Right about now, I feel like Stan The Man. No, I’ve not just been thrown out of a Paris bar for an attack on Ulrika Jonsson. Nor have I lashed in a thirty yard thunderbolt on my Liverpool debut. I’ve actually spent the last few hours reeling from an unexpected wave of depression that struck me like a Collymore kick to a former weathergirl’s head. In case the reference still makes no sense, the ex Nottingham Forest, Leicester and Aston Villa striker reportedly often finds himself in a similar pit of despair. Normally, I’d put this sort of thing down to the after-effects of a night on the sauce when I’d inevitably have to come to terms with having said or done something highly embarrassing. However, on this occasion, I’ve offended no one, and not so much as sniffed the barmaid’s apron so it can’t be a case of the booze blues. So why the foul mood? I can only assume that I have once again become a victim of SAD. That’s Seasonal Affective Disorder to those not in the know – a type of depression that only occurs at certain times of the year. Here in Lima, we’re in the midst of the coldest winter in fifteen years. It’s not just cold though. The sky has been painted the same shade of John Major grey for weeks now and save for the odd excursion into the mountains and above the clouds, I’ve seen less sunlight than Josef Fritzl’s basement. All this while the UK basks in searing temperatures of the kind not seen since 2006, which also happens to be the last time I spent an extended period of time away from home. All hail me, god of shite weather. Or should that be Ken Roster? As the receipt for my recent haircut indicated, Peruvians have trouble pronouncing and spelling my name. My girlfriend’s nephew also refers to me as Ken, something my own niece gleefully taunted me with the last time we spoke. “Goodbye Ken!” uttered the faraway git as we ended our Skype call.

John-Major

Lima skyline in winter

Another thing Peruvians can’t seem to grasp is the concept of a pedestrian crossing. Even after six months as a resident here, I am still bewildered as to why they even bother to paint a zebra on the roads when 99% of drivers pay no attention to them whatsoever. If the Abbey Road recording studio happened to be located in Lima and not London, John, Paul, George and Ringo would most likely be a bunch of paraplegics more commonly known as the infirm four. Still, if you’re ever feeling a bit Collymore-esque, there’s a quick and convenient way of ending it all just around the corner, quite literally. Not that I’d want to, mind. Despite the odd wave of depression, I’m still enjoying life as a vagabond and the knowledge that I’ll never intentionally set foot in Wellingborough again warms these bones made icy by the rather inclement Lima weather. I’m also enjoying England crush the Aussies in the Ashes if any of my antipodean friends happen to be reading.

I can’t actually be bothered to write this as a travel journal anymore – if the BBC do not find my material compelling enough to hire me as presenter of a revamped and rebranded Holiday (Foggaway), I give up. Actually, I’d never work for the fascist BBC. I share the same view as my new hero, Godfrey Bloom, on the subject of this so-called “national institution”:

“If you don’t pay for the BBC, regardless of whether you watch it, they will come and take away your furniture. It’s absolutely crazy, and well past its sell by date. On Christmas Eve last year, there were 24 programmes on BBC2 and 20 repeats. The controller is paid something like £400k a year. No one can convince me that you should earn that for putting on repeats of Dad’s Army, however brilliant that show is.”

If you do want to know where I’ve been lately, whack Huacachina, Cinieguilla, Paracas and Islas Ballestas into Google – you’ll find lots of proper blogs complete with nice pictures. They are all pretty interesting so if you’re an ex-colleague of mine looking for a distraction from your daily fraud activities as I often was, get researching. If it helps you sleep at night, I am also in the process of planning a trip to Buenos Aires (where I will pretend to be Canadian or another inoffensive nationality) and Montevideo.

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