February 14th, 1989
Another nightmare commute this morning with standing room only on the train. Again. But as bad as that is, the worst part of the journey remains the walk from the tube to the training centre.
We had an exam first thing this morning, followed by firefighting drills. The smoke in the mock cabin was horrendous as we navigated our way around, on the ground, in search of the exits. I’m not claustrophobic, but that environment was a bit much even for me. Hopefully, a fire onboard is something none of us will ever experience.
Once again, Ben was on the platform waiting for me and I love how tingly I get at the mere sight of him. We wasted no time at the train station, and drove straight to Ben’s. His mum, dad and sister were out so we went upstairs to his room and exchanged Valentine’s cards, “etc.”
Back downstairs, Ben surprised me with a bottle of Obsession (the first perfume he ever bought me, when it first came out a few years ago) and the George Michael ‘Faith’ video. I made tea for us while Ben set up the video then we settled ourselves on the couch.
Unfortunately, his mum and dad came home in the middle of the ‘I Want Your Sex’ video, which itself was embarrassing but it was at the part where the girl, dressed in a corset and stockings, walks away with her back to the camera, with half her bum cheeks hanging out of her skimpy knickers.
“What the hell is this?” Ben’s dad asked.
“It’s just a video, calm down.” Ben said.
Susan came in from hanging up her coat in the hall. “ What on earth are you watching?” she asked, just as water was being splashed all over the bodies on the screen.
“It’s George Michael,” Ben said to no one in particular.
“Oh, I like him,” Susan said, sitting down on the other couch. “He’s a handsome bloke isn’t he?” she asked, looking at me.
I nodded yes and was about to reply, when Stan said, “Right, that’s enough of that. Turn it off Ben.”
“Why?” Ben asked.
“Because it’s obscene.”
“Oh Stan,” Susan sighed. “Don’t be such a prude.”
Onscreen, George Michael was using lipstick to write ‘Explore,’ on the girl’s fleshy thigh.
“Oh I say,” Susan said. “That’s a bit saucy. Maybe I should go and get my lipstick,” she said to Stan, smacking his arm.
“Mum!” Ben exclaimed.
“Susan!” Stan said, trying desperately to keep a straight face.
Susan winked at me and I stifled a giggle.
“It’s a day for celebrating love,” Susan said to Stan. “I think you forget sometimes what we were like when we were young. Now, come and sit with your wife and stop acting like an old fuddy-duddy.”
My Valentine card is tucked under my pillow and I’ll probably leave it there because I’ve already memorized every word of the lovey dovey verse Ben wrote in it.