April 30th, 1990

April 30th, 1990

Flight from Heathrow to Amsterdam, as a passenger

Bergen, Holland

First time in Holland and it’s quite lovely.

Met Carl first thing, slightly bleary eyed from such an early start but with only an hour-long flight, we were raring to go when we touched down at Schipol, where Lorna, Mr. KLM and Daniel were waiting for us.

“Hiya honey,” Lorna said, wrapping me in a big hug.

“Thanks for the invite, so happy to be here.”

“I’m glad you made it, I wisnae sure if you’d be otherwise engaged with Ben,” she said, sticking her fingers in her mouth at the mention of Ben.
“Don’t worry, I’m keeping my distance from him.”

“Yeah, we’ll see how long that lasts,” Carl quipped.

Jumped on the train into the city, which was teeming with people. The weather was perfect for moseying around, avoiding people on bikes! It was a bit early to go for a drink so we boarded one of the glass ceilinged boats and cruised through the canal.

In the late afternoon, the five of us piled into Mr. KLM’s tiny car and an hour later we arrived at Mr. KLM’s bachelor pad of many years. Lorna made a pitcher of Margarita’s and I made sure to sip mine as we watched the sun go down. My track record with Tequila isn’t exactly stellar!

Lorna said she and Mr. KLM usually go into town on their bikes but there weren’t enough for each of us so we walked. Delicious dinner in their favourite Italian restaurant, where I thoroughly enjoyed catching up.

The lovers headed home, leaving me and the boys to our own devices. There was much bar hopping before we finished the evening in a very cool club, surrounded by lots of hunky, tall blondes!

What can I say? It wasn’t too shabby!

 

April 29th, 1990

April 29th, 1990

At home

Just got off the phone with Carl, who laughed hysterically when I told him the story of, “Frog Man.”

“That could only happen to you.”

I laughed. “It was mental, I need a rest just from the flight!”

“What’re you doing tomorrow?”

“Eh, I don’t have any plans.”

“Fancy coming to Holland with me?”

“Holland?”

“Yeah, you know, the land of clogs and tulips and people on bikes.”

“Very funny. What’s in Holland?”

“Our mate, Lorna. Remember her? Scottish girl we met on our training course? All loved up with a KLM pilot, ring any bells?”

“Stop it! Does she know you’re going?”
“Course she does, she said to invite you if you were about. Daniel’s already there.”

“Oh, that could be dangerous with you two but hey why not!”

“Brilliant, meet me tomorrow morning in terminal four, around seven.”

 

Guess I had better unpack. And pack for Holland!

 

April 28th, 1990

April 28th, 1990

Night flight from KIN – LHR

What an eventful flight this is turning out to be, with one male passenger currently restrained!

I was in the galley when the curtain slid open and a passenger I’d spoken to during boarding, appeared.

“Sorry to disturb you,” she said in a whisper, “But I think there’s something going on back there.”

“Where?” I asked.

“In one of the toilets at the back,” she said, gesturing to the rear of the aircraft.  “I’ve been waiting outside for ages.”

“Did you see anyone go in?”

“No.”

“Ok, thank you for letting me know. I’ll go and take a look.”

I made my way to the rear of the aircraft, hoping I wasn’t about to disturb some romantic (have you seen how much space is in there? Not to mention the germs, ugh!) liaison between passengers hoping to become members of the Mile High Club.

Halfway down the aisle, I stopped in my tracks, when I saw a man, about thirty or so, crouched low to the ground, hopping towards me, making a sound I can only describe as a frog, croaking.

Fortunately, Alison, our purser, was on the other side of the cabin so I dinged the closest call bell several times and gestured, “Help! Now!”

A split second later, two male passengers shot out of their seats. One stood in front of the man and with the other behind him, they practically held him in place.

The man continued to croak and Alison instructed me to inform the CSD of “The issue at hand.” I couldn’t believe how calm she was, considering the man was now not only croaking loudly but speaking incoherently.

Someone else got to the CSD before me and he, along with the Captain came tearing into the economy cabin. Passengers get really nervous when they see the Captain in the cabin, you can almost hear the unspoken hush of, “Who’s up there flying the plane!”

It seems the man smuggled drugs onboard and had been partaking of such in the toilet, hence the hallucinations but more troubling was that they found him in possession of a knife which, needless to say, was promptly removed, “from his person.” If there’s an award for “Cabin Crew Staying Calm Under Pressure,” it will surely go to Alison!

Frog man is in cuffs and when we land at Heathrow, he’ll be met by the police.

 

April 27th, 1990

April 27th, 1990

Kingston, Jamaica

Met Julia and two of the fitties first thing for a quick breakfast before Morgan, our driver for the day, showed up to whisk us off to Ocho Rios.

It was just about a two-hour drive to reach Dunn’s River Falls, through tiny towns with not much in them. Along the way, people stopped and watched as Morgan wound his way through the makeshift roads, honking the horn, waving to everyone, laughing heartily at all kinds of banter, returning the same before honking the horn again and speeding up.

