October 31st, 1990

October 31st, 1990

At home

In order to garner more clarity, it often helps to have a friend who listens, which is pretty much what Frankie did today (and yesterday!)

It was another late night and consequently we didn’t surface ‘til lunchtime. I made French toast and scrambled eggs and set everything up on the small picnic bench in the garden. When Frankie appeared, her smile matched the weather.

“How are you feeling?” she asked, in the same tone I’ve heard her use on sick passengers.

“Much better,” I smiled. “Thanks to you.”
“Glad to hear it,” she said. “You’ve been a busy little bee, this looks scrumptious.”

“Tuck in, oh wait, shall we have some Bucks Fizz?”

“There’s still champers left?”
“I always have an emergency bottle stashed away.”

“Consider this an emergency,” she winked.

Tonight, we went to The Point, hoping to see “Ghost,” but it was sold out so we went to Café Moonshine for more mega chat. Back here, Frankie went to great pains to analyze my relationship with David and suggested we ring him at work but fortunately I wasn’t drunk enough to actually do it!

Seemed the more we drank, the more expert we became on that thing called love!


October 30th, 1990

October 30th, 1990

At home, England

Frankie and I finally called it a night at five this morning!

Our big night out included a quick stop at mum and dad’s, where Frankie had us in peals of laughter about, well, pretty much everything. I love the way my parents treat my friends and how welcoming they are. I could tell they really liked Frankie, which is not surprising.

From there we went to The Point, which was dead but I wouldn’t expect otherwise on a Tuesday night. We ended up seeing “Bad Influence,” with Rob Lowe and James Spader (yum!) and I felt a little pang when Manhattan Beach was mentioned.

Due to the fact we were up ‘til dawn, I slept until midday and when I came downstairs, the post was on the mat. I picked up what mostly looked like junk post and was surprised to see Ben’s scribble on the envelope, postmarked from Santa Monica.

I tore open the letter, read it on the spot then promptly burst into tears, at which point Frankie appeared.

“What’s the matter, darling?” She asked, her tone soothing.

“This,” I said, waving the letter. “It’s from Ben.”

“Is he ok?”

“Yeah, he is,” I sniffled. “But I’m not.”

“Come here,” she said, opening her arms.

Frankie insisted I sit while she made tea, which on reflection was comical because she didn’t know where anything was so from the couch I pointed.

“Biscuits?” She asked.

“Yeah, why not,” I sighed. “There should be some in the cupboard to your right, second shelf.”

I smiled at the sight of her on her tip toes. “Lovely jubbly,” she uttered, making me laugh.

With the tea made and chocolate digestives arranged on a plate, Frankie sat on the couch beside me.

“Drink up,” she urged. “And if you need something stronger, there’s still wine and vodka.”

I laughed. “This should be fine for now.”

“So,” she said, making a sad face. “What’s going on?”

“I don’t know. I just had a reaction to his letter.”

“What does it say?”

I read it out to her.

“It’s sweet,” she smiled. “Really sweet.”

“Isn’t it? It’s generic, I mean it’s not an earth-shattering letter by any stretch of the imagination but, ugh, I don’t even know what I’m trying to say.”

“I think I know.”

“You do?”

She nodded.
“What?” I asked, sitting up.

“I think you’re still in love with him.”


October 29th, 1990

October 29th, 1990

At home

Fresh from SFO, Frankie’s in the house! We talked nonstop for a couple of hours before she crashed, which, after a lengthy night flight is understandable.

I woke Frankie at five and she took her time surfacing but once she did, it was all systems go, starting with the Champagne she gave me as a housewarming gift.

“She drives me crazy,” she sang, dancing around the living room “Oooohhhh oohhhhh, can you turn it up? And what are you wearing tonight?”

“I’m not sure but it won’t be as elaborate and fancy as that,” I said, motioning to Frankie’s partially beaded dress, strewn across the couch.

