I dreamt about a Scotch Egg last night. There is a small sandwich shop in Grimsby that makes the best I've ever tasted, especially if you get them still warm, straight out of the deep dat fryer. I bought it, ate it – slowly savouring the warm bread crumbs melt against the sausage meat – entered a temporary state of bliss, then woke up. If you didn't already know, I've spent the last four months working on a cruise ship in and around Brazil. It's been amazing; better than I could have imagined. Friendly officer's and crew, generous audiences, good musicians and technical staff. The Brazilians beach ports are idyllic and I've fallen in love with Buenos Aires. I keep telling everyone that I don't want it to end, but with just a few weeks to go, I've found a little stone in my shoe that won't go away. Yes, it will be great to see family and friends again, but do you know what I miss the most? Food.
I miss Marmite. On toast. Actually they do have Marmite here (I call it “my precious”) but a good piece of toast is another matter. I want a slice of crispy-browned, thickly-sliced, wholewheat bloomer dripping in butter. I'm sick of staring at mean soggy squares of anaemic carbohydrate, sapped of life after lounging under a heat lamp for 20 minutes.
I ache for a Yorkshire pudding. Gravy, roast lamb, mint sauce, parsnips, creamy mashed potatoes and a pint of London Pride on the side. Right now I'd give you my last Rolo for a spotted dick, but I don't have any Rolos, or Maltesers or Curly Wurlys.
Don't get me wrong, by and large the food on the ship is excellent (especially the sushi), and I've had some great meals in Buenos Aires: risottos, steaks, fancy pastas... but there are days I'd give my right arm for a chinese-takeaway-chicken-curry with chunky chips and free bag of prawn crackers.
Speaking of curry, I haven't had a decent rogan josh for months. Brazilians don't like spicy food and the one Indian restaurant in Buenos Aires I found seems to specialise in it's own particularly bland interpretation of Indian cuisine. I've had more spice in a tortilla chip. I want a barghi, some dhal, popadoms smeared with minty yoghurt and that red stuff I always regret afterwards.
As Sinatra sang, “It's very nice to go traveling but it's so much nicer to come home”. He missed the girls on 5th Avenue. I miss pie.