Saturday, 30 June 2007

The Beach, The Burns and The Bloomin' Good Times.


Ladies and Gentlemen, by overwhelming public demand (in his head) Phil Clarke has re-taken to the stage to deliver to you the most Oxtedish blog you ever did see. I can only imagine the horrifying ordeal you have gone through this week without have a daily ramblosity, and you, every one of you, have my sympathy. The truth of the matter was that I was at the beach having a whale of a time. I hear you had rain for 5 days straight. Oh. I got sun burnt. Jealous?

As you can see from the pic of the day I have photographical evidence that I was at the beach. Sure I could have bought a bag of sand, got 3 powerful torchs and recreated that scene - im not that clever. Or am I? No.

That last sentance you might find hard to accept, but its true - me, Philip Clarke, the king of tan...... got sunburnt. You and I both knew it was going to happen. It was just slightly annoying that it happened on the first day there. I did put sun cream on - so no sneaky little moans please mother - but I didnt leave enough time for it to soak into my beautifully pearly skin. I guess not wearing and not being able to use sun cream properly are just as bad as each other. This week I have experience two other pains for the first time, both of which I am slightly proud off even though they hurt quite a bit! Firstly when I was swimming on the sun burn day - Monday I think I had the pleasure of getting quite a few sea urchin needles stuck in my foot - not as many as Paul - but still quite a few! They are real hard and painful to get out but my foot is now free! The other pain was getting stung by a Jelly Fish. The thing is when I was in the water the jelly fish tail wrapped around my arm and I got a whole lot of stinging all in one go. They kept telling to to pee on my arm. I gracefully declined. But, like I said, im quite glad they both happened - both experiences arnt they? Who cares if they are the best fun!

I have so much to write about the past week, but I dont know what to say. I have no idea where to begin. I tell you what, I havnt done one of those cute little breakdowns in a while, that I know you all love.

Sunday:
After church we scurried out the door before we had to talk to anyone (we being Me, Paul and his Parents - Denise and Bruce - who were giving us a lift to the bus depot)beacuse we just didnt have the time. The bus we were going to catch was due to leave at 2.40. We got there at 2.30 and the bus was there and ready to go. We hoped on and it left straight away. If we had been there on time, i.e. 2.40 we would have missed that bus and the bus wouldnt have been the same ever again. Off we were! Travelling at the speed of light, light that is slow and coach shaped. They had TV's with DVD's showing now and then. They have got to be the worst films I have ever seen. One was Spanish - and I tell you that was probably the best one. The others were called The Librarian starring - no-one important. The other was The Locator to this day I have no idea why it was called that - but then I didnt get to see the ending. Hmpf. *I just ran to the store to get Oreo's and Milk. Its my classic oh-im-actually-quite-hungry-what-should-I-get snack* Back to The Locator if you please - the acting is the worst I have ever seen. Its so bad you cant look away! Me and Paul were hooked! We were actually really upset that we couldnt catch the end. We eventually got off the coach and it was HOT. Im talking HOT HOT. Perhaps it was 'Roasting'. Imagine the hottest day you have ever had in England. Now double it. And that was when it was cooler. In Guadalajara its a really dry heat so if you go in the shade you are ok. Not in Mazatlan. You cannot escape it - the ground is hot, the shade is hot, the air is hot, the cold water in the taps is not (there is no such thing as a cold shower there. The water is stored on the roof and it has heated up by about 10.00) So, we got there. Then we had the experience of meeting bin bag boy. I know you are draw in by that. 'Who is this mysterious being?' I hear you ask. We walk out of the bus depot and right in front of us, walking around the corner was a man of about 45 wearing a bin bag tied around his waist. That is all. Granted he was actually wearing shoes - so I guess he is accepted as normal. Right? It was a crazy moment. Me and Paul just looked at each other and just burst out laughing. You had to be there to witness the glory of bin bag boy. We find a map and start heading down towards the street that the base we are staying at is. We dont really realise it but it is a LONG walk but we keep going. We get to about 20 metres from the base, it was just tucked around the corner, and we loose faith and call one of the guys at the base. We couldnt get through so we got a taxi, around the corner. 30 pesos later and we were there, our home for the next 6 days. We went in and walked around a bit chatting to people - There are about 50 people there - most students doing there DTS (Discipleshop Training School. Its a 6 month course were you are taught on the bible, what it means to be a christian, things like that and then you go out to a different place and do a 6 week out reach program - Places like China and Australia. You know - little places.) After all the introductions we headed out to get some food! We found an awesome place that did 2 medium (but they were large) and a 2 litre bottle of Pepsi for $215 - thats about £10. Awesomeness - Pizza shaped. After that we headed back inside and went to bed. Dont think that just because I havnt written anything about the heat that it has cooled off. It is still at least 25°c most probably closer to 30°. Taking this into account you can appreciate the JOY I had to walk into a room as cool as, well, as cool as me due to the Air Conditioning. It was a beautiful moment. If I had cried the tears would have frozen. Thus ended the first day, half day to be specific. I dont really know how im going to complete this blog - that was only half a day and its already pushing the amount I write in a normal blog. Looks like im going to be up quite late tonight. I might have to cut it down a bit - so im sorry if it sounds brief.

Monday:
Breakfast is served at 7. Seemed a bit cruel that I had to get up at 7 to get some old breaky in me - so it was the only time I got up that early. The other days my breakfast was an apple - and I was content with that! After breakfast we ran out the front gate sporting some very nice swimming shorts and a towl around our neck. We went on a bit of a wander and we ended up at a perfectly sandy beach! We giggled and laughed like little girls as we ran across the sand and jumped into the water. It was about 8 am and the water was already warm! Paradise. It was the first time I had swam in the sea for about 4 years! So it was amazing - and amazingly salty! I always seem to forget how salty the sea is! The perfect thing about it was that it was early enough for the sun not to burn - but it was still warm. A pretty perfect combination in my book. We stayed there for ages and then decided to go back to the base. We helped prepare the lunch as we thought we may aswell help out a little bit. After lunch we went out to swim in the sea right across from the base. There was a family staying on the base of which the parents where taking part in the DTS. With them they had 3 of the cutest kids I have ever known. Miranda (5), Sheyla (7) and Shellen (11). It was tricky to get the difference between the two eldest as there names were so similar. I usually just mumbled a mixture of the two and I seemed to get around ever calling them the right name. Good work Phil. So we went out to the front beach with the little tykes and two Irish ladies that we met on the base - Ester and Hannah. They were awesome ladies and they were kind of looking after the kids - so we just played about with them. Now, there was a point somewhere in the excitment that I put on some suncream, however, I did not leave it long enough before the blunge and im pretty sure it just all washed off. 2 hours later and I was burnt. It wasnt as bad as the France burn - but it was tingling for a good few days. I decided, once I had noticed the lovely shade of pink my skin was turning to, to head inside and just hang out untill tea. After that we, Me, Paul, Ester and Hannah, walked around a bit to a area in the centre where there were loads of cafes all in a square. We sat down and had some drinks and walked back again - simple as that but it was a nice evening, even though my shoulders were screaming at me. After that it was time again to retreat into the coolness of the dorm. If you have a facebook account 1. Add me. 2. Check out the Mazatlan photos. In the first part of the album you can see pictures of this dorm. It wasnt a pretty sight!

Tuesday:
Again, like before, it was a late wake up and a morning bumming around session. People around the base were always real lazy in the morning so I got to chat to loads of people then. It may be that because of the sunburn I didnt go outside as much and so I was able to talk to more people and so I made a lot of friends! They were all such a welcoming group that I could just slip right into the crew. The only poeple that didnt really seem to want us there were the leaders. I thought that was really weird because I thought they would be the ones that are the most willing to help us out. In fact they were all pretty rude to me and Paul. We didnt really care, its just that we were a bit annoyed that they were acting like that. Anyway, rant over and back to paradise!After that I had lunch and then, due to the sunburn, I didnt venture to much outside. I hate it when I get sun burnt - I guess thats why I should change my ways! In the afternoon we were going out to celebrate one of the students birthdays. The original plan was to go to the cinema and watch the Fantastic 4 movie. I dont really know what happened but we all just ended up in Domino's Pizza scoffing our faces. Perfect. We went back to the base after making quite a mess and, because we didnt watch the film, they set up a projector in one of the big rooms and we watched The Transporter on that. I was not impressed with that movie. Jason Statham is an awesome actor and in films like Snatch he really shines - but I thought this movie was dull and just plain rubbish. Oh well. All the students took it in turns to fart on a pillow. What can I say? It was a Guys evening! Apologies for grossness. It got to the end of the movie and I was happy to just go to bed, back to the cool.

Wednesday:
As you have heard I resented getting up at 7 so I let the other guys alarms go off all around me whilst I turned over and tumbled into restless sleep. As soon as someone turns off the A/C the room heats up to the temperature outside. I was amazed (and obviously annoyed) at how quick the change was. It was a morning of bumming about talking to people and helping people out where ever help needed to be helped with. Too many help's in that sentence Philip, cut down wont you? In the afternoon Me and Paul walked all the way along the beach, I reckon quite a few miles, just to see what we could find. We also needed to book the return tickets of our coach so we got that sorted at the same time. AGAIN I didnt use the sun cream. IM AN IDIOT. and the tops of my feet burned. It was weird, they only burned up to the point socks would be, for the rest of the time at the base it looked like I was always wearing pink socks. Lovely. We got a Taxi home because we are nice and lazy and if we walked we would have missed lunch - not something either of us were prepared for! After lunch I sat on the balcony looking out over the sea just listening to music. I have never been so relaxed ever before. It was amzing. At random points I was able to talk to people who came out to - so it was, all in all, a good day! In the evening, after tea (I was impressed at the quality of food that we got on the base, every night it was something awesome) Hannah and Ester took us over to a Juice bar that they had found and I had a Pineapple, Banana, Orange and Mango smoothy. It was huge! Drank that all up and meet up with some of the other girls from the base that were are a different juice bar. I walked them back to the base, as Paul stayed with Hannah and Ester. On the way home there were loads of Policemen and crowds around a restaurant. One of the girls could speak English and so she asked one of the crowd what had happened. About 10 minutes after we had walked past to the juicebar a druglord had been shot dead in the restaurant!! This was the first hit of crime that I had properly seen, althought I didnt see it it was close by, and it brought things home really. Working in the school and at the church was all quite cosy really - and the only impression of Mexico I had had was a friendly one. I know that it is a dangerous place - but I hadnt yet experienced it. I stayed with the girls to make sure they were safe and got back to the base. Everyone else had gone to bed so I just followed the crowd retreating into the cool and fell into a dream.

