May 29, 2020

Felices Pascuas…

Good morning folks

I trust this finds you fit, well and safe.

Wishing you a belated Happy Easter. Hope the bunny found a way through quarantine, whilst socially distancing itself responsibly!


Here is the latest jumbled hotch-potch of my thoughts, observations and rambling from quarantine. I think this is week 5, or maybe week 4. Not sure what day, date it is since I stopped wearing a watch.

Anyway, here is the latest Superclunk.com blog at your service…

Lockdown extended.

Well, a few things have changed since the last post.

The separate sex (Male/Female) days for leaving the house was scrapped almost as soon as it was started. By all accounts the ladies were ignoring the rule and not waiting their turn! The law now says that “One member of the household can leave the house, to buy essential items”.

Plus, the lockdown has been extended, until April the 27th.

A curfew exists between 6pm and 4am, plus all day Sunday. Don’t even think about leaving the house!

Tougher new rules are possibly being brought in too.

People just do not seem to be paying any attention to the President and the law.

I went out on Monday briefly and of the 20 people I saw in 5 minutes, only 4 were wearing facemasks (now a legal requirement to leave the house).

Thursday, Friday and Sunday were all “Toque de Queda” days, meaning that everyone was supposed to stay at home and that everything was shut.

I have stopped counting (it does my blood pressure no good), but I saw loads of people out, including one wise guy who went out when the Police were parked directly outside and he just strolled past them, as they did nothing.

My neighbours seem to wander around aimlessly, heading back and forth and back and forth to the shops for one item, in pairs, chatting in the street. My neighbours below had a dinner party this week, inviting two friends round, I ask you. (Deleted expetive) idiots!

Street traders…

There are some strong and potentially crazy rumours doing the rounds.

Supermarket queue. I hate going at the best of times. Seen shorter queues for free bars!

President Vizcarra is getting impatient and understandably so.

Everything is a little bit up in the air, one could say. Here and everywhere.

Watch this space.

Illegal immigrant!

The lockdown is due to finish on the 27th of April.

My Carnet de Extranjeria (residence permit) expires on the 27th of April.

If the borders/airports are closed, can I still get deported, and where too?

Watch this space.

Beer drought.

A worrying prospect! The Council of a district of Lima (Surquillo) are calling for prohibition measures to be brought in.

Ale alert! (Not in AQP please!)

No ale for sale, nor to be supped. Some lawless types have been having parties and that is not good right now.

I hear that in the UK there are approximately 50 million pints that may be going to waste, with the boozers shut.

Meanwhile in my 100m radius world in the country of Arequipa, I was out of cerveza and my local bodega told me that there were no more deliveries due until the end of quarantine! So, I stocked up today, when I went out to buy 4 days worth of bread, no need to leave the house until Monday at the earliest.

Great pie debate – Steward’s Enquiry.

When is a pie not a pie?

When it is a Cumberland pie, (or a Shepherd’s pie, Cottage pie or Fisherman’s pie!)

One of my two readers contacted me regarding the first choice in the Top 5 at 5 Great Pie list. The mighty Cumberland Pie.

Why?

Because there is no pastry involved and they are not fully enclosed.

Tasty tucker = yes.

A true pie = no.

There has been a Steward’s Enquiry and the original first choice has now been disqualified and placed last!

The new winner (which was previously an unmentioned and massively underrated 6th place) is the humble but highly delicious PORK PIE.

Salute the mighty Growler!

I spend much of my time daydreaming about food that I cannot possibly have!

Mmmmm, pie…

Top Tips – Britanico.

As I am not working now, to pay back some of the 50000+ hours I owe, I agreed to do a series of videos for the Britanico Facebook page.

A bit like a flashback/throwback to the days of TOP TIPS, I was given a topic but a free rein in the script department. My main worry was sound quality, as the video had to be shot in the house and I was completely at the mercy of my neighbours. The first wrap wasn’t a wrap, as it was rejected by the Marketing department, so I was under pressure…

My downstairs neighbours seem to have a different time system to the rest of the world. They get up around 11am, have dinner, go back to bed, then get up around 9pm and go on through until about 4am.

After take 457, my mood was starting to take a dip and I then heard the dreaded liquidizer starting up. Here this simple domestic appliance seems to be used for a multitude of tasks, ranging from making a milkshake to mixing concrete.

I waited for a gap in mixing and got it in the can on the last take.

I am no longer on FB these days, but my mate JB keeps me informed.

