I can report back from the Gala dinner that Americans - at least the ones round here - DO like a good party.
On Friday night, we pulled up at a local country club, a mansion overlooking Long Island Sound, built by the Guggenheim family and somewhat bizarrely resembling an English manor house on the outside and an Italian palazzo within. We were there to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the local non-profit parenting centre (with which I am becoming more involved) but it felt rather more as if we were returning to the days of The Great Gatsby, whose fictional events took place in the exact same area.
Although the event was not 'black tie', everyone looked very glamorous - the men sharp-suited, the women in cocktail dresses and gowns. The wine, meanwhile, was served in large glasses and certainly flowed - and indeed, no-one seemed to be holding back, with large amounts being merrily quaffed despite the fact that one half of every couple must have been driving.
What I will say is that later on in the evening, though, everyone still seemed amiable and not too much the worse for wear. There were no blokes stumbling sweatily round the dance floor to the strains of Come On Eileen. No-one appeared to be sitting bleary-eyed in the toilets, or pouring out their hearts drunkenly to their best friend. Whether this was a consequence of most people there having small children to get back to, I am not sure, but it certainly seemed more decorous than your typical British black tie do. Still, the party was very much in full swing when we left at 11.30 to relieve our baby sitter.
Pleasantly hangover-free the next day, we've been unable to attribute the events of this weekend to alcohol-induced hallucination - because it is me, or has the news unfolding in our native land become slightly surreal?
The fallout caused by the Icelandic volcano seems extraordinary. I am feeling particularly sorry for my sister, a teacher, who is stranded in Marrakech with a class of 40 pupils following a school trip to Morocco. Now, being stranded in Morocco as a an independent traveller might be one thing - I guess you could just go on one big bazzaar shopping spree - but imagine the logistics of having to look after 40 demanding teenage girls, probably freaking out over the situation, and thinking of alternative ways to get them home? It doesn't bear thinking about and I hope fervently that she is able to make her way home soon.
What with the British media reporting that the Lib Dems might romp home in the Election, it feels as if the whole world has gone topsy-turvy with the old 'certainties' swept away.
It seems strange, sitting here at one step removed from the whole situation; as if you are watching a surreal play unfold, while sitting behind the fourth wall of a theatre, or watching some slightly unbelievable reality TV show.
Is this the classic expat detachment setting in?