Thursday:
The mornings are always the same at the base for me - a nice lie in and then I got up, ate my apple and am fully prepared for the day ahead. We only had two days left so we wanted to make full use of them. Alot of people on the base recommended getting the ferry across to Stone Island, south of where we were staying. Me and Paul set off quite soon after breakfast and got on the ferry. On the ferry, well not really ferry - rather boat with a motor, we meet a Swedish lad called Emill. He had just come down from California travelling and we got talking on the trip over to the island. By our destination we were in full flow so I invited him to join me and Paul. The beach was amazing, it just seemed to go on and on and on touching the horizon and pushing even further. The sand was SO hot you couldnt walk on it and the water was clear. We sat under one of those thatched umbrella things you see on all good beachy resorts, got changed and headed out to swim. Soon enough we were all getting hungry so we headed back to the beach and got some food to eat - Breaded Chicken. Perfic. We walked up the beach a bit more and some crazy guy came over to us offering to us the use of his little shelter. We thought it would be a good idea so we went over and set up camp. We went for another swim and got hungry again so we got out and just lazed about a bit. That crazy guy kept coming over offering to get us beers, food, jetski's, banana boat rides, cheap prices on the goods people were selling - everything under the sun! He kept saying things like "Hey man, you dont need money - mangos fall from the trees" or telling us hundreds of times that he got some free fish from a fisherman. It started out quite funny but by the end it was just plain annoying. Then his boss came over and we had to pay for the shelter - sneaky little monkey. It was only $50 - about £2.50 so it wasnt that bad - its just I would have rather have been told about it. We lazed, swam, lazed, swam all day long until about 4.30 when we payed up for the beers we had had and headed back to the ferry. My nose had turned reader by now - but I was smart and I had worn sun cream. Im a big boy now! Emill needed to find a place to stay and book his tickets down to Mexico City so as we ate our tea he went out to do his stuff and came back when we were done. He hadnt eaten since lunch so we took him to the area where the juice bar was and he got some taco's and we got another juice. After some card playing we parted ways and Me and Paul headed back to the base and Emill walked on to his hotel. He was going to hang about with us on Friday because we had told him about a trip to a lighthouse that some of the guys told us about in the day - but more on that later. On the way back we saw some mexicans playing basktball so we went over to watch. They asked if we wanted to play some 2 on 2 and we accepted - Paul is amazing at basketball althoght he dosnt really look it. They kept laughing and they were thinking that it was going to be an easy game. We won 7-5. There friends, who thought they were better, then challenged us straight away after. 7-0. Undefeated. Then some adults challanged us and we lost 5-7. Oh well, we put up a fight and won 2 out of 3 games. I think thats a pretty good ratio. We did the old Mexican hand shake on the guys and headed back to the base. Everyone had gone to bed and so we did the same. A/C saved my life in Mazatlan.

Friday:
Our last full day in Mexico started out the same as before. Late get up, apple and bumming about the base. This time I was able to help out bringing in the weekly shopping - quite a task when there are about 50 people living on the base. I then helped disinfect all the food because of the dirty water. Good solid fun. ... ... After lunch we rounded up the troops and we headed out to the Lighthouse!!! This lighthouse is the tallest free standing lighthouse in the world!! So it is pretty high up! The climb up was HARD. I was sweating bad by the time we had got to the top - the thing is I didnt bring my glasses because I knew we were going to be jumping around the rocks after wards so I couldnt really enjoy the view. All I could do was take loads of pictures and hope that they came out pretty good so I could enjoy them later. We then started climbing down the back of the hill, which, again, was hard work! It was all rubblely and rocky and one little slip could send you tumbling all the way down. I take quite a bit of pride in the fact that I didnt slip once! Proud of me? Please be so. At the bottom we reach the sea and there are rocks jutting out all over the place. This is where the fun begins! There were two different height cliffs that you could jump off out into the sea. One about 6 meters high and the other about 14 meters high. Im not crazy so I just stuck to the 6 meters jump and I had some awesome jumps... well ... awesome for me. The other guys were properly diving off - I just jumped and flailed arms parthetically. Still fun though. The 3 other guys - Paul, Emill and Caleb - all jumped off the highest one and I tell you I was nervous for them!! They all made it safely and somewhere in this world there is a video on a camera to proove it - im just not really sure where it is. Sometime it will turn up! After this we climbed right back up the rocks and rubble, even harder than climbing up the first time and then down again the other side. We had to get back to the base pretty sharpish because it was the students graduation ceremony from the DTS so they had to get all smart. Me and Paul were invited but I felt like a right idiot because I didnt bring any smart clothes, well, I didnt have any clothes left to wear! I had to borrow a polo shirt off paul and wear some scruffy trousers from the bottom of my bag! When everyone else looked so smart and pretty I sure looked like a prat, whats more my shoes were soaking because we had to jump from the cliffs with shoes on otherwise we would cut up our feet. SO I was wearing someone elses top, some dirty scruffy trousers, shoes that squealched and smelt like a wet dog and a general appearence of a tramp - oh well - all done now! The ceremony was ok. Went on a bit but all the students were able to say good bye to each other and take way to many photos. I cant really pass judgement on 'too many photos' actually as im SURE I take way to many. After that we joined some of the students in a local bar to have some beers and then we headed to a Mexican Nightclub. It was so much fun!!! Better than boring old English ones. To start off they had a live band playing the classicly cheesy songs - 'Man I feel like a women', 'Pretty Women, walking down that street' all that kind of style - so people were just having fun with that. Then a screen came down as the band left the stage and it moved onto the more rave type music. Glowsticks and ballons were thrown out into the crowd and everyone went crazy for a bit. Then a Columbian band came onto the stage and started pumping out the Salsa music. I tried my very best but I cant salsa. Its a shame because once you have got the basics it looks like good fun. Then some other crazy dance called Banga or something... That dance looked even harder...
At about 3.30 am we all poured out of the clubs and into the taxis waiting loyally outside. We got back and, because we were leaving in the morning, we said our goodbyes there and then. I dont think they really sunk in because we were all sooooo tired. At 4.00 am we managed to get into bed and ready for sleep. The only problem is we had to get up at 7.00 to get our stuff ready and get over to the bus depot for our coach that leaves at 8.15. I have NO IDEA why we went for such an early bus - it just seemed a good idea at the time.

Saturday:
After 3 hours sleep I was woken by Pauls rough shaking. I think I had just come out of a real angry dream because I had a real urge to punch him. Perhaps it was due to getting such little sleep. Something like that anyway. We went outside to get breakfast and we were the only ones out there. It was so annoying because we didnt get to say goodbye to alot of people becuase they were all sleeping. At 7.30 we went outside and got a taxi over to the Coach and we got all our lugage sorted. Soon enough we were off on our way leaving behind us Mazatlan, the Heat and a whole load of new friends. I was sorry to leave im deffinetly going to miss those guys - but it had to be done. 8 sleepless hours later and I was back in Guadalajara. You can understand how tired I am writing this. In the past 36+ hours I have had 3 hours sleep but still I find the time to write up this HUUUUUGE blog for you so that you might know a bit about what happened in my last week.

I really hope you read all of that because I tell you what it has taken me a long time! My Oreo's are gone and the milk is warm. I am within stumbling distance from my bed and my eyes are half shut. In 5 days I leave Mexico for a long time. Its sad, but I have America on the horizon. Miss you, Miss Home and All the friends I have made here that I might never see again.

Love always,

[clarke]

Its good to be back.

Saturday, 23 June 2007

The last of the week. Or a week to last. Im pretty sure that dosnt even make sense.


Right... now to go ahead with the actual day blog. I thought it would be a nice little quick update earlier to give you a flavour of the day so far. You might have guessed that it has started out as a very good day! Im sitting in an internet cafe right now and I was able to listen my iPod on the journey down to the geek room. Going without music for a while really makes it awesome the next time you listen to it! I love listening to music and so the week or so without it was torture.

Like I said im in the internet cafe at the moment so I will add on the picture of the day when I get back to G's house. Taking advantage of the 'save as a draft' feature as well... result. That little guy automatically saves when I stop writing and it has saved my fingers from writing out blogs all over when the power cuts hit me.

Edit: The pic of the day isnt of the day, but of yesterday. There is still a day in there so no complaints please! It shows my heroic efforts in the library at the school. I am sure I dont have to point out to you how professional those bookshelves look, nor the skilled handiwork when it comes to the corners, not an easy feat I will have you know. For now, bask in the glory that is a plastic covered library, content in the knowledge that someday I will, perhaps, teach you to be as advanced as me in this particular field.

Back to the day in hand, this blog is another early one as it is only 8.20. Usually the blogs are coming at you at about 12 o clock. Not today, like I said before a change is coming. That or I have nothing else to do and so I thought I would fill my time talking to you, which is only slightly better than doing nothing. I kid, I like writing to you. Honest.

Started out with a nice lie in today - which is probably the reason for such a good day. Whenever someone has a good day you can assume that they had a lie in. Whoever they are. I set out down to the church to practice in the worship band. There was a posibility that I could play with them - but I only have two sundays left - one tomorrow (which leaves no time for practice) and one next week. The thing is im going to the beach tomorrow, more on that later, so I wouldnt really have any time, or a guitar, to practice with. So, it looks like for the rest of my Sundays I will be sitting in the congregation without a clue what is being said around me. Sounds like fun. After the practice I escaped to a computer where I saw, from Mr Heaths direction, an awesome video that you should check out - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K2cYWfq--Nw. Give it time ok? The first bit is a bit lame but once it gets started you are hooked.