Be warned, there is a sequel (and potentially a series) in the pipeline.

Watch this space, and

WATCH THIS!

Fear and loathing and Heineken Horror…

I have always had strange dreams and do suffer from hellish nightmares on a regular basis, but during this time of madness they seem to have stepped up a gear! Apparently this is common in quarantine situations.

The usual common or garden stuff dream for me is when somebody is trying to kill me and in my dream, I know that my only chance of escape is to wake myself up (in real life). This results in me making a noise like a constipated moose and waking everybody else in the building up. I have never been killed (in my dream or in real life yet) but if it happens in either, the subsequent blog may not happen. Apologies for that!

One of the other regular themes was the Little Chef. My first ever official job (working in an Off Licence flogging fags and booze at Old Man McClure’s in Bowness when I was 13 wasn’t official). There must be some kind of scientific/psychological reason for dreaming about a job I left 30 years ago!

The two standout dreams of the week were:

Back at the Brewery.

One of my tasks at Heineken was operating the £6 million Filler machine.

The fact that it cost £6 million always made me a bit on edge, but I never managed to break it completely/permanently.

When it was running well, it could fill 1300 cans per minute and it was an absolute doddle!

When it was running badly, it would fill zero cans per minute and it was a nervous/mental breakdown throughout a 12 hour shift!

A production line is a bit like a river, you have upstream and downstream, if your upstream flow is bad, there is no flow downstream and on a business obsessed with numbers, figures and stats, no flow is never good.

My dream involved problems with my upstream flow.

A boss once told me “A machine will never stop if it is producing duff product.

Like an unruly child, it is best never left unwatched for a moment!”

Wise words and very true.

In my lucid and highly vivid dream, instead of cans, I had cardboard boxes on fire coming into my machine, then rolls of barbed wire, then packets of custard, then giant spiders in huge webs, every time I turned my back for a moment.

I woke up in a sweat and laid there for 5 minutes wondering if it was true and if I was going to get in bother!

And

Fear and Loathing…

Work related again. I was back at work (present day) but when the bell rang for the start of classes, my legs just wouldn’t work and I couldn’t read the numbers of the classrooms, then when I tried to ring my boss, my flip-phone keypad numbers were just a swirling blur of moving numbers, every time I tried to press one, it moved and I couldn’t remember the number I was dialling anyway.

Again, I woke up in a tizz, wondering whether I was going to lose my job.

What does all this nonsense mean?

Who knows!

If I ever do go back to work (in real life), I think I will save up 10 bob a week to see a cheap Shrink!

Radgie!

When I were a lad, I lived in a small village, there were only about 40 people in my (primary) school and everybody knew everybody.

In our free time, my mates and I generally did the following:

  • Riding/doing crap stunts/falling off our pushbikes.
  • Fishing (it used to be the biggest participant sport in the UK). We never used to catch much.
  • Playing darts and snooker at Clinton Davis’ house.
  • Going to Scouts.

Now the last one was brilliant. It was more like a Youth Club than a Scout group. There was no “Dib-dib-dob” or uniform or formalities (of quite a formal organistation), it was more just doing stuff like going camping, climbing, making fires, jumping off river bridges, going on canoe trips and the infamous “Night Drop”, where we would just get dropped off absolutely miles from anywhere and have to make our way back to HQ, which was generally a physical impossibility and instead of getting back for 8pm, we would still be lost at 10 o’clock on a Thursday night! We all thought it was great fun, but I imagine it gave all our parents a few grey hairs!

Our leaders were three incredibly patient blokes called Mr. Houlding, Mr. Moore and Mr. Aldridge. They gave up their time for free and our group was just a brilliant laugh. It was through Scouts that I got into climbing, mountaineering and running. All life changing activities.

I say that the leaders were patient, but Mr Aldridge had a short fuse and some of the older lads knew just what to do/not do/say to wind him up, hence he was given the name Radgie!

Radgie is who I have become over the last 2 weeks.

We have now been in Lockdown for 4 weeks and a bit. The first 2 weeks were a novelty and part of me actually doesn’t mind staying at home. As long as we have basic provisions, we are pretty safe here. I only go out twice a week now and Lina seldom leaves the house, the Nipper hasnot left the house since March the 12th.

Two things in my life that shortened my patience fuse considerably were working at Ladbroke’s in Leeds city centre, mainly due to all the chancers, tricksters, fraudsters and general nutters that a city centre bookies attracts and more recently, living in Lima!

