Good morning folks

I trust this finds you in tiptop form and finest fettle and that you had a splendid weekend.
Here is your weekly wrap-up of nonsensical ramblings from Limaland.


A special THANK YOU to all of you who read this, or are perhaps reading this for a first (and hopefully not the last) time and especially to those of you who tell me that you read it, thank you. If it makes one person smile on a Monday morning, I am more than happy :-)

The usual weekly battle against the “frustration-blow-my-top-feel-bad-about-it-what-am-I-doing-in-this-madhouse” cycle. Although I have decided (for the sake of my sanity) to accept stuff here, it’s a bitter old pill to knock back for a stubborn Victor Meldrew like me, but there are worse places I could be and you could never say life is dull here!


It does look like the dream move down south to Arequipa is going to be (much) later rather than sooner. I am completely reading between the lines, but it was a case of what wasn’t said on Friday, rather than what was said :-/

(I am hoping I am proved wrong mind!)

However, some good stuff and a few surprises this week and a rare Friday night tipple too, bonus :-)


One of thee best jobs I ever had was at the British Library on the “Reserve” team. It was ace!
Working with a really sound bunch of people, starting steadily by sorting post until tea break and then being shipped off to any department who were short-staffed (and therefore usually grateful to get any help) and with a brilliant gaffer too, it was a decent number, (the job doesn’t exist nowadays).

One of the not-so-cushy places to get sent was the “Conference” section, nice enough people but just a mind-numbingly boring desk job, time dragged/went backwards…

Fast forward in life to Friday and the annual work convention, which sounds dull but is actually a top day out at a swanky hotel (and a day off classes). A good chance to catch up with folk, decent tucker, a few prizes chucked in and normally some useful teaching tips to take away too. I work in a small centre and I’m lucky to be in the team I am in (not sure they think the same about me!) They’re a canny bunch :-)

HAM camacho C

This year there was the added bonus of a session afterwards, a “quiet” one mind, but as I work every single Friday night without fail, always, to get done by 4pm and in the pub by half past was excellent!

There is a new Irish bar open in town, “Molly’s”, and they really have managed something quite unique here in that they have achieved the feel of an Irish boozer, in Lima. There are other Irish bars, but they’re just not very Irish!

First class ale, good service, darts, pool and top tunes, happy days :-)

I bumped into a mate and to be honest I’d have been less surprised to see Lord Lucan walk around the corner. My mate Luke, from way up in the Andes (on the UT69 race team, the event I bombed out of in spectacular exploding intestines fashion back in June). Good to catch up amigo :-)


The threat of a “quiet” night never really materialised and it was only when we started playing “killer” darts, and I kept missing the board that I realised it was probably time to head home…

Strawberry Fields forever


As I walk to work and I’m trying to keep my new winklepickers in good nick, I walk 15mins in my smelly trainers and then do a lightning quick manoeuvre to change footwear at work (in a very diddy staffroom). Trying to keep my locker smelling sweet is the problem.


So I brought back some “Magic Trees” from Blighty, those overpowering car air fresheners which you have to faff around with cutting the packet so many inches per week, a fiddly task that surely nobody ever does, but a car is a bit bigger than my locker!

I stuck one in my locker one Friday and forgot about it, until I sleepwalked in at 6:45am on the Monday and was knocked out by a hellish strong STRAWBERRY smell. Everything, my books, pens, shoes, coffee, mug honks and the aroma is  still oozing out of a one-foot-square locker in a thick, fruity haze cloud…


I guess it smells better than the usual landfill, but it is strong as!

At a standstill.

Running still isn’t happening. My Physio, Super Maro, is away and this particular problem (hamstring) seems to be a bit of a persistently chronic bugger, might need to jig things round a bit if I’m ever going to get moving again…


Nipper’s day out

The Wee One had a school trip on Sunday and all parents had to go.
Now this kind of day out is my own personal nightmare, I absolutely love spending time with the bairn but current moods mean I am not best company at times right now, but it was for the bairn, so I went along…

IMG_20171001_154253_207 20171001_160509 20171001_153620

We went to a farm place down south in nearby Lurin, which to be fair was a fairly peaceful oasis just an hour out of Lima, on the coast in a desert, with lots of animals for the kids to see, the nipper now wants a horse and a cow!