After that I thought it would give my iPod some thought. I guessed that it was my charger that wasnt really working - so I went to the mall 'Gallerias' with Paul and we hunted down a charger. Found one easy enough and left the store. I found a plug in an arcade and sneakily stole some power - you know what im talking about... The charger didnt work. I took the charger back to the store becuase it was just working like my charger at home. They said some spanish to me and I guessed they wanted to know why I wanted to return it. I explained in some beautiful spanglish about my problem, but they wernt convinced. I let them use my iPod to make sure they saw it didnt work. They went off and they found out that it didnt work - I could have told them that, well... I did tell them that - it was just the english version. They wernt happy with that so they got a different charger to test with - and someone fresh came over to have a look. I have NO IDEA what he did, but it worked! My iPod came back to life coughing and spluttering like a drowning dog. I could have kissed the guys behind the counters but I dont think they would have appreciated that. I walked out of the store the happiest person in the mall with a spring in my step and a working iPod in my pocket. The only question now is to find out how I can update my iPod on someones computer without all my songs being deleted. Any ideas anyone?

After that we walked over to the 'TAP Coach' counter and asked how much it costs to get to Mazatlan and when the coach's left Guadalajara. I walked away $700 the poorer (thats only about £35 - for the two of us on a 6 hour bus ride thats pretty good!) - If it feels like there was a break in the writing flow here it is because my hour ran out, I paid up the $15 to the clerk and walked back to G's house. Without further-a-do I shall continue, if that is ok with you. - So that is only about £17.50 each way. Not bad, not bad! We were quite proud of ourselves as we walked out the room - not only had we taken initiative and booked the coach ride ourselves, we had done it using the limited Spanish we know. iPod and Coach sorted. Awesome.

We walked proudly out of gallerias (after checking the cinema - there wasnt really anything on that either of us wanted to see. Im sure Oceans 13 has been released in England, but not here. I just assumed that it would release in America first and then it would drift down through Mexico, I was wrong.) and hopped onto a bus to go back to Paul's house just to chill out a bit and eat some food. Paul had a basketball match at 7 so I re-hopped onto a bus and came home to finish off charging the iPod - it feels good to be able to write that. On the way back I picked up a nice big bag of oreos and 1.892 litres of Milk. Im sure that it would be too much more hassle to make the bottle hold 2 litres. I dont see any reason to be so specific, im sure if you put 2 litres on there anyway Sello, the milk distributor, would not get hundreds of angry letters from disgruntled milk fans! Once I actually got home I gave up trying to use the internet on his computer and headed on down to a local internet cafe. Result. There I was able to watch some youtube videos, jack johnson videos and surfing videos. Its all in the preperation. As well as this I sneakily downloaded the latest version of iTunes onto one of the computers in the cafe - I though maybe they would have an option to manually upload songs onto the iPod. That means that the computer wouldnt delete all the songs - but just let me add some to my iPod. I know there is an option to do this when the iPod in the computer, but by this time the iPod would have synced and hence all the songs, that are not in the library on the computer, would have been deleted. Leaving me with only some weird Spanish songs that I have no intention of ever reaching my ear drums. Well, it is an ongoing battle with iTunes to make my dreams a reality, it could be time to hit the Apple support forum again. Wish me luck.

I just posted this blog and realised that I hadnt even included a song of the day. It seemed a bit stupid that the day that my iPod is fixed I dont have a song of the day. Here it comes, ready for it?

Must've Fallen - Ben Taylor

I checked his MySpace and its one of the songs he has on there. Check it out.

So, apart from the 6 hour coach ride, we are practically already at the beach. My feet are already wet with the oceans water and most probably I already look like an idiot doing my best at surfing but ultimatly looking a prat. Most importantly I am already burnt from head to foot. My bags are packed and both of our tickets are in my wallet right now. I just went to check that they are in my wallet, I would not want to turn up tomorrow at the coach depot ticketless and have to explain in some form of spanish that we did actually pay for them. Well, because of my beach adventure, and the lack of a computer, this is going to be the last you will hear from me in about a week. I do hope you have an awesome week and that you grow in wisdom, beauty and awe of me, your blogger, Philip Clarke.

Love always,

[clarke]

As you wont be hearing from me for a while, have an extra photo. A gift from me to you. From King to servant.

Happiness, re-instated.

Just a real quick update before the post tonight. Two things you should know,

1. My iPod is fixed. Charging now and I couldnt be happier.
2. Me and Paul have got tickets to go to the beach tomorrow. Perfect.

You lives can now continue at there previous rate.

Love always,

[clarke]

Friday, 22 June 2007

3 Pictures! Picturelific.


Blog number 30! Congratulations you have given birth to a beautiful baby blog, weighing in at 30 pounds, 30 centimeters in length and crying enough for 30 human babies. The thing is, it isn't crying... verbal ramblification is the correct term in the medicine world.

Well, enough of that, isn't it slightly impressive that I have been able to keep up a daily blog for 30 days? I think it is. And so I am going to treat myself to something tomorrow. Who knows what it could be - some candy, a fish perhaps even a kettle. The world (with Mexico as its borders) is my oyster. Today has seen the come about of quite a big change to the Guadalajara world. Two members of the church leave tomorrow morning at 8, never to return again. That may be a little too dramatic - but it could be true. I was told I made a yawn to dramatic today - I think yawns are yearning to be actors really, when one comes about it is sure to put on a good show no matter who the yawner is. I guess the change only occurred at the end of the day when we had a party to say goodbye to Nacho and Ester, Eric and Becka and welcome Wes, Marlena and Family as 'well as Shane and Margret (Those who can remember, Shane and Margret are the parents of Dane, a friend we made at a church camp ages ago. Dane wasn't with them but I hear that he is living near the Ashby's so I will have to make sure I see him then). Its weird because yesterday I drew a person on a piece of card and underneath it said 'Soon things are going to change. I didn't really think about what I was writing, nor did I remember that this leaving party was happening tonight - I just wrote whatever was on my mind and it came true. Maybe tonight I will draw a pile of money and 'People called Phil win the Lottery'. If I win, only the people that have been daily reading this blog get some money. In that pic you can also see the subjects that I wanted to talk about yesterday crossed out. You can see how the mind of Phil Clarke works. Unlucky.

I just received a spam email with loads of rubbish in it. Here is the starting paragraph,

Dirty there over security, alone be able, increase prevent.
Language visit worldwide, note java machine not. Deploy manage
webbased send profile free newsletter rss! As, functional, or simply
really lock down pc also? Copy best, genuine xp activation.


What is the point? I'm pretty sure anyone that gets that little beauty is going to delete it straight away. Does someone actually sit down and write these things, or is it random words that the computer thinks are funny... It sounds like it is just a whole bunch of keywords that people might search for - search me for the reason to send it to people...

The pic of the day shows Me, Eric Pragger and Paul Wayman in our full glory. In fact today I think I'm going to throw quite a few pictures at you because I have been neglecting my camera duties recently. I'm going to miss seeing Pragger (as us cool people call him) around school and playing basketball with him. He is a really like able guy and, apart from Oscar and family, was the first English speaker I know. He is going up to live in San Diego, California. Its alright for some. Just newly wed they are going up to the States to plant a new church.

One of the people that ate the pizza with us last night wasn't feeling too good today. He was the only one that was affected by the pizza, thank goodness, I cant afford, with my busy schedule of children to feed, sick to heal and lives to change, to be taken down by illness. He still came with us to the Mall, which was awesome, and I got to get to know a whole new group of people. Some kids where playing Call of Duty 3 on one of those 'Try me' xbox's, so I stepped up to the mark and completely dominated the game. Its the first time I have felt the cool reassurance of a xbox controller and it felt good, too good. I also got some pic 'n' mix. Awesome.

I guess its time for me to tell you about my day. I woke up, today it was a 9.30 wake up. I swear they are getting later and later - not good, and heading into school after doing all the wake-up-in-the-morning stuff. Straight into the library and I was covering the bookshelf's with the plastic - which I completed today! Result! Every single book in that library is safe from the wrath of summer, for now. I actually took a load of pictures of my good word - they will be appearing on facebook some time soon along with loads of random pictures I have been taking lately. I cannot face trying to upload photos onto facebook using a computer on dial up.

The lads and ladies came to pick me up from school at about 2.30 and we headed to Gallerias, a mall in Guadalajara. The girls were meant to be looking for prom dresses for there ball, but the just went to a coffee shop. Us lads got bored pretty quickly and heading out to check out the sweet store, food court and the xbox you have already heard about. It really was good fun, and I felt like one of the 'lads' but it was short lived - before not to long we were getting back on the bus and the lads were leaving for home. Home is pretty boring for me so I stayed with the ladies and walked around for ages looking for a box for one of the girls to buy to put a cake in that she made for her boyfriend. That was quite a hefty sentence, you may even need to read it twice to make sure you fully understand the situation. Do it now, if you must, I can wait. We went back to her house to decorate the cake. The Mexicans have a saying, I have no idea what it is in Spanish - they always seem to know how to say it in English, but it is "This is your house". You can never really feel more welcomed than that. But it never really is your house, there is still the same unease of what to say, do or simply where to sit. Anyway, I still like it - and I think us Brits should be just as welcoming!

On the bus coming back to town I saw a skate park, or what I assume is a skate park. All it had was two ramps. One, a flat driveway ramp was way to steep - I reckon it was coming in at at least 50°. The other, way across the ground from the first was just a small quarter pipe. I have never seen anyone skate anywhere near such a poor excuse for a skate park and I imagine the ramps are feeling extremely unloved and unwanted. I wanted to get off the bus and give them a hug, but I don't think this is the right image I should be setting myself. Walking from the bus to G's house I saw the smallest ever play park I have ever seen. I think the area is just about 2 metres squared. In face I took a picture of it - so I think I can afford to give you one more on this beautifully colour full blog.

