August 23rd, 1990

August 23th, 1990

Caracas, Venezuela

Spent the morning on the balcony with Millie and Dolly, gorging on tea and toast, recounting; “Tales from the Amazon,” which kept us laughing until the temperature spiked, forcing us inside, where the air conditioning was broken, which led us to the beach!

Floating in the water, I couldn’t help but think of David and how much I miss him. I’ve already sent him two postcards and a mega letter but I wish we could talk. He’s in Tokyo and I know where he’s staying but with a mortgage to pay, there’s no way I can afford or justify the cost of even a short chat.

Tonight, the hotel disco was the place to be, teeming with all sorts, including the Alitalia crew who arrived a few hours prior. Every one of them was stunning looking (average weight seven stone!) dressed to the nines, looking as if they just stepped off the catwalk (some of them acted as though were still on it!)

I got chatted up by an amazing dancer, dressed in a Prada suit (I clocked the label when he opened his jacket on the dance floor, oh, imagine the moves!) Unfortunately, he was deeply in love with himself but still managed to tell me his name is Massimo and that he liked my “style.” I ignored most of his subsequent questions and comments and continued dancing but he wasn’t taking the hint. “I’m on the dance floor to dance, not talk,” I wanted to say.

After a few songs, Massimo started getting a bit full on and when I turned to leave, he grabbed my arm. I attempted to pull away but his grip was firm.

“Let go,” I yelled, thinking my next move would be to, as mum would say, “Kick him in the goolies.” There wasn’t enough room to step back so I figured I’d knee him instead, which I was just about to do when Roberto appeared.

Roberto took one look at me and yelled something in Italian that made Massimo promptly release his grip.

“You ok?” Roberto mouthed.
I nodded yes and he tilted his head in the direction of the bar, where most of my crew was gathered.

“What was all that about?” Millie asked when I finally made it to the bar.

“Just some dickhead trying it on.”

“Looks like your knight in shining armour took care of him,” she said, gesturing to Roberto as he made his way towards us.

“You sure you’re ok?” he asked.

“Yeah, I’m fine, thanks. What did you say to him?”

He laughed. “I can’t repeat it. Far too rude.”

“Well whatever it was, thank you.”

“Yeah, thanks for taking care of that slime ball,” Millie said, passing a drink to Roberto.
“For me?” he asked.

“Uh-huh,” she smiled. “It’s a Mojito.”

“My favourite. Thanks, Millie,” he said, clearly surprised.

“No problem,” she said, passing the same to me. “One for you as well, Madison.”

“Yummy, thanks, Millie, oooh, the mint smells so good.”

“Cheers you two,” she said, clinking her glass first to mine then to Roberto’s.

“Cheers,” Roberto and I said in unison.

Wonders will never cease!


August 20th, 1990

August 20th, 1990
Caracas, Venezuela

“Morning Madison,” Millie chirped, when she rang first thing this morning.
“Hello,” I replied, my tone curt.
“Fancy some tea and toast?”
“Not really.”
“Oh, come on,” she said. “We always have tea and toast together. I’ll be there in two minutes.”

She barged into my room, smiling widely and made a beeline for the balcony.
“We can have it out here,” she said, swinging open the doors.
“It’s too hot out there,” I said, closing them. “Besides, I don’t want blotchy skin and straw hair.”
“You’re not still on that, are you?”
“Seems I am. Speaking of, what do you have to say about your behaviour yesterday?”
“I’m sorry.”
“That’s it? That’s all you have to say?”
She sighed. “I think the heat was getting to me.”
“That’s your excuse?”
“I just said I’m sorry, didn’t I?”
“I don’t know Millie, sometimes I don’t understand the way you act. It’s confusing.”
“I don’t like Roberto,” she blurted.
“That’s pretty obvious.”
“Why do you like him so much?”
“He’s a really nice guy.”
“He’s fake.”
“Well that’s your opinion and I just happen to disagree with it.”
“I don’t like guys like him, he’s just so…”
“Fine!” I yelled. “That’s fine, nobody’s forcing you to like him.”
“I just don’t…”
“Enough. Seriously Millie,” I said, throwing my hands up in surrender. “That’s enough.”
“Ok,” she smiled. “Let’s invite Dolly for tea and toast then we’ll go to the pool. OK?”

The rest of the day passed without incident and we had fun by the pool making the final arrangements for our trip to the jungle. Nigel, our purser, is coming with us and I’m going to suggest he bring a cricket bat, just in case the heat starts getting to Millie!

August 19th, 1990

August 19th, 1990

Flight from CCS – BOG – CCS

Caracas, Venezuela


While the aircraft was being catered on turnaround in Bogota, Millie appeared in the galley.

