May 31st, 1989

May 31st, 1989

At home

Tired tonight from last night’s night flight!

I was home early this morning and thought about going to bed for a few hours but then the phone calls started and before I knew it, dad was home from work. The three of us had dinner, after which there was much chatting, followed by more phone calls.

First person to ring this morning was Nana.

“Hello?”

“Hello hen, how are you getting on?”

“Fine thanks Nana, I just got back from Athens.”

“Oh and how was that?” she asked.
“It was great. Two of my friends were on the trip so it was nice working with people I know.”

“Aye of course, that always makes it easier. Was it warm?”

“It was scorching but we still managed to get out and about. My friend Annabel organized a private tour for us.”

“That sounds smashing, I bet you enjoyed that.”

“I really did, it was so interesting. The guys who put the tour on were great guides and showed us so much of the city. And they were very charming.”

“Uff, don’t be telling me you’re interested in Greek boys now.”

“Actually, they were English.”

“Och, I don’t know which is worse.”

I laughed. “Nana!”

“Aye, well I’m only just getting used to you having an English boyfriend.”

“Speaking of, I’m going to see Ben soon, I can’t wait.”

“Maybe you’ll meet a nice Scottish boy in Spain.”

“Actually, Ben is working in France now.”

“Och, that’s even worse, I cannae bear the thought of you with a Frenchman.”

Oh Nana!

I was still sitting in the phone chair, smirking, when the phone rang again.

“Hello?”

“McGarr. How the devil are you?”

“Really well, thanks Jon and to what do I owe this pleasure on a Wednesday afternoon?”

“I just heard The Proclaimers on the radio and, as you know, they always remind me of you.”

“Ugh,” I chuckled. “Will there ever be a time when you don’t associate me with two gawky Scottish guys?”

“Never.”

“And I thought you were my friend.”

“Always am, McGarr.”

“Yeah right.”

“So, this weekend? You coming down to see us play? Maybe we’ll do a cover version of five hundred miles just to remind you of roaming through the heather again.”

“The song is actually called I’m Gonna Be and for your information, I’ve never roamed through heather but I’m sure you have.”

“Oh, touché McGarr, nice one. Listen, if it makes you feel better, we’ll get some bagpipes and fry some haggis for you.”

I tried to contain my laughter. “I am seriously going to slap you next time I see you.”

“Promises, promises,” he sighed.

“Stop it, I’m being serious.”

He laughed. “So, this weekend?”

“Sorry, can’t.”

“That’s too bad. Where you jetting off to?”

“Spain.”

“Spain?” he asked. “Costa del where?”

“Costa del nowhere. I’m flying into Spain but staying in France.”

“McGarr, you’re making no sense but ring me when you get back.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

May 30th, 1989

May 30th, 1989

Night flight from ATH – LGW

Presently in the back row of the TriStar with my crew rest staples: a cup of Earl Grey and yummy biscuits. We left Athens when we should have been going to bed! Tonight’s flight isn’t as busy as the outbound sector was, which is good, considering the fact I got a limited amount of sleep, thanks to Annabel.

When the phone in my room shrilled and woke me up, I lazily reached for it.

“Hello?” I said, sounding as groggy as I felt.

“Afternoon Miss McGarr. Rise and shine.”

“Oh, hello Annabel,” I yawned. “What time is it?”

“Time to get up! I’m coming to your room,” she barked.

I crawled out of bed, opened the curtains and made my way, slowly, to the door.

“You look ghastly,” Annabel remarked, bounding into my room.

“Gee thanks,” I said, collapsing on the bed. I was sorely tempted to slither back under the covers but thought better of it.

“I’ve already been to see Kimberly and believe it or not, she looks even worse than you do. She simply refuses to leave her room today so we shan’t be seeing her.”

I couldn’t help but laugh. “How come you’re so full of beans?”

“I just heard from my new chap. He rang from Paris.”

“He’s French?”

“Oh good lord, no, Mummy and Daddy would disown me. No, he’s in Paris on business.”

“Do tell,” I said, plumping up the pillow behind me.

“He’s simply divine. His name is Henry and he’s desperately in love with me,” she said, tossing her hair to the side.

“How did you meet him?” I asked.

“He rows with my brother, has done for years. Speaking of, you simply must join us at Henley this year. It’s the sesquicentenary.”

“The what?”

“Miss McGarr,” she said, standing up, placing her hands on her slender hips. “Please go and splash some water on your face.”

“Annabel,” I said, heading for the bathroom, “You are, by far, the bossiest girl ever.”

“It’s the one hundred and fiftieth anniversary,” she called out.

