March 28th, 1991

March 28th, 1991

At home, England

The minute we were on the crew bus, Andy mouthed, “Did Richard ask you out?”

I shook my head no.

“Why not?”

“I’ll tell you later,” I whispered, aware of the close proximity of the crew.

Once we were back at TriStar House, Andy said we needed to end the trip with, “Something stodgy from the cafeteria,” otherwise he’d never speak to me again!

“I just want to get home,” I groaned. “And I’m not hungry. Aren’t you tired?”

“Stop acting like an old woman,” he barked. “We need to talk!”

Over tea and hot cross buns, I half listened as Andy fired off a dozen questions about what happened with Richard.

“Are you done?” I said, awed by his level of energy after such a long night flight.

He nodded yes. “Oooh, can I have the rest of that?”

“Help yourself,” I said, feeling my eyelids droop as I pushed my plate towards him.

“Wake up,” he yelled.  “I need answers!”

“You are soooo annoying.”

“I know but you still love me. So, did you sleep with him?”

“No.”

“Why not?”

I rolled my eyes. “Because I didn’t, ok?”

“So, if you didn’t sleep with him, then what happened?”
“We met his crew at The Compass Rose, had way too many cocktails, then we went back to my room and-”

Andy gestured for me to, “Hurry up!”
Just to annoy him, I spoke very slowly. “We stayed up half the night.”

Andy leaned across the table and pretended to hold a microphone to my mouth. “Tell me,” he said, mimicking a French accent. “Tell me what you did in the ‘otel room.”

“We talked.”

“Talked?” he shrieked.

“Yes. You know that thing civilized people do, not you obviously-”

“Very funny,” he chuckled. “But I need more on why you didn’t shag him.”

“We have an understanding.”

Andy gave me a questioning look and stuffed the remains of the bun into his mouth. “Go on,” he mumbled.

“Richard has said, on more than one occasion, that he knows my heart is elsewhere and he feels I’m not ready for, what he calls, ‘something meaningful,’ but if that changes he made it quite clear he’ll be there.”

Andy gasped and I laughed. “Why are you so interested?”

“It’s obvious he really likes you and to be honest, I like the way you’re yourself around him. I thought you might have slept with him but I’ll take your word for it!”

“Andy, you witnessed us together for all of ten minutes.”

“Doesn’t matter,” he said. “I’m good at reading people.”

“What are you? The flying love guru?”

“Hush,” he said. “I just don’t want you to miss out on something lovely because you’re still trying to get over, what was the guy in LA called?”

“David.”

“Love that name. You get what I’m saying, right?”

“I do, yes.”

“So, just do me a favour and keep your options open. It can’t hurt. Richard is a really nice bloke and in case you forgot, he’s also a pilot.”

“I don’t care about that!”

“I know but I do,” he chuckled. “Anyway, just keep the door open, yeah? For me? Your favourite person in the world to fly with!”

“Keep believing that,” I teased.

He stood up and stretched. “You ready to hit the road?”

“More than ready,” I yawned.

“I hope we fly together again soon and when we do, you better have some juicy love gossip to share.”

I doubt it!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

March 27th, 1991

March 27th, 1991

Night flight from SIN – LHR

Crew rest as we wing our way back to the UK, with Richard at the helm.

“He sounds much posher on the PA, dontchathink?” Andy asked, while I was in First Class pinching some chocolate biscuits.

“He does, actually.”

Andy’s cheeky grin filled his face.

“What?”

“Nowt,” he said, holding up his hands in a gesture of surrender.

“I know you better than that. What is it?”

“At the risk of stating the obvious, I have to say, Richard really likes you.”

I felt the flush rise in my cheeks. “That obvious, huh?”

“How many times has he gone down the back to see you?”

“Twice,” I mumbled, not daring to look at him.

“Once is serious, twice is unheard of and-”

I swiftly kicked Andy’s foot as Richard came through the curtain into the galley.

“Karen’s already nicked all the good biscuits,” Andy laughed.

“I can see that,” Richard grinned.

“I’m happy to share,” I said, holding out the plate.
“Actually, I was going to grab some and bring them down to you,” Richard said, matter of factly. “Seems you beat me to it.”

Out of the corner of my eye, I saw Andy trying to get my attention but there was no way I could look at him without laughing.

“Do you mind if I join you for a cup of tea?” Richard asked.

“Not at all,” I said. “But I need to get back so we’ll have to slum it in the economy galley.”

“Of course,” Richard uttered, holding open the curtain. I turned to Andy and gave him a, “Don’t you dare say a word!” look, to which he responded by holding up three fingers.

 

 

 

March 26th, 1991

March 26th, 1991

Flight from MEL – SYD – SIN

Westin Hotel, Singapore

The last thing I wanted to do after a fourteen-hour duty day, was go to a room party but Andy felt we should at least, “Show our faces for one drink then make our excuses and leave.”

“Fair enough,” I said, stepping out of the lift. “See you in Ali’s room in half an hour.”

“Ta ta, gorgeous,” he said, blowing me a kiss.

