May 21st, 1990

May 21st, 1990

At home

Just finished packing and my suitcase is so stuffed, mum had to sit on it while I attempted to shut it!

Spoke briefly to Harvey this morning and the owners of the flat have yet to make a decision, so unless they do so between now (half past eleven) and when I leave at seven in the morning, then I guess it’s not to be. I tried to ask Harvey what the issue is but as soon as I did, he said he had a phone call waiting and more or less hung up. I was tempted to ring him back but instead I just got mad and decided it’s not up to me to chase him down for information.

Spent a few hours with Florence tonight celebrating the end of her Nursing finals, which I know she worked really hard for. I told her I’m proud of her for sticking it out and persevering, when it would’ve been so easy for her just to pack it in and do something else. Her brother, John stopped in before heading to London, what a great character he is, he left us in absolute stitches and without a doubt has the driest sense of humour of anyone I’ve ever met.

Just tried ringing David (again!) and left a rather curt message that I wish I could go back and change but, oh well!

I could really do without leaving on a fourteen day trip right now but Laney and I requested it months ago and she’d kill me if I didn’t make it.

 

May 20th, 1990

May 20th, 1990

At home

With the prospect of having my own place,  I spent much of the day looking at furniture and came to the conclusion that I basically want everything for sale in Habitat.

No word yet from Harvey on whether the owners accepted my offer but hopefully by the time I leave for Antigua it’ll all be sorted. I’d hate to leave with that in limbo, especially since I’ll be out of touch for two weeks.

Tried ringing David but no reply so I left a message on his machine saying it’d be great to talk to him before I leave the country again!

By tonight, I felt utterly restless so mum suggested we go to the pictures, where she drooled over Richard Gere and I did the same over Andy Garcia! I think the film was called “Internal Affairs,” that’s how little attention I paid to it, but it passed the time.

Just tried David again but this time I didn’t bother leaving a message. Ugh!

 

May 19th, 1990

May 19th, 1990

At home

Very exciting day!

Went out early this morning with dad and while we were driving around, dad spotted a For Sale sign on a building he knows I’ve long admired. The agency advertising it was just around the corner so we popped in. The woman at the front desk was very intimidating looking and said I wouldn’t be able to get in to view it until Monday at the earliest, but fortunately at that moment, a young chap appeared and said if we came back in an hour, he’d walk us over.

I liked it the minute I stepped inside and saw the French doors leading from the living room out to a small patio, strewn with terra cotta pots that reminded me of the stairway at David’s place. Harvey (the estate agent) urged us to look beyond the vast array of toys practically covering every square inch of the floor in the living room, hallway and two bedrooms.

“What do you think?” Harvey asked.

“I quite like it,” I said, trying not to give too much away.

“Enough to make an offer?”

“I’m not sure, I have to think about it.”

“Don’t wait too long,” he said, sounding like an estate agent. “Something like this won’t last, especially on this street. I’ll be in the office all day if you decide to do something.”

The second Harvey was out of earshot, I asked dad what he thought.

“I like that it has that secure entrance to the building. And the parking is close so you wouldn’t have far to walk with your suitcase.”

“Hmmmm, that’s a good point. Do you think I should make an offer?”

“It’s a nice wee place but you’ve talked about getting a house.”

“I know but I can’t afford a house in this area so maybe I start with a flat and work my way up?”

Twenty minutes later, Harvey looked like the cat that got the cream when he looked up and saw us.

“So?”

“I want to make an offer.”

“Good decision,” he said, practically rubbing his hands together. “But first, we need to talk about financing.”

“I’m already approved for a mortgage,” I stated.

Careful you don’t choke on that cream, Harvey, I thought, as a smirk took over his chubby face.

So, now we play the waiting game and see where it goes. Harvey cat said if the offer gets accepted, I could be moving in, in as little as four weeks!

 

May 18th, 1990

May 18th, 1990

At home

I was in the kitchen tonight with mum and dad, looking through some brochures I picked up at a model home in Willen Park, when the phone rang.

“Just leave that,” mum said, waving her hand dismissively.

We (mum and I, not dad!) continued with the oohs and ahhhs, as we flicked through the glossy pages of nicely appointed homes, until a few minutes later when the phone rang again.
“Let me see who that is,” I said, heading into the hall. “And I’ll phone them back.”

“Hello?”

“Hey you,” said the all too familiar voice, as my heart deceived me with the little flutter movement.

“Oh, hi Ben, how are you?”

Through the glass wall mum mouthed, “Who is it?”

I mouthed back, “Ben.”

Mum turned to dad and said something that, from the movement of her head, looked disapproving.