The waterfalls were absolutely stunning and reaching the top felt like a major achievement. Several people commented on how “crazy” we were to attempt such a thing in bare feet but the truth of the matter was that none of us had thought to bring footwear suitable for climbing on slippery rock!

Morgan chuckled when he heard we made it all the way and suggested we stop at his cousin’s bar on the way back to, “cell a brate.” About half an hour later, we pulled up to what looked like a garden shed, but was actually the bar! With only three drinks to choose from it didn’t take us long to decide what to have and within minutes, we were surrounded by kids whose smiles were infectious. Needless to say, neither of the two fitties had any sweets on them but I don’t go anywhere without sugar (!) so between the stash Julia and I had in our bags, we left the kids very happy!

Several rum swizzles later, we piled into the car and didn’t hold back when Morgan played his Bob Marley cassette. We sang “One Love,” at the top of our lungs and each time the song ended, one of us would shout; “Play it again, Morgan!” He cracked up laughing and rewound the cassette at least two dozen times before we pulled up outside the hotel.

Ah, Jamaica…“Let’s get together and feel alright.”

 

April 26th, 1990

April 26th, 1990

Kingston, Jamaica

Just rolled in from a really fun evening over at the Wyndham hotel, where, judging by my scribble, it appears I may have had a tad too much rum in the (how many?) delicious punch cocktails, served complete with umbrellas!

Julia rang first thing to ask if I wanted to meet her at the pool.

“I don’t usually do the pool thing.”

“Why not?”

“Eh, to be perfectly honest I hate how fat I am.”

“FAT?” She screamed. “Are you kidding? You’re not FAT!”

“Ouch! Thanks for bursting my eardrum!”

“If I hear you using the F word again, I will smack you.”

I laughed. “Please don’t do that.”

“Stop being ridiculous. Get your cozzie on and meet me at the pool.”

Anytime the majority of a Boeing 747 crew show up, it gets not only busy but extremely loud, especially in this case, as the day progressed and the cocktails began to take effect!
Several of the girls (the good variety, who drank only water) tried coaxing Julia and I into going to aerobics with them but there was no way I wanted to leave the comfort of my lounge chair to be screamed at by some obnoxious aerobics instructor.

Instead of jumping around like a lunatic, I came back to my room and took a lengthy nap before meeting up with Julia again, which is when we made our way to the Wyndham to meet the fitties.

No wonder those girls are so thin, they barely ate anything tonight. I wish I could be more like that but my love of food surpasses any such possibility and to be honest, I don’t want to be the girl who moves lettuce around her plate looking utterly miserable.

Having said that, I’d kill to wear a bikini with the kind of confidence the fitties displayed around the pool today.

 

April 25th, 1990

April 25th, 1990

Flight from LHR – KIN

Kingston, Jamaica

First time in Jamaica and the hotel is right on the beach. I have the balcony doors open and the sultry air and light breeze makes it feel like I’m on holiday and not a work trip!

Fun flight here, just over ten hours, during which time I literally didn’t stop but the passengers were a lot of fun so the time flew by (ha!) My only complaint is my aching feet but what can I expect, after walking 4,665 miles!

The majority of the crew are young and female so it’ll be interesting to see what drama unfolds when the girls get bored and restless lounging by the pool, which I predict will take less than a day! I have no intention of being part of any of it and intend to keep a low profile on this trip.

Worked down the back with a lovely girl called Julia, who just got engaged to a French guy, who from her pictures, looks really handsome and a good ten years older, if not more, than Julia, who’s about my age. She’s moving to Paris next month so I told her about Jean Jacques.

“Where does he live?”

“Montmartre.”

“Oooh, that’s where we want to live but can’t afford to yet.”

“I love it there, Jean Jacques bought his flat about fifteen years ago.”

“Oh,” she grinned. “You like older men too I see.”

“Ehm, we’re more like friends actually, he’s very cool.”

“And will you be going back to Paris to see your friend?”

“At some point I imagine, yes.”

“Then we must meet up.”

Oui, we must but for now I’m going to enjoy Jamaica!

 

April 24th, 1990

April 24th, 1990

At home

Second day in a row, where I had to be up at five in order to get to Heathrow in time for SEP, which today, covered my two least favourite things; Aviation Medicine, in particular the section on childbirth. And swimming drills!

Thanks to mum and the horror story of my descent into the world, I only have to hear the word “womb,” before I start feeling queasy and dizzy. With this in mind, I wore the biggest uniform blouse I have so I could “fan myself” when the instructor started talking about what to do in the event of someone going into labour midflight.

I was doing quite well, distracting myself by looking out the window, trying not to listen but I made the grave mistake of looking at the instructor just as she uttered, “Followed by the placenta.” I felt my head spin and I knew if I didn’t put my head between my knees, I’d keel over. There was no way to do it without being noticed (obviously!) so I just bent over and took several deep breaths.