It could be that tomorrow is the last blog for a while. I am heading to the beach Sunday afternoon, or, at the latest, Monday morning. As a result, and I'm not sure what the computer situation is down at the Wywan Base, you will not be getting a daily blog - most likely you wont get one until next Saturday. I'm not really sure how you are going to cope - but it is a good opportunity to go back and re read some of the classic blogs from the weeks passed. If you want you can write an essay to me pointing out the good and bad points and how you might improve them.

The blog at this time is at least 1 meter long and is beginning to ramble by itself. A truly remarkable event in the literature world. Also, if you think that my spelling has been on form, well better form than the previous posts, its only because I have discovered the spell check button. You learn something new everyday. I will speak to you again tomorrow before our brief break.

Love always,

[clarke]

Thursday, 21 June 2007

Dogs rule (the rooftops)


Its an early one today. Mostly because I have nothing to do at all until 5.30 when I am heading back to the school so I can meet some people before we go and play basketball. Instead of just moping about I thought I would come back home and give you something to read tomorrow, or if you are crazy tonight!

As you can see in the pic of the day Dogs love roofs. Wherever you go in Mexico there is always a dog on a roof barking down at the passers by. I have no idea how they get up there, or even why they get up there, but you can bet your bottom dollar that one will be there.

Today has been pretty much te exact copy of yesterday. I went into the school (I made it in quite early actually, walking through the gates at 9) and headed for the library. I covered about 7 bookcases and then went on checking that the books on the other bookcases are all there. It is a thrilling, edge of your seat kind of job. I just hope that somebody hasnt already completed it whilst I am writing for you so that I might be able to do some tomorrow. At break I had a can of coke and a doughnut. You know, I went for the healthy option. I stayed at school way past the end of the day just because I really didnt want to come home real soon, and the fact that I just had to come back again really didnt make me ecstatic about the journey. However, for want of something to take away my boredom I did step on the bus and so am here now.

At least I have the basketball game to look forward to. It is Eric and Nacho's last game tonight, so it will be an emotionally sweaty experience. Wes, an old friend from England, who started this thursday night sporting epic is also in town at the moment so he will be joining us. It was Eric and Wes that started it up and so it has come round full circle so that Eric's last game is with Wes. Quite touching if I wasnt so manly.

The dogs are going crazy outside my window. They always seem to be. I think they are just standing in as my alarm clock because everyday they wake me up at about 6.00. It is at exactly that time as well that a truck goes past screaming out some jingle about buying gas. I have no idea what it is saying, but I have a good idea of how annoying it is. Some kid just started shouting outside my window and for a second I thought "What is he screaming about, I dont understand a single word he is saying". Then I remembered I was in Mexico and that he was speaking Spanish. I sometimes just get caught up in everything, and any logic just slips me by. For example it still amazes me that you guys are 6 hours ahead of me. So that means that when I speak to one of you it is like my words are time traveling. Its weird. I know they arnt really, they would need a DeLorean to do that. Geek. Yes, thank you.

On the DeLorean subject today, on the bus, I saw someone wearing a hoddy with 'Ireland' on the back. How weird is that! Someone in Mexico is walking around personally advertising a country that he probably dosnt know the location of nor knows anyone that has set foot in. Then again I have seen alot of weird clothing over here. One of the kids in the church was wearing a t-shirt with a pimped out Popeye. That was a bit too crazy for my liking. He was wearing all the bling and a bandanna. To be honest if he was a gangstar I deffinetly would not want to cross him. I bet he wouldnt deal drugs, just spinach. Chug Chug Chug.

I dont have anything more to say today. Im sorry, today has been a short rambling performance - its all due to nothing interesting happening at all. So, if you want to blame someone, blame Mexico.

Love always,

[clarke]

Edit:

I thought, when I had come back from my intense basketball session, that I would add a little bit more to this blog, as it was a tad short. I love classic British words. An American friend commented on how much we use the word 'ages'. I dont really know about that - I havn't used that word in ages. Dammit.

I did my own washing today! And I mean completely alone. Whey! To be honest I wasnt sure whether they were going to come out clean, or somehow more dirty than I put them in - but all was well. I even managed to get them onto a line to dry. It started raining earlier and, amoungst the men at the basketball game and against my manly nature, I wanted to comment "My washing is going to get wet". I held back, I realised that I didnt want to sound completely like my mother.

Basketball was good fun today - I didnt really play that much - and I didnt have much company because everyone else was playing, but I had a good time. Wes didnt come in the end which was a shame, but oh well, his loss. After the game we ordered some pizzas and went back to one of the guys house to watch the football game. Mexico vs Guadalupe. I cant even remember what the score was and it was about 15 mins ago. I was too impressed by his house to care. He has an indoor pool, a pool table, bar and roof garden. It was a beautiful house. There is an indoor balcony that looks over the pool which as the pool table on so you can chat to someone swimming as you watch TV or play pool. Perfect. I played some pool, and lost mostly, until my and Paul challanged some Mexicans to an inter racial match. Of course we won. Easily. Toot of my own trumpet thank you. The pizza's took ages to come (dammit again) but in the end they were good! Washed down with some coke and/or gatorade and it was a real good evening! A nice little ride back in the back of Nacho's pick up truck and I am home again, home and dry.

I think that really does brings you up to date on what happened today.

Love always, again

[clarke]

Wednesday, 20 June 2007

Reflection noitcelfeR



Its a very bloated blog that is coming at you today. I have just got back from the Mens barbeque up in the hills of Quadalajara. Just being present at the mens barbeque made me feel strong, tough and the need to eat lots and lots of meat. I think I had to bold up the 'men' just to give you a full effect of the atmosphere up in the mountains. It was dark when we were coming down to G's house and the view was amazing looking over Guadalajara with all the little house's lit up. I was aloud to appreciate the beauty on the way down, I was no longer with the men.

Hello, glad you could make it back again! I hope you appreciate the pic of the day today, it was taken at the mens barbeque. When everyone was outside talking Spanish at each other I snuck inside with a camera and went to town on anything that would give me a reflection, the result, as you can see, is perfection. I had to keep posing and then pretending that I was doing something completely innocent when people went past with meat, cakes and plates to clean. Of course I had to look innocently manly, due to the company I was in.

Lets rewind to the start of the day shall we? It was a nice easy wake up at 8. This is one of the pluses to living with G - there is no rush for me to get a lift into school with the boys. I can take my sweet time with it (Half a scrubs quote there. First one to give the context wins, well, nothing. Still fun though). So I get up and shower, leisurely, and wander down the road to the bus. On the bus I remember my iPod is broken, still, so I get nice and grumpy. After the bus it is still a 15 min walk to the school, but hey, I get in my exercise. Woo.

Straight into the library for me. I finished the Junior Fiction section today. Proud of me? Well, if your not I think Mum and Dad will be. Once I finished that I thought I deserved a break, in which I went to the teachers lounge - im not a teacher, taking liberties or what! ha ha! - and checked out whats new on the information super highway. Not much was new so I went back to the library where I offered to continue going on the kids section. Big woop. I finished at about 2.30 but I didnt want to go home because I knew I would get bored, so I just went back to the T's lounge and geeked it up a bit more. I was starting to get hungry so I wandered back to the bus stop and popped into an 'Oxxo' on the way back. They are pretty much a sainsburys local kind of store. I just went for the classic oreos and half a litre of milk. It went down smooooooth! Back onto the bus and I slowly made my way across town until I was back at a computer - completely bored and waiting for G to pick me up to take me to the mens barbeque. I had to go around and meet him at the church. Up the hill 30 mins later and the awkwardness began. I couldnt talk to anyone else because they didnt speak much English, and they knew not to talk to me because I didnt speak much Spanish. I ended up getting alot of meat and going back inside to play on the guitar. I realised, whilst digesting a whole lot of pure, chargrilled meat that im not really that great at writing songs. Which was a shame, I thought that was something that I could do ok. Never mind - I can just be famous in everything else - I can let song writing go, for now.

Here comes the other things that I was going to write about yesterday, but I didnt have the energy to do so. I hope you appreciate them today.

Yesterday I got sun burnt and I paid for it today. I have a shoulder bag and it cut right down into my rosy shoulders. The walk, without an iPod to offer the distraction, was even longer. But im a lil solider so I didnt complain. Mostly because I was alone and it would have been pointless to complain to a stranger, I dont know how to complain in Spanish. I think that is the subject I should I should concentrate to learn next. Everyone needs a good complain once in a while. Im pretty sure I got burnt through my t-shirt as well because I rarely took it off all day. The Mexican sun has one up on England - our Sun can only dream about burning people through t-shirts!

Whilst playing another round of Skip-Bo with the Waymans (I dont know if I told you, but I won one of the games. Ha ha! Representin' England) Bruce, father wayman, quipped "There is a difference between doing the right thing and following the culture". I thought it was quite interested and completely true. Do these 'gangstars' think that they are doing the right thing when they are following through what there gangs or familys have brought them up to do. Surely if they dont know any different then they would. A baby, should you not warn them, would happily but there hand in a fire because they know no different. If they, the gangstars, have had no previous moral teaching would they think twice about robbing and killing. Do they feel any kind of twinge on the old heart strings? A nice little ramble there for you. Havnt seen many of them recently, I guess we are out of season. But, should you hear the scrapings of a ramble outside your house at night - show some heart and leave out a saucer of milk, semi-skimmed if you please, and some corn pops.

So, I am coming to the run down of my Mexico time. I bet these last two weeks are going to go the quickest because I have finally got something to do for myself. I have been busy every day what with sports clubs, lincoln and barbeques and next week I will be going to the beach. This time is going to sail by. Its weird really, you know that is the signal of some thinking on my part, that in this time I have built up so many relationships with people in the church, the oasis project and at lincoln that im just going to draw a line under in two weeks. I doubt that I will see these people again, and so thats it. I will soon be nothing more than a memory. Sure I will try to keep in touch, but how long will that last? 'Keeping in touch' always seems to loose its appeal after a couple of months. Not because I would no longer want to speak to these people - its just that your life seems to drift back into what it was before you met these people. Im quite excited about the people that are going to be travelling around america with me. What are they going to be like? Same age as me? Is there going to be a guy that I click with? Is there going to be a girl that I click with? Who knows...

