So, vacations are way the fuck better than working, huh? A simple truth, but one I intend to cling on to and flourish the next time I think I can’t afford a flight to the US. The reality is, I can’t afford not to: there are simply too many good people there. To have my bank account £500 richer, but my life immeasurably poorer, is completely the wrong way round.
- I flew into Philly, whence Queen Emily collected me and transported me back to her palace. There followed coffee, Amish sticky buns, talking, reading and the arrival of Marcy. Then there followed coffee, Amish sticky buns, talking, reading, a bit of shopping and a dreadful movie. It was perfect.
- Turned out, my divorce was finalised while I was in the States, which seemed an appropriate coincidence of timing. So this time I went out for dinner with my ex-husband. If one must have an ex-husband, mine is a good one. We talked books, politics, publishing gossip, and we did a lot of laughing. I would not ask for more than that as a graceful end to a stage of my life.
- I gate-crashed the 5th grade graduation of my favourite 5th grader and it damn near brought a tear to my eye. The only child who ever made me think, albeit briefly, ‘I might be able to handle one of those’, is Zoe. I couldn’t, of course, but I hope I get to watch her grow up, because she is a bright light in a dark world. She takes after her mother in that regard.
- In New Haven, I hung out with the wonderful JB and we talked about boys for roughly 12 hours straight. It was like being 15 again but with added gin and details. Then she insisted I watch The Daily Show, because the stand-in presenter’s accent reminded her of me. Whaddayaknow, John Oliver is from Birmingham too. Also, he has the cutest dimples, so now I’m doing the grown up equivalent of blu-tacking a poster to my bedroom wall, which is following him on Twitter.
- Those Girls Who Work Out let me join them on their morning 5k runs. Mornings. Like, 6am mornings. Without coffee. It sounds inhuman, but even in 70% humidity it was fun, and the running didn’t break me. And now I’m too scared of Tracie to stop. You think she can’t track me down over here? You know nothing of her determination. Time to unearth my Map My Run login and get planning. I think I might train for a 10k…
- My old bookclub let me come back for a guest visit, to discuss Robert Parker’s Now and Then. It is still the best book club ever, the benchmark against which others are measured and found entirely wanting. I miss those discussions more than I realised and I hat tip all you guys for being so smart, so articulate and such good company. Also, for keeping the fine tradition of Pirouette biscuits alive.
When I wasn’t doing all that, I was having lunches and dinners and a party in my honour; an afternoon lounging by the pool; naps; reading time; and lots of general hanging out with Marcy and Rob, the best hosts money can’t buy. Truly, I was spoilt rotten.