I ordered my tuna sushi rolls and a glass of pinot grigio - and as I was served, I looked across a not very crowded room, and there (there was not the slightest doubt - the years had gone by, but bone structure like that never disappears) also drinking pinot grigio, and with a bloke, was Janie Jones.
Younger readers may need reminding that Janie Jones was briefly a pop singer, gave her name to a Clash song, was involved in prostitution and payola, went to prison and even more briefly befriended Myra Hindley. Thus international travel, delays and lunch vouchers, are a great equalizer - especially if you travel steerage, as Janie and I were doing.
So here I am in England, using my friend's house while he's away in France, twanging like a length of string cheese and I have just had a very unsatisfactory can of Manger's Irish Cider - "made from 17 varieties of apple" - why? - and why were they all so damn sweet?
And also a bag of pretentious potato chips (US usage) or (English usage) "Tyrell's Handcooked English Crisps Lightly Sea Salted Delicious at the Seaside." Wha? Did some poor bugger have to hold them in his hand in the boiling fat till they were cooked? Did they really have to tell me the salt was a "dusting"? Or that I should store them in a cool, dry place, "a pantry would be perfect" Are we in a PG Wodehouse novel?
So I'm sitting here in London, ready to smite an advertising copywriter, long and hard. But I know it's just my jangling jet-lagged nerves. It'll get better, right?