A beautiful day – one of just two we’ve had since last October. Warm, clear, perfect flying weather. The good feeling lasted all the way to the airport where for some reason my name was picked by computer to be taken out of line and subjected to a detailed baggage and body search. I was confused – I had anticipated having half a jar of Bovril confiscated as Neil did last time he attempted to fly but a body search????.

Ten minutes later having called on every American but the president himself, I realised we weren’t going to fly unless we cooled down and resigned ourselves to the inevitable. I mention all this because what the body search turned out to be was a quick frisk of the kind they do when the metal detecting machine goes off as you walk through it with keys in your pocket. I thought I was about to undergo the rubber glove treatment. We were more than a little embarrassed by the misunderstanding, but after that the flight was as smooth as silk, and all was forgiven on meeting an Al Pacino look alike at US customs.

US customs usually make you feel like they are letting you in to America against their better judgement, but this one smiled and said ‘welcome’. Took a taxi to the hotel which we thought was busy for 2am, kids running around, people drinking coffee all over the place. Realised it was actually 7pm – changed the time on our watches and mobiles, and fell into a deep slumber till 3am. Then played cards till 8.