My New Book!


Very happy to announce my collection of short stories, based in and around the village in Scotland, where my parents lived, is available for sale. With a cast of local characters, and shenanigans galore, it’s the perfect trip to Scotland, without leaving home!


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June 9th, 1991

June 9th, 1991

Scott’s House, Antigua

There are people who need no excuse to celebrate and there are people who never feel the need to commemorate any type of milestone and I’m getting the impression William is the latter!

Take tonight, for instance, William’s last night on the island before he returns to the States tomorrow, after a two year secondment here.  The people he’s come to know were throwing a farewell party at our favourite nightclub (where we first met!) but an hour before we were due to leave, he said he didn’t want to go.

“Why not?” I asked, thinking he might be feeling poorly.

“I don’t want to go.”

“Are you ill?”

He shook his head.

“You can’t just not show up, unless of course you’re ill, which clearly you’re not!”

“I’m not going,” he sulked.

“That’s not fair to everyone who took the time to organize it, besides, they all want to say bye to you.”

“I don’t like that kinda thing.”

“Well,” I huffed. “It’s too late now, we have to go!”

“You can go,” he stated. “I’m not going.”

“Don’t be ridiculous, I can’t go without you.”

He looked at me as though I were speaking a different language, reminding me of Nana, who told me on more than one occasion she didn’t like crowds or being the centre of attention.

“Fair enough,” I said, not wishing to upset him further. “But you should at least call and let them know.”

“Can you do it?”

“Absolutely not!” My tone was in keeping with my level of frustration.

I don’t mind missing a party but I’ll never be the one making the call.



April 29th, 1991

April 29th, 1991

Scott’s House, Antigua

I was supposed to fly home yesterday but William made it quite clear he wanted me to stay so I went to the airport and rang in sick! Needless to say, the connection was awful, with the time delay a dead giveaway, well that plus the flight announcements! It was pretty obvious from the questions Tom on the crewing desk asked that he knew exactly what I was up to.

“What seems to be the matter?”

I’m following my heart, is what I really wanted to say but I made up some nonsense about a stomach problem.

So, tomorrow, instead of going to Delhi, I’m going to the island of St. Croix with William!


April 17th, 1991

April 17th, 1991


The first words out of William’s mouth, in the tiny terminal in Antigua, almost a year after seeing him last, were; “Do you want to go to Dominica tomorrow?” Needless to say, I said yes because I’m sunning myself on a tropical beach, while William spends the day at work,  in some remote location!

The tiny plane we took here was bobbing about so much, I thought I might throw up but fortunately with such a short flight time, I managed to keep it together.

William rented a Jeep that tore its way through rugged, makeshift roads, kicking up dust while the sun beat down on us, before the road suddenly opened to the expansive beach, with not a soul around.

“Is that where we’re staying?” I asked, pointing to a small bright yellow building, only a few feet from the surf. William nodded yes and I expected him to tell me something about it but he just kept driving. I get the impression he’s one of those people who can only do one thing at a time.

That might be a problem!



April 7th, 1991

April 7th, 1991

At home, England

Millie rang to apologize for her ridiculous ranting last night about Antigua and how she felt, “put out,” by the fact I’m going sooner than I thought.

“If you’re so upset,” I said, in a newfound bold tone, “Then don’t bother coming. I’m not forcing you to.”

“I’ll get there a few days after you arrive. Will that be ok?”

Only if you lose your deplorable attitude, I wanted to say. “Yes, that’ll be fine.”

“I’m really looking forward to it,” she said.

I resisted the urge to respond with the standard, “Me too,” and changed the subject.

We stayed on the phone for about an hour, mostly talking about my upcoming trip to Los Angeles.

“Is your mum excited?”

“She’s beside herself!”

“I can just imagine,” Millie laughed, sounding more like herself again. “You two will have a great time. Right?”

“I believe so.”

“It won’t upset you, you know, being there again?”

“I hope not,” I sighed. “I just want to show my mum around and celebrate her birthday.”

“So you don’t plan on seeing David?”

“Absolutely not!” I blurted, my words not quite matching how I felt.

“What would you do if you bumped into him?”

“Millie! I’m not going to be bump into him, he doesn’t live anywhere near where we’re going.”

“I thought you didn’t know where he moved to?”

“I might have done some, eh, some snooping.”

“You mean stalking?”
“No, I mean investigating,” I said, trying not to laugh.

“And what did Miss Marple discover?”
“Where he lives, as well as a phone number.”

Millie made a sound of disapproval but it wasn’t very convincing. “Well,” she continued, “Tell your mum to have a lovely time and I guess I’ll see you in Antigua.”

“You’ll see me before I leave. I’m leaving my car at yours, remember?”

“Oh yeah, I forgot. Ok, great, so I’ll see you then. Have fun in LA and don’t be sad.”

“I won’t,” I uttered, not quite believing it.


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.”


“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!”
“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?”


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


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


“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.


“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 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?”