KMFF, Neighbours, coffee, crime, drills, Alpkit, Clunk gifts, Victor Meldrew says and Blog of the week…

Good morning folks

I trust you had a mighty fine weekend.
Here is the weekly round-up from the city where sleep is as rare-a-commodity as a good cup of tea…

Kendal Mountain Film Festival

Every third weekend of November the outdoor world (people who like the outdoors, not literally the world outside our houses) descend on my hometown of Kendal, Cumbria.

Home of Kendal Mint Cake, the auld grey town hosts the annual Mountain Festival. It is an unmissable social event, everybody is there, the films are beyond awesome & the atmosphere is electric. Digs book up quickly & if you dilly-dally around, like I did a few years back, you’ll end up in a ten-bob dosshouse like “The Dun Inn”, like I did. (I was almost dun-in too, some late night lock-in merchants didn’t believe that I was staying there & I had lost the ability to speak, a close call!)

My good mate Les sent me this photo (three Kendal legends), on a weekend when I was already feeling more than a bit homesick ( & wishing I was in Kendal) :-/

So, I decided to watch the excellent Posing Productions film of Steve Birkinshaw breaking Joss Naylor’s Wainwrights record. (It just made my homesickness worse!) 

Sounds like a good weekend was had by all. I’ll be back there as/when we return to Blighty…

Neighbour from Hell!

I’ve been lucky in my previous 33 house moves. I’ve always copped for decent neighbours; either friendly people or those who keep themselves to themselves, I’ve never really had a problem. Until now…

There is a different attitude to noise here in Lima. People make a lot of it & don’t really care (about anybody else, ever, at all, at any time). Consideration for other people simply does not exist. Look after Numero Uno is the rule.
A bloke upstairs (we live in a block of flats) comes in every night at 1am & slams shut his metal door, it sounds like Castle Greyskull being closed. It wakes us all up, every night, but whenever I mention it to anybody, they say along the lines of “Oh well, best not to cause any problems…” My patience is running extremely thin (& we are not getting much kip, a volatile mix); I will be having words this week.

All of this however is nothing compared to the family behind. They have a poodle puppy which whines from 4am onwards, the screeching wife starts shouting at squawking kids at 6am & drilling (see “You know the drill”) usually starts around 8am until the evening, when the poodle starts up again.
And now, they have a parrot, which starts squawking at 5am (between the poodle & the wife). Joy of joys…

The drugs don’t work (part II)…

After my 5th trip to the Quacks in 5 weeks, (in which I didn’t actually get to see a Doc. After waiting for 50 mins after my time, I had to go to work), I’m still not right, but I’m off the junk!

The last batch of pills & potions was the worst, especially an evil little drug called Dexamethasone. A Cortisosteroid. I had a constant feeling that my face was going to explode, whilst also being as red as a beetroot & sweating like a pig in a sauna. I was pleased to come off it (& it didn’t help the problem either), but the sudden & dramatic withdrawal symptoms were even worse. It felt like there was a rather fierce battle going on inside my guts, with moodswings (worse than usual), high-highs & lower-lows, plus drowsiness & insomnia (a great cocktail!)
28-Arse-Elbow-A-Touch-of-ClothTo be honest, for a service that I’m paying for (no NHS here), the service has been pretty crap!
Just a case of keeping the pharmaceutical companies in business, by throwing loads of drugs at patients.

For me the NHS is one of the World’s greatest institutions (at least it was when I left Blighty in January, the Government is doing its utmost to destroy it right now I hear).


I would give my right arm for 10 minutes with Dr. Nicholls right now. A GP so good, that he could make you feel better just by talking to you!

Dreams, what do they mean?

Probably as a result of all the chemicals, I’ve been having some pretty funky dreams of late. The kind where you wake up & have to think for 5mins whether it actually happened, or not.

In one such dream (they do say that even long dreams happen in a flash, which is just as well, as I’m only getting about 4hrs kip on a good night), I dreamt that I was chosen to go on the worst type of reality show that exists; Big Brother. Now I have never ever watched this programme ever (& I never will), but it was severe. There was the usual bunch of deadheads & downbeats, plus an oregano salesman from Suriname. I think that the shock of realizing that I’d be stuck in a house with a bunch of divvies made me suddenly wake up, feeling very relieved indeed!

Just say no (II)

Anybody outside of the ordinary here is classed as “raro” (strange), there is little room for any eccentricity, which is a shame. Anybody who is a little bit dodgy is a “druggie”. (Whether they are into drugs or not!) I’m not into drugs (apart from the huge amount the Doc has given me lately), but I’m sure the locals have me down as “raro!

There is a bloke on my street, who never seems to work, as he is busy washing his battered old Escort, twice a day, every day, or changing the same flat tyre, also every day  (could be OCD?) whilst wearing dark glasses all-day-&-all-of-the-night & having whispered conversations with other rather suspect looking punters at all hours.

Just say no kids!

Mmmm, coffee…

After my good mate Matthew sorting me out for teabags until at least June 2017 (one teabag a day), one of my colleagues came to my coffee rescue, at a time of need!

