Boarding pass printed, let the trip begin…but not until I’ve picked a thousand plums that rain down on my writing cabin, and feed the farty badger each night. Why, I ask myself, am I leaving during harvest? Not just any harvest, bumper harvest: courgettes pushing to become marrows in a blink, green beans looking like Jack could climb them, blueberries double netted (hah, birds I don’t love you that much) and suitcase bulging. That needs revision for sure, or where will my shopping go? From my memories of Macy’s Americans do a pretty good show of stuff for short people – oh delight – and narrow feet. ( Thank you thank you for your hispanics, who know what size people should be.)
My nephew tells me that we sail this weekend to Prospect, Cape Cod. And if we go in a banana shape instead of straight, we just might spy humpback whales. How can I contain myself? Memories of a trip out to the Great Barrier Reef in Australia, hanging over the side of the boat in a storm all the way out and back, trying not to be sick on my daughter who was hanging beside me….So I have patches to put behind my ear, bands to wear on my wrists and homeopathic pills. Packing yesterday I felt quite sick. Which just goes to show how much of it is psychological. (As a child I went through different phases. Magic chocolate with the crunchy middle never worked, but for a while ice cream did the trick, and then I went through a crisps/ potato chips phase.) I think what might work on this trip is adult pride.
Got myself in a right old state about New York. Look at tourist information on the net? Wrong, wrong, wrong. With an ever growing list of things I want to do, it all seemed too vast, not to mention the expense and the queues. Then I discovered hopstop, a brilliant app that gives walking distances and times in Manhattan. No problemo. Finding that I can walk from Penn Station to the Whitney Museum in 45 minutes, and cross central park in 15 has shrunk New York down to a size that I can understand.
The insight that I am not that person who buys a pass to 10 attractions and tries to see them all and do them all in 3 days, a comfort. As long as your buildings don’t burn me up (did you hear the news in the UK today that a new glass sky scraper/high rise is melting cars parked nearby and setting fire to carpets in offices opposite) I shall be just fine. Crick in the neck I expect, hot to trot to a couple of cool bars I’ve heard of, and blissfully happy to just visit. Be there. Because when you are ‘there’ you find you are ‘here’.