Ley Seca+Bank Holiday+Elections…

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Good morning folks

I trust you had a mightily splendid weekend and that this finds you in superb form.
As every Monday morning, I give to you an eclectic selection of happenings and nonsensical thoughts which along with some other rambling, ranting and reminiscing, all of which gets cobbled together as the Monday morning Superclunk.com blog…

Ley seca!

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If you were caught selling ale, wine or spirits this weekend, you could get stung for a fine of s/2790 (£614.31) or 6mths prison time.

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Why?

Because it is Local Election time.

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With impeccably bad timing it is also the same weekend as the first bank holiday weekend in yonks (that falls on a Monday, most seem to fall on a weekend, which negates any bank holiday value) and therefore prevents the vast majority of the populace from travelling anywhere. Voting is mandatory, with a fine for non-compliance and a black mark on your ID, meaning that you can’t do a right lot until you have paid your fine.
(I personally don’t get a chance to vote, being a resident, but not a citizen).

The reason for the booze-free weekend is so that punters go to the polling booths with a clear head and a local cowboy candidate can’t fill their victims with firewater outside to secure their vote. (It is also illegal to carry firearms this weekend, but as most criminals generally don’t worry too much about illegalities, they have even more of a free rein for a weekend!)

For the last 3 months, the poster makers and cosmetic dentists/plastic surgeons must have been making a fortune. Their are big billboards everywhere, with smiling (sneering) candidates offering promises such as:

- Goodbye to crime.
- More hospitals.
- No traffic.
- More roadworks, (but) no promises.
- “Plan (fill gap with buzzword such as “eco-friendly”, “zero crime”, “zero traffic”, “free dental checks for cats on Tuesday morning”, etc…)”
- Serenazgo to be armed with “District 9″ style guns!

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Will these lies ever come into fruition?
That is another question.

Sunday was polling day, but don’t dare try rocking up early to avoid the queues, for if any of the selected (enforced) citizens running the show don’t show, you are obliged/compelled to stay, with a fine to pay if you don’t/can’t!

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Early indications show that Jorge Muñoz will be the probable mayor of Lima, with new mayors for each district too. Who will get Salamonkey? Who knows. Nothing will change here…

A week is a long time in Peruvian politics, especially if your name is Alberto Fujimori, who was enjoying freedom after an ex-presidential pardon (from the last president who was ousted). Back to the land of Porridge for Fujimori, for his pardon was reversed this week, unlucky!

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So, a bank holiday weekend with no booze, unless you had the foresight to procure some in advance…

I confess I did sneak in a few hush-hush prohibition style cervezas with the gang ;-)

Half-term.

The Nipper has been off school this week, so rather than being up at 6am every day, we could all (potentially) have a bit of a lie-in. In theory anyway…

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The deaf bloke downstairs starts shouting at his helper from 5am and a 2hr extended 240BPM drum & bass mix gets cranked right up at exactly 7am, nice! No rest for the wicked and all that.

No facepainting/train/pizza hut this week, but I have a treat up my sleeve for next weekend.

Lights, camera, action????

My all-time No.1 favourite film is a 1993 Tony Scott/Tarantino flick called “True Romance” with an absolute array of stars: Christian Slater, Patricia Arquette, Dennis Hopper, Val Kilmer, Christopher Walken, Gary Oldman, Chris Penn, Samuel L Jackson,James Gandolfini and a young Brad Pitt. If you haven’t seen it, hunt it down!

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Will it jinx my luck if I mention this tenuous link to my week?

I get a lot of unsolicited calls on my phone, all of which I ignore (it is mainly Movistar offering me some crap deal and I would prefer to have my fingernails removed than go with that shower of deleted expletives!)
On Wednesday evening however, somebody seemed ultra keen to contact me, so I answered.

“Bingo Casting”, the same casting company that hired me for the Taxi Britanico advert wanted to see me for an audition, in the morning. So I shifted/shunted all my plans and headed there on Thursday morning…

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In a nutshell it was an audition/casting for a part in a Panettone commerical, where I had to pretend to drive a car (hence the True Romance link, Dick Ritchie casting in TJ Hooker), then I had to run across a room carrying a stack of unwieldy presents (a-la Crackerjack style) and finishing with a slow-motion “bite into a piece of pannetone and look like you’re enjoying it”, which for me was hard because I can’t stand the stuff!

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It is the number 1 Christmas cake type food here, but it is a million miles off Christmas cake and I just don’t have a sweet tooth, sorry.

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So, if they go for me, it could be free pannetone for life! Hurrah.
Watch this space…

Raiders round-up (The Terry Newton story…)

No Shipbuilders action this week, with the season having ended last weekend.
I did however start to read a book that caught my attention (on fleabay for £1.24).
“Coming Clean – the Terry Newton story”. A fascinating and highly readable account, but a book I am not really wanting to finish, as I already know the sad ending.

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Terry Newton was a very colourful (!) character who played as hooker for Leeds RL, Wigan, Bradford Northern and Wakefield Trinity (or Wildcats,as they are nowadays).
Barrow RL are my side and although Newton never played for the Raiders, he did play for Leeds Loiners, who were always the Superleague side I followed.
Back in the day, Leeds had an incredible team: Hanley, Mercer, Iro, Cummins, Harvey Howard, Lowes and Co. Plus Newton, who was by birth a Pie-Eater (Wigan), so it was kind of inevitable/natural that he would eventually play for Wigan, who at the time had an amazing squad: Farrell, Betts, Robinson, Offiah, Edwards, Henry Paul, Connolly, Radlinski, Platt, Clarke, Haughton, Cassidy…
(I may be exercising editorial freedom there, as they may have not all played at the same time/era! Although I never followed Wigan, I did used to love watching them play, as they were an incredible force when on form).