“Great, really great.”

“How’s your training going?” I asked.

“It’s good, nice bunch and all that.”

I plopped down in the phone chair. “Excellent, it really helps, especially when the training gets harder.”

“Which I expect will be next week. Listen, I was wondering what you’re up to this weekend.”

“Ehm, this weekend like tomorrow you mean or next weekend?”

He laughed. “Tomorrow.”

The little voice in my head urged, “Don’t do it,” and for once, I listened.

“This weekend is going to be really busy for me.”

“Oh,” he said, his tone flat.

“Don’t volunteer any other information,” the little voice whispered, but this time I ignored it.

“Yeah, sorry, I’ve got a bunch of things to do and I might have a friend from BA coming to visit or maybe stay over and I also have several appointments set up to look at houses so as you can  tell, this weekend is just going to be absolutely hectic.”

The little voice said something like, “You’re lucky I don’t have legs, otherwise I’d kick you right now.”

“Phew,” Ben said, with a little whistle. “You sound really busy.”

“Yes, yes,” I stuttered. “Busy. Really, really busy. But eh, why were you asking?”

“I was thinking of coming home for the weekend. There’s not much going on around here and most of the people I’m training with head home on the weekends.”

“Oh, right. So, are you still coming back?”

Please say yes, please say yes.

“Nah, doesn’t seem much point. I’ll stick it out and come back next weekend. Will you be around then?”

“No, I won’t actually.”

 

I’ll be in Antigua.

 

May 17th, 1990

May 17th, 1990

Night flight MIA – LHR

Thanks to a fuel spillage that took ages to clean up, we finally took off almost three hours after the scheduled departure time. Needless to say, the passengers were not impressed (nor was I!) and with no power on the aircraft whilst sitting on the tarmac, it didn’t take long for the cabin to start feeling like a sauna.

The stress of that was in sharp contrast to the lovely, relaxing day I enjoyed in Miami, complete with a marathon writing session, during which, David rang.

“This is a nice surprise.”

“That was my intention, I wasn’t sure if you’d be around.”

“I went for a walk this morning but it was humid and you know how I feel about humidity.”

“Yes, I do!” he laughed. “What’re you doing?”

“Writing.”

“Oh man,” he groaned.

I laughed. “Sorry, didn’t mean to drop that on you.”

“You know I’m calling from work, don’t you?”

“Yes, but I also know you have your own office.”

He let out a hearty laugh.

“Soooo,” I purred. “As I way saying. I’m writing. A lot.”

“Stop that!”

We talked for a little while longer, before David had to get back to work and now it’s time for me to slip my shoes back on and do the same.

 

May 16th, 1990

May 16th, 1990

Flight from LHR – MIA

Hotel InterContinental, Miami, Florida

Great flight today with Bob Geldof onboard, who sounded much more Irish than he does on tv and had us in stitches in the galley. He’s no stranger to the F word, that’s for sure! His hair is wild and he has a tendency to toss it about quite a bit, so much so in fact that he almost knocked himself out when he lost his footing (mid toss!) and whacked his head on one of the metal storage containers!

When I got to my room (gorgeous hotel, right on Biscayne Bay) the message light was flashing, with a message from David saying he’d ring me at eight his time (eleven pm here.)

Because I knew I’d be talking to him, I drank only soft drinks at dinner with the crew and couldn’t wait to get back to my room. I got into bed and David rang right on the dot (he always does.)

“Are you serious?” he said, when I told him about our celebrity passenger.

“Yeah, he was really cool. Did you like the Boomtown Rats?”

“Sure, sure I did, awesome band.”

“What’s your favourite song of theirs?”
I was so hoping he wouldn’t say, “I don’t like Mondays.”

“Rat Trap,” he responded, not missing a beat.

“Oh wow, me too,” I gushed.

“You were like what, five when that came out.”
I laughed. “Not quite. I’m only a few years younger than you, you know.”

“But so much wiser,” he laughed.

“Yup,” I giggled. “You got that right.”

I don’t know what else we talked about but whatever it was I thoroughly enjoyed it and even though we’re thousands of miles apart, it’s nice to know we’re going to bed in the same country.

 

May 15th, 1990

May 15th, 1990

At home

Had the best afternoon with Jojo and baby Hannah, who I absolutely adore, which is unusual because I really don’t care much for babies but this little one is very special. Jojo is such a natural with her, I’m quite in awe of how easy she makes parenting look. I honestly can’t imagine ever being someone’s mum but I don’t think at twenty-three it’s something I need to be fretting over!

