Good morning folks
I hope you had a tremendously spectacular Christmas and you are just about to have an oustandingly dazzling New Year,
It is with a heavy heart that I write this final blog, but all good things must come to an end, (as do mediocre things and even crap things, so there you go).
Albion Market did, so did El Dorado and one day even Coronation Street will…
Here is the last ever weekly Monday morning Superclunk.com blog for your perusal…
The 24th was ok. The 25th was better!
Hope you had a good one
New Year Knees-up!
Someone who really knows how to throw a party is my mate James D.
A right royal end-of-year booze-up was had by all on Saturday night, after taking full advantage of the French Bar happy hour.
Feliz cumpleaños JD!
I have just finished reading a trio of brilliant books by an incredible writer called Johnny Muir (not John Muir).
He also writes an excellent blog at Heights of Madness.
Heights of Madness was his first book, pedalling, walking and running up and down the highest 92 points in the 92 counties of the UK in 92 days. Epic stuff.
Isles at the Edge of the Sea encompasses a trip around the west coast of Scotland. Far-flung islands.
The Mountains are Calling is his latest offering and my personal favourite.
I love Scotland, (for me) there is nowhere quite like the NW Highlands (even when it ’s tanking down and the midges are out in their zillions).
If you like Scotland, running, the hills or just a bloody good read, check his WEBSITE out!
“El bueno, el malo y el feo…”
Four years is a long enough time to reflect on things. We took a chance coming back, did/has it paid off???
Until the Nipper arrived on the scene, I was always keen to come back here and try, again.
We came back for a holiday in 2007 and that is when I saw a difference here. Unbeknown to me at the time, there had been heavy overseas investment in the mining sector, which opened up a lot of doors of opportunity for some and around the same time, credit became more widely available, so whereas in the past a family would be classed as doing well to have a car. suddenly credit meant that (some) families suddenly had 2 or 3 cars, which was of course a double-edged sword with the already chaotic traffic suddenly increasing. Credit is not always a good deal here, but for some it is the only way (apart from the loan sharks, whose rates were not far off the banks!
When the nipper was born, I kind of gave up on the idea of coming back. Apart from the financial burden of schools and healthcare here, I just didn’t think it would be a good place to bring up a bairn, but Lina wanted to visit her Mum for a month, and I was in a job that I didn’t enjoy at all and was going nowhere, so I said “Why don’t we all go?”
Hand on heart I can honestly say that I realised that we had made a mistake immediately. I would have got back on the return flight if I could have, but how do you explain that to people, you have to try at least!
We had invested everything we had to get here, so we had to give it a go at least…
Four years on and I would go back to Blighty in a flash, my heart is no longer here, but it’s not just about me. People have said that I am fortunate in that I do have the option to go back. Most people here don’t! Partly true for many, but not all. As a teacher I earn enough, but it is a pittance compared to a whole load of folk here, whilst at the same time maybe double or treble what some folk earn. There is a HUGE disparity in wealth here and that is one thing that still unsettles me. I am not here for the money, but seeing such heart-wrenching poverty and such extravagant wealth concurrently is hard to swallow on a daily basis.
Anyway, as a summary, I give you, “El Bueno, el Malo y el Feo…”
- A brilliant job that I love doing and I am doing alright in, along with an amazing boss and awesome colleagues, plus some bloody good opportunities. I have not been this happy in a job since the BL (and that was an ace job!)
- A small handful of solid gold mates, you know who you are.
- A first-class Physio who magically has kept me going, I may be like an old Fiesta scraping a pass through its MOT, but it’s still a pass!
- A decent President after a long line of crooks and half-wits (and half-witted crooks). Part of me still believes that PPK was partly set-up, but he was in the wrong and had to go. President Viscarra seems to be popular and going in the right direction, but he has a HUGE mountain to climb, how can you change the minds and attitudes of 32 million people?
- My Español, which I naively thought I would learn by magic/osmosis, never got past Basic 1 level. Pronunciation (especially that bloody “R” sound) being my nemesis.
- Relationships: I should have tried harder and been more patient. Some people are impossible, intransigent or intolerable, it’s cultural. I’m sure plenty people think the same about me!
& The Ugly…
- The “C” word, corruption. A cancer that undermines the whole of Latin American society. Why do anything the right, proper or correct way, when you can just pay your way out of it… From the very top to the very bottom, it is so engrained into society that in fact most people think it is ok, or even the best way! (In a poll, 80% of folk thought it was acceptable).
- NOISE! I never got used to this, Fair enough, a concert or a nightclub, but in a diddy flat with paper walls having weekly parties until 6am, come on! I’ve moaned more that enough. It won’t change.
It is a sign of age when you start moaning about the “music of the youth”. For me, Reggaeton is just absolute musical b0!!0cks. It is blaring upstairs as I type now, as it does at all hours…
Traffic! Already said more than enough. Linked to below.
