October 5th, 1989
It was pouring this morning so I stayed in bed reading the latest edition of Smash Hits (great poster of Tears for Fears, not that I put posters on my wall anymore but if I did, I’d definitely use that one.)
My mind started drifting to thoughts of Ben (a huge music lover) but fortunately those thoughts were interrupted when the phone rang. I threw on the polka dot the dressing gown Nana bought me on her last visit and went downstairs.
“Isn’t that always the way it goes,” I heard mum say, in what I call her Lady Elizabeth voice.
“Who is it?” I mouthed.
Mum shooed me away so I went into the kitchen and started making tea and toast. Through the glass wall I could see mum, laughing and talking animatedly.
Halfway through my second marmite-slathered slice of toast, mum knocked on the glass. I gave her a questioning look.
“For you,” she mouthed, pointing to the phone.
“You have got to be kidding,” I muttered, making my way into the hall.
“Well, I have to say Annabel, it’s been lovely talking to you again.” At that, mum covered the mouthpiece, “Och, I just love her voice,” she said, with a huge grin. I opened my mouth to speak but mum held up her finger in a “wait” gesture.
“And don’t forget now, Annabel,” my Mother, the esteemed Lady herself, continued, “you must come and see us sometime. Ok, here’s Karen, bye bye.”
I gave mum “a look,” as she handed the receiver to me.
“Hello poppet. Gosh, what a delightful lady your Mother is. Terribly, terribly witty. It’s a wonderful trait, you know.”
“Yes, she’s, uh, she’s something alright,” I said, making sure mum was out of earshot.
“So,” Annabel said, pronouncing it as “sew.” I recently flew with a divine chap who claims to be a good friend of yours.”
“Oh, who was that?”
“He was rather dashing, I have to say. I actually rather fancied him myself.”
“Whom are you speaking of?” I asked, suddenly sounding just as plummy as Annabel.
“In fact,” she stated, “if this chappie friend of yours hadn’t talked about you so much, I possibly might have…”
“Annabel. Just tell me who you’re talking about.”
“I think you know exactly to whom I’m referring.”
“Actually, I don’t.”
She giggled. “Well, at least have a go at guessing.”
“No, just tell me. I have no idea who it is.”
“Oh, to have so many admirers,” she said, dramatically.
“I didn’t mean it like that.”
“Go on poppet, guess, it’ll be fun.”
“Was it Carl?” I asked.
“Carl? Carl who?”
“Obviously it wasn’t Carl. Oh, was it Sam?”
“No, no, no. Do try again.”
“Please just tell me. I hate guessing games.”
“Then I shall make it more fun by giving you a clue. His name, first name, not family name, begins with G.”
“George?” I asked, even though I don’t have any friends, flying or otherwise, named George.
“No, not George. Marvelous name though, been in the family for many, many years. Try again.”
“Gregory?” I don’t know anyone called Gregory.
“Ugh!” she cried. “What a dreadful name.”
“Glen? Guy? Gavin? Garrett? Gerard?” I continued, playing with her.
“Stop! Please!” She exclaimed. “I can’t bear to hear such hideous names.”
I couldn’t help but laugh.
“Would you like one more guess?” she asked.
“No thank you.”
“You can’t give up.”
“Yes you are. You said no to one more guess.”
“Because. I. Know. The. Answer,” I said, gleefully.
“You do not!”
I laughed again. “It was Graeme wasn’t it?”
“Yes! Glorious, gregarious, Graeme. Oh, and gorgeous. Gosh, what a hoot, I feel quite giddy just thinking about him.”
“I can tell,” I said, as she made a pleasurable sound.
“You didn’t happen to see his body by any chance, did you?”
“Eh, some of it, yes,” I stuttered, feeling my cheeks flush.
“Delectable. Well, from what I saw of it, which wasn’t much on a Hong Kong.”
“Wait, you flew with Graeme on a Hong Kong?”
“Yes, a couple of weeks ago, we worked together in Club. Isn’t Hong Kong shopping ah may zing?”
She didn’t give me a chance to answer.
“He, your friend, found the most exquisite silk scarf. He has very refined taste you know.”
“Yes, I do believe he does.”
“And is it true?”
“Is what true?” I asked, feeling apprehensive about what she might ask.
“That you refuse to ring him.”
“It’s true,” I said, feeling relieved.
“Miss McGarr, you are a méchante fille.”
Yes, I am definitely a naughty girl.