Better late than never?



Last night was the first Sunday in almost 4 years that I didn’t post my weekly bloggery. There was a good reason for this,,,

I have just switched phones to this



I’ve gone smartphone-free, no internet, whatsup, nada,  a smart/dumb move, too early to say.

The problem is that I don’t have internet on my phone, nor in the house and have to tether off Lina’s phone, but when I got home from Arequipa (late), she was in the land of nod, well and truly, so basically I was stuffed!

Anyway, here it is…


Not criticism, just observations of my day-to-day life.
To balance out the negativity later in the blog there is also some positivity too.


This is the Monday afternoon (depending where you are) blog.


This is a pre-recorded message, as I will be (hopefully) on a plane returning from the city of Arequipa after the EL MISTI SKY RACE. A race that has been at the forefront of my thoughts for most of the year, salvaging something from a pretty desperate running season.

Did I make it? Did I finish? Did I trip clumsily at the summit and fall like Sonic-the-Hedgehog to a dramatic flaming end into the molten lava of the volcano?

Other things did happen and keep happening, but this was my main goal for the week/year, so here goes…

(Some of the following is a bit dark, I apologise, it has not been a good week. How much do I tell? How much do I keep back?

“It’s a tightrope Spud, it’s a ******* tightrope…”

Peruvian Airlines.


Use them for all your travel.

Arequipa City.


Is it possible to fall in love with a city in just one weekend?
I think I just have.
Hurry up and finish building that new centre!


Paul Whitehouse.



Arequipa, Arequipa, Arequipa…

Next week.46462406_1987947251253470_82061182755667968_n


El Misti Sky Race write-up.


Runners, riders and full SPs next week.

El Misti Sky Race 2018.

46450987_2368762336489764_6063703109882871808_nAs this bloggery nonsense is usualy patched together on a Sunday night, i had to think ahead this week and work backwards from 3am Saturday morning, when the taxi took/will take/would be taking me to the airport. (Depending on when you read this!)


Hunted around for velcro, to fit the superduper borrowed “desert gaiters” to my clodhoppers.
Failed dismally, but did get some superstrong (a local fave with sniffers) industrial strength glue called Terokal. Was told that the Español for velcro is “pega-pega” (sticky-sticky) and after doing a whole lot of miming I received the reply “Ahhhh, Velcro!”


Pega-pega/velcro hunting, mission aborted.


Nipper was off school, so that changed the plas, no prep got done.
Did get a lead for pega-pega though, result!
Stuck the pega-pega to my new Salomons with superstickystinky Terokal, which was a real Blue Peter hatchet job, more glue on me and the shoes, went to bed high as a high-flying kite,


Had to go to a meeting at 10am, the another at 11:15am and then straight to work, so I left he house at 8:30am and got home at 10pm. Not a lot of prep got done.


Found out on Thursday that there woud be a power cut all day, plus no water. so that really threw a spanner in the works.

Back from work at 10pm, quick tea, a power nap and up at 2am for 3am taxi, here goes…

(To be continued).



Sunday morning last week, I was out on my last long yomp over the dusty cerros of La Molina in a last-minute long run, (at sea level) preparing for the Misti Race (which started at 3000m and went up over 5800m!)

It always entails an early start, otherwise I would never get across “Av. Raul Ferrero”, a busy traffic-crossing-free-blind-bend-summit-pass, if I am not across by 6am, I am screwed!

The hills near to my house are dusty old desolate slag heaps, there is very little beauty involved, but it is training. My main objective is to avoid “los perros salvajes” (the wild dogs).

There are numerous inexplicable bits of metalwork protuding from the earth en-route. Part-finished building work? Who knows, it does mean watching your step constantly and I am glad I did, as I almost trod in a huge pile of ####, whioch at first I thought was a canine by-product, but then noticed loo roll scattered around, clever dogs? Bury it under a rock, it takes about one second.

Just a bit further on, I had to sidestep a discarded sanitary towel, nice.

Who left them? Who knows! (It wasn’t me!)

