Yesterday I had an itch and, for just about the first time since I moved here, Cornwall could not scratch it.
I got up early. I had heard about a gathering of dogs which was due to take place on the beach near my flat and, creeper that I am, I went along to watch. It was beautiful. The sun was rising, the sea was sparkling, and the birds were having the shittest morning of their lives being chased by at least ten dogs while a cameraman recorded it all for posterity. It could have been the height of summer, except dogs are banned from the beach then, and I was wearing three layers including a Christmas jumper.
The trouble started when I got to work. I’m a creature of habit. I have a routine in the mornings, which is finely honed to allow the maximum time for hitting snooze as well as less essential things like getting dressed. However, I veered from that by rushing to get to the beach early to stalk strangers’ pets in the sea air, so by the time I’d been at work for an hour I was starving. All I wanted in the world was a bacon sandwich.
The last two London jobs I’ve had involved unprecedented bacon proximity. As a law firm admin assistant, I would be sent out a few times a week to buy breakfast for my boss from a little Italian deli where cabbies queued out of the door and every item purchased came with a free side order of mild sexual harassment. Their bacon was fantastic. To this day I don’t know what they did to it. I used to watch them and I can only assume it was cured in crack, because they didn’t seem to do anything different to what anybody else would do.
After I left that job and moved to startup land we were based pretty much on top of High Street Kensington station, and every kind of bland chain food place you could possibly imagine. I could get from my desk to the food counter of the M&S cafe in five minutes flat. We didn’t start work until later than the average commuter so by the time we were in bacon-buying mode (basically inevitable after every team night out) they were desperate to get rid of the stuff. The same man always worked the counter, and I think he was probably trying to kill us. We’d get at least half a pig each. This one wasn’t so much about quality as it was about quantity. But quantity is really the quality we all look for in any kind of food, and anybody who disagrees is lying to themselves.
Anyway. For the past few years I was privileged when it came to bacon access. Not so much any more. My office in Cornwall may have enough travelling food options to rival a small high street, but bacon is not on the list. We get coffee, vegan lunch options, cakes, sandwiches… there’s even a pasty van pulling up in the car park on an almost daily basis. Today I truly felt the lack of greasy pig in buttered white bread. It made me sad, in a very (very, very) ‘first world problems’ kind of a way.
In totally unrelated news I’ve just come up with a great idea for a food truck. All I need is several thousand pounds in investment and a few hundred pigs. And the man from the Italian deli’s recipe.