June 21st, 1991

June 21st, 1991

Night flight from SFO – LHR

Homeward bound after a great time in San Fran, with a particularly nice crew.

Being in America made me think about living there and how I think I would fit into such a different lifestyle. The East and West Coast are like two different countries and given the choice, I’d live on the West Coast (and no, I’m not harping on about LA!) The pace is more to my liking and the people seem a lot more laid back. On the East, they seem more uptight and not as friendly but it’s not like I’ve lived in either place so I could be completely wrong.

If things work out with William, which I have to say, at the moment, doesn’t seem likely. I mean I haven’t even talked to him since I left Antigua, nor have I received anything from him in the post, so as usual I’m probably getting ahead of myself butin the event that something let’s say, transpires(ha!) then it seems with his work at the moment we’d be based on the East Coast. Hmmmm, lots to think and talk about, all of which I’ll be doing tomorrow with Pamsy.

I hope, unlike yours truly, she’s getting a good night’s sleep!

 

June 20th, 1991

June 20th, 1991

Omni Hotel, San Francisco

With the eight-hour time difference, being on the West Coast typically consists of very early mornings and not so late nights but by the time I got to bed I’d been up for 29 hours so I guess that theory’s out the window!

Consequently, I was surprised to see most of the crew in the lobby this morning, the more senior members looking somewhat bleary eyed. The first class purser, a take charge sort, had taken it upon himself to book the ferry tickets (for 19!) to Sausalito. Bloody Mary’s were the order of the day on the hour-long ferry ride and I was the only one who didn’t partake (only because I don’t like tomato juice!)

I love the different characters of crew and the various tidbits you pick up about a place from other crew experiences. Rowena led us to her favourite boutique where I passed over way too much money for a white cotton jumper I’ll probably never wear. Anton is seriously into art and took us to his favourite gallery, an art deco style building, filled with papier mache statues that cost a small fortune. “It’s only bloody paper,” Jade chirped in her cockney accent, making us laugh. From there we made our way to the restaurant on the hill, suggested by Anna, and drank Californian wine recommended by Jason.

Malcolm began telling us about Sausalito’s involvement in World War II, during which 20,000 people on each of three shifts, built a liberty vessel every 13 days! Between 1942 and 1945, a total of 93 ships were built, all in that quaint little place we spent the most enjoyable day.

Ah, the stuff we learn (and the things we buy!)

 

June 11th, 1991

June 11th, 1991

At home, England

“I really don’t think it’s a big deal,” said Pamsy on the phone. “What’s so awful about it?”

“I just don’t like it!”

“Well you can’t change it.”

“I know,” I sighed. “But-”

“But what?”

“I don’t know how my mum and dad will react.”

“I think they’ll be fine. Our parents aren’t as old fashioned as we think they are and I think as long as you’re happy, they’ll be ok with it.”

“I hope you’re right.”

“Of course I am,” she chuckled. “Besides, you’ll feel better after you discuss it with William.”

“Hopefully, but I don’t know when that’ll be. He’s on an intensive training course then right after it finishes, they’re sending him out to sea. Argh, I’m so upset.”

“Listen, I’m sorry you’re upset but try and put it in perspective. It’s not like he has five kids or something!”

I opened my mouth to speak and burst into tears.

“Oh don’t cry, everything’s going to be fine. You love him and he loves you and I’m sure, given what Scott told you, it’s been really difficult for William.”

“I know,” I sniffed, “But I just wanted-”

“Everything to be perfect?”

“Uh-huh.”

“It doesn’t work like that, Karen, you know that. Love stuff is never easy.”
“I just wish,” I croaked, “he’d told me he was married before.”

 

 

June 10th, 1991

June 10th, 1991

Flight from ANU – LHR

The flight home feels much longer than the one over, possibly due to the fact I was exhausted from more or less walking from Bangkok to London before boarding yet another flight!

I’m leaving the island with what I can only describe as disappointment and a feeling of despondency. After last night’s tiff, I sensed a change in William I didn’t like, in the way he became withdrawn and began focusing heavily on packing, fretting over all sorts of what I felt to be insignificant stuff (like checking his bag every few minutes to make sure his passport hadn’t grown legs and walked away, I mean, seriously!)

I tend to react to whatever’s in front of me so if you’re happy I’m happy and if you’re being annoying, well, you get the picture. It got to the point where I was so agitated, I went to bed, hoping William would follow because I knew the bedroom would be the perfect place to iron out the creases before he left first thing for an early flight to Boston.

However, I fell asleep and only woke up when William’s alarm shrilled. He didn’t seem at all fazed by the uncertainty of not knowing when we’ll see each other again, as witnessed by his nonchalant goodbye before he got in the taxi for the airport.

