Well, thankfully I have arrived back in Blighty after my marathon trek from New York to London via Chicago and, bizarrely, Indianapolis. Not surprisingly I am absolutely knackered. The futility of the journey, inasmuch as it stole two days of my life, not to mention splatching a dirty great Connelly carbon footprint into the atmosphere, was summed up when I bumped into my co-presenter Polly at passport control at Heathrow. Polly, remember, had started her journey from New York to London a full day and a half after I started mine.
Still, there’s a pretty good dinner party anecdote in that journey. If only I got invited to any dinner parties.
Endless homeward journey aside, the whole trip was an absolute pip and a dandy and a whole big bumper bunch of fun. There were lots of memorable moments, including playing two songs backed by a full bluegrass band at a festival in Cottonwood Falls, Kansas. That was an absolute blast. I also rode a horse for only the second time in my life, and fired a gun for the first time in my life. Although the bang of my first shot was so loud it caused me to jump higher than Tommy Steele in ‘Half A Sixpence’, I proved to be surprisingly adept at skeet shooting (clay pigeon to you and me). I hit no less than eight skeets in the first ten shots I’d fired in my life. I’m thinking of packing in travel writing and taking up a career as a professional assassin.
I also managed to visit two very poignant sites of tragedy, the Oklahoma Bombing memorial and Ground Zero in New York, and was frankly disappointed by the Statue of Liberty up close. There’s probably a rich irony in having to go through several security checks, being told where you can eat and drink and not being allowed to take an umbrella with you when you visit the Statue of Liberty, that’s Liberty folks, but I really can’t be bothered to delve into it.
So, having been away for much of the last month, it’s back to reality and ploughing through the final changes and corrections to the Elvis book. A full account of my American experience will appear in the next North Atlantic drifter, so if you haven’t subscribed already do so by clicking here. No salesmen will call.