March 26th, 1989
Night flight from BDA – LGW
Got up early and went for breakfast with Annabel to Harley’s where we met Annie, the Club purser from our crew. We invited Annie to Horseshoe Bay and on the ferry, she sang all the way! Apparently she went to drama school and before she started flying, she appeared on several tv shows. Now she sings at weddings and plans on acting full time when she leaves BA at the end of this year.
When we got off the ferry, Annie said she wanted to show us her favourite spot on the island but it involved taking the bus. A few minutes into the bus ride, she asked the driver to stop and led us through some overgrown bushes to a hole in the fence, beyond which was the most expansive, beautiful beach I’ve ever seen. We spent a few hours there, during which Annie sang her way through several musicals!
I was in my room trying to get some rest before the night flight, when there was a knock on my door. Opened it to find Sam screaming with excitement and that was the end of any hopes of sleeping.
“Darling!” he exclaimed, kissing me on each cheek.
“What a surprise.” I was about to say, “come in,” but he was already in!
“Your room is soooo much bigger and nicer than mine. Who the hell have you been shagging?”
“Very funny. How did you know I was here?”
“First thing I do down route is check out the crew list at the hotel.”
“So you just arrived?” I asked.
“Fresh off the aircraft darling, here ‘til Thursday. The island looks ah may zing.”
“It really is, you’re going to love it.”
“Let’s get a drink by the pool.”
“I can’t drink, I’m on the flight home tonight.”
“Shit, guess it’s virgins for you.”
We reclined on lounge chairs by the pool where, from behind his shades, with only a slight movement of his head, Sam uttered, “Two o’clock.”
I scanned my eyes across the pool to a guy on a lounge chair. “What about him?”
“Would you or wouldn’t you?”
“Meow. How about nine o’clock?” he asked.
“Too flashy looking.”
“Darling, you are picky.”
“And in love.”
Sitting up, Sam sighed, “Oh sweetums, we’re not still harping on about him are we?”
“Yes we are actually.”
“Oh, oh, four o’clock.”
“Are you kidding?” I asked.
“I don’t mean for shagging, I mean check out the outfit. If she’s not careful she’ll take off in that. What is that?”
“I think it’s called a kaftan.”
“Lordy, lordy, please save us.”
A minute later, kaftan girl tripped right in front of us and was only saved from a dip in the pool by Sam’s extremely fast response to seizing as much material as his slight frame could muster.
“Are you alright?” he asked.
“Yeah I am now, fank you. I can’t even swim, I could’ve been a goner if you ‘adn’t gone and grabbed me.”
“You’re most welcome,” he said, attempting to unravel his hand from the swath of material.
“Blimey, I can’t fank you enough. It’s these bleeding shoes, I won’t be wearing them again,” she said, kicking off four inch, orange platforms.
“No problem, happy to assist,” Sam said, returning to his position on the lounge chair.
“Oh, me heart’s beating so fast, I think I’m in shock.”
Sam sat up. “Would you like a drink?”
“I fink I’d better, just to calm me nerves.”
“What can I get you?” he asked.
“Malibu and coke. Better make it a double.”
Sam gestured to the waiter, who wasted no time coming over.
“Darling?” Sam asked, winking at me, “Virgin Strawberry Daiquiri?”
“Yes please darling,” I cooed.
“Oh, aren’t you two sweet. By the way, me name’s Jade,” she said, taking the lounge chair next to Sam.
“I’m Rupert and this is my wife Clarissa.” I smiled over at Jade.
“Bootiful names for two bootiful people.”
“Are you sure you’re ok?” I asked.
She nodded her head yes. “Bleeding hell, imagine if I drowned on me honeymoon.”
“Where is your husband?” Sam asked.
“He’s at the hotel. He had some dodgy seafood last night and he’s paying for it today. Not me, I don’t eat nuffin like that.”
“Are you staying here?” I asked.
“No, we’re staying at the Princess in Southampton. I just came over on the ferry to ‘ave a look about and compare the two. They’re something else aren’t they?”
“Outstanding,” replied Sam, sounding as though he’d just graduated from Annabel’s crash course in elocution.
The waiter delivered our drinks and Jade knocked hers back. “Oh, that’s better. I might need another one of those. I still feel a bit shaky,” she said, inspecting her hands. “Are you one of them modern couples that don’t wear wedding rings no more?” she asked.
Without missing a beat, Sam said, “No, we went snorkeling earlier and didn’t want to risk losing our rings.”
“I won’t be doing any of that stuff, I’m afraid of the water.”
“There are plenty of other things to do here,” Sam offered, “especially on your honeymoon. Right darling?” he asked, brushing his hand over mine. I was tempted to take his fingers and twist them but thought better of it.
Jade continued, “I have to tell you a little secret. Me husband works for BA, you know, British Airways and we’re only ‘ere because he gets cheap tickets, one of the perks of the job and that.”
“Yes, we have friends who work for British Airways, don’t we darling?” Sam said, somehow managing to keep a straight face.
“Lots actually,” I replied.
“Well on the way ‘ere it was touch and go on whether we was getting on the flight or not, but with me husband’s seniority it all got sorted. Them cabin crew were lovely, they didn’t half make a fuss of us. We was treated like royalty.”
“Where does your husband work?” I asked.
“At Gatwick. We’re in Haywards Heath, easy for him to get to work. He don’t half work hard.”
“Does he work on the ground?” Sam asked.
“Yeah, he’s a ground engineer. Bit of a boffin, nuffing like me. That’s what I always tell him.” She let out a hearty laugh. “How long have you two been married then?”
“A very short time,” Sam said, with his biggest smile.
The waiter brought Jade’s drink and this time she put it on the table. Folding her ampleness over, onto her knees, she asked, “Are you used to calling ‘im your husband yet?”
I nodded my head yes and said, “hmmmm.”
“I can’t get used to it meself, then again it’s only been a few days. Jason says I’ll get used to it in no time. This is second time around for ‘im but I told him this is it for me.”
“Well here’s cheers to all the newlyweds,” Sam said, raising his glass.
“Cheers and fanks again. You’re a lifesaver. Jason will probably insist on coming over and shaking your hand, he’s that sort of bloke.”
“Actually we’re only here for the night,” Sam said quickly.
“Oh, wot a shame. I was thinking we could’ve all gone out for a meal together one night.”
“How long are you here?” Sam asked.
“Only ‘til Thursday night.” I watched in glee as Sam winced ever so slightly.
Jade continued, “We wanted to stay longer but, well with the price of the wedding and all that.”
“Thursday you say?” asked Sam.
“Yeah, Thursday night.”
“Here’s the thing Jade,” Sam said, gesturing for her to come in close. She scooted forward and looked up at him.
“We have a friend here who works at the airport for British Airways. He’s, how can I say it? One of the higher ups. What I’m trying to say is, I’ve heard Thursdays are a difficult day for leaving the island. Busiest day of the week apparently. I’d suggest you wait and go home a day later.”
“Oh, that don’t sound good.”
“I’d hate to see you getting stuck at the airport after your honeymoon.”
“I’ll mention it to Jason and see wot he thinks.” She put her hand on Sam’s bony knee. “Cheers for that Rupert, mum’s the word and all that. You know when I spotted you two earlier, I could just tell you’re the sort who knows people like that.”
Oh Jade, if only you knew!