


Good morning folks

I trust you had a superb weekend and that this finds you in finest fettle.
As always, here is your weekly wrap-up of Lima nonsense.
The Monday morning blog, at your service!


Not just me!

(or “Green Man-red mist syndrome”)


Traffic rules do exist (apparently) but not many punters choose to follow them in the limping free-for-all that is the Lima traffic mob. Despite having three or four traffic cops (and the largest force in Latin America) the Busies are too busy trying to blow the pea out of their whistle or wave their baton to death. Pedestrian crossings do exist, but as the lights are not in-sync, you cross one lane, wait, cross another lane, wait, you get the idea, it is a lengthy process. The price of badly timed/judged jaywalking is a very costly one indeed.

(I have to be extra-careful nowadays with what I say in front of the Nipper, as she repeated me again this week when we were waiting forever for the traffic cop to let us cross, she looked at me and said “No hacen nada ellos, no!” (“They don’t do anything do they!”) I must have said it under my breath…)

Anyway, the one thing that used to really bug me/almost get me killed on a thrice-daily basis was the “green man” which supposedly says when you can cross safely (!)


The problem is that this minor detail seems to have been omitted from the Highway Code here as all drivers seem to take this as an opportunity to terrorise as many pedestrians as possible. It’s not rocket science surely? Might is right is the rule here.

Exclaiming against a rogue driver is a waste of breath/energy. You would go mad, very quickly.
I do my Green Cross Code and wait and wait and wait. It is a right royal pain when out running, but I’d sooner wait 2mins than be roadkill! So, I’ve stopped shouting at cars.

Whilst waiting for the Green Man midweek, which came and was followed by an immediate flurry of cars, another runner next to me suddenly seemed to lose it with a taxi, who had almost ran over his toenails, the driver gave him back a mouthful of unintelligible slaver and he was left swearing to himself as the green man turned to red and we had to then wait another 2mins. Swearing which turned to despondency (“Why, oh why!” he kept repeating).


It made me feel better, in a strange kind of way!

Auf Wiedersehen Pet.


There is a theory that people are either “night owls” or “larks”, which determines whether you are a morning or night person. I like mornings myself.

In Peru you will never, ever be the first person up nor the last person  to bed, even if you were an insomniac vampire or just never slept. There is always somebody making noise somewhere. The Nipper is adapting to this rule well! (The going to bed late part, she does sleep nowadays, but is reluctant to go to bed).

When I was about 11 years old, I used to have to go to bed around 9pm (the “watershed”).

On a Friday night there was one of the best British TV programmes ever (in my opinion), the highly original “Auf Wiedersehen Pet” from which sprung many-a-star.
(How else would Jimmy Nail have landed roles in Spender and Evita!)

My neighbours appear to be creating a Peruvian version of the show, as they have had builders in since the start of April, I say builders, more like destroyers. Every morning from 7:30am there is the unignorable racket of a group of blokes knocking lumps out of a house!

Lump hammers and drills seem to be making the music (and plumes of dust) flowing out of the window, but no progress/difference seems to be being made. A truckful of bricks are stacked up on the pavement outside every morning, for another team to lug up the stairs to another house/demolition zone, meaning not a lot of aural respite, not forgetting the delightful “same-set-every-night” band down below in the Chinese restaurant, along with their all-hours chorus of moving all the furniture all the time, very popular here.

off-grid-house house-in-Iceland-640x360

I would be over the moon if move #38 was to this place right now!

Nippers weekend!

Lina was away this weekend so the Nipper and I had a free rein!
So, given the choice you can guess what the agenda was.

31693247_10160387251145302_214322986944036864_n 31564058_10160387251320302_6065347274903388160_n 31498306_10160387251185302_6391990416916348928_n 31531429_10160387251240302_5418614763078811648_n 31542809_10160387251165302_4142125224004943872_n 31646789_10160387251210302_2312988069562679296_n 31498197_10160387251265302_7067710066748555264_n

Facepainting-train-playground-pizza-see the animals-ice cream!

With all of the above ticked off, we even squeezed in 3 diddy-but-giddy laps on a horse called Max.
The bairn now wants a horse.

We also saw a wedding and the Young ‘un announced that she wanted to get married too!
I asked “To who” and she said “Nobody, I just want to wear a dress like that!

We also had a Sunday dinner treat out, meeting up with some very dear friends who were all a huge part of my first time here in Peru. Thanks to my mate Lloyd for sorting it all out :-)


You decide!

Spotted this article…

Is this anteater the same anteater in both pics???

true TRUE2

If it is, then Marcio deserves to be disqualified.
If not, he must be feeling hard done by :-/

Full story HERE


The long-anticipated mission next weekend to Arequipa has been scuppered, I had forgotten some other commitments on Friday, so we are heading off somewhere else. By hook-or-by-crook, we will escape the clutches of Lima. I have booked some digs, but have no idea how we will get to the place, it is a bit off the beaten track, but apparently is “world-famous” for its thermal baths and trout, watch this space…


Top Ten…


1 – True Romance
2 – Snatch
3 – Trainspotting I & II
4 – Where Eagles Dare
5 – Usual Suspects
6 – Goodfellas
7 – Star Wars (some, but not all)
8 – Platoon
9- Shawshank Redemption
10- Reservoir Dogs


Experiments best not tried in class #1.
I moved around a bit when I were a lad, my first primary school only had about 40 students and there were a mere 5 (plus me) in my year, apart from a stint in Western Australia, my secondary school was a HUGE step up to around 1200 students of which I kind of knew around two!
I remember vividly the head of sports, Mr Smith, lining up all the lads in the Sports Hall on our first day and asking us all “What are the worst 2 words in the English language?
Most lads kept quiet, whilst a few of the braver ones came out with a few mild swear words, before the diminutive Mr Smith said “If only“, implying that one should have no regrets in life.
Fast forward to 2018 and as I was covering the topic of “If only/I wish/I should have” in class, I thought I would try the very same experiment.
The class went quiet and then a young lass suddenly shouted “Holy s#!t and mother######”
Luckily my boss wasn’t walking past my room at that precise moment and I vowed to myself never to try this in class, ever again!