“Are you alright, Karen?” Alice, the girl sitting next to me asked, placing her hand on my shoulder.

I sat up to see the entire room staring in my direction.

“Sorry,” I stuttered. “I just felt really hot for a minute but I’m ok now.”

“Are you sure?” the instructor asked, coming towards me.

“Yeah, I’m fine, sorry about that.”

“Ok everyone,” the instructor said. “Let’s take a ten-minute break.”

“Are you sure you’re ok?” she asked. “Some water, perhaps?”

“I’ll get some, thank you.  We’re all done with childbirth, right?”

“Yes,” she smiled. “Next up is heart attacks and epileptic fits.”

Ah, anything but childbirth!

The afternoon was spent in the pool, manipulating life rafts and such, all of which I rather enjoyed once I was finally in the water, after what felt like absolute terror, heading into the pool, surrounded by what I call, “The Glamour Girls,” who each weighed at least three stone less than I do!

Horrendous drive home in ridiculous traffic. I don’t know how people do that day in and day out for years on end. I’d be so miserable if I had to commute every day.

Went to Café Moonshine with Ben tonight and while we were eating, I took a good look at him from across the table. I think he looks pretty shitty at the moment, like he needs a good holiday or a diet of only fruit and vegetables for at least a month (meow!)

Then again, perhaps he always looks that way and I just haven’t noticed before. Or maybe all the chlorine I swallowed today, trying to “save the passengers” has improved my eyesight!

 

Apri 23rd, 1990

April 23rd, 1990

At home

The alarm shrilled at five am and with only two hours of sleep I felt groggy in class (yearly Safety & Emergency Procedures) the entire day but it was my own fault for spending so much time on the phone with David when I should’ve been sleeping!

“How was Germany?” David asked.

“I didn’t get to see too much but I had a lot of fun with my friend, Stephen, who hopefully you’ll get to meet someday.”
“That’d be awesome.”

“You’ll like him, he’s a real character. What’re you up to?”

“I’m on the rooftop deck, enjoying a beer.”

“Good for you.”

“It’s pretty cool, wait, I’m moving the phone so you can hear the ocean.”

I heard rustling, followed by the sound of waves.

“Can you hear it?

“Ahhhh,” I sighed. “Sounds wonderful.”

“I love the ocean, I don’t think I could live far from it.”

“Really?”

“Well when and if you ever get here, we can sleep up here on the roof and listen to the waves all night long.”

I felt my heart do that little flutter thing. “Actually, speaking of that, ehm…”

“What?”

“Oh, nothing, I got distracted there, sorry.”

“Hey, guess what?”

“What?” I asked.

“There’s a possibility they might send me to Cologne later this year.”

“On a business trip?”

“Uh-huh, wouldn’t that be awesome? You could come and visit.”

“I’d love that and hopefully I’d see more of Cologne than I did of Dusseldorf!”

He laughed. “But for the foreseeable future, it seems I’m staying in LA.”

 

Yay! That means he’ll be there when I show up unexpectedly. Ten days from now!

 

April 22nd, 1990

April 22nd, 1990

Flight from Dusseldorf – Gatwick

At home

Woke up in Germany to a busy house, where many of the partygoers spent the night. There were plenty of “oohs,” and “ahhhs,” around the breakfast table, all due to the amazing spread Frau Adler put on. I swear she must’ve got up at the crack of dawn to prepare such a feast. I wish I could’ve thanked her in German for the lovely way she welcomed us into her home but I’ll be sure to send her flowers.

Took a long walk around the lake close to the Adler family home before heading to the airport, which is where Stephen informed me he was on twelve-hour standby!

“But we don’t even know if there’ll be space on the flight for us to get home.”

“Oh well,” he said, nonchalantly.

“Aren’t you worried they might be calling you out?”

He gestured to his face. “Do you see any concern here?”

My only response was to laugh.

The first flight leaving Dusseldorf was heavily overbooked so we had to wait three hours for the next one (I can hardly complain, my ticket only cost twenty quid!) Consequently, it was after ten pm when I finally got home.

“You just missed David on the phone,” were mum’s first words.

“Hello mum, hiya dad, how are you?”

“Fine hen,” dad said, getting up. “Did you have a nice time?”

“Great time, Macon’s birthday was fantastic. He was so happy to have Stephen there, we really had a lot of fun together.”

“Glad to hear it, wee cuppa tea?”

“Yes please,” I said, plopping down on the couch, next to mum.

“How are you, mum?”

“GreatlistenareyougoingtophoneDavidback?”

“Eh, maybe.”

“Wellyoushoulddoitnowbecuasethat’shimjustoffthephoneandhesaid…”

“Ok, ok,” I said, throwing my hands up. “Let me have a cup of tea first!”

 

It’s now almost two in the morning! Needless to say, I had an amazing chat with David but more on that tomorrow.