Good morning folks
I trust you had a mighty fine weekend and that you’re in top form.
Back in the land of infernal traffic and 24hr moving of furniture by upstairs neighbours (as much of a mystery why people need to move wardrobes at 3am as it is a massive pain in the ar$e!!!)
It’s been quite a week and a shock-to-the-system getting back into it, but it all ended without casualties!
The Panamericana seems to have turned into a dirt track in our absence!
Here is the weekly Monday morning Superclunk.com blog for your persual…
Squeezing in as many last-minute activities as possible to the last few days…
We flew at crazy AM on Wednesday morning so we still had a few (mainly manic) days to get packed. It was always going to be an inconquerable task, because in a nutshell;
(a) is never equal to (b):
a) What we we wanted to bring back.
b) What we could actually bring back.
So, there was a lot of packing, repacking and frantic weighing going on to get our duffel bags down to 23kg, it was a ruthless time!
As many e-numbers in one sitting as possible!
Didn’t manage to see all the people I wanted to see, we just ran out of time, but I did manage to squeeze in an 11th hour cuppa in with my old mate Spencer. If I had a time machine I would go directly back to the heady days of the 90′s!
Great to catch up
So, a 2am alarm on Wednesday rudely signalled the start of a l-o-n-g ride home.
Tad-Leeds-Bradford-Amsterdam-Jorge Chavez-Salamanca in around 23.5 hours.
As expected our neighbours were having a party when we got back (not for us) and the day/night after too. I expected no less to be honest. At least the house was still standing and we hadn’t been burgled!
Miraculously all our bags made it through!
Peru is 6hrs behind Blighty time, so not a massive change, but just enough to knock your body clock right out for a few days…
The joys of flying…
I originally wanted to be an astronaut (I still do), or failing that a pilot. I love flying.
We flew with KLM this time and they were bloody brilliant.
Taking off from Leeds the Captain slipped the clutch on take-off, so it felt like we were being catapulted to Holland and the landing was the smoothest I have ever had, but LBD-AMS was only 1/16 of the journey, so after killing 4hrs at Schiphol, the real journey began!
I said I love flying, but the crappy bits are:
- Customs. (A necessary evil I guess, got my teabags, Bisto and Dax through ok).
- Being crammed in cattle class with 600 other punters who instantly lose any manners they may have had/never had anyway.
- Reclining seats (if you are over 5ft tall, you instantly lose your kneecaps/any legroom you may have had, half a second after boarding).
- The post-landing-rush! (“Keep your seatbelts fastened until the “keep your seatbelts fastened” sign is off).
- Luggage carousels.
- Nothing more!
I seriously take my sombrero off to all flight attendants on long-haul flights, how they keep their patience is admirable.
Having not missed the dulcet tones of “reggaeton” music for 4 weeks, it was soon back in my earlugs at the passport desk, blaring across from duty-free, joy!
A long, long wait for bags (for everybody) and taxi confusion all got us home eventually. You are straight back into the thick of Lima traffic at the airport. I drove for 4 weeks in Blighty and never heard a horn. I got 4wks worth in the first 5mins back. Oh well, you make your bed and all that…
Back to it!
Anyway, jetlag or no jetlag, even though Thursday was a “feriado” (public holiday), we were straight into rehearsals. Mainly my fault for being off/away in August. Sorry to Carmen and the team :-/
At work/in classes I have to “mind my language”, not as in the 1970′s sitcom sense, but just not to be my usual mumbling self. I have to speak much slower and much clearer than normal.
After a month in Yorkshire/Cumbria, I had lapsed back into my bad old ways and for the first rehearsal, I couldn’t even understand myself, so I really feel for my colleagues. Sorry!
Tiredness was temporarily resolved by caffeine, but this just speeds the brain up and often the mouth can’t keep up, resulting in a Spud-interview situation!
All the rehearsals were heading towards perhaps my biggest gig to date:
An international storytelling convention with actors/storytellers from all around Latin America and as far away as France, and including 3 Britanico teacher storytellers for the first time: Ivonne, Lizet and my silly self!
4 shows, 2 stories.
The first show was a very public one at my second home, “El Parque de la Amistad” (where the Nipper and I usually spend our Saturdays; facepainting, train rides, pizza, feeding the ducks, ice cream…)
The first story was only a short one, maximum 4 minutes, but the audience were mainly the masses of the public who go to this place on any given Sunday, so I am not sure how many of them actually spoke/understood English, or who actually got my story (in English with a dodgy Spanish introduction).
The BIG one is this Wednesday (and Friday and also Saturday).
I am breaking my no-singing-if-it’s-not-karaoke rule.
Apologies in advance to the audience and the original songwriter.
The rise and fall of Bond…
It was a big/important day at the office for the Shipbuilders.
A win against Batley Bulldogs in the Super-8′s would have secured Championship status (ie. avoiding the drop!)
It wasn’t to be however, a 36-16 defeat means that all the following games left are in effect cup finals. Pressure on!
Not quite Raiders related, but I did find a beaut shirt I actually won many moons ago, signed by the league legend, Andy Farrell (who sadly never played for Barrow).
Rugby League is 123 years old this week too!
Onwards and upwards (with hopefully a win very soon) for the Raiders!
D’ya like dags?
Runningwise, back in Blighty I ran as much as physically possible, taking advantage of unlimited fresh air and very, very little traffic, but nothing mega-long (and I do need to step it up soon, for the El Misti race), but getting back here I wasn’t especially giddy about getting out running again.
It was good to see my Physio and good friend, Maro (my legs are slowly dropping to bits and all my injuries/niggles seem to be running on a rotation basis). Biomechanically I am just about holding it together, but I do need to frame myself mentally and start pulling my finger out ASAP…
Had a bit of a strange first run out!
I like dogs, but I am very wary of other people’s hounds, especially whilst running.
Running/runners do bring out a tremendous amount of unpredictability in canines…
There was one stretch of my run where the streetlamps don’t penetrate the trees, so it is like running through a (very dark) jungle and it is a mega-popular place with dogwalkers.
I could see a bloke up ahead with a hound, but a subtle “cough” didn’t rouse him, then I saw he had headphones on and that his pooch was on a lead, but not actually being held/in control by him!
The hound must have caught my scent on the wind and whipped round and started leaping up at me, it is irritating when a dog starts jumping up, snapping at your privates and scratching your legs. I wasn’t in the best of moods anyway, so I went to give the dog a slap, but my hand curled up subconsciously into a fist and I (unintentionally) ended up punching the dog quite hard on the end of its nose and telling it where to go!
The owner must have turned off his Walkman at this point and heard me cursing and thought I was talking to him, so he was quite indignant, but I told him i was talking to his (deleted expletive) dog and ran off…
After almost a full month in Blighty it was always going to be difficult swapping back to Lima life again. I’ve been round the World and seen a lot of places, but this particular trip was very special and one of the most enjoyable jollies i’ve ever had, thanks to my folks, family and friends.
If I could have stayed there, I would have happily burnt my passport at the airport, but I have work here to do, so I’ll stop moaning (and count down to next years holiday in sunny Taddy!)
I have no idea how I stumbled across this video, but despite the protagonist having potential for being the most annoying man in Russia, some of THESE made me chuckle
That’s all for now folks!
Have an outstandingly awesome week
Johnny, Lina and the Nipper