Well, that definatly does it for me. It is time for bed. Good night all. See you here again, same time tomorrow.

Love always,

[clarke]

Tuesday, 19 June 2007

Tiredness, Sunburn and an Early Wake Up, a EWU if you will.

Hello, Good evening or Good day - whatever your present situation is I hope it is a good one! I know mine is, and so I hope that is reflected somwhere across an ocean that I have no idea, nor desire, of what the name is. But, I tell you one thing. It is HOT overhere. Today I heard the first bit of a news in a while from the UK. I heard there is flooding. Hows that going? Enjoying it? It seems to be a fairly regular thing nowadays so you guys must have been ready for it? I tell you what, save me some of the flood water and when I get back you can poor it all over me. I dont want to miss out on a good old flooding now do I! I also heard something else that I have been missing at home - I have heard that we have scaffolding on the side of our house! It would be a perfect opportuinity to train up to become Spider-man.

Like I said, I havnt really heard anything about the UK since I have been here. I guess its because any news that is worth sending down here just comes from the US. A little island like britain isnt really going to have any effect on peoples lives here when they are living in the shadow of the giant USA. I forget how huge America is, but im pretty sure that soon I will have quite a good idea! Travelling across the whole of the US in 3 weeks is going to be quite the adventure!

Enough rambling - and back to what really has happened today. Yesterday, like I told you yesterday, I was invited to go to the sports club with the Waymans. I set my alarm and went to sleep. I woke up about 10 mins before the alarm (isnt it always the way) and just got up then. Usually I would take the advantage of the time and cheekily give me 15 more minutes rest, but today was different - it was get up and go day. So thats what I did. A short bus drive and I was at the Waymans. Of course yesterday they didnt tell me the stuff I needed to bring - flip flops, a towel (well, I should have used common sense on that one) nor suncream (and again) But I managed to borrow all three from them. Good moves with the groooooove.

Once we got there I had to go see a doctor for him to check my feet over. Ha ha, classic. I guess its against foot and mouth, right? Those Mexicans are crazy. I got the clean bill of health and we headed up to the tennis courts. A couple of mins later and I was sweating like someone very sweaty and sending more balls out of the court than ever before. Beautiful. I gave up eventually and me and Paul starting playing some basketball. Again, he is good, I lost. Giving up on that we went down to play some Table tennis. Lost again. Then bought some food. He finished before me. Went for a swim. Played some water polo and things like that. Lost everything. Then some vollyball in the pool. Lost. Lost. Lost. Im good at losing. I can do it perfectly ever time, no matter what the sport!

It was home time, but his parents had already gone home in the car so we got a taxi back to his. It was about a 10 min journey but it only cost $40. Thats about 2 pounds. You would be lucky to get charge that little for just sitting on a taxi seat and getting out again! At home we cooked of some steaks and vegetables and had them in tortillas. Awesomeness. I called my mom (as the americans and mexicans would say) and got through to my gorgeous lil sister and even gorgeouserer brother. A little chat with them and I found out that Mum was out for a meal with Jen, Kieren and Dad. I tried again later - no joy. Left a little message and left it at that. I will try again some time soon - Mum I hope you had an awesome day, love Phil.

I learnt a new card game today. Its a bit like Uno but its called Skip-Bo. Im not going to explain how to play because 1. You wont be interested. 2. You dont now, nor most probably ever, really need to know how to play. But if you do get the chance - its a good game! I won one game and then came second the next. Not bad for a white boy.

Yesterday night something awful happened. Its probably the worst thing that can happen when you are staying at someones house - even worse when you dont speak the same language as them! I went to the toilet and after a while reached down for the toilet paper, nothing but air. I reached down further as my eyes were adjusting to the dark. Nothing. I started to sweat. My heart beat faster and faster. What do I do?!?!!!?!! I decided to breath, calm down and take it easy. I started checking all the little draws, wardrobes and cuboards in the room until at last I found one single toilet roll there, waiting for me! Back to the throne and all was well. Sweat dried off and heart returned to normal. All was well in the world again. At Pauls house today I was in the toilet and went to snatch off some toilet paper. This time my snap wasnt snappy enough and so the whole roll of the toilet paper swiftly unravled and landed in a heap at my feet. I hastily rolled it back up and left the bathroom as soon as possible.

Im really tired today, I do have more to say - but I will save that for tomorrow! Im sorry its a short one but tiredness, sunburn and an early wake up all seem alot better after a good nights sleep! You see - I havnt even created that much of a creative title.

No song of the day nor picture of the day. Stupid iPod. Stupid nothing to photograph. Im sorry, I will try to do better soon.

Love always,

[clarke]

Monday, 18 June 2007

Dejà Vú using a Miami Vice eating some Pizza.


Ladies and Gentlemen, I present to you Sir Philip Clarke.

I assume I am to be knighted on my return to England due to my life changing work in Mexico. I just thought that I would be able to cash in on the change to my name before it actually happens because I know that it is guaranted.

You are lucky that I am finding the time to do this during my hectic schedule. Ok, so it is 12 pm and at the moment it is not so much hectic, more just hot. But still - there have been times when I havnt bothered to inform you of my day to day actions due to how much energy I have. To be honest I havnt really done that much today - and so my energy should be at a high level... but oh no. I sometimes get out of breath really randomly - brushing my teeth, getting on a bus - someone said today that it was due to the altitude. Nah, its due to me not doing enough exercise - but then again, thats a lie - you all know about my olympic swimming efforts, then there is Thursday night Basketball and the occasional Vollyball game. I think I am doing quite well! I havnt been able to swim in a while due to not living at the Suarez's, which is annoying - but just before I left something went wrong with the pool - it was not holding onto its water, just letting it slip between its fingers. Well, slip between its tiles. And it was getting real dirty... ewwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww! Just letting some feminimeity escape me. Just manlyness left now. Good. With the pool situation it could be that no-one is swimming these days! Which is awesome - it means that those sneaky Mexicans wont be getting more training than the Brits.

Today was really hard to wake up - I guess I was writing the blog in the early hours after attempting to watch Space Jam in Spanish. I failed. Still, it shouldnt be that hard - I was used to getting up at 7 each day for work about a month ago. Once again I am going to put it down to the altitude and the fact that I was writing something to entertain you savages, well, hopefully entertain you beautiful savages.

Got up at 9.35 and did all the morning stuff, I guess everyone does that every day so you dont really need to hear me ramble on about that. I have probably wasted enough space already telling you that so it would have been better for me just to tell you anyway. I just keep going... and going... and going. Stop.

Good. I eventually got to the bus stop to get going to school. I waved down a bus and it just drove straight past me. I got a bit angry because I just assumed it was because I looked all touristy, but then I saw a bus stop just up the road where it has just stopped and I hadnt bothered to walk up the road a bit. After getting the next bus that came around I was on my way. It was, again, a music free day and so the bus journey, and the 15 min walk to the school after alighting the bus seemed to take way longer. I got into school at about 10.30 and headed for the library. I continued my inventory checking job, checking the whole of a bookcase, and thought I deserved a break. At the same time Paul text me to see if I wanted to go around and hang out. I was out of the library before someone could say 'Fillipe your cool' - lets be honest, its going to be rarely said anyway - but I realised I had no idea where he lived. After asking some of the Teachers (I dont know why but I had a real urge to write 'After asking some of the T-Shirts') I managed to blag myself a lift around to his house. What can I say? British charm overcomes all.

We hung about for a bit playing guitar, talking to his parents and getting some information on the beach trip, Newday and guitars to buy (I manage to talk to anyone about my future guitar ha ha, or 'jaja' as the locals would say). We decided to get some movies out and just laze about watching them. Somehow Paul managed to borrow his parents car and we gangstar rolled down to Blockbusters (They have them over here! Are they an American company? Oxteds one was better) and got some movies. Miami Vice and Dejà Vú. We got Deja Vu out but then I wasnt sure if I had already seen it.

...

If you spotted the joke in that last line then give yourself a pat on the back. If not, you are not welcome here. Please leave and close the gate at the bottom of the path.

We cooked off some pizza's and settled down to watch Dejà Vú. It was pretty good. If you have seen it then you will know how STUPID that thing that the cops use. I thought it was stupid even before they did what they did with it. How can you see INSIDE the house? I guess it is only a film. A stupid film. All in all it was good, just stupid. You get me? If you dont, you are stupid. It finished and we went downstairs to talk to the rents again. I really like his family - and they made me feel really welcome, I wish I was staying with them - but I cant leave now, and this guy isnt as bad as I think he is - G is cool. We played a game a bit like Uno called Skip-Bo. It was pretty good, but I lost. I just need to practice right? I will be the best at every olympic sport, and by the time I finish practicing it WILL be an olympic sport. We got all the family together and watch Miami Vice. I wasnt really that impressed - at all. Quite boring actually, but oh well, they cant all be amazing - otherwise the amazing ones will be just normal.

Last night I was getting a bit peckish (now there is a british word for you! You wouldnt get a Mexican saying that) so I thought I would head on downstairs to get some cereal. I was quite looking forward to it, but I had to be a bit stealthy because I didnt want to wake up G. I crept past his door and took one step on the stairs. As soon as my foot hit that top step the alarm went off and when I say off I mean OFF!!!. It was SO loud. All I did was freeze at the top of the stairs, hoping that it would stop. It didnt stop. I went to G's door and knocked, I dont really know why I knocked - its not like he wasnt going to be awake with the alarm going off! He staggered out of the room, went downstairs and hit the code on the alarm - silence. Beautiful silence. He is too much of a nice guy to be mad at me and he started apologising for activating the alarm! I said it was my fault and that I was sorry and, smiling, he went upstairs and back to sleep. Still in shock I settled down and ate my cereal the, creaping so slowly back upstairs, I went to bed. Excitment over.

