October 15th, 1989
Flight from LGW – LOS
My first time on the continent of Africa, namely, Lagos, Nigeria. Seems incredible that a mere seven hours on a plane can transport us to such an incredibly different landscape.
Seeing Lorna in the briefing room this morning was a lovely surprise.
“I didn’t see your name on the roster.”
“I was on standby with ten minutes left when crewing phoned. I thought Kimberly was kidding when she said it was BA on the phone.”
“Well I’m happy to see you,” I said.
We worked down the back together and eventually took off four hours after the scheduled departure time. All because of a generator replacement, nothing too serious!
Arriving in a new destination is exciting and I’m not jaded enough yet (unlike many crew) that I don’t still enjoy the views from the crew bus on the way to the hotel. Vast and dusty are two words I’d use to describe my initial impressions of Lagos.
Most of us met in the CSD’s room where, according to the crew, there’s not much to do here so I imagine it will be a quiet trip. After just one drink, I decided to leave the room party. Lorna said she was leaving too.
“Why don’t you come to my room, honey and we’ll order room service.”
“I’m not really in the mood, but thanks.”
“Wait a wee minute,” she said, grabbing my arm. “Come with me so you can tell me what’s upsetting you.”
“I’m fine, just tired, that’s all.”
“Aye right,” she said. “Enough of that. You’re coming with me.” She tugged on my sleeve and literally marched me to her room.
“You really a bossy cow.”
“The word you’re looking for is assertive,” she smirked.
I wasn’t hungry (for once) but Lorna insisted on ordering all sorts of goodies from room service.
“So,” she said, staring at me. “Is it that bloody Ben again?”
“No, it’s my mum.”
“Is she alright?” she asked.
“Probably not.” As soon as the words were out, I started crying.
“Och, c’mere honey,” she said, putting her arms around me. “Whatever it is just let it all out.”
When the tears stopped, I took a deep breath. “My mum suffers from depression and she’s, well, I don’t know how to explain it, she’s on her way into another one.”
“I take it this is no the first time this has happened?”
“No, she’s had it for most of her life.”
“Does she get help?”
“Sometimes,” I sniffed, “but sometimes she takes to her bed and that’s pretty much all she does, until she comes out of it.”
“How long does it usually last?”
“Days, weeks. Months even, it’s hard to tell but I know she’s falling into it again.”
“Och, the poor thing,” she sighed.
“It just makes me really sad. I always think it won’t come back and she’ll be ok but it always does.”
“I know honey, I know. It’s an awful thing for anybody to go through. You know I was a nurse before this,” she gestured around the sparse, dated looking hotel room, “life of glamour and glitz took over?”
I couldn’t help but smile. “I do know that, yes. I remember you getting the highest scores in training, when we covered Aviation Medicine.”
“What you probably don’t know, is that I specialized in psychiatry. For years that was my area of expertise.”
“I didn’t know that part.”
“Well now you do honey, so grab another wee cake and tell Auntie Lorna everything.”