London’s Heathrow Airport. Very early morning Greenwich Mean Time, and some unknowable hour in the middle of the Sonoma County night. Unknowable, at least according to my topsy-turvy body clock, befuddled as it is by the incongruity of angular morning light streaming violently through the window shades of UA Flight 954, and what feels distinctly like bedtime.
We actually left SFO on time, which, in the perverse calculus of commercial air travel, means we’ve landed early, which means we’re sitting on the tarmac without a gate, which means we’ll ultimately disembark late after all, at which point the gods of flight will have been appeased, and the world will once again spin on its accustomed axis. I tried to adapt to my new time zone with the assistance of some Federally controlled and polysyllabic substances, along with a contra-indicated glass of wine just to be sure, but if this morning is anything to judge by, a metric tonne of jet lag, squatting on my head like the great haunches of some pissed-off sumo wrestler, has set up residence indefinitely.
I’m here on business, which is a good thing, because it means that I’m gainfully employed for the first time in longer than I care to put in writing; but it also means that I won’t see my family for weeks at a stretch, that riding my bike means dodging lorries on the Hammersmith Bridge, and that I’ll miss the the brightly prismatic bounty of Sonoma County’s summer harvest and the finest farmer’s markets of the year. On the upside, I’ll get my fill of steak and kidney pie, cheddar from Cheddar, and dry English humor, each a credible argument in support of Great Britain’s ongoing contribution to global culture.
And so I’ve decided that the previously obscure, but – courtesy of 9/11, a global financial crisis, and the marketing power of the Internet – now ubiquitous, bit of wartime propaganda in the post title should be my rallying cry, my protest against seemingly insurmountable jet lag, and namaste to the parallel cultural universe that is Great Britain. In particular, the twilight zone of British cuisine, not least because this is, ostensibly at any rate, a food and wine blog, but also because who doesn’t love a good bit of bubble and squeak, canned corn in the tuna salad, or at least three kinds of meat for breakfast?