“You’re so good at that,” I said, marveling at the ease with which Frankie applied her eyeshadow.

“So are you.”

I rolled my eyes. “I only use make-up because we have to for work. Will you do mine?”

“I’ll do a little but you don’t need much, you have a lovely tan.”

“This,” I said, looking at my arm. “This isn’t from the trip I just did, this is from…” I paused. “Shit I don’t even remember where I’ve been recently!”

Frankie cracked up laughing. “Can you imagine going to Hong Kong or New York for like the four hundredth time when we’re ancient, like say, forty?”

“I don’t plan on flying when I’m forty! I think somewhere around thirty will be my limit. If not sooner.”

“No way,” she said. “We’ll be trolley dolly’s ‘til the end of time!”


October 28th, 1990

October 28th, 1990

At home, England


So happy I finally got to talk to David tonight.

“How’s your new place?”

“It’s awesome, I love it.”

And you’ll love it too, Karen! Say it! Say it!

“I can’t wait to see it!”

“Yeah,” he drawled, sounding less than enthusiastic.

“You still want me to come, don’t you?”


“My mum’s been telling me about the Thanksgiving she spent in New York when she worked as a nanny. She said it was a bit like Christmas without the presents.”

The way he laughed made me want to crawl through the phone. “Well,” I continued, “I’m really looking forward to it all.”

His lack of enthusiasm was starting to make me feel uneasy but I reminded myself how emotional I can be when I’m severely jetlagged.

“Sorry about the messages I left at your office,” I blurted.

“What messages?”

“I left you a couple of messages before I left on my trip, did you not get them?”

“Oh yeah, I did, yeah.”

“You sound very distracted.”

Say you’re exhausted from missing me so much!

“Work’s been crazy, you know, the usual, long days at the office.”

No, actually I don’t. Once I step off the aircraft my job is done!

“That’s too bad, hopefully it’ll calm down soon.”

“I hope so,” he groaned. “I need some downtime.”

“At least you have a view of the ocean to help you relax.”

“Yeah, it’s pretty awesome.”

Just like your lovely girlfriend!

“I can’t wait to see it for real and enjoy it with you.”

Tell me you can’t wait either and that I should just get on a plane and fly out now!

“Everybody’s excited to meet you.”

That’s more like it!

“Really?” I asked.

More! More! More!

“My mom asked what type of tea you drink. In fact, she’s been asking lots of questions.”

“That’s so sweet,” I said, my little heart fluttering. “My mum’s been asking lots of questions too but as you know, that’s not unusual!”

His lovely laugh again followed by a sigh.

“What?” I asked.

There was a slight pause before he uttered, “I just miss you.”

Roll on November!


October 27th, 1990

October 27th, 1990

At home, England

I was so hoping I’d hear from David today but it’s almost midnight so I guess it’s not to be. The entire day, I was tempted to ring him but I want him to make the first move so I can gauge his reaction to the messages I left, which hopefully he’s already forgotten about!

Mega chat to Millie first thing this morning and only because there was no way David would ring that early (eight-hour time change and all that!)

“Did you have a good crew?”  she asked.

“Yeah, they were a great bunch, my friend Carl’s brother, Andy was one of them.”

“I heard he’s a bit of a player.”

“I think he can be but he was actually really good company.”

“Please don’t tell me you snogged him. Or worse!”

“Honestly Millie, you’re a nightmare when it comes to that. There is such a thing you know as being mates with a guy and not, well, not doing anything else.”

“You’re so naïve,” she groaned. “Who else was on your crew?”
“Remember Richard we met on the Newark trip?”

“The First Officer who fancied you?”

“The First Officer we went out with.”

“Yeah, what about him?” she asked.

“He ended up operating our flight home.”

“Did you talk to him?”

“Actually, I met him in Singapore at The Compass Rose…”

“Oh, I love that place,” she chirped. “Such gorgeous views.”

“Yeah, it’s amazing.”