“Of the Henley Regatta?”

“Ya. The Henley Royal Regatta.”

“I’d love to go,” I said, patting my face dry with the super soft hotel towel. Annabel appeared in the doorway.

“Then you shall. Where’s your Filofax, so I can pop some dates in it.”

“On the bedside table.”

“Now do hurry and get dressed. We’re meeting some friends of my cousin Alfie.”

“We are?”

“Uh-huh,” she uttered, scribbling furiously in my Filofax.

“To do what?”

“We’re taking a private tour of the city with two of Athens’ most eligible bachelors.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

May 28th, 1989

May 28th, 1989

Flight from LGW – ATH

Hotel Athenaeum, Athens, Greece

Started the day off in Sussex and ending it in Athens!

Spent a fun morning on the beach with Pamsy, ogling the windsurfers, all of whom we knew, including Dave the wave, who I still find rather appealing, especially when he came to say hello and loomed above me in his wetsuit!

When he went back into the water, Pamsy and I cracked up laughing.

“What has gotten into you?” she asked.

“I actually still find him quite dishy.”

“He obviously feels the same about you, that was a major flirting fest if ever I saw one.”

“Were we that bad?”

“Oh yes,” she said in one of her funny voices.

“Oops.”

“Well you did go out with him and if I remember correctly you told me he was, let’s say, talented in a certain department.”

“Stop it,” I said. “You’re making me blush.”

“You’re the one who said it.”

“I did and he was actually.”

The flight was delayed by three hours so we didn’t land until after midnight, hence the reason we never went out. Kimberly is on this trip as well as Annabel, so it should be fun. When I met Annabel in the briefing room this afternoon, the first thing she said was, “Miss McGarr, please tell me there’s no longer a chap in your life whose name begins with B.”

She will no doubt be disappointed tomorrow, when I tell her I’m off to Spain next week to see him.

Today’s flight was my least favourite to date. Not only because of the delay, which was a bit of a nightmare but as well as that, I had terrible cramps that came on halfway through the flight and got so bad I felt nauseous. It’s not as if I could go home so I took a few tablets and did my best trying to grin and bear it for the remainder of the hectic flight.

Because of the late departure our CSD, Robin, insisted on doing an extra drinks round in an attempt to try and pacify the disgruntled passengers but even plied with free booze, they remained mostly miserable. I find that if one passenger starts to complain, it’s like a wave, the passengers around them start doing the same and before you know it the entire cabin is bathed in negativity. Or maybe it just felt like that today because I was feeling miserable myself.

 

 

 

 

 

 

May 27th, 1989

May 27th, 1989

At Pamsy’s, Sussex

It’s almost one in the morning and Pamsy just fell asleep. Oh what a wild pair we are, here in Sussex on a Saturday night!

Managed to find my way here today from the girls’ flat with no problem, which for me was highly unusual. I even enjoyed the two plus hours drive and once I got past the congestion surrounding Gatwick airport I was able to relax. There’s something really uplifting about singing along to the radio on a sunny day whilst driving to see your best friend at the beach.

I was expecting to go out tonight but Pamsy’s dad started up the barbeque and we ended up staying in the garden, where we drank ridiculous amounts of tea and worked our way through a packet of chocolate digestives as well as an entire sleeve of jammie dodgers!

Much later tonight, Pamsy’s mum came into the garden.

“I’m just checking to see if you two are alright. You’ve been out here all night.”

“We’re fine thanks mum,” Pamsy said. “We’re just having a good old natter.”

Her mum smiled and passed each of us a blanket.

“Aw, thank you,” we said in unison.

“Now you can stay out longer,” she said, smiling. “Dad and I are off to bed so just make sure the lights all get shut off.”

“Will do mum, night.”

“Night you two.”

We waited until Patty was inside, before resuming our conversation.

Shaking her blanket out, Pamsy asked, “So, this Swedish bloke you snogged, what was his name?”

“Charlie,” I said, wrapping the blanket around my shoulders.

“Are you pulling my leg?”

“No,” I laughed. “His name really was Charlie.”

“Mental. So?”

“So what?” I teased.

“Tell me what happened.”

“Weeellll, first off, he was drop-dead gorgeous.”

“Goes without saying.”

“And I clocked him the second he came into the club. Actually, Melissa did too, which was a bit disheartening because she was stunning and I thought if she was interested in him then I had better back off.”

“Why?” Pamsy asked.

“Because she was absolutely ravishing, the sort of girl no guy could ever resist.”

“Eh excuse me darling but from where I sit, you’re not exactly chopped liver.”

“You’re such a sweet friend.”

“A sweet, honest friend.”

