Changing Times, Times Square

‘I think we should sell the boat,’ says Tom.
I give him a hard stare just to make sure it’s the real Tom speaking and not some alien trying to impersonate him.
‘We’re just not getting the use out of it; the weather’s been rubbish, it’s not the easiest coast to sail and you’re scared all the time – where’s the fun in that?’
All true, but sailing is Tom’s love and I’ve always accepted that. So we sit and discuss alternatives; retain the ‘playing houses’ bit that I love by trying a caravan, buying a small fishing boat in which to ‘potter’ (see ‘we’re just not... etc’ above). Anyway, since boats hang around on the market for years, the first job is to see if the boat will sell. It does. Instantly.

‘Come to the beach,’ says Tom.
I’m not sure I want to; there’s a bitter wind and I’m nice and snugly, but, hey, there’s something wrong if you can’t be bothered to go to the beach with the person you love.
‘I don’t think we should rush into buying anything,’ he tells me. ‘I think we should go to New York.’
Ah, now I know why we’re on the beach – it’s so if I start screaming about the money, I’ll only frighten dogs and seagulls.
‘You’ve put up with the boat for years, and I know you’ve always wanted to go to America.’

So after browsing last-minute deals we’re off at the end of the month – just in time for the nuddy-pants scanners at Heathrow and a thorough pat-down. Oh, and assuming the roads and airports are free of snow. Okay, it’s not a very carbon friendly thing to do, but I think I can hold my carbon footprint up with pride; we only had one car for years and years, walked wherever we could and have hardly been abroad. And I promise to make the most of every second of it and soak up every detail. Some of my research may even find itself into the next book...

Painting is 'The Old Boathouse, Poppit' by Tom Tomos


JJ Beattie said…
Oh how lovely. I'm so excited for you. I loved NY and cannot wait to go back again some day. What a lovely man.
Flowerpot said…
Oh this brings back so many memories of us selling our boat. We didnt go to America though! Sounds like a great idea for a trip, Chris. Go for it! (I thought you meant you were emigrating at first!)
Preseli Mags said…
Sorry can't comment. Far too jealous of you now. (Have the most fabulous time though! If only houses sold as fast as boats...)
Fennie said…
Really pleased for you. New York, New York! and I'm sure Frances will be very pleased to see you. I suppose you could always combine fishing (well, not really I suppose) boats and travel to America and go on the Queen Mary. Would that class as 'pottering?' You'd miss I guess at least some of the pat-downs. I've always wanted a suitcase labelled 'Not wanted on voyage.' And from a book point of view - what better place for a romantic novelist - love among the deckchairs.
Debs said…
What a wonderful trip to look forward to. I love New York and am hoping we can go there again next year.
mountainear said…
Most envious. Have a wonderful time and come back with lots to tell us. It really is the most exciting of cities - one gets such a buzz just from being there. Vicarious pleasure coming up.
Cottage Garden said…
How exciting Chris - what a nice thing for Tom to suggest. I'm sure New York will offer lots of inspiration for plot lines. Perhaps Frances will show you around her beloved city! Envious, envious!!

Jeanne x
Lane said…
What a nice man your painter is.

So exciting!
Frances said…
Chris, you know how thrilled I am that you all soon will be right here in NYC. It's going to be grand to actually meet you.

LittleBrownDog said…
Blimey, Chris - whatever's going on? Are you sure you haven't wandered onto the set for the filming of The Stepford Husbands by mistake?

Seriously, that's lovely, though. What a wonderful, spontaneous mini-adventure, with or without the pat down and the nuddy-pants scanner. You'll have a fabulous time. Don't forget to come back for publication, though. xox
Wow! That is great. You must go and see Frances. Perhaps she will take you to the same place for lunch that Peg and I went to.
I recommend the tour buses - especially the night one. We did them all and you get a good idea of the city that way. Also, don't miss out on the roof garden of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Or a play on Broadway. Oh, so much to see - how long are you going for?
ChrisH said…
JJ, oh good, I'm delighted to hear that from someone so well-travelled. (and yes!).

Fp, well, I wrestled with my conscience for a while - but I won!

Mags, from what I can see you are completely snowed in... I just hope I can get out in time to catch a plane.

Fennie, 'Love Among the Deckchairs'? Hmmmn, interesting title! I'll be v.pleased to see Frances too!

Debs, Great! Another good recommendation!

Mountainear, it keeps sounding better and better. I'm sure there'll be lots to tell.

Jeanne, I do feel very fortunate and it will be lovely to see Frances.

Lane, yes, he is indeed!

Frances - I can hardly wait (although it's probably a good thing we're not going this week given the weather here).

LBD, I truly didn't drug his food or hypnotise him when he was asleep (is that possible?). Anyway, v. excited (though not about the nuddy-pants machine and the pat-down).

Rosie - we have already booked (at my insistence) the Sex and the City tour - hurray! But I will picking your brains for other ideas!
bradan said…
Had to laugh at the first paragraph - when my uncle said he was selling his beloved boat, my aunt asked if he been taken over by aliens. And they went to NY with some of the dosh, aunt had discovered she had a cousin there.
You will have the most fantastic time Chris, how wonderful that you will meet Frances, enjoy every minute!
wonderful! wonderful! wonderful! the titanic has gone! - now get on and enjoy life without us all having to panic when you say you are off on a little jaunt to Ireland or whatever in a boat that LEAKS!!!! Have a really great time.
elizabethm said…
You are joking aren't you? It must be some kind of elaborate April Fool come early, surely? Or maybe you are just married to the most wonderful man! have a fab
Jenny Holden said…
What a lovely surprise! Have a fab time :o)
her at home said…
Sorry but are you absolutley SURE he hasnt been abducted by alies?????
ChrisH said…
Bradan, I wonder if I'll discover any of my cousins out there?! Mind you, they gradually seem to be moving to Wales.

SBS, yes, no more wild nautical trips. Phew!

Elizabeth, it's true! Now just have to hope that the snow thaws before then!

Jenny, welcome and thank you!

Hah... well, I expect we'll find out at passport control.
liz fenwick said…
Enjoy!!!! Haven't been to NYC in years.
Karen said…
How exciting, and you can definitely go with your head held high. Especially if you call it writing research :o)

Lovely painting.
Sallys Chateau said…
What a brilliant idea, think HL should read this blogspot !!
Friko said…
A trip to NY in return for selling a boat;
hope you have enough money left for a really good time.
Happy sailings!
Pondside said…
WOW! I hope you'll have a fabulous time - but really, if you're going that far, couldn't you come the rest of the way across the continent to see us in the Pacific Northwest?
HelenMHunt said…
That does sound like an exciting adventure. I visited NY years ago and loved it.
Cait O'Connor said…
Good for you. New York is a place I would want to visit even though I am such a home bird. And you can meet Frances!
ChrisH said…
Liz, just hoping we get there now!

Karen - yes, definitely research :)!

Sally, I think you win on the 'days by the pool' front though!

Friko, thank you! Good swap, eh?

Aw, Pondside - I would love to meet you.

Helen, it's really whetting my appetite that everyone has such good memories of the city.

Cait, yes, that will be great, won't it?
Liane Spicer said…
How lovely and exciting! Enjoy your trip!

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