August 15, 2020

V-log episode II/Lockdown day 68?

Good morning folks

I trust this finds you fit, well, sane and safe.
Well, miraculously after last week, the blog is still alive!
It was a risk dropping in a V-log, but to be honest things couldn’t get much more haphazard here.

As a further experiment, this week there will be extra musical nonsense slotted in, breaking up the written gubbins.
So you now have no fewer than 4 options:

  1. Watch the V-log and get the hell outta this bobbins.
  2. Watch the V-log and read the additional gobbledygook.
  3. Watch the V-log, read the accompanying claptrap AND have a Zoom-style-discotheque-party!
  4. None of the above and escape with your sanity intact now…


The current lockdown has just been extended until the end of the month. It is a bit unclear right now.
What follows are a collection of my observations, musings and ramblings. None of it is criticism.
Gloves and masks are now compulsory in the street. Gloves are a bit tricky, especially if you don’t have any.
Either wear your Marigolds or hide your hands in your pockets until you get to the glove shop (which has probably sold out and the uppity sales assistant may not serve you, as you are not wearing gloves!)

I normally don’t give a monkey’s for Politicians, but I do genuinely feel for President Vizcarra. He really tried hard and done everything in his power to steer the country the best he could during this pandemic, but there are things he was up against.

1) Stupid/ignorant/selfish people who do what the **** they like and **** all the rest.
50,000 people were detained for ignoring/disobeying the curfew.


2) People who genuinely life day-to-day and simply cannot stay at home. 70% of the workforce is informal.
The infamous case of “Mercado de frutas” in Lima, where 86% of vendors tested positive for Covid-19.

The health service was on its knees at the start of the pandemic. That is why strict quarantine/lockdown measures were taken to take pressure off the hospitals, by keeping people at home.

Vizcarra tried.

Economically the country needs to get moving asap, most small companies have already gone to the wall.

Conversely supermarket owners are raking it in, as they are the only things open here in AQP, except Chemists.

On Monday “Phase 1” begins, where certain stores will be allowed to open and other services to commence.
(Schools look like remaining closed until the end of the year).

It is a grim, grim situation, but it is in many other places. What can we do?
Stay calm, stay positive and stay sane!


In our Nano-world, big news is that thanks to the sterling efforts of Claro and Lina (who is now a freelance internet installation engineer) we now have internet! By law the workers couldn’t enter the house/building, so they passed a piece of wire and a hook so that Lina could haul the cable up 3 floors and thread it through the window. Makeshift, but operational!
It might just save my professional bacon for a bit longer, just need a laptop now :-/
(If I can get a laptop when we are let out one day, I just hope it is before they sell out as everybody else caught on the hop needs a new laptop too!)

On the subject of laptops, what a bloody minefield buying one is!
I thought I had done my homework and sussed out CPUs, RAM, SSD and all that jargon and had pretty much decided on a model, THEN discovered that the same model could be bought with a different CPU and THEN that CPUs are of different generations and THEN (to my horror) discovered that the same CPU could be the same generation but a different model (Ice Lake, Comet Lake, Lake Windermere, Toxic Waste Lake!)
BOOM. Head explodes…

Will my old ZX81 not suffice with an Etch-a-Sketch upgrade?

V-log: Episode II.

You saw episode I. Inexorably, here is episode II 🙂

Apologies about the sound, we only had time for one take!
We still have a lot to learn…

Big THANK YOU to ‘are Kid, Dannyboy for the design logo 🙂

Macca’s snacks!

A big THANK YOU to my mate Macca, for more tantalisingly mouthwatering snacks/tippling tips!

My crisp selection is the strangely named “discos.” They are salt and vinegar flavoured snacks. I found them more salty than vinegary but they went down. 50 p for 6 ! I think they are not selling so may be on the way out. 

My tipple of the week is a lager for the bitter challenged viewers out there. To be fair it is refreshing on a warm day !! 


 Surprisingly tasty coconut tarts. Filled with plum and raspberry jam and coconut sponge.

Nice !!

Finally mate…..Tesco butter mintoes “smooth and minty.” Not bad at all.

Late new just in…

Proper butchers’ pies !! Steak and kidney, and creamy chicken ! Still warm !

More temptation next week 🙂

Get me a Plumber!

Next week, (if we haven’t drowned by then!)

Compromise – Where are we?

Unprecedented seems to be rather a popular word right now. The world has changed, everything and everybody we know and know of has had to change. In short it is a mad, mad time. It is virtually impossible to plan ahead much more than a week or two (especially here, as we are still in lockdown and nobody knows when we will be let out. I heard a rumour that the borders here will remain closed until October!)

WFH is the new reality for most people (who are fortunate enough to be able to work from home, there are many who are not).

The word compromise is a false friend in Spanish.
English: an agreement or a settlement of a dispute that is reached by each side making concessions. (Generally negative).
Spanish: Commitment, engagement, undertaking, obligation, pledge. (Generally positive).

