Kojak makes me sad. I watch it still, but with a tinge of nostalgia that borders grief. Many, many years ago, when I was a child, I watched the same programme, but with mum, and in French, with our cat Guinness tucked up under the coffee table, and a plate of buttery Lu biscuits by my side. This was our time, this interlude between school and dinner time, a time of American TV shows badly dubbed into French. Kojak was a bit special though, because we had actually been to New York, and therefore it was a reminder of the trip of a lifetime. In the 70s going to New York was quite a big deal, and our odesy involved me flying with my mum to Iceland with Loftleider and changing from one decrepid McDonald aircraft to another in several feet of snow. Our flight to Washington was diverted and my father collected us in a huge, red car at Baltimore. We stayed in Washington for a week, and each day began with a massive American breakfast. It was a lovely holiday, a precious oasis of time away from a miserable childhood and the bullying, shaming atmosphere of school. We visited Neiman Marcus for my mum, and got a private tour of the Capitol with my dad. We visited every section of the Smithsonian, and even drove to Mount Vernon, which transfixed me with its Englishness. Then we flew to New York on a small Eastern Airlines aircraft. I remember eating peanuts and getting a small, rubber plane as a keepsake. We stayed at the massive Berkley Hotel, and took a tour of the bankrupt and rundown city in a cab. The driver drove us through derelict sections of Harlem, as well as the main sites and then the wheel collapsed and we were left to fend for ourselves. It was a brief oasis of happiness. And so when I watch Kojak, it makes me sad.