December 17th, 1989
Flight from LHR – SIN
Presently on crew rest which, due to the almost fourteen-hour flight time, is lengthy. Frankie is upstairs in the bunks, no doubt resting up for what I imagine will be an amazing trip. Our flight was delayed by three hours and most of the crew had been informed but I left the house too early.
Kept busy in TriStar House writing notes and reading the cards in my mail slot. Annabel’s card is one of the nicest ever, printed, of course, with a picture of “the country house,” covered in snow, looking very grand. Inside, she scribbled;
You simply must come and stay, in 1990!
Lashings of love x
Sweet looking card from Graeme, with two mice under the mistletoe, wearing Christmas hats. I rolled my eyes when I read; The best thing this year was our trip to Bermuda. Do you need my number?
“Bloody men,” I uttered.
Jon rang this morning and we chatted for ages about all sorts.
“This time last year you were in Orlando,” he reminded me.
“And this year I have to work on Christmas day.”
“Yeah, but you’ll be on the other side of the world.”
“Sorry McGarr,” he said, laughing. “You do not have my sympathy.”
“Regardless,” I chuckled. “Happy Christmas, Jon.”
“Same to you. Enjoy the festivities and ring me when you get back.”
After I hung up, I had an overwhelming desire to see Ben so I rang him. Half an hour later, he was in my car.
“Where should we go?”
“Not too far,” he said. “I have to pick Mandy up at the train station.”
Crushed doesn’t cover it. “When?” I asked.
“In just over an hour.”
We drove to Willen Lake but it was too cold to walk so we stayed in the car. Ben kept looking at his watch then without asking, he turned on the radio, after which we barely spoke. By the time I dropped him off, I felt utterly depressed and cried all the way home.
Dad gave me a questioning look and I made an excuse about the cold and how it was affecting me.
“You just missed David. He phoned about five minutes ago.”
“Did he leave a message?” I asked.
“He said to wish you a Merry Christmas but hoped you’d have time to phone him back.”
“It’s still early in LA,” I said, looking at my watch.
“Aye, he said he set his alarm to try and catch you before you left.”
Another questioning look.
“I’ll ring him after I finish packing,” I said, even though my suitcase was already packed and ready to go.
Just as I was about to leave, mum came downstairs, looking ghastly. She looked like she’d been crying and when she hugged me and said, “I’ll miss you at Christmas,” it took all I had not to cry.
Dad put my suitcase in the boot and asked if I had everything.
“I have my ID and passport. That’s all I really need.”
“Have a nice trip, hen. If you can phone at Christmas, that’d be great. I know mum would like that.”
“I’ll try, dad, but with the time change and everything…”
“Aye, I know, hen. Just enjoy yourself.”
“Thanks, dad. Happy Christmas.”
I put my brave face on and drove off waving, but as soon as I turned the corner, I burst into tears.