Thursday morning I took the A train from Tribeca out to JFK airport. The usual ghastliness ensued as I was forced to remove boots and deposit practically everything in a plastic tray to be X-rayed. If al qaeda have achieved anything then it is to make travel an unpleasant experience. One can only hope that if Osama Bin Laden ever sneaks into the U.S. then he will be forced to remove his sandals, beard and turban which will be duly lost along with his false passport and he will have to enter some lengthy and pointless process for recovery of lost luggage. The git.

However, once through the anti-al Qaeda barrier JFK is comparatively pleasant compared to British airports. One is not deposited in a shopping Mall as one is in the UK. On does not have to wait until 2 minutes before departure to discover one’s gate and once one gets to the gate the seating is pleasantly spacious and overlooks the aircraft which contrasts dramatically with the tomb like ambiance of the departure gates at Heathrow.

Since leaving home I have developed severe neck pain which eased off as I reached New York City to be replaced by a painful sore throat and cough. As I prepare for California I speculate on what new ailment awaits me and, if the chaffing caused by extensive walking in the heat and humidity of NYC is anything to go by, I think I know what it will be.

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