Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Gotham update

Time keeps on slipping, slipping, slipping into the future…

I’ve been back in New York for a month. Again, I broke the flight with a night’s stay in Dublin and a visit to the hair salon I use there. (In May I actually took a bag of dirty laundry to Dublin for washing when the hotel I was staying at in Paris wanted to charge me 100 euros(!) and I couldn’t find anywhere else to do it for me.) It's autumn and cold now in New York, but the days are beautiful and sunny.

It’s been a big month.

I’ve caught up with old friends, and with some newer ones made when I was here in the summer (June and July). I’ve also had an opportunity to go for a walk in Central Park with Max, my dog friend from upstairs, and Ellen. Max won’t allow me to take him to the park when it’s just him and me; he insists I take him straight to the pet store.

My running training is back on track. In a 5-mile (8 km) event yesterday I ran my fastest race pace of the year and scored a second place in my age group (out of 41 women). I also ran a half marathon in Central Park a week after I got back. My time was slow. I have just one more race (a 5K next weekend) to get guaranteed entry to next year’s New York City marathon, to make up for the one I missed last year when it was cancelled because of Hurricane Sandy. Hopefully, there won’t be any hurricanes, blizzards or other hiccups between today and Sunday, and the 2013 marathon goes off without a hitch. I know quite a few people running it this year.  I downscaled my planned Philadelphia marathon (in three weeks) to a half marathon, as I hadn’t done the necessary slow buildup when I was in Europe in August and September. There are a few of us going to Philly for one or other race and I’m looking forward to it.

I had a birthday this month, which is always nice.

I’ve taken advantage of the great cinemas, as usual, and have seen a bunch of films. Something different this time was a celebrity encounter of the 3D kind when my friend Diane and I recognised and spoke with the actor Jeff Daniels at a matinee session of “Gravity”.  My only other known sightings have been Alec Baldwin and Ferris Bueller. I mean, Matthew Broderick.

A week or so ago I was invited up to Greenwich, Connecticut, by a woman I met in Bali in February. We spoke for about 5 minutes then, and for about 5 hours last week. We spent a couple of hours kayaking on Long Island Sound and checking out waterfront houses owned by rich folks. Laurette is a designer (mainly of fabrics) and her husband Kit is a photographer. A really fun day.

With former model friend Brigitte I saw the “Queer History of Fashion” exhibition at the Fashion Institute of Technology. That seems to be our museum, as we saw the big “RetroSpective” exhibition there in the summer.

I’ve been going to a Writers meetup group on Mondays. There are thousands of meetup groups in New York. There is never any reason to feel alone here, as you could share any or all of your interests with someone! The writers group is pretty focused. Each person reads a piece of writing and gets feedback, and then gives it when others read their work. There are only five or six people, so there is time for some close analysis.

I found the feedback very useful when I read a few pages from Patrick’s and my novel in progress.

The collaborative writing process is fascinating. Patrick is 100 per cent committed to this project, as am I. We have done a ton of preparation, with nearly daily Skype sessions over the past two months developing the characters and the story line. It’s still fluid, but we basically know what’s going to happen and how to get there in our storytelling. We know our characters really well. We are also discovering that some things are being handed to us on a platter. We know what scenes we have to write, and who best to take the lead in writing each one. Then I massage it all together, look at where the gaps are that require Patrick’s input, and he supplies that text. I do another draft, then Patrick reviews that, and we slowly reduce the number of yellow highlights as we resolve the remaining issues. I’m sure that when the first draft is done, we’ll move a whole lot of stuff around again, but we are making great progress in producing an actual first draft of our book. It’s so much fun. It feels blessed. It’s a great story. And I couldn’t wish for a better partner in this project than Patrick.

Happy Halloween!


  1. Fly like an eagle, let your spirit carry you. x

  2. Everest base camp trekking 5362 mt &Everest base camp trek&kala Patthar 5445 mt
    Everest region is popular all over the world for mountaineering, peak climbing, trekking and expedition. Everest trekking is the adventurous place where you can find numerous trekking options in this region of a life time experiences to Everest Base Camp, Kalapatthar, Gokyo-Ri Trek, Gokyo Cho- La Pass Trek, Everest Panorama, and in the Everest view points to capture the stunning views of the Everest.
    The main destination of many Everest adventure is to reach Everest Base Camp of about 5430m. You can find Everest icefalls, glaciers, many other eye catching mountains parallel to your walk in the base camp hiking but it’s the great Kala Patthar at the height of 5545m from where you highly enjoy the majestic views of Mt. Everest from a few minutes ascends.
    During ascend on the high altitude mountains; be aware of Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS) which is caused due to too quickly climbing to a high elevation. The symptoms like headache, vomiting and loss of appetite are common and must be immediately informed to the guide so that he could provide you some first aid treatment and provide you the further medical facilities.

    Everest base camp Itinerary Day by days
    Day 01
    Arrival in Kathmandu (1,300m/4,264 ft)
    Day 02
    Fly to Lukla (2,800m/9,186ft) & trek to Phakding (2,652m/8,700ft), 3-4 hrs walk
    Day 03
    Trek to Namche Bazaar (3440m/11,283ft), 5-6 hrs walk
    Day 04
    Acclimatization day at Namche
    Day 05
    Trek to Tyangboche(3,867m/12684ft), 4-5 hrs walk
    Day 06
    Trek to Dingboche (4,358m/14,295 ft), 5-6 hrs walk
    Day 07
    Acclimatization day at Dingboche
    Day 08
    Trek to Lobuche (4,928m/16164 ft), 5-6 hrs walk
    Day 09
    Trek to Gorakshep (5,160m/16,929ft) & hike to Everest Base Camp (5,320m/17,450ft) 6-7 hrs walk
    Day 10
    Early hike to Kala Pathar (5550m/18,204ft) & Trek back to Pheriche 6-7 hrs walk
    Day 11
    Trek to Kyanjuma(3,500m/11,480ft), 5-6 hrs walk
    Day 12
    Trek to Khumjung to Monju (2,850m/9,348ft), 6-7 hrs walk
    Day 13
    Trek to Lukla (2,800m/9,186ft), 4-5 hrs walk
    Day 14
    Fly back to Kathmandu
    Day 15
    Departure from Kathmandu
    Trekking Cost per person =1097$USA dollar

    Cost Include :
    • All airport/hotel transfers
    • 3 night accommodations in Kathmandu
    • Welcome and farewell dinner
    • All accommodation and meals during the trek
    • All food during trek Lunch , breakfast , dinner, tea or coffee
    • Domestic flights and airport departure taxes Kathamndu-lukla-kathmandu
    • An experienced English-speaking trek leader (trekking guide), assistant trek leader (4 trekkers: 1 assistant guide) and Sherpa porters to carry luggage (2 trekkers:1 porter) including their salary, insurance, equipment, flight, food and lodging during trek
    • Down jacket, four seasonal sleeping bag and trekking map (down jacket and sleeping bag are to be returned after trip completion) it back to when finessed trekking
    • A comprehensive medical kit during the trek
    • All necessary paper work and permits (National park permit, TIMS )
    Cost Exclude:
    • Nepal Visa fee (bring accurate USD cash and two passport photographs)
    • International airfare to and from Kathmandu
    • Excess baggage charges
    • Extra night accommodation/s in Kathmandu because of early arrival, late departure, early return from the mountain(due to any reason) than the scheduled itinerary
    • Travel and rescue insurance
    • Personal expenses (phone calls, laundry, bar bills, battery recharge, extra porters, bottle or boiled water, shower etc)
    • Tips for guides and porters