- Viveza! Bedfellows with corruption. An “I am Number #1 & f### the rest attitude.”
-Red light? Jump it. I won, f### you.
-A queue, sod that, I’m in a rush, jump it, I won, f### you.
-A rule, break it, get away with it, I won, f### you.
-Screw somebody over, shortchange them, give them a dud coin/note, I won, f### you.
- Crash into somebody and drive off, I won, f### you.
(Yesterday a black Nissan Sentra APW 352 jumped a red light and smashed into our car, then drove off, checking the SUNARP records, the driver is a certain tosspot called Johnny Cesar Lopez de la Cruz.
What can we do? File a “Denuncia”? He will deny it, we lose, he wins!)
I could go on, and on, and on, but I won’t, you get the picture.
I really, really hate to be negative, but I am just telling it like it is and if I said everything was absolutely ace, I would be a lying hypocrite!
Some things are good and some things are crap, asi es la vida.
This is not a case of “Poor me“, it is a case of me worrying for the future of the youth here. When a lad sees his old man taking a leak in the street, he will grow up thinking it’s the right thing and so will his son and so on and so on. Just one example.
I don’t want Peru to be England in Latin America. It would be madness to go to a place and expect it to be the same. If the push-came-to-shove ultimately I could escape, but it would be difficult to do this for the foreseeable future.
(I am 6 years too old for the French Foreign Legion and I don’t think the Buddhist monks would have me!)
I just really, really miss home, that’s all.
Nevertheless, you have to make the most of what you’ve got, so I’ll do just that!
Onwards and upwards…
The trio of new PNG stars have their flights booked and touchdown on 10th January, just in time for the Oldham game. Expect big things this season!
THE LAST BLOG!
I wrote the first blog entry in October 2011 to promote the Monster Beer Raffle, when I saved up all my brewery allowance points and gave the whole lot away away. (Big Dave was the lucky man carting home 10 crates of ale/cider/lager!)
Afterwards it was used as a blog for the 2012 rally, with my brother Danny deciphering my incoming texts from my Nokia and translating them into legible blog entries.
From December 2015, it then became the Monday morning blog, something I have done every Sunday (only coming out one day late twice, when internet failed me).
So 203 blogs later, this is the last.
It started off ok, I had a very steep learning curve (especially the technical side) but I managed to bodge it together. Topics varied, basically whatever was happening here; news, mini-trips, happenings and rants…
Around about July 2017 I started to feel that it was becoming a bit samey-samey and a bit of a weekly moan/whinge about the same stuff. A trip to Blighty in August only had a temporary positive influence for a few months and then after a trip to Blighty in August 2018 (a month when I enjoyed writing the blog slipped back into Victor Meldew weekly upon my return here).
I admit that I never got used to the incessant noise, chaos and inconsideration of others.
In 2004 everything was new and different.
In 2005 everything was an adventure, but a struggle at the same time.
By 2018 everything had become tedious, frustrating and maddening all at the same time.
I find it increasingly difficult to put a positive spin on things. I have run out of patience, interest, motivation and hope that things will change.
So, rather than a downward spiralling weekly Portishead/Radiohead/Mozzer moanologue, I’m drawing a line under it now, putting it to bed.
It may start up again, one day, but only if things/circumstances change dramatically.
I am dropping off the grid and social media, so FB and the Superclunk.com FB page are going too.
If you did want to get in touch, please send a pigeon, or an email to: email@example.com
If you were interested in receiving updates, send me an email to the email address above and I will make sure that you get any future scribblings direct to your inbox, if the blog returns.
Here are a few memories and highlights…
To sign off this last weekly blog on a happy/high note, this week I have chosen a vintage Mongoliando.com Top Tips video. These were a series of light-hearted life-changing/life-saving public information videos, made in the frenetic build-up to the 2012 Mongol Rally.
Always starring Lina and myself and often filmed by my ever-patient brother, Danny.
The great man David Lynch once said that you have a TV in your mind and that you have to portray what that TV is showing to your viewing public (the people watching your film/programe/tinpot video). I was working shifts at the brewery around that time, so I was either dog-tired or jacked-up on caffeine. Neither is a great conduit towards clear communication to others what your ideas actually are, so thank you to Lina and Danny for their (telepathic) understanding and everlasting forebearance!
My own personal favourite was Top Tips #5: The Haynes Manual (part 2), shot over two days in two locations. (Top Tips were generally shot in Taddy, Morley or (once) in Bonny Scotland).
So, that really is all for now folks.
Thank you for reading, I really do appreciate it.
Happy New Year!
Into the wilderness I go, catch you on the flip side…
Johnny, Lina and the Nipper
(Lima, Peru. 31/12/18)