“We went to the Top Ten with a bunch of crew.”


“We danced and drank too much but generally had a fun night.”

“No snogging?”


“You hesitated there.”

“I did not.”

“Yes, you did. Did something happen?”

I told her about Richard’s visit to the galley.

“See? He does fancy you. I knew it! I just knew it!”

I didn’t like her tone of voice so if only for the purpose of annoying her, I said, “You’re right, he does.”

“Did you talk to him after landing?”

“Uh-huh, in fact we went to the cafeteria in TriStar House.”

“You knew I liked him on that trip,” she hissed, sounding like my least favourite version of her. And no, I wanted to say, I didn’t know you liked him. “What did you talk about?” she asked, still in that horrible tone.

“He made me promise that if anything changes with David, I’ll get in touch with him.”

“And will you?” she demanded.

“Nothing is going to change with David!”

“Yeah, ok, dream on! I can’t believe you’re doing this to me!”

“What? You can’t believe I’m doing what to you?”

“You, you know,” she stuttered.

“No,” I shouted. “I do not know but what I do know is that I’m done with this conversation so I’m hanging up.”

And I did, but I have to admit, it’s been bugging me all day.


October 26th, 1990

October 26th, 1990

At home, England

Somewhere during the middle part of last night’s fourteen (ish) hour flight, Richard appeared in the galley.

“Arrrgggghhh, who’s flying the plane?” I shrieked as quietly as possible, which I have to say is not the easiest thing to do!

Richard rolled his eyes but I did see a small smirk.

“Sorry,” I continued. “I’m sure you’ve heard that a million times before but I couldn’t resist.”

“Actually, I don’t usually venture downstairs much.”

“Bloody pilots!” I laughed.

“How are you feeling now?”

“Much, much better thank you. The Resolve saved the day. And the water. And the food. Oh yeah and the trashy mag perked me right up.”

“Happy to be of assistance,” he smiled. “How are the passengers tonight?”

“Mostly very nice.”

“Is that because they’re mostly asleep?”

“You got it!”

From the other end of the galley, Jo was sitting on the jump seat, staring at the same page of the Vogue magazine she’d been looking at since Richard came into the galley, leading me to believe she wasn’t actually reading!

“Do you have time for a chat?” Richard asked.

“Uh-huh, I think Jo and I have this cabin under control while the others are on crew rest. Right Jo?”

“Sorted,” she smiled.

I looked at Richard. “Fancy a cup of tea?”

“Oh, yes please,” he said enthusiastically. Jo glanced over and gave me “a look.”

“Tea, Jo?”

“No thanks,” she uttered, still on the same page.

I looked at Richard. “We don’t have posh tea like you’re used to up there,” I teased, motioning upstairs.

“Then I don’t want any,” he said, sounding very serious.


“No,” he smiled. “I’m just joking.”

“It’s difficult to tell with you.”

“I must confess, I’ve been accused more than once of not being the most expressive chap.”

Richard made small talk with Jo while I made the tea, then we sat on the jump seat.

“Thank you for this,” he said, taking a sip. “It’s not lychee, is it?”

I cracked up laughing. “Ugh, never again!”

“It was rather fun though, wouldn’t you agree?”

“It really was.”

“By the way, I’ve been meaning to ask. How’s your chap in LA?”

“He’s fine. He just moved into a new place on the beach that I’ve yet to see.”

“Have you talked to him recently?”

“Not since I’ve been away on this trip.”

Not since I left not one but two crazy messages on his voicemail at the office!

“When are you heading back his way?”

“Actually, I have a request trip, so I’ll be there for Thanksgiving.”

“Splendid! You’ll need a huge appetite for that.”

I laughed. “Yes, I heard there’s a lot of food.”

“It’s all quite wonderful, really,” he said, wistfully. “I rather enjoy America.”

“Me too,” I smiled, thinking about David.