Its now 12.30 here and I need to be at Pauls house for 9.30 tomorrow to go around to the sports club! Check me out - sports woo. I knew Mexico would change me. I think we are going to play tennis. I havnt played tennis in ages so that should be real fun.

The pic of the day today is Me with Justus/Justice at the church. Again you can see me modelling how good a sun burn looks on a Brit - with the forehead-nose combo. I really wanted to get a pic of the both of us, seeing that soon I will be stealing him to come with me on the USA travels. What an awesome kid. The only song that I can think is worthy of song of the day is Blackbird - the Beatles. I was playing it on guitar today. Lovely jubbly.

One last message, as I guess you will be reading this tomorrow - the 19th June.

Happy Birthday to you,
Happy Birthday to you,
Happy Birthday dear Mummy,
Happy Birthday to you.

I hope you have an amazing day at the Sancturary and I hope you love what the guys have bought you. I dont want to say what it is, just in case you havnt got it yet... but I hope you love it like I love you. Sorry I cant be there - being in Mexico is a bit of a tricky location for me. Love Love.

Love always,

[clarke]

Sunday, 17 June 2007


Phwoar! Blog number 25 is screaming out at you at 36kbps. Kill your speed not a child. Im quite impressed that I have struggled against the elements to get a daily blog out to you. The elements in this equation being tiredness, hungriness and mexicanness. Not quite devestating elements, but most surely influential. Geektastic.

What a beautiful thing a Dial Up connection is. Beautifully slow - but still beautiful. It takes its time with things, and I tell you what, there is no chance of a virus - the connection wouldnt be able to take downloading one. By the time it had downloaded the computer would have known it was coming and set a sneaky little trap. Coming from broadband down to dial up is quite a shock. Bit like a cave man discovering fire then forgetting how he made it. Most probably he burned the instructions.

Today has been wonderfully regular. I woke at about 9 and tried to charge the iPod again - to no luck. Im pretty sure that it is just being stubborn. It knows full well that all it has to do is eat up a bit of electricity, but it knows that that is exactly what I want it to do, so it wont even think about it. I decided I should be in a sulk all day long. The sulk didnt really last that long because Wes, someone that I knew ages ago back in England, was visiting Fuente De Vida (the church) today and so I was really happy to talk to him again! After a preach in which I didnt have a clue what is going on, im pretty sure that he was just praising everything about me, how blessed the church is to have me in its presence, we went to a seafood restaurant. Now this is the kind of restaurant I like - I 'sea-food' and eat it. Ha ha, im hilarious, but im pretty sure you all just died a little in side. I dont really like sea food so much - so I chickened out and went for the battered fish - a little piece of Britain in the sea that is Mexico. I would have much rather litterally 'chickened out'.

After seaing way to much food we went back to Nacho's for a little bit and then off to Arenalus for some baptism's. All they had was a kids paddling pool to baptise adults. It was a messy and wet affair, but still in a happy atmosphere. Once again I played with Justice. I was also told today that it is not Justice, but Justus. He was a Roman Centurian in the Bible. I quite liked Justice - so im going to keep calling him that, but secretly. These days he recognises me and holds his arms out for me to hold him. When he does it I feel special. Woo! Some of the boys from the Oasis project where at the event, and so we gave them a lift home before heading for home ourselves. We didnt quite make it as G called his brother to see if he would like to play pool with us. 4 of us set out to play pool - but only two returned as champions. And it wasnt me and G. I was feeling quite confident from my last pool experience, however it was short lived. I think in the whole time we played I potted the 8 ball at least 3 times. All of which we lost as a result. I blame the weather, the felt carpet, the cue, the balls, the 'something in my eye' and most importantly the crisps we were given. Basically anything but me was at fault.

There are more cowboy hats here than at cowboy land. Yeah it is a real place, just south of Indianonia Wild West. I didnt really know what to expect from Mexico in the way of hats - I guess I thought I would see a whole lot of sombrero's, but in fact I am yet to see one. I havn't seen them in the streets nor in shops and markets. What's wrong with this place? Are my stereotypes so out of date? I think I NEED a picture of me in a sombrero to justify my visit to Mexico. Otherwise who is going to beleive I have been here rather than just staying in a toilet in Croydon for 6 weeks.

The beach is off for this week, Paul has things to do, places to see and exuses to make to me. Well, he has got some pretty strong reasons not to go this week. He applied for a job a while back to work in Lincoln school and he should be finding out if he has got the job this week. I also found out today that the good-bye party for Nacho and Ester, Eric and Becka is this week. I really wanted to go to that so its a good thing really. On top of all that there is a mens barbeque this wednesday. I think it is important, with my reputation, that I should attend such a masculine event. I have already started planning to go next week, well, the furthest I have actually planned it is calling Oscar for him to plan it.

My sun burn is clearing up quite nicely thank you very much. I dont think my skin would have coped with a trip to the beach in its present condition. Im going to try and upload a pic of the day - but im not too hopeful with the connection situation. If you can see it, congratulations to me. It shows me, sunburn included, with something with which you can rate the sunburn.

As I told you earlier my iPod is broken so there isnt really that much of a chance of a song of the day - however you will be ecstatic to know that we listened to some music in the car to the pool and a song came on that I havnt heard in a while. In fact this is one of the songs that me and Mr Pollock did at the talent show back at Oxted School. Nuff Respect.

The Eels - Mr E's Beautiful Blues

Its a classic.

This week, on Tuesday, marks the month stage of my trip to Mexico, but still not even reaching the half way point of the whole of my travels. Two and a half weeks left in Mexico and 4 more in the States. I still have the flutter of fresh guitar on my heart - as well as the possibility of a new iPod. Hopefully not, but I would rather have to get a cheaper one here than back in the UK. Im going to bop into the Apple store in San Fran whilst I am there - im too scared to try my luck in Guadalajara - im pretty sure the workers there would laugh in my face.

I should go now before this computer decides to disconnect.

Te Amo,

Love always,

[clarke]

Saturday, 16 June 2007

Take a break. Watch a movie. I guess you may aswell have a Kit Kat.

Well, there we have it. I am now sitting in a cyber cafe on the side of the road because the computer that G is just isnt working. He hasnt paid the telephone bill - and so his service has been suspended. It dosnt really matter though. He has dial up.... so it would take me about a year to get something writing up and posted. I am surronded by Mexicans, playing games, chating to friends and some Mexican music pumping out behind me. Joy, oh joy. I dont even know where I pay for what I am using... my plan is just to turn to the person next to me and say "¿Donde?" Thrusting some money at them - 'donde' is of course 'where'. Classy Phil, real classy.

Today was a let down. For starters I will get you up to date on what happened after the lunchtime blog yesterday. I went into the library one I had finished with you and did a whole bookshelf - making sure all the books were present and correct! I started getting a head ache, and Paul came in to tell me they were playing basketball. I just thought it was right for me to have a break. I went outside and played with them for a bit, of course I practially had to teach them how to play because there were not hardcore players like me... That went on for a while, well - to the end of school! Another extended break. I like them! We just sort of hung about outside playing basketball and vollyball. I really like vollyball now I dont care if it makes me a girl. Its good clean fun. We did the classic 'see how many you can keep it up for' game. Old school fun. After that I watched the team practice vollyball - the coach even asked me to help out, he probably saw I was an out and out athlete the moment he set his eyes on me.

As a result of my actions - I got burnt.

Just my foreand nose - classic british sun burn hot spots. Im actually quite glad I was really - It meant that I was outside long enough! Out of the cold of the Resource room and Library and I actually got some exercise. Hopefully the pink will turn to brown, that is of course before it peels off, obviously.

I said goodbye to a friend, again. I thought the last time I was going to see her on Thursday - so I said goodbye then and it was done. Then I saw her again on the friday (she was at the vollyball practice) and so we had to go through the traumatic ordeal once again! But im glad I saw her again - I only really started talking to her on the Thursday - so we got an extra day to get to know each other. Good times.

After this I got the bus home from Lincoln school - you see - I am pretty much a local! I had a shower and soon enough G was back again to take me out. Woo. We went to his friends house with about 6 other people to play cards and just eat loads of food it appeared. We went out to get some pizza - I was expecting him to get a large pizza - maybe even 2 if I was lucky. We came home with 6 medium pizzas. Result! A lot of eaten food later, and way to much coke that my teeth will allow and we started playing cards. The game we played was like Poker - same hands won, Flush = 'Color', 4 of a kind = 'Poker' - but in this version you each have 3 chips. The person with the lowest hand loses one of their chips and it goes into the middle. Once you have lost all your chips you are out. The number of chips in the middle, after more and more games, is the number on the card that is the 'Wild Card' - it can be any card you want. So if there is 4 chips in the middle, the 4 of any suite becomes the wild card. I didnt do to bad! I cam third and the two other people only had one chip and the other two. Dosnt sound to complicated does it? Well, try understanding the rules in Spanish. Adds a certain complicated edge to it! After that we ate some more food and then played Uno! I havnt played it in ages, I used to love it, but these guys were SOOO slow!!! Boringist game I have ever played. Eventually it all ended and I got home at 03.50. Yes, that is in the morning. What really didnt help is the stupid dogs outside having a fight at 8. Idiots.

I got up at about 12 after drifting in and out of dog interupted sleep and watched some movies that I found in a cuboard. I would have been down at the church watching the guys practice in the band, as usual, but two of the guys are out of town so it would have been a bit of a dull practice. I thought I should just chill out - watch some movies and then head over the Arenalus to play football with the street children out there. That was wicked, BUT I had forgotten to put on some suncream - so my already burnt arms were really hurting. I kept trying to hide them under my t-shirt out of the sun. Thankfully the clouds came out to play and I was saved from the wrath of the sun.