I couldn’t go back to sleep so I got up and wrote for ages, after which I felt slightly better, until Scott appeared. Over breakfast on the terrace, Scott shared something with me about William he thought I already knew. He was shocked when I told him this was the first I’d heard of it and apologized profusely, asking me to promise not to bring it up with William.

There’s no way I’ll be able to keep my mouth shut and not confront William but goodness knows when I’ll get the opportunity to do that, so until then, I’m going to think seriously about where I want our relationship to go.

 

 

June 9th, 1991

June 9th, 1991

Scott’s House, Antigua

There are people who need no excuse to celebrate and there are people who never feel the need to commemorate any type of milestone and I’m getting the impression William is the latter!

Take tonight, for instance, William’s last night on the island before he returns to the States tomorrow, after a two year secondment here.  The people he’s come to know were throwing a farewell party at our favourite nightclub (where we first met!) but an hour before we were due to leave, he said he didn’t want to go.

“Why not?” I asked, thinking he might be feeling poorly.

“I don’t want to go.”

“Are you ill?”

He shook his head.

“You can’t just not show up, unless of course you’re ill, which clearly you’re not!”

“I’m not going,” he sulked.

“That’s not fair to everyone who took the time to organize it, besides, they all want to say bye to you.”

“I don’t like that kinda thing.”

“Well,” I huffed. “It’s too late now, we have to go!”

“You can go,” he stated. “I’m not going.”

“Don’t be ridiculous, I can’t go without you.”

He looked at me as though I were speaking a different language, reminding me of Nana, who told me on more than one occasion she didn’t like crowds or being the centre of attention.

“Fair enough,” I said, not wishing to upset him further. “But you should at least call and let them know.”

“Can you do it?”

“Absolutely not!” My tone was in keeping with my level of frustration.

I don’t mind missing a party but I’ll never be the one making the call.

 

 

June 8th, 1991

June 8th, 1991

Scott’s House, Antigua

My suitcase still hasn’t appeared (lost in London?) which typically, would be a nightmare, but getting reacquainted with William hasn’t required much in the way of clothing so it’s all good!

 

June 6th, 1991

June 6th, 1991

Flight from LGW – ANU, as a passenger

Scott’s House, Antigua

In the past 28 hours, I’ve travelled over 16,000 miles; from Bangkok to London as crew, then as a passenger from London to here.

Needless to say, I’m completely zombified but ecstatic to be back on the island with William.

More tomorrow when I’m human again!

May 28th, 1991

May 28th, 1991

Night flight from PIT – IAD – LHR

Feeling the effect of four transatlantic sectors in five days, which, with the stop in Washington, makes tonight feel like it’ll never end. Fortunately, our purser allocated each of us an hour of crew rest, giving me just enough time to dunk biscuits in tea and recall some of last night’s onslaught of questions in the hotel bar (we were all too knackered to venture out.)

“Oh, what a beautiful ring, I didn’t even notice it on the flight, what stone is that?”

“Oh, your fiancé is American?”

“Where did you meet him?”

“How long have you known him?”

“What does he do?”

“Where does he live?”

“When are you getting married?”

“Where are you getting married?”

“Where are you going to live after you get married?”

“So, you’ll be giving up flying?”
“How long have you been flying?”

“If you move to the States, do you think you’ll like it?”

“Do you really see yourself living there?”

“Won’t you miss your family and friends?”

 

I’m astounded that the presence of a ring can generate so many questions!

 

May 26th, 1991

May 26th, 1991

Excelsior Hotel, Heathrow Airport

Had to dash home from the night flight to meet Sarah for bridesmaid dress shopping, which was a bit of a joke as Sarah had already pretty much decided what Suzanna and I will wear. The dress looks like robin egg blue met pale pink, got drunk and threw up all over each other. Yes, delightful! As if that isn’t bad enough, it hugs me in all the wrong places which is another way of saying I feel really fat in it.

Came back to the hotel, feeling pretty depressed at the thought of being seen in something so hideous and couldn’t wait to sleep. There were a bunch of people checking in ahead of me and I thought I might fall asleep standing up, ‘til I heard Annabel’s distinctive dulcet tones wafting in my direction.

She clocked my ring right away. “David isn’t gay after all?”

It took me a second to figure out what she was talking about before realizing she thought my ring was from David! Last November, on that dreaded day, I bumped into Annabel in the hotel lobby in Santa Monica and she really helped me get through the rest of the day. I told her there was too much to explain so we decided to go for a drink and ended up in Windsor, where Annabel wasted no time ordering a bottle of champagne. “My treat, my treat” she gushed. “So much to talk about!”

Annabel appreciated the antique aspect of my ring and asked if it had been passed down.
“Nope! I have no idea who it belonged to before, I just know I love it.”

She went on to ask more questions that mum does, about pretty much everything, which kept the conversation lively. I never get bored with Annabel and her rapid tongue, she really is great company and bumping into her was a lovely surprise.