“Would I be correct in assuming, given that it’s Thanksgiving, that this will be a meet the family sort of trip?”

“Uh-huh,” I uttered, feeling slightly awkward. I stood up and glanced at Jo. “Karen,” she said, clearly reading my expression. “I think it’s time we did a juice round, don’t you?”

“Definitely,” I said.

“Thank you for the tea, ladies, see you when we land,” Richard said, disappearing through the curtain.

“Oh dear,” Jo uttered. “Somebody’s got it bad.”

I gave her a questioning look.

“Can’t you tell?”

“Kind of, yeah,” I sighed. “I like him though, he’s really sweet.”

“To be honest with you, and I’m not the only one on the crew who thinks this..”

“Wait! You’ve been talking about us?”
“Oh yeah,” she continued. “The rumours have been flying. No pun intended.”

“Shit! Are you serious?”

She nodded yes. “To be honest with you, we all think you’re well matched.”

“That’s ridiculous,” I said. “He’s totally not my type. Besides, I have a boyfriend in LA.”

“Oh puleez,” she groaned. “Get real!”


October 25th, 1990

October 25th, 1990

Night flight from SIN – LHR

After a few hours of nothing resembling slumber, I awoke with a full blown, “Aha, you did it again!” hangover.

“Uggggghhh,” I groaned, into the pillow, just as the phone rang. “Go away!”

The piercing shrill did nothing to help my head, so I picked up the receiver then promptly dropped it but when it rang again, I thought I’d better answer.

“I’m dying Andy,” I croaked. “And all this time I thought you were my friend.”

I heard him clear his throat. “Ehm, actually, it’s Richard.”

“Shit, sorry Richard!”

“Terribly sorry to hear of your impending death,” he said, in such a matter of fact tone that it made me laugh.

“How are you feeling?” I asked.

“Much better off than you from the sound of it.”

“I don’t know what I was thinking. Oh, why, oh why did I drink so much?”

“Do you have water?” he asked.


“Water. You need water. And some Resolve. I have both. I’ll leave them outside your door.”

“Ehm, no that’s ok, but thanks.”

“I insist. Don’t worry, I shan’t disturb you. Is there anything else you need?”

“A new head.”

“That may prove a tad more difficult but let me see what I can do.”

I cracked up laughing as he continued. “How about food? Do you need food?”

“I can honestly say this is the one and only time in my life when I haven’t wanted to eat.”

His turn to laugh. “I shall leave everything outside your door in five minutes or less.”

“Ok, thanks Richard, I really appreciate it.”

“Get some rest,” he stated. “We have a long night ahead of us.”

Inside the plastic bag the hotel provides for dry cleaning items, Richard put three litre sized bottles of Evian, a box of Resolve, a granola bar, a banana (slightly bruised) and a Hello! magazine with Joan Collins on the cover. On a note scribbled on hotel stationery he’d written;


Drink the water, go easy on the Resolve, eat the food and enjoy the magazine (I thought perhaps it might be your cup of tea.) Don’t hesitate to ring if you need anything, room 2302. Otherwise, I’ll see you on the crew bus.


PS; Personally, I blame it all on the lychee!


October 24th, 1990

October 24th, 1990

Westin Stamford Hotel, Singapore

At the beginning of a long trip, crew tend to venture out en masse, but typically as the days progress, the numbers become smaller, so much so in fact that on this trip several of us have become known as “The Diehards.”

Tonight, that small group of us (all under the age of 30!) made our way up to the seventieth floor of the hotel, where The Compass Rose is located. At the far end of the bar, I was amused but not surprised to see Annabel holding court.

“Miss McGarr,” she mouthed, sashaying in my direction, somehow managing to keep from spilling a drop of her drink. “Here darling, try this,” she breathed, pushing the glass into my hand. “Lychee martini, all the rage here and simply divine. Waiter! Two more please. Tell me everything but hurry, I have to be somewhere!”