One morning I was walking to the shops and a bloke in front of me just stopped to take a leak on the wall, he didn’t try to hide/conceal his actions and was in full view of everybody walking/driving past (it was a main road). I am not a prude, but it does wind me up a bit. It means that the place smells like a huge open air latrine and it was just behind where we live.
I muttered under my breath “Cochinada” (filth) maybe a bit louder than under my breath and the bloke went ballistic with me. I wasn’t in the mood to argue, an argument I was never going to won anyway. There is a time and a place surely (i,e. A toilet!) Put it away…
The street near my house absolutely reeks of urine as it is an open air toilet used by most Lima taxistas. It is a bit awkward when the Nipper asks “What are they doing?”
I even saw a bloke pi$$ing outside the public toilets, was he being ironic?

Everybody gets caught short now and again, but pi$$ing in the street seems to be a local pastime, do it discretely, not on my bloody doorstep please!

Then I was crossing the motorway bridge, which is one of the main pedestrian hubs of the area. It was a very windy day and the bloke next to me (downwind unfortunately) spits and it sprayed on my leg, lovely. I turned to him, waiting for his reaction and nothing, no emotion, no apology, nothing. I said “What are you doing?, no reaction, nothing. Another local pastime.

I know that these are all just bodily functions, but aren’t toílet habits (ideally in a toilet/bathroom) what differentiate us from animals in the first place!?

I ask yer…

Neighbours, everybody needs good neighbours…NEIGHBOURS

Sorry, I try not to moan about this but I’ve got to get it off my chest!

The building I live in is made of candy floss, in that sounds travels a bit too well. Although it seems that the neighbours above are making a racket all the time, it could actually be a noise coming from any of the 7 floors. An aural illusion?

We have new “vecinos” two floors above, who seem to have borrowed the Monsters of Rock sound system speakers and want to test them out 24/7.

Why is it that people who play music loud always play really, really crap music (judging by my own humble opinion of what is good music, of which reggaeton is definitely on the list, which is really, really bad news for me, here!)

I am doing my best (with the best earplugs I could find) but these ####### play their bilge 24/7. We get the parties every weekend until 3am, then back on again by mid-morning. Are these people (jobless) vampires? Last weekend they had what sounded like a band, a DJ and about 100 people cheering!

Then there’s Castle Greyskull…untitled

Sunday morning I am normally up early to go training, but 4-5am normally sees the return of the revellers. Nothing wrong with a session, but please do you really need to shake the building to the foundations with your doors. (I won’t mention the high heels teetering and stentorian moaning we got this week, you may have heard it where you are!)

Basically, my nerves are fried and I am shot to pieces from not having had a good nights kip in 4 years. But, you sleep when you’re dead, as they say…

There’s no place like home…oz-twister

When you have moved house 38 times, where is your home???

I’ve moved house a lot, a lot more than I should have, to the point where I am not settled in one point and seem to have permanently itchy feet. Not itchy feet to travel forever and ever, just to find a good place to live, a safe place, a quiet place, a friendly place, a place for my daughter to grow up happily, a place where I want to return to after work, a place to be happy…

The last two moves have been a complete disaster and to be honest we have only actually/physically moved about 5 paces away from where we first started.

This weekend was the mighty Kendal Mountain Film Festival, an event that always makes me mega-homesick. In my heart-of-hearts/dream-of-dreams, I would dearly love to move back to my roots, to the Lakes, or Yorkshire, (or even Lancashire, which is a pretty cool spot sandwiched in between the two). not likely in the near future, but a possibility is Arequipa, which after this weekend I can see myself getting giddy about, watch this space…


Raiders round-up.

No news is good news and all the team/cub/community (which is what a good team should be and it does look like the locals are really getting behind the club), so it is all looking good for the next Championship seson!

And finally…

After too much gloomy ranting, woe and melancholia, we shall round of this gloomy blog with an uplifting tune. THIS is a beauuty…

Have a superb week.

Johnny, Lina & the Nipper

p.s. I did it.46476217_498117060696650_2609540408706859008_n


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