1. Why did you move abroad?
Like most baby boomers from Britain … I was brought up on a diet of old Hollywood Matinee movies and I still remember my pre-teen yearnings to live in America. I’m not sure if I thought it was possible; it was just an escapism tactic from small-town rural life.
At 20 I traveled to New York to embark on a 6 week Greyhound bus adventure up and down the East Coast of the States. This was the early ‘80s, when 42nd street was still a heaving den of XXX inequity, with drug pushers in every door way, and I stayed at the nearby YMCA, but my mum’s biggest concern was that I would be enlisted into a cult (like the Moonies); shave my head; dress in white robes, never to be seen again.
I survived the Moonies, and vowed to myself I’d return to the States one day. Back home, I met and fell in love with London, and enjoyed a long, fruitful and gloriously eventful relationship with that fabulous city.
But America was always whispering over my shoulder, and I knew I needed to come back. So 7 years after my first visit, I planned a holiday to New York. I intended to stay for 6 weeks; but didn’t leave.