I smiled. “Anyway, he ended up on the dance floor and according to Kimberly, he made a beeline for me but of course I was so caught up dancing that I didn’t really notice at first.”

“Then what?” she asked.

“We just kind of started dancing together, which lasted for ages. And oh could he dance!”

Snuggling deeper into her blanket, Pamsy said, “You love that.”

“You know it. So we danced, then we got drinks at the bar and started chatting and I knew I should probably stop drinking but of course I didn’t.”

Pamsy rubbed her hands together. “Oh I love it, keep going.”

“We went outside to the patio area and the air felt so refreshing compared to how hot it had been during the day. We chatted for yonks then went back inside.”

“And?”

“Went straight onto the dance floor and danced for ages again.”

“I can’t stand it,” she said, sitting forward. “Just fast forward to the kiss.”

“Ok, so fast forward two hours.”

“Blimey.”

“We went outside again and found a spot on one of the big couches. We were laughing about something, I can’t remember what and I threw my head back.”

“Floozy,” she said with a chuckle.

“I know,” I said, laughing. “I closed my eyes for a split second and when I opened them, his face was right here.” I held my palm up to my face. “He had that beautiful blond silky hair I’m rather partial to and he pushed it off his face.”

“Phew.”

“Oh yeah, that gesture alone was all I needed. I touched his cheek and we smiled at each other.”

“And then you kissed,” she sighed.

“And then we kissed.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

May 26th, 1989

May 26th, 1989

Flight from LHR – CDG – LHR

At the girls’ flat, Hampton Hill

Happy to be here with Lorna and Kimberly tonight (Meryl is away on a trip so I’m sleeping in her room.) We had a great night at The Three Magpies with Carl, Daniel and Tina. I have a sneaking suspicion there’s a budding romance between Daniel and Tina, I hope so as they’re very sweet together.

A very quick flight to Paris on the TriStar this morning with Kimberly, who claims it took her three days to recover from our Cairo trip. She obviously drank way more than I did!

In the briefing room, the crew appeared unfriendly but I’m finding that’s the way it is initially, when everyone is more or less trying to suss each other out. Considering the flight time to Paris is only forty minutes, I expected the briefing to be short but there was just as much information for the CSD (Cabin Service Director) to impart as is usual on a longer sector.

Typically, by the end of the briefing, the crew seem more at ease (perhaps because the Safety & Emergency Procedure questions are out of the way and you no longer have to worry about being put on the spot.) At that point, our working positions have also been established, so we know where on the aircraft we’ll work on that particular flight/trip.

Seniority is the name of the game in flying! The most senior member of the crew gets to choose the position they want to work. From thereon, the CSD works his/her way down the list, all the way to the newbies like Kimberly and I. We established on the Cairo trip that my company ID is one digit ahead of Kimberly’s, therefore I got to pick before she did. Not that it mattered much for a flight to Paris and back but it was nice having the choice between the last two working positions, as opposed to getting what was left!

The chatter amongst the crew usually begins when we board the bus that takes us out to the stand, where the aircraft is parked. One of my favourite things is stepping off the bus and looking up at the aircraft, then climbing the steps up towards it. I still get a rush of excitement stepping onboard and seeing the rows of empty seats before they fill up.

At that point, we gather in the galley/cabin we’ll be working in and start preparing for boarding. Each working position comes with its own set of responsibilities and we have to work quickly to ensure those are taken care of before boarding can commence.

Once the boarding announcement is made, on goes the professional face and from that point on, we’re in charge of the passengers and their safety. It helps knowing your fellow crew have all gone through the same training and that if should something go awry, we’ll respond accordingly.

I think it’s amazing how we all work so well together, regardless of the vast differences in age, experiences and personality types. Working as a team at 35,000 feet in a tin can, surrounded by hundreds of strangers, each with their own needs and expectations, certainly makes the role of cabin crew very unique.

 

 

 

 

 

 

May 25th, 1989

May 25th, 1989

At home

I was in the bath this morning when I heard the phone ringing. I counted nineteen rings before it stopped, then a second later it rang again. I shot up out of the bath, threw a towel round me and dashed downstairs with sopping wet hair.

“Hello?”

“Babe,” Ben breathed.

“Ah,” I sighed. “I’m so happy it’s you. I was in the bath and had a feeling it might be you.”

“Oh God, don’t tell me that, I’m surrounded by people.”

I laughed and asked, “How are you?”

“Completely knackered and in dire need of you.”

“You poor thing. I’ll be there really soon.”

“Not soon enough babe.”

“I can’t wait to see you.”