So, my patience isn’t what it used to be.

But how does one keep sane in a lockdown situation with no known outcome?

Answers on a postcard please…

Before the girls moved down here, a general weekend for me would be getting up at 5am on Saturday for my long weekend run, going to the bakery and making sure I had enough bread, bananas,crisps and beer to last me until Monday morning. I went through a phase of not really wanting to leave the house. At the time, this was maybe not a good thing, but it was subconsciously brilliant training for what is happening now! (Except I am currently failing on the bananas front).

I love the following:

  • The fact that time slows right down.
  • Family time.
  • Playing with the Bairn. (Drawing, building cardboard houses, writing madcap stories, trying to play guitar…)
  • No alarms.
  • No work. I do like my job but the nipper said she prefers me not going to work!
  • Daily run on the roof (not sure I will be able to run in a straight line if we ever get out of this).
  • Dinner time. The big focus of the day, even if it is my crappy cooking.
  • Reading (my books and the Nippers).
  • Saturday night Whatsapp with JB & JD over too many beers.
  • Sunday lunch Zoom with the BL lads (just one beer!)
  • Decent tucker (when I am not cooking!)
  • Coffee (anytime!)
I love Arepas!
The only in an emergency top shelf…
My very good friend, Mr. Bialetti…

Conversely, I am not right keen on the following:

  • My tosspot neighbours ignoring the rules.
  • A very real fear of running out of porridge/coffee/beer/bread/bananas (my 5 piece diet. My normal banana dealer is miles away, the bunch I bought at Metro 2 weeks ago might be eventually ripe by Christmas 2021, but have since gone in the bin).
  • Crappy internet.
  • The big question of where/how/when is this all going to end up?
  • Uncertainty, about everything.
  • My radgieness! (Tried meditation and countless other things, but it barely takes the edge off it).

Apologies (again) to the two little ladies.

In the big scheme of things however, right now my petty pet hates, borne of frustration, and hissie fits are microscopically small fry. There are a lot of folk far, far worse off. Deep breaths…

Rally tales. 10,000 miles from a car window.

In the 18 month lead-up to our 2012 Mongol Rally, I did become a bit obsessed with watching rally videos. One that firmly planted a seed in my brainbox was the 15 minute beauty that won a prize at the Adventurists Film Festival, a rather salubrious and thoroughly congenial sunny April afternoon event at the Royal Geographical Society (sponsored by Hendrick’s Gin, and I am not a gin bod, but when it is sunny and free, I will oblige!)

This video was made with a £100 camera and all the sounds were captured en-route apparently.

If you have quarter of an hour spare, get some headphones on and watch THIS!

(Just to accentuate the north-south divide, we went climbing on Ilkley Moor two days later and it was snowing!)

Long Ride home…

Ewan McGregor and Charlie Boorman are widely known for their round the World exploits on “Long Way Round”.

It was entertaining to watch, but they had a year to plan it, a bottomless budget, a back-up team to wipe their bottoms and two big BMW GS tanks to ride.

Hats off to them, they did it, but how about doing it on your own, on the back of 2 days planning and riding a Honda CT110 (Australian Postie bike)?

That is just what Nathan Millward did.

He wrote a superb book about it and made this very, very honest short film about it too.

Watch THIS now!

Top 5 at 5…

Bottled lager.

  • 5 – Cerveza Cristal.
  • 4 – Victoria Bitter (VB).
  • 3 – Cerveza Golden.
  • 2 –  Foster’s Ice.
  • 1 – Elephant Beer. (If you were a youth in the 90’s, this was a brilliant source of instant madness!)

Crisps.

  • 5 – Monster Munch (Beef flavour)
  • 4 – Wheat Crunchies.
  • 3 – Nik Naks (Bacon flavour).
  • 2 – Salt & Shake.
  • 1 – Scampi Fries.

Peruvian Food (sticking my giraffe neck right out!)

  • 5 – Ceviche
  • 4 – Lomo Saltado
  • 3 – Anticuchos.
  • 2 – Jalea Mixta.
  • 1 – Arroz con Pollo.

David Lynch films.

  • 5 – Blue Velvet.
  • 4 – Mulholland Drive.
  • 3 – The Elephant Man.
  • 2 – Eraserhead.
  • 1 – Fire walk with me.

Chippies.