I’d helped her out with some work, but didn’t expect the HUGE bag of amazing black stuff from Chanchamayo (Quechuan translation means chanchay to walk and leap about, quickly and confused (or a kind of bird) & mayu river. A bird that leaps about quickly & in a confused way, by a river, probably after too much coffee!)
I’ve tried a lot of different coffee & this stuff is dynamite :-)


In a country that has a larger Police force than any other Latin American country, the crime here is a BIG problem. The Press does their dirty job of keeping the public terrified, by sensationalizing all crime reports in lurid, graphic detail. Channel 9 is the worst. Heavy metal music & repeated-loop-footage. I avoid it.

Most punters go to “El Kiosko” every day, where newspapers are hung up on clothes pegs, so that just the front & back pages are visible. The press varies from semi-broadsheet to publications that are nearer a pamphlet than a paper! Last week on one front page was a photo of a decapitated woman. I’ve stopped going to El Kiosko now.

This week however there was a crime that stood out. An armed robbery, in the middle of the day, in the centre of the business district. Gunmen took s/300,000 (£60k) from a BMW. It would be like a gunfight on Briggate at midday!

Just what somebody was doing with that amount of dosh, how did the robbers know, why didn’t they have some kind of protection & how did the Bobbies not stop them, will all remain questions unanswered. Whereas normally a bit of anonymity is granted to victims in Blighty, this poor bloke has his face, his car registration & his ID no (from which is traceable his address) plastered all over the papers. I’m like the Queen, I don’t carry any bra$$ around at all, mainly because I don’t have any!

You know the drill…

If there is one power tool that is the would-be-DIYer’s tool of choice here, it is the drill.

In a city where demolition of houses/construction of flats is the trend, P&Q is never going to happen. The noise of drills is incessant (especially with my dear parrot/poodle neighbour). I have noticed recently why the noise is non-stop, it’s because punters use drills for every job going (without ever changing the bit). Not just for drilling holes, but also for sanding, removing plaster, making channels, digging holes, removing paint & on-&-on-&-on.

I long for a power cut ;-)

Clunk mechanic gone AWOL???

Yesterday was (supposed to be) the day that the ailing Clunk had some rehab. Texts, phone calls, messages & emails.
Sunday 22nd November, “si o si!” (“Yes or yes!”) Obviously the definition of yes got a bit clouded, as he rang up from the middle of the jungle on Friday & said he couldn’t make it. (It sounded like the jungle, but it may have just been the sound of next door’s parrot!)
Screeching Parrot

December 12th is the new date, I won’t hold my breath…

Alpkit award

The fine folk at have just won the TGO Award for “Online Retailer of the year”.

Alpkit are truly awesome, their gear is that of legend & they are very nice people too! Check out their goodies HERE.

The Clunk worshippers (part III)…

Previous readers may remember gifts being left to the Clunk, including many, many satsumas & also some yoghurt. The source remains a mystery & this week two big red apples were left to the ailing red XR125.

(Some new shock seals & oil would be more useful if you are reading, dear donor!) Another mystery, that I won’t be spending any time trying to solve…


Victor Meldrew says…

Five years ago we went to the Sport climber’s mecca, the Greek island of Kalymnos. If you like (sport) climbing, this place is Paradise.

They say that smells can provoke many-a-memory & if I smell oregano (a smell I love) I think about Kalymnos (where it grows by the crags) or pizza (which I love too, but in a different way).

Food here is a big deal. I could quite happily live on Supernoodles & coffee, but I don’t think it’d be fair to expect Lina & the Nipper to do so too!

The core ingredients of every dish here are garlic, onions & salt, in HUGE amounts. Lunch (or dinner, depending on where you’re from, the one around or just after noon, or normally much later here) is often cooked before work, which is why we get the “CHOP-CHOP-CHOP” at 5:30am every day from upstairs. Sound is one thing, smell is another…

From around 5:31am the smell of a thousand garlic cloves permeates throughout the entire building, pervading ones nostrils, like it or not.

The aroma of garlic bread in Pizza Hut (pronounced “hat” here, that could be an idea) on an evening is one thing (nice). The stench of a dozen cloves at dawn is another (not so nice). At least I know the building will be safe from vampires!

Victor Meldrew says “Piense Varon! Do you really have to use that much!”?

Blog of the week!

My amigo Neil from Wandering Desk has just wrote this brilliant & amusing blog. I can relate to it totally (& will explain why next week! Check it out HERE & follow him (not literally, just subscribe to his blog).

I am a once-a-week blog fumbler, Neil does it for a job & if you are in need of an awesome book, check out his “Dancing Feat!”

And finally…

After moaning my way through another week, I sometimes wonder if I should change this blog to “The story of a man who used to like it here, but he’s changed & the place has changed too”, I just need some sleep, that’s all.

I leave you with this short video.
Nothing beats the sheer joy of a successful tyre change!

Have an awesome week

Johnny, Lina & the Nipper

p.s. Just in case you missed/dodged the Friday blog about Dave
& the CB500 Thundersport League (amateur bike racing), here is the LINK…


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