Saturday, August 6, 2011


DEBORAH CROMBIE: I caught a snippet of an interchange between Hallie and Hank on Facebook one day last week. Hallie said, "If I won the lottery, I'd hire a chauffeur, and Hank replied, "If I won the lottery, I'd hire a chef."

That started me thinking about the fantasy of suddenly finding ourselves rich beyond our wildest imaginings, and I wondered what we would discover we REALLY wanted if it actually happened.

Of course we'd give lots of money away--pick your cause.

But then, there would be a bit left over, right? Would we hire chefs and chauffeurs, buy mansions or private jets, shop at Harvey Nick's in London? Interesting.

Twenty to thirty years ago, I might have gone for the whole cottage in an English village thing. A thatched cottage. Maybe with a stream and a mill wheel. A post office and a perfect pub.

But in the years since, I find I've fallen inextricably in love with London. The fantasy gradually changed. So, a house or flat in London, preferably, you might guess, in Notting Hill. (And believe me, that would take winning the lottery.)

But what I'm discovering is that I actually love my stays in rented flats. There is the flat in Notting Hill where I've stayed for years, with all its quirky eccentricities. It might be a bit posher if I could buy it and do it over, but it wouldn't have the same character. And when I sometimes stay in different flats, it gives me a chance to discover new places and neighborhoods, which I would miss, as I suspect would my readers.

And as for the mansion, no, not really, although I'd replace our poor sad fence, paint, add insulation (pant, pant) and spruce up the garden.

The Maserati? I have my eye on a Ford Fiesta.

And the multi-million dollar question--would I write if I didn't have to?

I can't imagine not.

What about you, Reds? If the world was your oyster, what would you do with it?

(I do have to admit that I'd consider buying that villa in Tuscany, where we could all get together for cooking and writing retreats. And maybe invite Sting over for dinner . . . )

LUCY BURDETTE: Giving a lot away would be so much fun! But then maybe a little place in Manhattan...or Paris...I can't imagine not writing. How would we fill our hours???

HALLIE EPHRON: Imagining carte blanche in the cheese department. Not looking at price tags when I shop for clothes. And a house with a spectacular sunset view and a spacious front porch. Oh, and oysters. Wellfleet oysters. Lots of them.

RHYS BOWEN: Oh yes, oysters. I usually have a small appetite, but I commented last week when we were eating oysters (horribly expensive) at a restaurant, that I'd love to see how many I could eat before I felt sick. I'd love to give away lots of money. I'd love Deb's thatched cottage. For me the best thing would be what Lee Child said to me a few years ago. "I don't do economy."

Traveling first class everywhere with a limo at either end. Bliss.

JAN BROGAN: Let's see, there's a condo in Aix-En-Provence I have my eye on. And after being smushed on the way over in seats designed for no one taller than five feet, I'm with Rhys. I don't need a first class ticket, (although it would be nice) but I do need the leg room to survive a six to seven hour flight. And on the domestic front, I've always wanted to hire a gardener.

HANK PHILLIPPI RYAN: I said that? Huh. Not a bad idea. Would he/she also clean up? Well, All I can say is, our car is ten years old. I saw a possible replacement the other day, and I said to Jonathan, what kind of a car is that? It's pretty cool. And he said--it's a Porsche Panamera.

SO, because what are you gonna do, I made a song out of it. To the tune of Guantanamera. Sing along, if you will. "Porsche Panamera! We want a Porsche Panamera. Porsche Pana-meerrrrraaaaa...we NEED a Porsche Panamera"

But, really,I wouldn't buy a car. Is there a way to arrange for--more time??

DEBS: Hank, no! Now you've got that song stuck in my head! Rhys, I'm totally in on the oysters. And on traveling first class--or hey, at least business--especially on those ten hour transatlantic flights. And, I do have to admit a guilty fondness (more than fondness) for nice hotel rooms . . . Being able to order a bottle of Dom Perignon at the champagne bar at St. Pancras Station would be pretty nice too, instead of one glass of the cheapest bubbly on offer.

But if we want to move into the realm of fantasy--and why not?--I'm going with Hank.

I want the Time Turner.

What about you, JR Readers? What would you do if you won the lottery?


  1. We've all figured it out, my husband and me what we'll do when (not if, I like being positive ;-) ) we win the lottery.
    We buy a nice big house in a quiet area in the Netherlands where we have enough room for people to come over when they need time to get away for a while and get some rest. We 'll offer them a possibility to get what they want because we'll have connections with local people like yogateachers, people Who give massages, painters to give workshops etc.
    Most of all we want everyone to enjoy life and living it!

  2. A beach cottage, with room for pets and visiting family, hmmm, maybe side by side beach cottages so family could live there too!

    A gazebo at the cottage as my writing place.

    Business class for these darned long legs.