  • 5 – Peggoty’s, Rothwell, Leeds, W.Yorkshire.
  • 4 – The Frying Yorkshireman, Gargrave, N.Yorkshire.
  • 3 – Stutton Road Chippy, Tadcaster, N.Yorkshire.
  • 2 – Big Chip Café, Arnside, Cumbria.
  • 1 – The Wetherby Whaler, Wetherby, W.Yorkshire.

It’s all about the Bass – Lockdown Loonbags!

Next week.

Rooftop Rambling – Sanity saver.

A new record tumbled this week, with only a trio of towering volcanoes (and the odd disdainful glare of a neighbour) to witness it.

The previously unthinkable distance of 6.35km was reached and breached.

This is a mere 0.054 miles short of 4 miles!

Not quite 4 miles in an hour?

It is pretty pitiful, but right now it is my daily hour of salvation.

Every time I head North East (on a clockwise lap), my eyes are grabbed by the vision of first the massive bulk of Chachani, then the AQP iconic cone of El Misti and then the long, long ridge of Picchu Picchu. You can look but you can’t touch, right now!

The rains seem to have finally ceased and that means blue skies and sun until Christmas! Get in. When I am not running back and forth and back and forth, I do find myself just staring at these three peaks and daydreaming.

One day…

I just saw a news article about a 99 year old Army veteran by the name of Captain Tom Moore who ran 100 laps of his garden raising £12m for the NHS in the process. What a hero!

Check THIS out.

What might have been?

“The Andy Farrell Syndrome”

Next week…

“The Hardback Arms”

One very positive thing about the current situation is the fact that (despite Social Isolating) is that it is bringing many people closer together, if only in a virtual sense. The wonders of modern technology mean that communication is so much easier, quicker and cheaper, than ever before. (I am not great at technology, I am still impressed/amazed at how a fax machine works!)

Via the wonders of Zoom (other apps are available and possibly more secure too) I had a good old chinwag with my old British Library compatriots on Sunday arvo. Drinking my last Arequipena in the sun. Life is good!

And finally…

The sad news this week of the loss of a great comedy genius, Tim Brooke-Taylor.

As a youngster, I was brought up on a TV diet of Tizwas, Kenny Everett, Benny Hill, Steptoe and Son, Cannon and Ball, On the Buses (I’ll get you Butler) and The Goodies.

The latter was one of my favourites, purely because it was just brilliantly ridiculous, some might say plain daft!
Anybody can be daft and some people can be funny, but being both is genuine comedy skill.

Whilst not actually from The Goodies, THE FOUR YORKSHIREMEN sketch, starring Marty Feldman, Graham Chapman, John Cleese and the late great Tim Brooke Taylor is genuinely classic comedy, well worth a watch and is right HERE.

RIP Tim Brooke-Taylor.

That is all for now folks.

Stay safe, stay sane, stay strong, stay positive, stay awesome and stay at home!

Cheers

Johnny & the girls x

p.s. HAPPY BELATED BIRTHDAY ALYSON!!!

6 thoughts on “Felices Pascuas…

  1. your crisp list is so wrong – they are crisps which aren’t crisps – puffed wheat snacks at best!
    Ill let you off scampi fries- they are vegan – mad eh!
    the nipper is such a cutie – she has a grand photo face!
    Aly & Badger xx

    1. Hahaha, I am relying solely on my (crappy, at best) memory.
      Seabrook’s missed the cut narrowly, as did Walker’s (especially tomato sauce flavour!)
      The Nipper is bonkers. She is doing well to say she hasn’t been out of the house for 5 weeks.
      Look after yer goodsens x

  2. Those rooftop photos are amazing amigo. Can’t believe how clear the view is too – it’s not normally that clear is it? Don’t think I got to see El Misti properly on my own visit.

    1. Hola amigo
      It is the start of the dry season, so thankfully (after 3mths of Lake District style rain) it is dry and sunny with blue skies.
      The air is super clear, not sure if it is because there are less old bangers bombing around, but it must help.
      The trio of volcanoes draw my attention constantly, at all hours of the day, mesmerising they are.
      Daydreaming up some possible plans for the day when we can get out again…
      Hope all is well with your goodself.

  3. Great write up. I laughed when you said V likes it better when you don’t work. 😂
    As always. Exciting and never know what’s coming next!

    1. Hey me dear.
      It is a daily adventure (albeit on a very, very tiny scale!)
      A phrase I am using wayyyy too much is “Watch this space”.
      So, watch this space…

      😀

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