As we pulled up in the car park on a rickety old bus, I noticed a pristine rugby pitch, not something I have seen here (bar a rubble patch with one set of posts, way out in the hills, which was mysteriously inexplicable when I stumbled across it one Sunday morning on my old Clunk).


Halfway through the afternoon (sneaking off to avoid being involved in some parents game of hula-hooping) I went to inspect the pitch and found a game in mid-flow.


Sadly it was of the Union kind (although I would have been bloody amazed if there were two teams playing rugby league there!) However, it was end-to-end stuff and entertaining to watch.
From what I could glean it was “Newton College” (one of the poshest private schools in Lima) playing somebody else. Here is a quick video…

(I was of course thinking about the most unlikely/improbable comeback ever, after having retired from a less-than-illustrious short rugby league career 15 years ago, but then remembered the Surgeon telling me then, “if you snap that (hand) tendon again, we can’t fix it” and also the fact that I only played Ra-Ra at school twice and that was in 1985, and I was crap then!)

More random nonsense!

Following on from my “UK Sports” hotch-potch last month, this month I have to put together a new presentation. I chose the topic “The Great British Spirit of Adventure” (it has to be UK related).

It promises to be another mixed bag, including some old-timers (Scott and Co) along with the new breed (Messrs. March, Vince, Houlding, Stafford and Co). Heroes of mine who I have met :-)

IMG_3990 ED 085741424-215a7e9f-59e8-4aee-aa42-4847c062d47f Leo_Houlding_Climber

As I don’t have powerpoint at home I was frantically trying to get it all fettled at work, singing the praises of what is called “Google Assistant”. Now I should admit here that throughout my school life I was on a wave ever so slightly in front of computers, which was not a good wave to be on. I did see a huge BBC computer once, but never really touched one (apart from learning “10 PRINT I AM ACE-20 GOTO 10-RUN…”)

So, technology and me are uncomfortable bedfellows, I have a lot to learn (being self-taught). In effect it is a miracle that this blog actually makes it onto the web each week, but then again, what takes me 3-4hrs could probably be done (better) by your average 6yr old school kid in 10mins!

My new presentation is a bit top heavy on pics, so with 10mins left all I (thought I)  had to do was press “save to PPT” and already patting myself on the back. I was somewhat dismayed to see half of the 227 photos as “not available”, so I then had to copy and resize/reformat/redo most of it again. With time-a-ticking and patience-plummeting I just got it in to my boss in time for the deadline. Watch this space…

BIG game!

Peru will grind to a standstill (more so than usual) on Thursday night, as there is a vital World Cup qualifier. Win this (against Argentina, and the next one, against Colombia) and they will get to the Copa Mundial, for the first time in a very long time. It is a big ask, but nothing is impossible!

And finally

The only car I ever didn’t want to let go of was our Mongol Rally Micra, “The Silver Streak”
Not just sentimentally attachment, but after 4 weeks and 10000 miles, my backside was physically attached too, but it had to go (we couldn’t drive it back in the 3 days we had to get back to work) and I believe it still lives on there, somewhere, out on the steppe…
I loved that little indestructible one litre brick :-)

This however, is obvious mistreatment of an innocent little Japanese motor!
Please do not try THIS at home…

Have an awesome week.
Johnny, Lina and the Nipper

p.s. Passed this mysterious place on the way home. Are we being watched, or has somebody just got a lot of satellite channels!

20171001_163839p.p.s. Do not try this stuff!

20171001_161037“Let’s be” feeling sick as a dog all afternoon after trying it…

One thought on “Conventional…

  1. Lourdes

    Promise to attend your next workshop, . . .
    If I am in the country!!!

    Not a Peruvian Football fan, but I do actually hope they beat Argentina!
    If it does not happen,. . . Sh**!!!

    Have an AWESOME month!!!


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