I went back to Nacho's after this and played with little Justice again. Ester actually called me Uncle Phil today. Ha ha! What has that boy got himself into. I made me really happy because I had a title to go along with the place I had in there lives - if you get what I mean...

Nacho has just dropped me off back at G's house so I wandered around here before I got back and no doubt I will watch some more movies. The day could definatly have been better, but then it could have been a whole lot worse - burns on burns? No thank you.

There is no song of the day today because I have barely listened to my iPod. I was listening in the morning, but the battery ran out so it kind of reset. The thing is, it didnt have enough power to turn it on so that it could charge it self. I have no idea who designed that part of the iPod but it is the stupidist thing ever. Even when its plugged into charge it runs of the battery to turn itself on, it just dosnt have enough battery so that it can start charging itself. STUPID. I really really really hope it can be fixed easy because I have a 6 hour coach ride to the beach in the near future - as well as driving across the whole of America in 3 weeks. That journey is going to NEED an iPod.

Thank you very much for taking some time out of your busy day just to catch up what is happening in the Mexican world of Phil Clarke. I will let you get back to being British.

Love always,

[clarke]

Friday, 15 June 2007

Ring the bell. Nothing. Street light goes out. Uh oh.

So thats it. The end of an era. I have officially moved to Guillermo's house. I didnt really know how to spell his name, nor am I able to pronounce it correctly. These Mexicans do some crazy things when there are two ll's next to each other. Dont ask me why, 'muy loco'.

Are you ready to hear something that will shake your world. What you know as fact you will doubt. Guillermo (Im just going to go ahead and put a G when I need him, so, G has dial up. Take a second for that to sink in. I heard that dialling up noise when I went onto the computer, I lifted the phone and there it was taunting me. Beacuse of his technology I am not even able to log onto this site, It just freezes up - so the only way I can get some blogs up is when I am at school, the church or someone elses church. Im in the school right know just geeking it up. Very nice.

Yesterday was a mess. I started off at school (getting a lift in with Oscar for the last time!) and headed for the library. I have managed to escpae the horror of the Resource room, and I feel alot better! I started off covering some more of the books, break a stool in the process woo, and then G came to pick me up so that I could get my stuff from Oscars and take it over to his. He then had to go to a meeting, so i just sat at his house. I found the film 8 Mile and watched that. Afterwards I felt sufficiently gangstar and got a lift back to the school where I continued checking the inventory of all the books in the library. I get the classy jobs!

Then I did meet up with the girls, no more standing up me! I think they are scared from my gangster apperance. So we went to Starbucks, it was just me and a girl called Diane at the start and then everyone came. It was good to talk to her because she is leaving on Saturday, so it was pretty much my last chance. A hot chocolate later (im in Mexico, its really hot but I still drink hot chocolates! Hardcore!) and we headed over to Lincoln school for the Thursday Basketball game. I played one game, then stopped. They are all to good and I just get in there way. Awesome. So I went to play on a different court and me and some other guy took on two girls. That felt alot better. I discovered today that I have a blister on a blister. I tell no lie. A couple of plasters later and that was all fine.

After the basketball game we went to get some more tacos, this time I ate 6 - and still had room for more. I think the 10 taco challange is something that I could easily dominate. It was back to Nacho's after that for Eric to pick up his wife and then they gave me a lift home. G had gone to bed. I'm not really sure how he expected me to get in because I didnt have any keys. So I stood outside and the best I could do was ring the doorbell. Tried once. Waited a bit. No answer. Rang twice. Waited a bit. Nothing. I kept ringing the bell. The bell broke. Still nothing. The street light above me head goes out. Poeople are walking down the street towards me. Still nothing. I call Eric to see if he could call G, I didnt have his number. Neither did he. People are getting closer on the pavement. I call Oscar. Nothing. They are clever. They are asleep. Still nothing. The bell is working again! I keep ringing. Nothing. The people coming down the street have disappeared. I dont really know if thats a good thing. The street light comes back on. I keep ringing, and ringing and ringing. The bell breaks. Nothing. Then, 2 minutes later, footsteps on the extremely creaky stairs. A bleary eyed G comes to the door, slightly confused and still half asleep. Something. I go up stairs, I go to bed. Back to nothing.

So, that was my day. The end was a bit of a whimper, but most of it was a bang. I reckon I was outside his house for at least half an hour. Well, its all part of the Mexican experience right? I saw two things that made me think yesterday.

1. There are loads of men that just stand on the side of the road waiting for people to pick them up to give them a job for the day. The only thing is that they only thing every single one of the has is a spade. Now, a spade is quite a limited tool I think. Its single task is really just digging a hole. Thats pretty specific. Sure, maybe they just have the spade to knock out the employee and take his money. But I doubt it. Why dosnt one of them think to change it up a little bit? Why not take a Saw and a Spade? Now you can dig and chop. A mans perfect job. I think I should be a career adviser for these men. I have all the fresh ideas.

2. You've been to France yeah? You know how all the French people just seem to know you are foreign the second they see you and they stare, and they just dont stop until you are completely out of sight. The same thing happens over here. Except because of the numerouse moustaches the stares are a bit more fluffy. I guess, in that respect, a Mexican stare is more friendly than a French stare. I'd like to put them both into a staring contest and see how they do. That would be fun.

There is no pic of the day today because im at school and I cant upload things yet. Someday I will find out how to, but not now. I do have a song of the day - even though the day is only half through. I listened to it on the bus,

Flying My Guilt Over A Quilt by Jason Mraz

And that is it, lovely people. The library calls for my heroic actions so I will bid you farewell.

Love always,

[clarke]

Wednesday, 13 June 2007

Plans never get you anywhere.... Apart from somwhere else.

I guess im a traveler now.

On account of I am no longer at home, having travelled somewhere else. I fill out all the criteria - I smell, Im not sure which of my clothes are clean and I have no idea what people are saying to me. Sounds about right.

I wasnt too happy today - I realised that the only people I am helping is Lincoln school. At the Oasis project I wasnt really helping - I was just 'being' there. Just playing with the kids and most probably just getting in peoples way. I asked if I could help with anything, and I got the "Not right now" reply. I just felt really helpless. Like I said the only people I feel like I am helping is at Lincoln school, and I dont really like working there. Well, I do like working there - just not in the resource room...

So you basically know what I did today - Work in Lincoln school and then get the bus to the Oasis project. I think I did my fair share of buses today. A grand total of 3. Coming to another grand total of 13 pesos 50 cents. Not even 1 british pound. Not bad. I was paying 5 pounds a day just to get to Redhill every day. England is expensive! (The reason I keep writing 'pounds' is because there is no symbol on the keyboard. Racism.) Its still a bit risky me getting the bus here - I dont really know which direction im meant to be going, and so when there are two buses, each going in a different direction, to choose from, its a 50/50 gamble each time I take a bus. I guess it makes it a bit more exciting. If I loose, im lost in Mexico not able to speak any Spanish. If I win, I go where im meant to go and continue my day. They look like good odds to me. GAME ON!

Im trying to trick myself into speaking Spanish. I have turned the language on my iPod into Spanish, with this blogger website it is all in Spanish. So now I know that "Accedar" means something along the lines of 'Sign In' and from my iPod "Reposo" means sleep. The only problem came when I didnt know the Spanish for 'Language' so I wasnt able to turn my iPod back into English until I asked one of the Spanish guys. Oh the games I play!

I have just been to see Pirates of the Carrabian (spelling?) 3. I didnt really like it. With a film like that you have to expect some layer of cheese to be stacked ontop. However in this case the cheese toastie was overloaded. Sure, it made me laugh a couple of times - but I didnt really enjoy it. Oh well, it was 2 for 1 night at the cinemas. Now, on that subject Orange Wednesday can shut up! In Mexico on a Wednesday night every cinema across the country does a 2 for 1 deal. Oh how naive our little country is. But I still love, and miss, it dearly. No amount of fish and chips, and it was a fake fish and chips at that, can bring me home before that flight back from New York does so.

Plans are being arranged, and getting close to finalised, for me to go to the beach on Monday! Therefore I have booked an appointment on my return, Thursday, at a local skin doctor. The only description I gave the receptionist was 'Red raw. Imagine a lobster'. Hopefully I will be able to cancel, but I wouldnt be too hopeful. My dream, come monday, is for me to be running down a nice sandy beach (Can I add at this point that the place I will be staying is on the beach. Out the front door, across the road and you are there - destination reached.) a surfboard under my arm and enough enthusiasm to kill a sheep. I expect 30 seconds later I will be running back up the beach with one of three problems, 1. Need the toilet 2. Dived to early into the sea and now have a face full of pebbles or 3. Stood on a jellyfish, sea urchin, shark or other dangerous beach dwelling item. I have extremely low expectations of my ability to surf. But still, just saying im going surfing gives me a whole new 'dude' edge right? To counter act that I will do something unbelivable geeky, dont you worry.

Talking about plans, another weak link but look at the first line of that past paragraph, see it? The word plan is word numero uno. Link established! So, plans ... right. It looks like im going to be moving from the Suarez household tomorrow! Bit of a shock I know, you and me both! But just breath, take it easy. The thoughts running through you mind, I imagine, are something like this,

"But Phil isnt sure if there is a computer at the new house. I cant live on my life without the daily blog"

"There isnt a swimming pool at the new place - without his continued training we can cross off that definate gold medal at Londons 2012 olympics."

"What if the new guy is allergic to Corn Pops. That spells trouble for Phil"

Trust me, I have thought about all 3 and results are being formulated in the old loaf of bread. Im sure the answers will become apparant soon and things will smooth out. If not there may be blood on my hands. I said may there is a very strong chance there wont be. You cant catch me out on that.

Im going to the Mall tomorrow with the ladies that stood me up on Tuesday. Lets hope that this time they dig deep and, even if they dont think they are strong enough to take such an amazing Brit to the mall, they will guide me through the mall with power and haste. If not, I will go to my new room, sit on the bed and compose a really sad song. Ha, I dont even have a guitar, so I was lying. Sorry. Im still excited about getting that new guitar! But its a long way off. And I realised Im not going to have much of a chance to play it - the day after I get back I am going camping. Not the best atmosphere for a new guitar, so I will let it get used to my room.