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Anyway, back to Newton. Apart from being a bit of a loose cannon, he was perhaps best known for being the first ever sports player in the World to be banned for being tested positive for HgH, human growth hormone, which although being produced naturally by the body, in higher amounts was claimed to reduce recovery time, increase strength, make an athlete leaner yet increase muscle mass and other miraculous things asides. The fact that it was supposedly undetectable was the big draw. It wasn’t and that was Terry Newton’s downfall. I won’t spoil the story anymore, it doesn’t have a happy ending, especially after the book was printed.

I could use this as a segueway into drugs in sport, but that is another story for another time.
When I was running loads of miles, (not nowadays), like most distance runners I used to pop ibuprofen like sweets, almost out of habit. They did work, but the demise of Mister Michael Jackson made me think, as did Zammo.

Just say No kids!

6 weeks to go!

It has been a week of two halves!
With just 42 days until the big El Misti race, midweek (Monday to Friday) I have been on the verge of jacking in running. The weekend is a different story.

Running is a fickle, fickle game. You just need to train a lot. Plus the law of diminishing returns mans that as one gets older, you need to train harder to just sustain the fitness, but as recovery takes longer (unless you can afford HgH), you are constantly running the gauntlet with injury. Fitness is akin to a bucket, which takes a lot of time/effort to fill and my bucket is full of holes dear Liza, dear Liza…

I have run most of my life, it doesn’t require any skill nor any fancy kit (although that does seem to be changing in this modern world), it just requires regular hard graft.

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During the week (like most folk) I am confined to the streets and these are mean streets indeed.
The problem is that with Lima being a grid system layout, you are constantly having to cross roads and as traffic rules are not generally followed here, it means stopping every 100yds, which is completely useless for any kind of quality work. As most pedestrians think they are in some kind of Bee-Gees video, walking three abreast on the pavement, it is just hard work.
I used to use running as a time to think problems over and get ideas (occasional and generally of the harebrained type), but here it is such an all-out assault of the senses, that running is actually more stress than it alleviates. I don’t expect punters to move aside, and insist “No, after you Sir”, but people walk around as if they are drunk and it is impossible to call just which way a pedestrian will wander. Johnny Cash used to sing Walk the Line, he never came to Lima.
Hecklers are hecklers world over, you just have to ignore it. Don’t get me started on dogs…

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So, roadrunning is basically a complete pain in the ar$e! Stop crying Nancy, suck it up buttercup!

But roadrunning will not help me much climbing to the 5822m summit of El Misti, (nor will running at sea level in Lima, but I’m just conveniently ignoring that fact!)

The weekend is the run that makes it all worthwhile, into “los cerros”…

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The hills start about 2 miles from my doorstep, dusty slagheaps littered with all manner of trip-you-up debris at every step, but they are hills and therefore have slopes, which means climbing in my legs. The “Doubtful Round” was a circuit I patched together, not a new route, but a new route for me and with about 5-6000ft of climbing in 13 miles, I can get a decent run in, if I am out pre-dawn, (there is one road crossing that is a two lane race track on a blind bend at the top of a pass, which is uncrossable after 7am!)

I always go on my tod (Billy-no-mates) and occasionally see a handful of other runners, but my main company (!) is of the four-legged variety, man’s best friend

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I mentioned the 4 hotspots on my route last week and so this week was feeling smug as the junkyard dogs were still snoring as I tiptoed past, but then a young lad walking 4 giant hounds (without leads, which to be fair he was in the hills at 7am and probably not expecting me to come lumbering past), the walking sticks give me about 6ft of prodding distance, I needed it!
I managed to find an alternative round avoiding the Pamplona Alta II wolves, but it necessitated a horrendously loose. chossy traverse. Two hotspots down, two to go.
The Los Sauces pooches (barring the two dead, decomposing ones) are keen as mustard and were on my scent long before I arrived. They generally leap over the infamous wall, which the path follows, which can be avoided if one takes a long diversion (not in the Spanish sense of the word), but the ground is much steeper and mega-loose, I just try to get past as quickly as possible, but on Saturday morning, some big rocks came launching over the wall. I didn’t see any people at all, but unless the dogs have learnt to throw (not from me)…
My bolt was shot by the time I escaped…
As it was in effect a bank holiday weekend, the “casetas” (lookout towers) were unmanned and I presumed dog-free too, it wasn’t until I passed the monster kennel (which houses a monster dog) with about 4ft of space to pass, that I realised it was in there!

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The beast from the east launched itself for me, but I was too quick with the sticks and with a war-cry of “Char(r)…” (the first word that came out of my mouth, the fortunately very-territorial beast backed off. It must have been the mention of the rather rare game fish, a kind of trout if you like, that showed it I meant business!

Dogs aside, once you break through the murky cloak of fog at around 2500ft, it feels like a different world, above the clouds, chaos and combis…

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Do I not like helium balloons :-/

Just need to up the miles/intensity a bit now and keep these ageing pins moving until November 18th.

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And finally…

If ever a trailer belied the true awesomeness of an incredible film, this is it!

TRUE ROMANCE, watch it ASAP…

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Have an amazingly brilliant week.
Hasta la proxima
Johnny, Lina and the Nipper

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p.s. Left a bit… 

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