“What are you up to?”

“Nothing devious,” she chuckled, grabbing the glass, downing a huge gulp. “Good lord, it’s nectar. Try it! I’m meeting some friends who fly for Singapore Airlines, you ought to come, wait, don’t look, but the First Officer is heading this way and boy is he dishy! Anyway, how are you darling, you look splendid!”

“As do you,” I replied, marveling at how Annabel could say so much without taking a breath.

“Evening darling,” she uttered, turning her head expectantly for a cheek kiss, as I smiled at the man in question.

“Karen,” he beamed.

“Hi Richard, how are you?”

“Very well, thank you.”

Annabel looked surprised. “I take it you two have flown together?”

“We met recently on a Newark trip,” Richard explained.

“Oh,” Annabel uttered, the way only posh people can. “Ah, here come the cocktails, gosh, don’t they look amazing but I simply must dash, so sorry!”

“I didn’t even get a chance to talk to you!” I said. “When do you leave?”

“First thing, ugh!”

“When do you get back to London?”

“Sometime next week, promise you’ll ring. Bye my darlings,” she gushed, planting a kiss on each of our cheeks. “Don’t do anything too naughty!”

“And then she was gone,” I chuckled, watching Annabel weave her way through the crowd as though she were about to take to the stage.

“Such a character,” Richard muttered.

“Truly. Anyway, how are you? You look well.”

“I was thinking the same about you.” His tone was flirtatious but before I had a chance to respond, Annie slinked her way in between us. “Don’t get too cozy with her,” she slurred. “We’re going to the Top Ten. And you,” she pointed her finger in Richard’s face. “You are dancing with me!” Annie staggered off in Andy’s direction and Richard and I fell into a fit of laughter.

“Who was that?” he asked.

“First Class purser.”

“Wow,” he said. “Just wow!”

“In her defense, this is the last night of a twelve-day trip. I think we’re all ready to go home.” “Understood,” he said, clinking his glass to mine. “Lychee, huh?”

I nodded yes as we each took a sip. “Divine,” he said, sounding exactly like Annabel.


For the next hour or so, at least two dozen crew, mine and Richard’s reminded us that we were going to the Top Ten.

“Are you going?” he asked.

“Yeah, why not,” I said, feeling slightly tipsy.


“Absolutely! This is the last night of an eight-day trip for me.”

“Why so short?”
“I was scheduled to fly back to Oz with Annabel’s crew but apparently your First Officer took ill.”

“Oh no, poor Malcolm, I hope he’s ok.”

Richard looked at his watch. “He is, in fact he’s presently on his way back to the UK.”


He leaned into me. “Just between us,” he whispered. “I heard he’s having some rather, let’s say delicate issues at home and needed to get back.”

“That’s too bad.”

“Indeed,” he nodded. “So, shall we make our last night in Singapore a memorable one?”

This is not, I thought, the Richard I met in Newark. This one is much more engaging and he doesn’t smell too shabby either.

“Any night at the Top Ten is memorable,” I said.

He grinned. “Lead on, Miss McGarr.”


October 23rd, 1990


October 23th, 1990

Flight from MEL – SYD – SIN

Westin Stamford Hotel, Singapore

I know it’s two thirty in the morning Oz time, but I can’t figure out what time it is here. All I know is that I’m totally craving chicken!

Still recovering from last night’s raucous room party and an especially long duty day, so I’m staying in (I think!) I plan on writing an epic letter to David but without his new address I’ll have to wait ‘til I get home to post it.

I do know that fourteen thousand miles apart from the one you love does not bode well for a healthy relationship.

Time to drown my sorrows in copious amounts of chicken!


October 22nd, 1990

October 22th, 1990

Melbourne, Australia

Until tonight (or 4:13am to be exact!) I’d have put this trip in the “lame and tame,” category but having just returned from the best room party ever (newly arrived crew, half of whom Andy knew) that is no longer the case!