June 10th, 1990

June 10th, 1990

At home

I was scheduled to fly to Jo’Burg tonight but crewing rang first thing to say the flight would be delayed until tomorrow (!) which, after a day of bubbles with Annabel, was music to my ears.

Used the extra day to find a new estate agent, one who actually appears to know what he’s doing.

Met with him this afternoon and he offered to show me a few houses tomorrow but I told him it’ll have to wait ‘til I return from South Africa.

There are so many positive aspects to getting paid to fly around the world, but when it comes to relationships or trying to buy a house, it’s not so good!

 

June 9th, 1990

June 9th, 1990

On the train!

I’m on the last train home (aka “The Drunk Train”) from London, after a super fun Saturday with one of the funniest (and snobbiest!) girls ever; Annabel.

One of the things I love about Annabel (and there’s so much to love about her) is the number of questions she asks and how she wants to know about everything, which some people might interpret as nosey but I like to think she’s just curious (if only because I’m the same way!)

“Miss McGarr,” she said, greeting me in the wine bar in Covent Garden where we arranged to meet.

“I see you’ve already started,” I said, gesturing to the bottle of Dom Pérignon sitting in the ice bucket.

“But of course,” she said, with a wink. “Do fill me in.”

“On what?” I said, trying to get comfortable on the too trendy wiry stool.

“Everything of course!”

I laughed. “Pick something, or someone.”

“Ben,” she said, pouring me a glass of Champagne.

“Hmmm, thank you. I had a feeling you’d start with him. He’s just about done with training at Virgin Atlantic and will be flying very soon.”

Annabel’s response was a deep throaty sound that covered an entire sentence and needed nothing more.

“Moving swiftly along,” I said, trying not to laugh.

“What about the randy little French chap?”
“Ah, Jean Jacques. I’ve talked to him a couple of times on the phone but I haven’t been back to Paris since he helped me look for a house in the countryside. I do still have a key to his flat though.”

“Montmartre, correct?”

“Yes,” I said, taking a sip of the perfectly chilled Champagne.

“Oh, good girl,” she said, clinking her glass to mine. “I shall keep that in mind.”

“You should come with me sometime when Jean Jacques away on a work trip, which is quite a lot.”

“Sounds marvelous,” she said, refilling her glass. “What about this chap you just met in Antigua?”

“Ehm, well you know I met him under a false name and identity?”

“Ya, ya,” she said, waving her hand dismissively. “Nothing that can’t be rectified.”

I shrugged my shoulders as she continued. “What? You have no desire to see him again?”

“Not really. We didn’t have much in common, I mean, don’t get me wrong, he’s a nice guy but not really my cup of tea.”

“Understood.” She put her finger to her lips. “Ooh, what about hunky chap? The one who dropped you off the first time I met you?”

“Jon?”

“Ya, gosh I have to confess, I did rather fancy him myself.”

“I’m not surprised, all the girls love Jon.”

“All except you.”

“I already went out with him. Time for someone else to have a turn,” I laughed.

“So, nothing more with him?”

I shook my head. “Just friends.”

“Have I covered everyone?”

“I don’t know, have you?” I teased.

“Who am I missing?”

“David!”

“David?”

“California dreaming. Ring any bells?”

“Oh gosh, of course, of course, the chap from LA you met on the flight!”

I nodded my head enthusiastically and drained the last of my Champagne.

“So?”

“I have a trip to LA next month, I’ll see him then.”

“I say Miss McGarr!”

“What?”

“You’re blushing. Which tells me you really like him.”

 

June 8th, 1990

June 8th, 1990

At home

Spent the afternoon with Sarah, who demanded a full run down on the Antigua trip.

“You need to stay away from the Americans and get yourself a proper, English boyfriend,” she uttered, more than once.

“I tried that already,” I sighed. “Didn’t work.”
“I’d hardly call Ben proper.”

“That’s true.”

“Have you heard from him?”

“My dad said he rang while I was away but he didn’t leave his number.”

