Tuesday, April 25, 2006


This is my last day at Dutchess Views. Michael Lischin invited Anya and I to a great restaurant yesterday evening, Hamilton Inn over in Millerton. Monday and we had the dinningroom mostly to ourselves so even a semi-deaf old toad could follow the conversation. Anya had taken me down to the breeding yard in the afternoon. Artax is the top stallion at Dutchess Views and rates $10,000.

Monday, April 24, 2006


People complain at the rudeness of US Customs and Immigration officials. Am I lucky? Or do people complain because they enjoy complaining and hate officialdom? I don't even complain that Aerlingus failed to give me an upgrade---despite the green shirt and Clancy Brothers sweater. Aerlingus got me to Boston on time. What more should I expect?
The immigration officer was a couple of years off retirement. He thought the trip a great project for an old man---told me not to give up, what ever, and wrote down this site and my web page so he can keep track and post encouragement. Thankyou, Sir. I need encouragement.
So where I am I now? Upstate New York at Dutchess Views Farms www.metropolitanstud.com. We Brits woud call this a stud. In the US, they talk of a horse farm. We are in the height of both breeding and foaling season so my hosts (daughter Anya and Michael Lischin ) are worked silly yet don't treat me as the nuisance I am. The farm is close to paradise and Michael is a happily-escaped lawyer resident on and owning the largest race horse breeding operation in New York rather than a Manhattan condo and going to the office in the barn rather than a law office panelled in pretension and antiqued oak.
Saturday, Anya drove me on a tour: beautiful country of hills and woods and horse paddocks, magnolias in flower, willows and lime trees sprinkled with spring green, early blossom, tangles of forsythia. We stopped off at Anya's half-sister, Alisa Kwitney, a fine writer. Till The Fat Lady Sings was an extraordinary first novel. Read it. Read everything Alisa writes. Her husband, Mark, is a fellow Brit with a Triumph bike. Hopefully he'll join me somewhere along my road and ride a stretch. I am hoping for companionship. Anyone out there wants to join me, blog for a meeting place. Meanwhile it rains and the Mexican workers on the farm and passing drivers regard me with wonder as I do what Brits do wherever they are: take long walks in the rain! Next stop is Dallas. I'm taking the train rather than fly so that I can see for myself that there is land between the East coast, California and New Orleans.