I was caught up in the latest terror scare in the skies although I must admit I thought the security services had it all under control. What a pleasure to actually see the would-be terrorists arrested before the event took place. They were planning on blowing up nine aircraft whilst crossing the Atlantic between Britain and the Unites States, using a liquid bomb. Twenty five people were arrested and held under the terrorist laws. All hand baggage was barred from aircraft except a clear plastic bag to put in your passport, glasses, boarding cards and purse/wallet.
I understand that at least five thousand bags have gone missing from Heathrow airport baggage loading area - they are probably all sitting in a heap somewhere having had their valuable contents stolen.
I flew with Air New Zealand, who were great, loads of leg room and attention from the staff, the food was superb I felt that they put a few other airlines to shame. And they never lost my luggage.
Whilst in the USA I had arranged to meet Eric Haney an old friend and author of 'Inside Delta Force' and now producer on the number one CBS ratings show 'The Unit'. I arranged to meet him in the lobby of a Beverly Hills hotel. Imagine my surprise when I came out of the lift to find Tony Blair and George Bush shaking hands with various A-listers, along with several English Footballers, Abramovich the owner of Chelsea football club and several other stars, it was like Saturday night in China Whites night club in London. To compound matters a Middle Eastern royal family arrived, their bodyguards trying to clear a path through to reception whilst the secret service looked on from behind dark glasses. The radio chatter must have been non stop. There were ladies in full Burkas milling around with Hollywood highly polished glamour girls; the contrast could not have been more obvious.
Having found Eric we departed for the bar and he told me how much fun he was having working on his new show 'The Unit', having watched several episodes whilst in the States I can only say what a great job he is doing, the show is real and gritty - it not only shows the work that Delta Force do but also the almost impossible home lives the guys have, their wives never knowing where they are or when they will be coming home. Hopefully it will be on air in the UK next year; I promise you are in for a treat.
I have just finished reading Chris Ryan's new book 'Ultimate Weapon' due out in September, published by Century. I have to say he is back on form! The book tells the story of ex SAS soldier Nick Stone who fought in the first Gulf war and a new SAS soldier Jed who is in love with Nick's daughter, a scientist, who has been kidnapped and taken to Iraq. Both men set out to find her - the action is on and for thriller readers non stop. I have to be honest and say I cried when reading Chris's description of the torture chambers under one of Saddam's Palaces, he tells it with such passion and knowledge I finished the book with a lump in my throat.
Whilst in Hollywood I got to go on the set of a new series called 'The Ghost Whisperer' starring Jennifer Love Hewitt, and what a lovely person she is, not your usual stuck up Hollywood star, but a genuinely nice person. If you get a chance the show is now on in the UK - take a peep.
As a female who travels on my own a lot I always check out the safety and security angle at hotels, I know from the e-mails I get from business women who have to travel that they appreciate my independent reviews of hotels.
I stayed at the Beverly Hilton Hotel which has just undergone a major refurbishment, it is a Hollywood Landmark and one I would stay at again. Firstly, staff are kind, friendly and helpful; the rooms are spacious and safe. My door had two locks and a spy hole so I could see who was knocking on the door. The balcony door also had two locks and the fire escapes were well signposted and clear. In the room the hotel guide even had a section on what to do in the event of an earthquake, not something that happens everyday, but well done to Hilton for acknowledging the problem and showing guests what to do.
So I've had a busy month and hopefully will be jetting back to the states very soon, in the meantime I am making birthday cakes for a friends 50th and then taking my Godson to the Isle of Wight, where we will fly kites on a cliff top like I used to do as a kid. Not very rufty tufty but at least some pleasurable down time.
Until Next Month