“Is he flying yet?”

“No, not yet, he’s still on his training course but he’ll be done soon.”

“Imagine if you end up in the same place at the same time!”

“Now that’d be interesting.”

“What would you do?”

“I honestly don’t know.”

 

June 7th, 1990

June 7th, 1990

At home

Picked mum up at LHR this morning and I swear I could make that drive with my eyes shut (not recommended!) I could tell right away that mum’s visit to Scotland to see Granda had taken a toll on her, poor thing, she’s really upset. Apparently Granda has lost a lot of weight and is very confused.

Mum said she was exhausted and went to bed so I took Tini for a lovely long walk then I made a pot of tea and spent most of the afternoon on the phone.

Carl – Can’t believe it’s been so long since we last chatted. Told him about showing up unannounced on David’s doorstep (was that really only last month?) in LA, when he thought the letter I’d written was to tell him I’m pregnant. After Carl stopped laughing, he said, “You’re not in the pudding club, are you?” Eh, no! I filled him in on the Antigua trip which he suggested we request together.
“Sorry, I can’t go back there.”

“Why not?”

“I met a guy who’s stationed there under false pretenses.”

Carl laughed. “Did you tell him you’re quiet and innocent?”

“No, cheeky, I did not.”

“What’d you tell him then?”

“That my name is Madison Frazer and…”

Carl was laughing so hard I had to wait before telling him the rest.

“Oh sis, you really are too much, that’s brilliant.”

“So now I have to avoid the entire island.”

“What if you get called out on standby for an Antigua?”

“Shit, I never thought of that.”

“Well if it happens, you’ll have to spend two weeks holed up in the hotel or hope that, what’s his name again?”

“William.”

“Or hope that Willy isn’t…”

“It’s William, not Willy.”

“And hope that William has left the island.”

 

June 6th, 1990

June 6th, 1990

At home

Aaahhhh, no guesses who I just talked to for two plus hours.

“Shouldn’t you be at work?”

“I came home early so we could talk.”

I felt the smile spread across my face as David continued. “How was the island?”

“Quite fantastic, actually.”

“Nicer than Bermuda? I know you love it there.”

“No, not quite as pretty but the rum tasted the same.”

“Uh-oh,” he laughed.

“Copious amounts, if the truth be told.”

“Guess it had to be done.”

“Yeah but perhaps not on that big a scale,” I laughed. “I should be in detox by now.”

“You mean rehab?”

“Is that what you call it?”

“I guess.”

“We call it detox here and another day on that island and I’d be checking in!”

“So, rum. Sun. And sand, huh?”

I knew by his tone of voice where he was going but all I said was, “Yeah, pretty much.”

There was an awkward pause so I continued. “It was a good trip, I can see why so many people request it.”

“That’s cool,” he said, sounding despondent.

“Hey! Guess what?”

“What?”

“You have to guess, David. It’s no fun otherwise.”

“You’re coming to LA?”

“How did you know?”

“Are you?” he asked, sounding much chirpier.

“Yes!”

“When?”

“Next month. My new roster came in the post this morning. Will you be there?”

“What are the dates?”

“The thirteenth.”

“Hmmm, I’m not sure, I’ll have to check my calendar.”

“Oh no,” I uttered. “You have to be there.”

“Just kidding, of course I will be, I don’t have any work trips ‘til late July.”

“Fantastic!”

“Same length of time as before?”

“Yeah, two nights, not enough unfortunately but argh, I’m so excited!”

“That’ll be awesome. Just let me know what you want to do.”

I giggled. “I want to spend every minute on your rooftop deck.”

“And what will be do up there?”

“Oh, I don’t know,” I teased. “Maybe we’ll play Monopoly.”

He cracked up laughing. “We could do that.” Slight pause. “Or we could go to London. If you want.”

“I’d love to,” I said, suddenly feeling very guilty.