Once inside my room, with my shoes kicked off and a much-needed bottle of water guzzled, I looked longingly at the bed and thought how nice it would be to take a bath before succumbing to its comfort, but I knew if I did, Andy would come knocking on my door.

The room party was fun but halfway through a glass of wine, I felt myself fading, so I told Andy I was going back to my room.

“I’m just getting started,” he chuckled, shaking his almost empty glass. “Ring me in the morning. Not too early!”

“Night,” I said, pecking him on the cheek before saying bye to everyone.

Waiting for the lift, my mind wandered back to the huge, inviting bed and my desire to crawl into it, so when the lift dinged and the doors opened, I was stunned to see a familiar face.

“Hello, Karen.”

“Richard!”

“Up or down?”

“Eh, which floor is this?”

“Twenty-three,” he said, a look of amusement.

“Up, please. Thirty-seven. What’re you up to? When did you arrive?”

“Yesterday. You?”
“About an hour ago,” I yawned. “I take it we came from different directions?”

Nodding and smiling widely, he said, “You look well.”

“Thank you. You do too.”

“Are you calling it a night?” It came out sounding suggestive, which really isn’t his style so I attributed it to either his new cool haircut or that he met someone.

“Not necessarily,” I said, in a flirty tone, if only to gauge his response.

“It’s just that I’m meeting the crew at the Compass Rose, under duress of course, so I was only planning on staying for one drink.”

Inwardly, I chuckled at our common intention, as he continued. “I’d love it if you’d join me.”

Hmmm, so maybe no to him seeing someone.

“Love to,” I smiled. “But just one.”

Famous last words!

 

 

March 25th, 1991

 

March 25th, 1991

Hilton Hotel, Melbourne, Australia

Autumn stroll through the park with Andy that I thoroughly enjoyed. It’s always great having a friend on the trip who encourages you to get out and do stuff, not that we’ve done anything major but we’ve been out…a lot!

“Just think,” Andy said, motioning to the woman in front of us, pushing a pram.

.“That could be you in a few years.”

I laughed. “I don’t even have a boyfriend!”
“Yeah but that can change at the drop of a hat.”

“True, but as it stands right now I’m single with, I’d say, ah, zero prospects.”

“What about the bloke in Antigua?”

“William? Nah, I don’t think he’s really my type.”

“I thought you were going to see him soon?”

“Not ‘til May, but nothing’s set in stone yet so it might not happen.”

“Don’t do that!”
“What?”
“Don’t change your plans. You should keep your options open.”

I stopped walking and gave him, “a look.”

“We should all,” he said, emphasizing the all. “We should all keep our options open.”

“That’s better,” I said, taking his arm again.

“How many kids do you want?”

“You’re really asking me that?”
“What’s wrong with that? You must have some idea. Don’t all girls know stuff like that?”

I laughed. “I don’t know!”

“I’ve thought about it.” He paused. “I’d like three but I don’t suppose that’ll ever happen.”

“Don’t say that,” I said, nudging him. “You don’t know that.”

“They’d all have to be adopted.” He sounded pensive.

“It’s not out of the question.”

“Not easy though, is it? I mean, in this job. It’s hard enough to find a partner, let alone someone who’s willing to stay home while we’re…we’re-”

“Strolling through a park in Australia on a Monday afternoon?”

“Yeah,” he sighed. “Something like that.”

I squeezed his arm. “I think you’d make a great Father.”

He gave my cheek a gentle peck. “And I think you’ll make a lovely mum.”

“Thank you,” I mouthed. “Lunch?”

“Yeah,” he smiled. “Lygon street’s right around the corner.”

 

 

March 24th, 1991

March 24th, 1991

Flight from MEL – ADL – MEL

Hilton Hotel, Melbourne, Australia

Flight time to Adelaide was only seventy minutes, but in between, we went to a hotel for several hours, the usual set up, one room for the males, another for the females, neither of which got much use as we all ended up in the coffee shop!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

March 23rd, 1991

March 23rd, 1991

Hilton Hotel, Melbourne, Australia

Saturday night in Melbourne started with a scrumptious crew dinner that swiftly erased any memory of tedious swims (all two of them!) and dull, limp salads.

On the walk back to the hotel, Andy and I sang songs from Mary Poppins (he insisted on being Julie Andrews) and talked about all sorts.

“Ooooh, look, look,” he cooed, pointing to the shuttle bus pulling up outside the entrance to the hotel. “I wonder if we’ll know anybody.”

“You will,” I laughed. “You know everybody.”

“Let’s sit here and watch them go in.”

I sat next to him on the bench, feeling the first of the Autumn chill. “Do you think they’ll see us?”

“Nah, they’ll be too knackered to be paying attention.”

First off the bus was a woman I’ve flown with, whose name escaped me.

“Shelia”, Andy said. “Lovely old bird. She’s been flying since its discovery,  oh and here come the glamour girls, aw bless, look at them, teetering on them heels. Bet their feet are killin ‘em.”

I stifled a giggle, followed by, “Shit!”

“You know him?”

“Oh yes, quite well actually.”

“Tut, tut, tut,” Andy clucked, teasingly. “What’s his name?”

“Graeme.”