  3. I don't need a big house, but I'd love a bigger garden - and a gardener who looks like George Clooney. And the house should have a with a water view (lake is fine) and no neighbors. And a personal assistant, who looks like Russell Crowe. And Demi Moore's dermatologist, personal trainer and hair stylist, who would all make house calls.
    This all sounds deeply shallow.. I'd also like to bring electricity to the primary school in Tanzania that my husband and I support.

  4. I'm buy a yacht, advertise in The Hollywood Reporter that I was making a movie about sailing around the world, then interview the long line of ladies. My 10-woman crew would need very specific qualifications.

  5. I want a Time Turner and a Transporter. The latter would solve the whole lack-of-leg-room-while-traveling probem! LOL

    Cathy Akers-Jordan

  6. For me, it would be a cozy cottage in the country complete with a hobby farm (chickens/goats). Then, I would purchase a winter home/cabin in Florida, so I would have the best of both worlds year-round. :)

  7. I'm still in the cottage in a small English village mode. Though my own island in the San Juans is also appealing (and closer to family).

  8. A transporter! Why didn't I think of that? But then I'd miss all that yummy airplane food . . .

    The island was high on my consideration list. But really, no takers on the Tuscan villa? Lots of rooms, big baths, an old kitchen that stays cool in the heat, a long table outside in the shade where we'd all eat wonderful local food (cheeses, Hallie) and drink lots of wine . . .

    Oh, wait, didn't I see that in a movie?

  9. Pay off the mortgage of our house and our neighbors, and buy the rental behind us. If it was a really big lottery I'd buy all the decrepit building in our town and tear them down and plant trees. Personally, I'd like someone who did windows and floors and if Emeril wanted to move in to cook I wouldn't say "no". :)

  10. A time turner--of course! How about a bigger version that would give me twenty more years in good health?

  11. Tuition looms large in all my winning-the-lottery fantasies these days. If I could send my children to any school they wanted, what would I do with the remainder?

    Buy Marcia Talley's life. Boat in Annapolis, boat and house in the Bahamas, time to travel...

  12. Of course, I would still write. Most of us don't write for the money.

    Remodel my house. Travel. I like that first class idea, although my husband would get the private plane and fly it himself. A maid.

  13. Time turner!! Yes. Or did JK think of a weekend-extender?

    And yes, first class air travel. Sigh.

  14. After bringing some dreams true for family and friends, I'd form the Just Because Foundation. When I hear a story like the one of the high school band on their way to the Rose Bowl Parade and their bus burned up with all their uniforms and instruments, I wish I had the money to make a couple of phone calls and they'd have uniforms and instruments waiting at their hotel in Pasadena. Then I'd put them on a new bus and send them on their way. Just because.

    Or the young mother who's gone back to school to finish her degree but needs a new laptop. I want to send her to the Apple store to pick out exactly what she wants. Just because.

    The news is full of stories like this and I always wish I had the money to write them an anonymous check. Just because.

  15. OH, Silver, wouldn't that be fun? Anonymously, of course.

  16. Hank, yes! That would be the absolute most fun about it! Just contacting people and saying, "This problem is fixed."

    Granted, I'd make sure family and friends were taken care of, but the older I get, the more I realize I don't need a whole lot. But to help strangers? Just because? Yeah. That's what I'd love to do. And write. I can't keep the characters from yammering in my head so I'd have to keep writing to keep them happy. LOL

  17. I used to think I always wanted a bigger house, but that was when I was raising four teenagers. Now I'm content with my house--and luxury, I do have a gardener--but I'd like a cottage in a small village in the Scottish Highlands and to be able to go back and forth first class. My children are all pretty well fixed--I'd help a couple--and then I'd give to the SPCA, cancer research, I don't know what else.
    I have a friend who told me once if I walked into my office and found $1000 on my desk, it meant he'd won the lottery, because he would go around giving money to all his friends. Nice idea.

  18. What a lovely group of readers you are--kind and generous!

    Julia, I would want Marcia Talley's life, too, if I didn't know how hard she works when she's not traveling or hangin' in the islan's, mon. What I WOULD wish for would be her energy and endurance.

    I am disappointed, however, that no one wanted to go in with me on the Tuscan villa/writing/cooking/wine drinking retreat. . . I'll just keep my lottery fantasy to myself, then:-)

  19. After just flying 9 hours in economy, I would treat myself to lst class.
    Bath,UK, captured my heart this summer - maybe not the Royal Crescent (Johnny Dep rumored to be an owner there) - but within walking distance to the Abbey & Avon.
    Winter digs on Florida's gulf coast.
    & the Oxford Experience every summer. The Arthurian Legend in Art & Literature was wonderful & so many tantalizing courses.

  20. I would have to agree with hiring a chauffeur. That is what I need right now. I do know who to drive. I definitely know how to operate a car, but I am not quite smart when it come to street signs. It's a huge scare for me to drive around the city.

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