I thought travelling was meant to get me stronger... Now I am afraid to switch on any light in the house. I have been shocked more times in these 3 weeks than I have in my whole life. I have to either use a stick to turn on a light, or go for the speed switch on, you know, the lunge into the switch and get your finger away as soon as possible move. I think its turning me crazy. I want the voices in my head to stop.

I noticed that someone commented on the last blog. Thank you. I tried earlier, but the computer still just freezes up when I attempt to look at them. Denying any kind of connection I could have with the beautiful UK world. Computers are mean, selfish things. Never trust one. But thank you to whomever left it, im hoping that it is along the lines of "Phil you are Amazing" but I wouldnt really know. If it is a bad comment, then you should be ashamed of yourself.

Again I dont have a pic of the day. I have not been using the camera as much as I thought I would, I think I have told you that already - I told you I was going crazy. I do have a song of the day for you:

Rodeo Clowns by G Love and Jack Johnson

Check it out. Its good. You can trust me, im not a computer.

Love always,

[clarke]

Tuesday, 12 June 2007

Whilst consulting a wise man about what I should write in this blog he gave me some advice, "Just let it flow, like a peice of melted ice cream, down a canal". I think we can all appreciate advice like that in these cold, hard times.

Well, erm. Hello! My name is Phil, this is blog number 21 and already I am stuck. Im pretty sure I have run out of things to say now - I deffinatly havnt thought of anything new recently, so the best I can do is walk you through the maze of the the map that im giving you. Sorry - that part just drifted into a Jason Mraz lyric. You will have to forgive me. What I meant to say is that you and I both loved. There it goes again. All I can do is walk you through what I have done today, hopefully it wont be too boring...

I started out the day like normal going into Lincoln school. But I didnt quite make it - Oscar invited me to the Pastors breakfast that his church hosts every month. So I went to that and helped serve him and the other pastors from the area. I ate loads of fruit and yoghurt. Enough said. Half way through Ester came with Justice, so I played with him for a while. At about midday when I had eaten way too much fruit I caught the bus to the school. It was a bit of a gamble as there was two bus stops with the bus 632 going each way. I just got on the first one that came along and hoped that it was going my way... Thankfully it was and I was able to get to Lincoln real easy.

A really boring day carried on from there - just stuck in that stupid resource room. Im really starting to get bored of it now. Sure, I may be helping the guys in there - but im meant to be having an awesome time in Mexico, right? Or does that sound really selfish. I guess it does. Sorry. Maybe I will start coming out of that and start going to help other people around the school. The girls I was going to the Mall with also came up to me and said that they cant make it to the mall today - so it looks like we are going on Thursday. I guess thats not too bad - Its just that I was glad I had something to look forward to after the boring day in that little room.

We came home and Bibi cooked fish and chips!!! For that brief 10 minute I was back in England. Sure, my family dont speak Spanish over tea, nor is it ever this hot - but still it was a nice little home comfort! After a bit I started the swimming session - which I have just come in from to write this. It was the 100's again - they are back on the agenda! 100 lengths and 100 widths later and im back. Im alone in the house now - Oscar took Stevie and Yiyo to band practice and Bibi has gone to visit a friend. If you can make it over here in the next 10 mins im planning on hosting a house party - just while they are all out. It is going to be crazy, hope you can make it!

We were playing hang-man a bit in the resource room the other day and I had to keep correcting them on the letters I said because the Spanish alphabet is said differently to us. I thought that was a bit weird and I wondered if I could make up my own style of alphabet. I kept trying to think of new letters - but it is near enough impossible. All the sounds are taken up by the other selfish letters!

Today marks half the time I have in Mexico. 3 weeks gone and 3 weeks to go. It has gone so fast! And I really havnt done much with my time... That made me pretty depressed because I havn't been outside of Guadalajara yet! I am all this way away from home and I have only seen a small part of what Mexico has to offer. Oscar realised that I havnt seen much, and so he is planning stuff for me to do. Today Oscar started arranging a trip for me Paul and Chloe (another English girl working at the school) to go down to the beach for a couple of days! It sounds awesome. The people he knows that live down there surf, so im going to try my hand at it. Now, I know that I am going to be completely rubbish at it - but im going to be going surfing soon! I cant wait! I also spoke to Paul today about going to see Mexico City after the school breaks up - so at least now I have a couple of things in the pipeline. Im going to the cinema tomorrow with Paul and Chloe - so that should be good fun. Im sure I will tell you more about that tomorrow!

Lots of people are leaving Guadalajara about the same time I am. I am talking about people that have lived here for about 4 years! Nacho, Ester and Justice are leaving and going to live in the States. Eric and Bekah (the Praggers, if you are interested - Eric is the one I play basketball with) are also leaving to return to the states. Things are all changing here and it is going to get quite busy soon! Because of this it looks like I will be moving from the Suarez household and going to stay with one of the single guys in the church. It should be good to change where im living, but im really going to miss living with these guys. Mum, I will make sure I get a phone number so that you can call me! Im not really sure what his computer situation is either, but I will do my best to get a daily post up here - even if it is a real short one!

Well, thats all I have to say today. Im really sorry that this one is a boring one - but I guess it is a bit of a Mexican update for you!

Love always,

[clarke]

Monday, 11 June 2007

Ramblification

Right as I was reading this through I was hit by a nice little power-cut! Good thing this blogspot saves itself as it goes along, otherwise you would have had to make do with no blog today. Here it is post power-cut,

Wow, blog number 20! Ladies, you should be very impressed and slightly attracted to me. Men, you should be shivering in your previously manly boots, thankful that I am a whole ocean away! Tomorrow marks half way through my time in Mexico, time has flown by so quick! The great thing is that this stage of the journey isnt even half way through my travels!

Im sitting here at 10.00 and I have no idea what to write. Usually I have some things knocking about in the old noggin, but today, nothing. I dont even have some scribbles to run off with in a linguistic manner on my little piece of paper - or the notebook for that matter. So, I shouldnt have you hopes up on an extraordinary piece of writing. Then again, I did give you quite a long one yesterday - so you can hardly complain. Well, to be honest you cant complain - im thousands of miles away - and comments, ha, well ... comments can be deleted. Result!

I went into Lincoln school today in the morning and worked all the way through till 2.00, at which time David picked me up and we went back into Guadalajara centre. I was real hungry so we grabbed a burger king (I paid for his lunch, he paid for mine last time - all is fair in the world of men.) and then we headed for the same greenhouse of a pool bar. This time one of David's friends came with him. We played so that if you win a match, you play the one that has just sat out. We played for 2 1/2 hours. I didnt leave the table once. Phil 'Undefeated' Clarke. I like it. I pulled out some nice little tricks as well! I was on fiiiiiiiiire. And I should let you know, I wasnt actually on fire - and it is no reflection on my sun burn. Im using 50+. Im a white boy.

Then we just came home again. It rained pretty hard today, so it was dangerous to swim. When it rains here in Mexico a storm is usually hand in hand, and people have been hit by lightening when swimming in there pools. I think my olympic training can wait until tomorrow, better that than dieing eh? Actually... its not. I was a sissy girl, I should have swam anyway!

Today, instead of thinking about what I think about, I thought about what other people were thinking about. What do the locals think when they see me walking down the road? Do the stereotype me to a tourist? Or are the interested that I have come here to visit Mexico - maybe they have seen me a couple of the times and I am no longer at all interesting to them. The bar maid at the pool bar was in a position so that she could watch us play - Did she think I was good at pool - or just thought I was showing off? Alot of people, when they first meet me, start talking in Spanish. Does this mean that they actually think I might be Mexican? Maybe I dont look like such a tourist after all. What about Justice, the lil baby, what does he think about all day? I think he recognises me now and sometimes smiles, I dont look that funny, do I? I wonder how his throwing arm is doing... I watched him sleeping the other day. What can he be dreaming about, if he does actually dream, as he hasnt really done anything all day.

Dreams are crazy things arnt they? I have been having some crazy ones since I have got here. In one I was chasing a bus, and then another bus was chasing me. In another I was speaking fluent Spanish to Oscar. I still havnt been able to test if I have some kind of choice in my dream - and like I said before I doubt I ever will. Who choses the dreams we have? Sometimes they have no correllation to what we have done in the day, past week or even ever. Yeah sure sometimes we dream or doing something that we have always wished to do - like flying - oh how I love the flying dreams, but they are very rare. Imagine if we could choose what we dream about! It would be like having two lives. One 'real life' where we just go about our day working and living, then the other were our wildest dreams could come true. "If you vote for me all of your wildest dreams will come true" Well, I can but dream. Well, I cant - but if I could choose, I would choose to dream that I could choose dreams. Yeah? Good.

Tomorrow I have been invited to walk around a mall with those girls from the red carpet night. Should be fun because clothes are real cheap out here. Maybe, if you are lucky, I will bring you something home. No, not you. You, there in the back. Yeah the one pointing to yourself.

As you can see I have begun to ramble and so I will bring this bad boy to a close - just two more things to sort out!

1. Song of the day is going to be Trouble by Coldplay I havnt heard it in a while and I heard it twice today - In Burger King and then again in the pool bar. I really liked it - the piano is nice. STOP BEING A GIRL PHIL. Erm, the piano would be nice with footballs, beer and cars all over it. Yeah... HuHHH.

2. Someone is going to have to update me on some things,

-Hollyoaks: What is going on at the moment? Who is pregnant, Who has died and whats the name of the new family that have moved in and has instantly been hated by another family?

-Big Brother: I heard a new one has started. Is it as bad as the others, or worse?

-Shipwrecked: Has it finished yet? Who won? What happened?

Im sorry that there hasnt been a pic of the day again today - I know ALOT of you look forward to that... Again I didnt take any photos today, nothing worth photoing (Sea I knows Englash proper.)

Love always,

[clarke]