Okay, so I won’t get to see U2 in Dublin in November, but I have a small compensation. Last week Daire sent us an email: Would either of us like to go to New York for free? Well, at first I thought he meant both of us, until I realised the accompanying attachment showed his accumulation of air miles allowed just one of us to fly over.

Trish said she couldn’t go because of work commitments, so why wouldn’t I head off? Once I checked Daire would be there to act as my guide, I gladly accepted. Initially I had hoped to go next week, but that didn’t work out, so two weeks from today and just days after my 62nd birthday I will touch down for four days!!

I went to New York for the first time two years ago with Trish. She had been there a couple of times before, and we did the usual touristy things, like visiting Central Park, the Rockefeller Center and St Patrick’s Cathedral, the 9/11 memorial, taking the ferry to Staten Island, shopping (a little). We dined in some nice restaurants, hired a car for a lovely Sunday in the Hamptons, and caught some of the US Tennis Open at Flushing Meadows.

This time it will be just Daire and myself, father and son. We’re hoping to visit a museum or two, browse a major bookstore, check out Brooklyn and the West Village. I’m studying my New York guide to check out what’s worth a look. And I may buy some clothes while I’m there. Daire’s tastes are a little more expensive than mine, so unless he’s paying we won’t be visiting any classy restaurants or bars.

One of the most infuriating things about New York is the tipping culture. You have to tip appropriately even if the service is lousy. I love the city, but service can be very uneven. The last time I was there I was pretty shocked that mistakes were made on food bills twice, while on another occasion a major gaffe was made when wine was served and they never adjusted the bill. Oh, and I hate sales tax being added to your bill. The price should reflect the tax. Grrr.

Anyway, I am so looking forward to the trip. If anyone has suggestions about places I should see, or bars and restaurants I should go to please get in touch.