I expected him to say the same to me but instead he said, “I wanted to let you know there’s been a few changes.”

“To what?”

“My location.”

“What do you mean?” I asked.

“I’m in France.”

“For the day?”

“No. I’ve been moved.”

“Moved? What do you mean, moved?”

“I’m working in France now.”
“Since when?”

“A few days ago.”

“You have to be kidding. I booked a flight to Spain.”

“I know but I can sort something out.”

“How?”

“I don’t know yet.”

“Ben, I’m coming to see you soon but now you’re saying you’re not even in…”

“I said I’ll sort something out.”

“Well we’re running out of time so you …”

“Calm down,” he said in a tone I despised.

“Calm down?” I shouted. “Don’t tell me to calm down.”

“I already told you I’ll sort something out, I just need a bit of time.”

I inhaled deeply then released it. “You will?”

“Yeah, leave it with me. Anyway, how was Cairo?”

My heart started racing and I felt my cheeks flush.

“It was good,” I stuttered.

“Just good?”

I touched my cheek with my fingertips. “It was really hot. You know how much I dislike extreme heat.”

“Did you enjoy any of it?” he asked.

“Uh-huh, I had fun with some of the girls.”

“Just the girls?”

“Yep, just the girls.”

 

And the gorgeous guy from Sweden.

 

 

May 24th, 1989

May 24th, 1989

At home

I rang Carl, hoping he’d be away on a trip but of course he picked up.

“Hello?”

“Hello darling, how are you?” I asked.

“Sis! You survived Cairo.”

“Barely.”

“Told you.”

“Yes you did and you were absolutely right.”

“Sorry, what was that?” he asked, trying to contain his laughter.

“You were absolutely right. It was, let’s say, eventful.”

“Did you go to the club close to the crew hotel?”

“I think so but we went to so many I lost track.”

“Who’s we?” he asked.

“Kimberly from training and a stunning girl called Melissa you’d love.”

“I would?”

“Most definitely. She was a total man magnet.”

“What does she look like?”

“Really tall with jet black hair and green eyes. Just the most stunning girl and so fun.”

“What nationality was the guy you snogged?” he asked, catching me off guard.

“How did you know?”

“Aha, caught!”

“Shit, I didn’t mean to say that. Ugh, I feel really awful and don’t know how I’m going to tell Ben.”

“You’re not seriously considering telling him are you?”

“You don’t think I should?” I asked.

“Absolutely not,” he stated.

“That doesn’t seem right.”

“You were in a club with the girls enjoying yourself. You drank too much. Some good- looking bloke asked you to dance. And at some point you ended up snogging him.”

“Shit,” I said. “Were you there?”

“So that’s what happened?”

“On the first night, yes.”

“And on the second?”

“Well, that would be telling.”

 

 

 

 

May 23rd, 1989

May 23rd, 1989

Flight from CAI – LGW

At home

Home again, after a slightly (serious understatement!) wild trip.

Thankfully, the flight time home this morning was only five hours.

What do I have to say about Cairo?

Hmmm…

It was hot.

It felt very exotic.

The nightclubs were amazing.

There was much dancing.

And drinking.

And prior to this, I had Kimberly pegged as quiet. Silly old me!

We did actually get to the pyramids in Giza. It was all a bit hazy but I distinctly remember getting ripped off by the first person we met as we approached the pyramids (which were quite amazing.)

“You ladies have been here before?” he asked, smiling.

“No,” Melissa, Kimberly and I replied, in unison.

“Good,” he said, rubbing his hands together. Had we been sober, that singular gesture

might have alerted us to continue on a few feet more, to where the camels were lined up.

“You want tour of the pyramids?”

“That would be absholootlee lovely,” Melissa slurred.

“You want slow horse, fast horse or very fast horse?” he asked.

Again, in unison, “Very fast. Please.”

Such manners, even whilst intoxicated.

“Okyoupaynow.”

We each handed over what I felt to be an exorbinent amount of money but my head was spinning from too much sun (ha!) and I thought perhaps my calculations on currency conversion was wrong.

Let’s just say there was plenty of help available to aid us onto the horses. Kimberly said she felt nervous because it was her first time on a horse. Melissa offered to let her ride with her but Kimberly said she’d be ok and thankfully she was. Of course our “very fast” horses got overtaken again and again by the other tourists who had the good sense to pay only for the “slow horses.”

Busy evening on the phone;

Stephen rang and invited me to Brighton.

Sarah rang asking if I wanted to meet for a drink tonight.

Pamsy rang, invited me to hers.

I said no to all of them.

I simply cannot leave the house until I’m fully recovered from the influence of that very bad girl called Cairo.