June 26th, 1990

June 26th, 1990

At home

Such a difference in the weather between the heat and humidity we left in New York and the drizzly day we arrived to at Gatwick airport.

Rang Pamsy for a general catch up, plus I wanted to find out how her birthday celebrations went.

“It was lovely,” she said. “We had so much food.”

“I could devour some yummy barbeque stuff right now, I’m starving.”

“Me too,” she laughed. “How was New York?”

“It was great. I flew with some really nice girls that I’ll attempt to keep in touch with but you know how that goes.”

“Good intentions and all that.”

Exactly. There’s just never enough time is there? I can’t even remember the last time we got together.”

“I know, it’s mental, we really do need a proper catch up soon.”

“Well, when I move into my new house you can come and stay.”

“How exciting, I’ll love that. Hey, did you see your New York friend? I can never remember his name.”

“Yes, Christopher. Saw him on both legs of the trip, in fact I had lunch with him in Central Park yesterday.”

“Aw, that sounds lovely. How is he?”

“He’s great, he’s always great, that’s just the kind of person he is and uh, it was strange, you know I’ve never fancied him, right?”

“No, he’s just a friend, isn’t he?”

“Hmmm, I can’t explain it but I kind of saw him in a different light.”

“What do you mean?”

“I know him so well and we always have a such a lovely time together and I always think of him in a friend only kind of way but something changed yesterday.”

“How so?”

“At one point, I looked at him and saw how attractive he is, so much so that I felt I wanted to kiss him.”

“The plot thickens.”

“It does actually but not in the way you’d expect.”

“Ooh,” Pamsy cooed. “Go on.”

“He’s in love.”

“With you?”

“No, no, no, not with me, with some girl called Lori he met whilst playing tennis.”

“Ugh, a fittie.”

I laughed. “Not exactly our cup of tea.”

“Not even. So, will you see him again or not?”

“I don’t know. If she’s the possessive type she won’t want him hanging around a girl that shows up every so often.”

“Especially one that wants to kiss him.”

“I think that was just the humidity getting to me.”

Pamsy laughed. “Eh, I don’t think so, I think you just realized you like him, more so since it sounds like you’re too late.”

I sighed. “Why does it always have to be like that?”

“Human nature,” she stated. “We always want what we can’t have.”

 

June 22nd, 1990

June 22nd, 1990

Chester Grosvenor Hotel, England

It’s been a lovely day here in the North of England, both weather and enjoyment wise. And now I’m feeling rather stuffed after a delicious dinner and cocktails-a-plenty at a restaurant called Mamma Mia, located within walking distance of the hotel.

Landed in Manchester just after six this morning which meant plenty of time to sleep before meeting up with the girls tonight. In the interim, I rang mum, who I expected would want to dissect every detail about New York but that wasn’t the case because we ended up talking about Granda. Apparently, he isn’t doing well so dad will be heading to Scotland tomorrow to spend a few days with him. Poor Granda, he’s such a great character, I hope he’ll be alright.

Did a bit of shopping with the girls then we went to see a film called “Revenge,” that I really didn’t like as much as the others, but we were in agreement that Madeleine Stowe in indeed very beautiful. Amanda was drooling over Kevin Costner which is amusing, given the fact she continually mentions her dislike of the male species!

I love this hotel, it’s very elegant and the rooms are beautifully decorated but the best part is the bathroom and the giant bath that I think I might be lowering myself into sooner rather than later. It is, after all, only midnight!

 

June 19th, 1990

June 19th, 1990

At home

I woke up this morning in a panic, worrying about the house and if I’m doing the right thing. Financially, it will be very different but my concern was more related to living alone. Millie bought her house a few years ago so I rang her for some advice.

“What you’re feeling is perfectly normal.”

“Really?”

“Totally,” she said. “I remember feeling the same way.”

“And then you were fine?”

“I wouldn’t say fine but once I got used to living alone I felt much better.”

“How long did that take?”

“About a year.”

“A year!”

“Maybe a little less and it’s not as if we’re around all the time.”

“That’s true.”

“And when you think about it,” she continued, “We spend a huge amount of time alone in hotel rooms.”

“Yeah but that’s totally different to being in a house alone in the middle of the night.”

“Hmmm and it’s not like you can get a dog.”

“No, sadly that’s out of the question.”

“Well if you don’t like it, you can always get a lodger.”

“Oh no, that’s not the goal. I’d hate that.”

“Yeah you’re too much of an only child for that. Don’t worry, you’ll be fine.”

“You really think so?”

“Uh huh. What you need to do is throw a huge housewarming party as soon as you move in.”

“That’s a good idea.”

“Just make sure you have it on my days off.”

“Of course.”

“Will you invite Ben?”

“Eh, I don’t know. Why do you ask?”

“I’d like to smack him.”

I laughed. “I know I’m laughing but that’s quite horrible.”

“Well he’s quite horrible. Have you heard from him?”

“Uh huh.”

“Oh, do tell.”

“He rang earlier.”

“I hate it when you do that.”

“Do what?” I asked.

“When you get all cagey about telling me stuff.”

“I’m not being cagey, you’ve already made it clear you don’t like him so why would I want to share anything with you about him?”

“Calm down.”

“Don’t tell me to calm down!”

“Then stop being childish and silly.”

“I am not being childish. Or silly,” I shouted, confirming both.

“Alright, alright. Sheesh. I was just asking.”

“And I’m just telling,” I snarled.