 

June 5th, 1990

June 5th, 1990

At home

It’s interesting how, as cabin crew, we spend so much time together then no sooner do we land in London, before slipping back into our lives, all until the next lengthy trip, when the pattern repeats itself.

Fun chat earlier, with Jon;

“McGarr! To what do I owe the honour?”

“I’m ringing to say thanks.”

“For what?”

“Well, let’s just say that if it wasn’t for you, I wouldn’t have just spent two weeks on the island of Antigua in a way most people can only dream of.”

I smiled when I heard him chuckle. “Sounds like you owe me a pint.”

“Or two,” I laughed, before going on to explain why, after which he said he was “Well chuffed,” that I actually listened to him.

Mum’s still up in Scotland, which dad only told me tonight is because Granda (his Father) was admitted to a nursing home facility in Dunoon. Apparently Granda took a nasty fall and is acting very confused poor thing. Dad will be going up this weekend but mum was able to go sooner, not sure when she’ll be back, hopefully soon. I missed her million questions in the first minute of my homecoming!

I thought about ringing David at home and leaving a message, then I thought I’d be bold and ring him at work but I don’t typically do that, so I guess I’ll wait for him to contact me. In the meantime, I’ll continue listening to the dulcet tones of Sade on my Walkman, singing “Haunt Me,” which makes me feel floaty and in need of a visit to a certain rooftop deck.

 

June 4th, 1990

 

June 4th, 1990

At home

I’ve been back on UK soil for just over thirteen hours and, thanks to this evening chez Florence, my “Post Antigua Detox,” plans have already gone awry!

Mum’s up in Scotland so I spent the day with dad, who filled me in what transpired in the fortnight I’ve been away.

“So, I didn’t get the flat?”

“Nah, Harvey boy phoned to say they took the other offer, then a few days later he phoned back to say it was back on the market but without you here we couldnae do anything.”

“Oh well,” I sighed. “I guess it’s not meant to be. Besides, I think I’d be better off in a house.”

Dad asked lots of questions about the trip but unlike what I’d share with mum, I talked mostly about the island and failed to mention anything about William or the amount of rum I consumed! I’m sure mum will be all ears when she hears about the American boys.

Lovely evening catching up with Florence, where we started out drinking tea and finished up with, yup, rum!

“After tonight, I can never drink again,” I groaned.

“Fair enough but tell me more about William. He sounds intriguing.”

“He was a little different, that’s for sure.”

“Maybe you’ll see him again.”

I laughed. “No, I won’t. He thinks my name is Madison Frazer and I work for American Vogue in New York. Plus, that was a request trip, it’s impossible to get one otherwise.”

“You never know love,” she smiled. “Life is strange.”

 

 

 

 

 

June 3rd, 1990

June 3rd, 1990

Night flight from ANU – LHR

I’m on crew rest and just re-read William’s little note that I found earlier, in my toiletry bag, while I was getting ready. He gave me his contact information and signed it with, “See you again,” which actually made me feel sad because the likelihood of that ever happening is slim to none.

Because of our “false identities,” I packed my uniform and all things related to British Airways in my suitcase, not that I suspected William would rummage through my stuff but we had so many parties in my room that anything was possible (onboard we get passengers in the galley who point to the oven and ask if it’s the toilet, so when I say anything is possible, I mean it!)

This morning, William skeedadled long before the girls showed up for tea and toast, over which we mumbled about the supposed best cures for a hangover, none of which, given the amount of rum in our bloodstream, stood a chance of working.

Before returning Ugly Gurgle, we met William and Scotty at Shirley Heights for one last time and I feel bad that William never got to know my real name. He made mention of the fact I was flying to London and not New York but the music was loud so I just kind of shook my head and didn’t say anything.

“I will see you again,” he whispered, kissing my cheek for the last time.

Farewell Antigua.

 

June 2nd, 1990

June 2nd, 1990

Ramada Renaissance, Royal Antiguan Resort

Deep Bay, Antigua

When Millie and Dolly showed up at my door this morning, in search of the obligatory tea and toast, William made a hasty exit.