Malecon freak show.

Runningwise, the best thing about moving to a new area (even if it is only temporary) is a change of scenery and new routes. A chance to get lost and see different things.

Miraflores is by the Pacific Ocean, so although I miss the dusty hills on the doorstep of Salamanca, there is a lot of seafront to run up and down, namely the “Costa Verde” (green coast) which is somewhat a paradox, as Lima is in the desert, by the sea. Anyroad, I prefer to escape the crowds and get down the front on my own, which is possible, but to get there I have to experience the “malecon” (promenade). There are sights to behold…

Any typical morning includes:

- Numerous 6am personal trainer bootcamps (every day, money-rope-old-for).
- A very happy man in the tightest/shortest golden shorts skipping (with a rope) down the front. (Only actually seen him once, but he was very happy)
- Countless immaculately made-up powerwalkers in colour coordinated kit/shoes/compression socks/lipstick.
- Unpredictable arm movements, up-down-sideways, watch yerself as you pass-at your peril!


Down below, on the seafront itself, I saw a team of rollerbladers in full leathers and helmets, I take my hat off to anybody braving “circuito de la playas” in/on anything bar an armoured truck.

The Lima (half) Ironman has just passed, so I have seen guys on pushbikes worth more bra$$ than I would earn in a lifetime here a lot of late. I wouldn’t take a Raleigh Burner down there myself!

They probably look at me and think “scruffy git” as I lumber past in whatever I find in my lucky dip bag of kit, good :-)

Each to their own!

Kenyans & the Metric Martyr


My first ever weekend job (apart from helping on my Dad’s milk round, which I used to love) was at a general store in Bowness-on-Windermere called “McClures”, cerca 1985.

Old man McClure was one of the hardest-working men of all time and never seemed to take any time off and had the ability to appear, just like the shopkeeper in Mr. Ben. I think I was around 14 at the time, so I think it was overlooked that I was serving fags and booze to the masses, but it was some decent pocket money, to buy climbing gear and my memory back then was good. £1.48 for 20 Silk Cut and bananas were 44p-a-pound.


A lifetime (afterwards, until recently) of working in imperial units has screwed me over of late.
(With the exception of socket sets, I have some imperial sizes that will never be used, ever).


Apart from weights and measures, distances for me are easier in miles, but not here. A mile has little meaning (as does a kilometre on a Combi which takes 2hrs to do 10km or 6.2 miles)…


All of my running life has been measured in miles and minutes per mile (apart from track work).
I started a training programme last July, which would have had me in tiptop form if I hadn’t been on-off-on-off crocked since last September. This programme is in KM.

(I did my first ever marathon at Manchester in 2001 and got to the first “mile” marker much quicker than expected to discover it was a KM marker, then spent the rest of the race trying to work out how many KMs in 26 miles, 5/8 or 8/5 or π r² Maths was never my forte!)

I started another programme recently to hopefully get me round the Lima marathon (42km of 26.1 miles and there is a story behind that .1, but not here) and I thought I was doing ok, not great, but ok. Until I started retro-converting (is that a word?) Only to find that my “steady” stuff is a bit too steady and my “good” stuff is not really good enough!

I shoehorned in just short of 72 miles (115km) this week, which is the most I have run since 2011 and my legs are ready to drop off. Will I make it to the start line on the 20th of May?

My miracle worker Physio, Maro, has been helping me a lot, as ever. I owe her a lot (in gratitude) for keeping these old wheels rolling…

Nixon-Chepseba-1200x800 imagesCRP7MK2E

Thanks to my good mate, JB, who lent me a brilliant book called “Running with the Kenyans”, a fascinating book if you like running or not (which, to be honest, can be a very, very boring topic indeed if you’re not into it, but this is good stuff).

Just why are Kenyan distance runners SO good.


I have upped my vitamins dose and plan to swap my supernoodles for some Ugali for the next 3 weeks and squeeze in 2 days altitude training next weekend ;-)




The sad tale of the reluctant hero of the people, Steve Thoburn (RIP) is another story worth reading HERE.

Raiders round-up!

Not a good week at the office and not a scoreline that reflects the match overall. (I seem to be using this kind of phrase a bit too much, Barrow are recently promoted up against a lot of full-time professional sides, but no excuses!)

355BF542-A68B-49C0-8A51-2BBC543F6CDBA different story at home last time…

48:16 away at Leigh Centurions, a bruising encounter to add more players to the walking wounded/crocked list. A disallowed try at a key moment didn’t help, brave displays by every single Shipbuilder!

At home next weekend to Batley Bulldogs, onwards and upwards :-)

And finally

The good/bag thing about social any social media is that now(adays) everything is very, very public, very, very quickly.

One thing (from the world of climbing) that just kind of blew up on social media (and in the media) was when Tommy Caldwell and Kevin Jorgesen climbed the “Dawn Wall” in Yosemite.


(For everything you need to know about Tommy Caldwell, listen to the highly entertaining Jamcrack Podcast with Niall Grimes HERE)

A film is being made and here is the TRAILER, looks very worth a watch :-)

That’s all for now folks, have a mighty fine week :-)

Johnny, Lina & the Nipper



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