So the children and myself have been on the East Coast enjoyng the wonderful hospitality of my dear friend Maureen.I have always said that a good form of torture is 1 adult plus 3 (preferably under 5) children on long haul flight..you will reach depths of despair you did not know existed. The flight pain factor measured at about a 6 out of 10 and it was only 5 hours of mediocre distress from LAX to JFK. Of course I did NOT get to watch the Virgin America in flight entertainment , nor did I get to read a sentence of Middle march. My time was taken up with managing fisticuffs, squabbling and attending to demands and whinges and trying not to disturb my fellow passengers too much.I tried but alas failed. There was the inevitable tutting from all around.This flight however was a picnic compared to my epic and disasterous journey from London,s Heathrow airport to Sydney Australia in 2002 when I flew alone with my two very young children who did sleep a wink in 24 hrs.I dined out on the martydom of that flight for some time. We arrived to torrential rain in NY which my children found quite a novelty and were picked up my the marvellous Pat who drove us the Maureens beautiful house in South Hampton. The house is in a small colony about 5 miles from South Hampton village where most of the inhabitants have been coming every summer for 40 years . Children roam free around the colony and the beach is 2 minutes walk away.People drop by, children are in and out of each others houses and bikes are ridden . It s like England but warm.Maureen and I met in London when our eldest daughters were two . She went on to have 3 more kids and I lagged behind at only have 2 more.Maureen was a wonderfully generous and relaxed host and we had many years to catch up on. So with 7 children and no husbands we went sailing ,kyacking, painting , played tennis,swimming ,sat by the Atlantic. It was Idyllic We became well acquainted with the Long Island insects. Due to a record amount of rain and storms this summer the mosquitos have mutated into these super bugs which were delighted to feed upon my 3 children and myself.As well as the mozzies there were Tics that embed themselves under you skin. Grace was bitten by some tiny spider and we nearly ended up having to pay a visit to the notorious Dr Kot-known by the local women as Dr Hot due to his extreme handsomeness. Maureen gave me a tour of the various tennis and beach clubs which I was entertained to hear one was only allowed to join if you had the "right breeding" I was shocked! This is America for God sake..Is this an East coast thing? However the local community has obviously worked very hard to preserve the charm of this place. Parts of Sag Harbour looked so pretty it was like being on a film set, I am now so used to the ugliness of LA that beauty can look inauthentic. It was great being able to meander down small streets looking in shops.It felt like a great privilage to be able to see this beautiful , unspoilt part of the world.