We met at the airport and the flight was on time. I had always had a problem with long haul flights as I just could not sleep but I had enough books to keep me occupied for the whole journey.
As with all famous places, from the cinema and television, New York seemed very familiar on the ride from the airport to Times Square. We checked into the hotel and there were two queen sized beds in the room which was on the 52nd floor.
I had taken care of my niece Claire, when she was very small, when my sister had gone back to work. The result of those early years was that we were still very close.
However that darling little girl with the curls and the beautiful green eyes had been superseded by a very business-like management consultant. When she looked at the two beds she said very firmly “Well, you two will just have to share a bed!” And neither her mother nor her aunt was prepared to disagree.
The first restaurant that we came to on our evening walk was a lobster and steak restaurant. We peered into the brightly lit window and it seemed very cheery and full of bonhomie so we went inside. Our blonde waiter showed us to our table with just a scintilla of distain and two minutes later reappeared with a paper bib which he tied round my sister’s neck.
He then went to tie one round my niece’s neck. She put her hand out like a traffic policeman and said in her most formal received pronunciation “Do not even think about it, young man”. She was all of twenty five years old.
He just shrugged and I just meekly allowed him to tie a paper bib around my neck with a word of complaint.
I had eaten lobster before, particularly in San Francisco and this specimen was a very poor relation but we all smiled and paid the bill without comment remembering to leave the right percentage tip. We got back to our bedroom which was distinctly chilly as it was very cold outside…….
Extract from The Lotus Generation by Carole Mccall