Clearly unable to quell her curiosity, Dolly asked, “So?”

“We read in bed,” I laughed. “Until about three this morning.”

“From the smile on your face,” she continued, “and the state of your hair, it appears you like reading.”

“Depends on the book,” I teased.

“I take it sweet William was a good read?”

“Very,” I giggled.

“Stop it, you two!” Millie shouted. “And stop calling him sweet, Dolly. He’s not sweet. He’s strange.”

“Dearest, darlin Millie,” I drawled, with a fake smile, “I believe you are in need of a shot of rum in your tea. Or perhaps somewhere else.”

Spent the afternoon at Buccaneer Cove where we said goodbye to all the lovely people we’ve come to know. From there, we went to Galley Bay and did the same (oh how I’ll miss that place!)

When we came back to the hotel, Millie looked surprised to find Scotty in the lobby.

“What’s he doing here?” she snarled, making her way over to him. A short while later there was what Dolly referred to as, “a very heated exchange,” after which Millie stormed off and Scotty left, looking disappointed.

“Oh dear,” Dolly said. “Shall we have a drink?”

The plan was to meet William and Scotty at Nelson’s Dockyard for dinner and I expected that to change but Millie didn’t say otherwise, so we carried on. Dolly came with us and said she was sad because Mr. Italy flew home today. All this time, I thought he was an island resident but I guess he lives in Milan!

Scotty was at the restaurant and Millie did a triple shudder when he called each of our names.

“Where’s William?” I asked.

“He’ll be here later. He has a thing about eating with people.”

“Maybe he’s shy,” Dolly suggested.

“Or weird,” Millie uttered, as I kicked her foot under the table.

William didn’t show up ‘til dinner was almost over, but he was in good form and we all laughed after he was recognized by a guy called Howie that he went to school with in Massachusetts. Howie and his new wife Cheryl were the epitome of the perfect honeymoon couple in what I think is an ideal honeymoon setting. Cheryl gave Scotty a run for his money in the decibel department though and when she told us where she’s from, Millie said, in not such a low voice; “Remind me never to go to Texas!”

Quick stop at Tropix for more farewells before we piled into Scotty’s jeep and shot out of town to a nearby beach. The paddle boats were too tempting to ignore so (fully clothed) we took them out and promptly fell in!

Given the number of “sips” of rum punch we girls imbibed here on the island, it’s astonishing that we’ve managed to remember each other’s false names and identities!

The five of us were still soaking wet when we came back to my room, covered in sand, doused in even more rum.

That all transpired about four hours ago, after which I read with William before zonking out for a few hours until this raging hangover forced me out of bed in search of something to numb the pain.

 

June 1st, 1990

June 1st, 1990

Ramada Renaissance, Royal Antiguan Resort

Deep Bay, Antigua

The end of this amazing trip is upon us but I’m looking forward to going home to find out what’s going on with the flat, etc. I thought about phoning home a few days ago but to do so would be extortionate and I’ve already spent a small fortune on taxis and Ugly Gurgle.

Millie, Dolly and I had lunch at La Dolce Vita with Nicolai, who encouraged us to continue drinking, long after we’d consumed at least seventeen thousand calories, spread over three courses. We were obviously low on carbs and high on sugar.

Millie went on a date with Scotty, who gave her a rose when he came to pick her up. From her expression, I expected her to throw up but she managed to contain herself! If (and that’s a big if!) Scotty survives this night intact, he should get a medal or better still, a town named in his honour!

Dolly went out with Mr. Italy again and I still don’t know his name.

I went to the beach with William and his intensity is something I’ve never experienced before. We were the only two people on the beach and after we watched the sunset, we spent ages cavorting in the sea. Had I started off with William knowing my true identity, perhaps it’d be different but I think spilling the beans at this point would be futile, plus I have a feeling it’d upset him and I certainly don’t want to do that. Especially since I’ll be waking up with him in the morning.