Fun phone chat to Frankie who wants us to request a trip together. She said she’s in love with a guy she met on her recent LA trip and this time it’s, “the real thing,” and she’s “deeply in love with him,” but Frankie has a tendency to go from that state of being to completely uninterested and bored in about fifteen minutes, so I’m not reading too much into it!

This time tomorrow, I’ll be in Miami!

 

May 14th, 1990

May 14th, 1990

At home

Just got home from seeing, “Pretty Woman,” with mum, some of which was filmed on Rodeo Drive, which reminded me not only of David but how much I loved LA.

“I wouldnae kick that Richard Gere out of bed,” mum said, on our way out of the cinema.

“Mum!”

“Aye well you must admit, he’s awful handsome.”

“I suppose, for an older man, he is.”

“He’s no that auld, you know.”

“He’s certainly not in my age bracket!”

Mum made a little guttural sound.

“What?”

“Och, nothing,” she smirked.

“No, not nothing, what?”

“He’s probably younger than that John John.”

“Who’s John John?”

“The wee French man.”

“Jean Jacques, mum, his name is Jean Jacques.”

“Aye well whatever his name is, Richard Gere is younger and better looking.”

 

He is, actually.

 

May 13th, 1990

May 13th, 1990

At home

Just tried ringing David but at four pm his time on a Sunday, he could be anywhere.

Arrived at LHR super early and going through customs, I didn’t dare ask Suzi what she did with the earrings! She insisted on taking my phone number but I’m learning that as much as we crew try to stay in touch, it’s almost impossible to arrange a get together unless you request a trip or get leave at the same time.

It was such a nice day that I pulled my bike out of the shed and (fueled by the new Madonna tape) rode for ages. It felt really good not only to get some exercise but to be out in the fresh (non-oppressive) air.

According to mum, Ben rang yesterday in the hopes he’d catch me before he left for his training course. I won’t deny that I felt a little pang, not only at the mention of his name, but that’s he’s gone. It’s strange to think he’s no longer just around the corner and is about to embark on a path that will no doubt change the direction of his life in the same way it’s changed mine. Maybe we’ll meet down route sometime. Now that would be interesting!

 

May 12th, 1990

May 12th, 1990

Night flight from AUH – LHR

Can’t say I’m sorry to be going home!

I thought I was dreaming this morning, when I heard male voices coming from the adjoining room, so I quickly got dressed and opened the bedroom door, only to see Suzi, perched on Leo’s lap.

Leo and Tony are two British ex-pats we (Suzi) got chatting to at the beach club yesterday and are both the sort of blokes mum would no doubt refer to as “greasy chips.”

“Morning doll face,” Suzi chirped.

Tony let out a high-pitched whistle that I ignored as Suzi continued. “I hope you don’t mind me

inviting the boys for breakfast. We already ordered, it’ll be here any minute.”

“Ello sweet ‘art,” Leo piped up from behind Suzi, as I shot her “a look,” that she responded to with a shrug of her shoulders.

What felt like hours later, after eating and talking with their mouths not only full, but open (oh how I hate that!) Mr. Suave and Mr. Sickly finally left.

“What the hell, Suzi?”

“Calm down doll, I was just being friendly.”

“I think wriggling in someone’s lap goes beyond friendly!”

“Listen doll, they’re both really homesick and we were just having a bit of fun.”

“Speak for yourself.”

Suzi busied herself piling up the plates on the room service table, then rolled it towards the door.

“Here,” I said, “Let me hold the door open.”

And push you out!

“Thanks doll,” she said, blowing a kiss. “Hey, do you want to go to the beach club?”

“No.”

“I’ll buy you lots of nice, chilled drinks and…”

“Thanks, but no thanks.”

“I’ll share my headphones and we can sing Dean Martin songs.”

I had to laugh. “Suzi, you are too much.”

“Sorry I upset you doll, you’ve been so nice to me.”

“It’s fine.”

“Thank you for letting me stay in your room.”

I shook my head.

“Really, I mean it. And I’m sorry about the boys.”

When I came out of the bathroom, Suzi was admiring her earrings in the mirror.

“Do you think I need to declare these with customs in London?”

“Well you can’t wear them home, they don’t exactly meet the requirements for uniform standards, do they?”

“If I don’t have the box I don’t have to declare them, right?”

“I really don’t know. I’m sure they’re worth a small fortune.”

“Hmmm, well maybe I’ll dump the box somewhere and smuggle the earrings in.”

“You can’t do that!”

“I’m just kidding,” she said, winking at me in the mirror. “Come on doll face,” she smiled, grabbing my arm. “Come to the beach club one more time, with your new best friend.”