Applied to stuff I know (not a lot, but I do know a lot about not a lot, most of it useless nonsense).
Off road running shoes:
Grip=friction, but more grip means quicker wear. Wear a pair of Walsh PBs on the road and they won’t last long. Wear a pair of Reebok Paris (best road shoes ever) off road and you’ll spend most of your time on your ar$e!
RTW motorbikes:
A huge BMW GS = Way too big and heavy (and pricey).
A Honda C90 = Will get you there, but will take you a fair old while.
Midweight dirt bike = Good for the off-road, a bit short of poke for the road bits. A good compromise.

So, where are we right now?

Imagine a map with 4 points/places:

a) Committedcaster.
b) Stokedville.
c) Toss-off-ton.
d) Waste-of-time-thorpe.

Right now, if these places were on the 4 corners of a map, personally speaking, I think I am slap bang in the middle!

First Direct (part I).

The 1990’s would be best described as “heady” times. I was a young lad with very few responsibilities, had an awesome group of mates, was fit/healthy and had a cracking job at the BL. It was a great time to be young!

Sometime around 1996 I must have banged my head, as I decided to leave a cushy job at the Library and venture out into the big, bad world. I had been a customer at First Direct for a number of years and they were advertising so I jumped aboard, landing a job with BR28 (the 28th team of Banking Reps to be trained). We got 6 weeks (6 weeks !) of training before we were let loose on the phones and I learned heaps.

FD was the very first telephone bank in the UK, they pride themselves on customer service. The call centre was a friendly place to work, but there was also a hidden fear factor. The ball-&-chain of a BR is the phone console caled “Aspect”, an evil piece of plastic which measures every breath and burp of your shift. Every second had to be accounted for.

Calls had to be kept as short as possible with the minimum gap in between. On a busy shift it was like being in Back to Basics in the 90’s; constant beats and bleeps in your shell-like.

We were a close knit sociable bunch and went out a lot. It was a good place to work but call centres do have a limited shelf life with one’s sanity and patience, especially when working strange shifts, (the bank was 24/7, even when my mate Mal set off the fire alarms for a second week running when misreading microwave popcorn instructions and diverting all the calls to Hamilton as all the Leeds staff were outside shivering in the car park on a parky Sunday night!) I was moved to the brand spanking all-new Stourton centre (previously Waddington’s Toys).

FD was a strict old place to work, especially if you had the boss-from-hell and the only downside of such a fast-moving work dynamic was that some “keen” folk got promoted rather quickly! Maybe at the time my style was a tad-too-wayward? After one minor misdemeanour too far and one subsequent b0ll0cking too many, I started to plan my escape, but (little did I know it at the time), I would be back…

Where on earth does all this rambling lead to and/or connect with?

Right now, working online does remind me intensely of working in a call centre, waiting for the bleeeep…
(Albeit a call centre of one and at at least I don’t have to log the 1 minute and 48 seconds it takes me to leg it to the khazi-&-back!)

Lockdown roof trotting.

No records broken, in fact I think I am going backwards!
Last weekend should have been the Lima half marathon, for which I had been training my a$$ off for until shutdown commenced. All being well I was hoping to run around 1hr 20mins-ish.
At the pace I run upstairs, I would have got round in 5hrs+ :-/

I have changed my routine (due to work) and now run at dawn, it is not as hot but I do get my nostrils blasted by the neighbour who seems to fill his room with Lynx (Axe) around 7am and at the northern end of my runway and seems to open his window specially for me. Last week I had two neighbour simultaneously burning their trash either side of my gaff, so I shouldn’t complain!

The current laws state that one must wear mask and gloves in the street, as/when/if we do eventually get let out I cannot see this changing soon. I’ll be honest, I don’t miss running on the roads too much, but living in the shadows of Chachani, El Misti and Picchu Picchu does make me want to get out into the mountains. It has been a case of look-but-don’t-touch for a long time. Last year’s Misti Race was followed by the wet-wet-wet season and then immediately followed by lockdown. The 2020 racing calendar has been effectively wrote off. 2021 is a mystery just now too. My mind wanders to my ultimate goal (before my legs drop off) a winter Bob Graham Round, although right now, running one hour back and forth on my flat roof 5 times a week will not really prepare me for that!

(What is the BGR? Watch THIS!

Watch this space…

Three Peaks 2002.

Next week.

Andy Farrell Syndrome.

Next week.

Skitzo and the lucky escape of Punky Brooster!

Next week.

And finally…

I like Heineken (the drink, the Canning experience was a positive one, I try to forget the Bottling bits) and I like James bond, so here is a mixture of both 🙂

That’s all for now folks.
Have a mighty fine week.

Johnny & the girls

p.s. A very HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my mate James B (not Bond!)

4 thoughts on “V-log episode II/Lockdown day 68?

  1. I LOVE THE VLOGS!!! Keep doing them! Also–your mate setting off the fire alarm made me LOL Also your neighbor w the axe OMGSH. well–sure sets a time limit on when to finish by!!

  2. Love the blog sir and the vlog really made my morning. Hilarious! Hope you are all keeping safe and well amid the covid chaos. Keep them coming mate

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