Today the world was supposed to end. So far it hasn’t – although I AM a bit fed up… According to Christian radio broadcasters, the world was going to be consumed by earthquakes, which would start in New Zealand and work across the world – making May 21 Doomsday. Groups of believers have been handing out leaflets in New York, certainly since I got here, dressed in jaunty yellow tabards so you know they’re the official predicters of Armageddon.

MY day started with water aerobics in the roof-top pool in our apartment block. It’s led by a terrifying woman. Unlike most exercise class teachers, she is large. She is also disabled, and has to use sticks to walk, so she sits on the side of the pool and barks instructions at us. And she’s very sharp – witty - so when she arrived 10 mins late, to find her class of 10 bobbing around in the pool waiting, she said “well I thought the world was ending so you guys wouldn’t be here.” It’s quite a workout, and this time we used steps – in the water. They’re weighted, but not enough that they can’t be picked up, so they do drift across the pool floor. It seemed like a recipe for disaster, but no injuries occurred.

The next part of the day involved going to Central Park with the Queen of Manhattan. It had actually stopped raining and the sun was out. So we put on ‘summer’ clothes and took books and set off. Central Park is an amazing resource. You literally can be run over by the joggers and roller skaters. Then there are the dog walkers, the kids playgrounds, and the people like us, just stretching out to get some sun. The play areas are fenced off so dogs can’t get in, and dog play areas are fenced off so kids can’t get in (and seeing as they can pee on the woodchips maybe that’s not a bad thing!) There was one innovative children’s play area which had these large metal sculptures of hippos for the kids to climb on. Helpfully, a sign on the gate said: “Warning: Metal surfaces may heat up in the sun.” Thinking about that though, that’s probably to stop parents from suing the city if a kid gets a toasting.

The resevoir in the centre of Central Park is one of the most beautiful parts – and of course the whole park is surrounded by the most prestigious addresses.

It was all delightful, but I could not settle. So I headed back to the flat to do some skyping and some writing and to attempt to find a ‘night out’….

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