Ah, Ben, he brings out the best in everyone!

 

June 18th, 1990

June 18th, 1990

At home

I like that time in the day when all the stuff you wanted to do is done, leaving you with the remainder of the day to do what you want. That’s the point I was at earlier tonight, when Jon rang.

“McGarr!”

“Hello you, what are you up to?”

“You owe me a drink,” he teased.

“Yes, I do and I’ll be more than happy to buy you a pint or two but when?”
“You around now?”

“Yes, but where are you?”

“Out and about but I can be there in, say, ninety minutes.”

“You mean an hour and a half?”

“Minutes sound better.”

“They do actually So, where are you now?”

“Like I said, out and about. I’m ringing from the car.”

“Oh, you are such a poser!”

He didn’t respond so I continued. “Are you alright? You sound a little, I don’t know, different.”

“I can never get anything past you McGarr. Truth be told I just got stood up.”

“Oh no.”

“Yup, how embarrassing.”

“Aw, that’s horrible. I’m sorry to hear that. Come and get me and I’ll take you for a drink. I might even buy you dinner.”

“Ooooh, get you, minted McGarr.”

“Not quite but we need to celebrate.”

“What, me being stood up?”

I laughed. “No, of course not. I just bought a house!”

“You did not!”

“I did! I made an offer yesterday and it got accepted, I’m so happy.”

“That’s fantastic, well done McGarr. You can tell me all about it in ninety minutes…”

“Or when I see you in an hour and a half!”

 

June 17th, 1990

June 17th, 1990

At home

I made an offer on a really sweet house with a little garden! Mr. Nile said he expects the owners will accept the offer and if they do (fingers crossed) I should be able to move in, in four to six weeks because the house is vacant. I like it a lot and really hope it all works out.

After a yummy Sunday lunch in the garden, mum and dad came with me to peek through the windows. They both agree that the house and location are ideal. Dad wandered off and we found him talking to the neighbours across the street; a young couple with a baby. They invited us in for a cup of tea and mum held the baby while Sally showed me around their house, which is more or less the same as the one I made the offer on. They only just moved in a few months ago but with all the stuff they have, it looks like they’ve lived there for years. Dad and Steve were deep in conversation about stuff like grass and sheds and goodness knows what, until the baby started crying at the top of her lungs, thereby forcing us to make a hasty exit!

“What a racket that wean was making,” dad remarked the minute we were in the car.

“She was probably just hungry,” mum said. “Bonny wee thing isn’t she.”

“She really is lovely,” I said.

“Karen, do you think Steve looks like a young version of Richard Gere?”

“Actually, he does, mum,” I said, not daring to take my eyes off the road with dad’s beady eye focused on me from the back seat.

“He does not!” Dad said, in a way that made me laugh.

“Aye, he does,” mum insisted. “What a handsome young man.”

“He certainly is,” I uttered.

“Uff,” dad huffed. “You two!”

June 16th, 1990

June 16th, 1990

At home

We landed just after seven am, at which time Ben Two (as Hilary called him)  made one last attempt to get me to give him my phone number.
“The statisti, er, the numbers for long distance relationships are shit you know,” are the last words he uttered before I grabbed my Samsonite and turned and bumped into Sam, from training.

“Well, lookie what we have here,” he said, kissing my cheek.

“Hello darling, you’re looking well.”

Sam took an exaggerated step back and gave me what we refer to as, “The Up Down.”

“And you! From where did you hail?”

“Jo’Burg.”

“Ugh.”

“I know,” I groaned. “And you?”

“Rio.”

“Oooh, brilliant.”

“Was actually,” he said, glancing up ahead at the customs agent. “Do you think we’ll get stopped?”

“Nah, they rarely stop us. Why? What’re you hiding?”

“Keep your voice down,” he whispered.

“Sorry. Did you buy too much booze?”

“No but I have a suitcase full of frocks and a very expensive headdress I bought from some old tranny down by Copacabana Beach.”

I laughed. “I don’t think it’s illegal to carry women’s clothing through customs.”

“It is when said headdress is encrusted with jewels and worth a small fortune.”

“Ooh,” I uttered. “Then you better hope you don’t get searched.”

“Just keep talking,” he urged as we fake laughed our way through customs with thankfully no interruption.

Mum was still in hysterics over Sam and his headdress, when the phone rang.
“I’m not in the mood for talking to anybody,” I groaned.

“Neither am I,” mum said, heading to the bathroom.

I counted eleven rings before giving in.

“Hello?”

“Hey you,” breathed the all too familiar voice.

“Ben, hi, how’s it going? Did you get your Wings?”

“I did, I did.”

“Congratulations. You must feel relieved.”

“Very. Got my first flight tomorrow.”

“Oh wow, already? Where to?”

“The Big Apple.”

“Aw, fantastic. You’ll absolutely love it! I’m sooo excited for you!”

“Yeah I can’t wait. I’ll send you a postcard,” he laughed.

“Please do.”

“Listen, I might come home in between this trip and my next.”

“That’d be cool,” I uttered, trying to sound as nonchalant as possible.

“If I do, I’ll give you a ring and maybe we can go out for a drink and swap flying stories. How does that sound?”

“Sounds good,” I said, sensing the subtle change in my breathing.

“Great, well I better go so I can pack and all that.”

“Ok, enjoy your first trip, hope it all goes well.”

“Thanks, I’m sure it will.”

I have no doubt.

 

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.”