“Don’t know ‘im but he’s nice looking. You want to go and say hello to him?”

“Nah.”

He gave me a questioning look. “You sure?”

“Uh-huh.”

“There’s a story there, I know it.”

“There’s always a story. The fact is, I’m just not in the mood for pleasantries, you know?”

“Ooooh, get you, being all ballsy,” he chuckled, pressing his shoulder against mine. “I know those two,” he said, motioning to two handsome looking men.

“And?”

“Not in the mood either.”

I laughed. “So, I guess we’ll stay here ‘til they check in.”

“Definitely. And then I think it’s time for a night cap? Yeah?”

I nodded in agreement. “What goes with nightcap?”

He licked his lips lasciviously, making me laugh, then breathed, “Chocolate mousse!”

 

March 22nd, 1991

March 22nd, 1991

Flight from BKK – SYD – MEL

Hilton Hotel, Melbourne, Australia

After feeling like a zombie on the flight, surrounded by vile passengers, I came to the conclusion that I probably shouldn’t have stayed up half the night with Andy C, discussing “love stuff,” over several helpings of chocolate mousse. And club sandwiches. And wine.

“From the sound of it, you still seem pretty cut up about David.”

Feeling the lump forming in my throat, I uttered, “Hmmmm.”

“It’s ok to cry, you know.” His voice and expression combining to bring on the tears.

“Ugh,” I sniffed. “I’m sorry.”

“Don’t be.”

“I’m just sad there was no-”

“Warning?”

I nodded. “It all happened so fast. One minute I was getting ready to meet his family, the next, he was gone. I just hope he’s ok and that he..you know…he-”

“Came out?”

“Uh-huh,” I said, wiping my eyes. “Was it difficult for you?”

“What, coming out?”

I nodded, unsure whether he’d be willing to discuss such a personal experience and for a moment I thought I’d crossed the line but then he started pacing around the room, talking rapidly.

“It’s something I always knew. Always. For as long as I can remember but it wasn’t ‘til I was nineteen that I felt I had the confidence to, you know, tell my mum and dad.”

“And how did they react?”

“Me mam cried but said she had always known and that she loved me no matter what, which, as you can imagine was a huge relief.”

“And your dad?”

A little laugh escaped him. “Me dad slapped me hard on the back and asked if we’d still be able to go down the pub and have a pint!”

I couldn’t help but smile. “So, it was fine?”

“I don’t think it could’ve gone any better but I wish I hadn’t had all them sleepless nights worrying about it for years beforehand.”

I got up and gave him a hug.

“What’s that for?”

“Just saying thanks.”

He smiled widely. “So, no need for anymore chocolate mousse?”

“No, but we should at least finish the wine.”

 

 

March 21st, 1991

March 21st, 1991

Dusit Thani Hotel, Bangkok, Thailand

Back to the pool this morning, joined this time, by Barry, a guy I know through Emilio. Barry’s speedos could not have been any smaller or tighter and the reason he can wear such is because he swims every morning, I mean, every morning, whether he’s at home in snowy Scotland or here in sultry Bangkok.

Watching all one hundred and thirty pounds of Barry glide through the pool was enough to make me give up and head back to my room where, amazingly, I resisted the urge to pick up the phone and order eggs benedict (yum!)

Tonight, a bunch of us went to the Telephone Bar, where the phone on our table was very busy with incoming calls, all for Barry (on each table is a phone that connects to the other tables.) Andy C rolled his eyes when, after hearing Barry talk incessantly about his adventures as “A Space Waitress,” he gave me a look that said, “Let’s go.”

Once outside, Andy (who’s camp factor far outweighs Barry’s) cracked me up with his perfect impression of, as he calls him, “Bootiful Baza!”

In the lobby, Andy asked if I was tired.

“No. Just hungry.”

“Me too, let’s grab something at the bar.”

“Sorry, I can’t.”

“Why not?”

“I’m not eating. Or drinking.”

“What, ever again?” he chuckled.

“I’m really trying to be good,” I pleaded.

“Good is overrated,” he winked. “I’m thinking chocolate mousse.”

“Ah,” I sighed. “My weakness.”

“I remembered that,” he said, linking his arm through mine. “So, your room or mine?”

 

March 20th, 1991

March 20th, 1991

Dusit Thani Hotel, Bangkok, Thailand

I was wide awake at 0520 and thought about ordering breakfast on room service, but I always order too much, then wonder why I end up feeling full with no energy!

So, now that I’m 24 and mature (!) I’m going to start making changes to my not so great behavior, which began with a trip to the hotel pool, where I actually swam ‘til I was out of breath (only because I was the only one there, otherwise I’d have given up long beforehand!)

Tonight, while the others tucked into heaps of food, I ate salad and drank only two glasses of wine.

It’s a start!

 

 

 

March 19th, 1991

March 19th, 1991

Dusit Thani Hotel,

Bangkok, Thailand

Arrived at 0830 local time to what I refer to as, “wilting weather,” but at least the flight was great, with Andy C working in First Class, which meant lots of yummy food and biscuits.  Andy is always great fun so hopefully it’ll be a decent trip.