“Phew, it’s bloody roasting, isn’t it,” I said, fanning my face.

“Not really.”

“You’re not boiling in this heat?”

“Your face looks blotchy.”

“It’s the humidity. It doesn’t like me.”

“Your hair’s a mess as well.”

“Gee, thanks friend.”

“It looks like straw.”

“And you remain as flawless as ever,” I said in a sarcastic tone.

“You look bedraggled,” she hissed.

“You can go back downstairs anytime, you know.”

“I’m not needed down there.”

“You’re not needed here either with that attitude.”

“You’re vile when it’s humid.”

I’m vile?”

“Uh,” she said, shaking her head. “You get really snarky.”

“I’m not the one being snarky!”

“You are. You’re upset because you look like shit.”

I opened my mouth but no words came out.

“See you later,” she said, turning to go, just as Roberto came into the galley, his mouth agape.

“What the hell was that all about?”

I shook my head. “I have no idea.”

On the crew bus back to the hotel, Millie sat by herself while Dolly and I attempted to make eye contact with her, but she wasn’t having any of it.

So much for a fun request trip!


August 18th, 1990

August 18th, 1990

Caracas, Venezuela

Lovely, relaxing day by the pool (uncovered and not in the shade!) with Millie, Dolly and a ridiculously handsome guy from our crew called Roberto, who had me in stitches with a rating system he devised for the guys, which I have to say was utterly brutal and lead me to believe Roberto’s standards are way higher than mine!

Most of our crew met for dinner at a place called, The Solimar, just a short walk from the hotel. We were just about to tuck into dessert when Pauline’s boyfriend (clearly very drunk) called Roberto a poof. Mouths dropped around the table and the Captain wasted no time getting up and telling (not asking) “Just call me Trev,” to go outside so he could, “Have a word.”

About ten minutes later, JCMT returned looking sheepish and told Pauline the Captain wanted to speak to her. She burst into tears and almost took the entire tablecloth with her when she mistook it for her napkin!

While Pauline was outside getting what I imagine was a right telling off, Just Call Me Trev made his way over to Roberto. Around the table, we did our best pretending not to watch or listen as Roberto nodded his head in response to JCMT’s obvious attempts at an apology, which ended, surprisingly, with the two of them shaking hands.

Pauline came back inside, all smiles and made a fool of herself by proposing a toast to; “The best crew ever,” as JCMT gazed longingly at her, or maybe he was still glassy eyed from too many Cuba Libres.

While Pauline was rabbiting on, Millie kicked me under the table and mouthed, “They belong together.”

My sentiments exactly.







August 14th, 1990

August 14th, 1990

At home (mum and dad’s)

I don’t know what I’d have done without mum and dad’s help moving all my stuff, which took most of the day.

“Yer no taking this old thing are ye?” dad asked, at the sight of mum’s steamer trunk.

“Uh-huh, I love that thing.”

“It’s bloody heavy.”

“That’s where Karen keeps all her secrets,” mum laughed.

“Yeah right, mum, the lock doesn’t even work.”

“Oh, if only it could talk,” mum sighed, gazing longingly in the trunk’s direction.

“Those were the days eh, Lizzie?”

“Oh aye,” she smiled. “I still remember packing my stuff to come home from America. It was so heavy I couldnae move it.”

“Nothing’s changed,” dad laughed.

“I can give you a hand with it, dad.”

“Thanks, hen. Wit do ye actually keep in it?”

“All my old diaries, letters, photos and stuff like that.”

“Yer a sentimental wee soul,” he said, squeezing my shoulder.

I wouldn’t disagree with that.





August 12th, 1990

August 12th, 1990

At home

Got home at six tonight, just as mum and dad were heading out to H&M’s for dinner. Hopefully they’ll return with piles of delicious nosh that’ll carry us through the weekend!

I was in the kitchen, combing through the stack of post that arrived in my absence and there, at the bottom, was a letter from Ben. My heart deceived me with a slight flutter that I paid no attention to and continued making tea.

Half a packet of jaffa cakes and two cups of tea later, I’d memorized every line of what was essentially a generic account of Ben’s recent trips, all until the end;

“It’s obvious our lives are going in different directions but I want you to know I’ll always love you. Always. Always. Always.”

My stomach is in knots, the jaffa cakes are gone and I’m crying.









August 11th, 1990

August 11th, 1990

Night flight from YVR – LHR

Really enjoyed Vancouver and look forward to returning, of course one of the best things about being there was being able to chat to David.


“Morning sleepy,” I said, stretching.

“Saturday morning, slowly waking up.”

“What are you up to today?”

“I’m heading to San Diego soon.”

“Oh, to see your parents?”

“Yeah and my sister is coming for the weekend, be good to catch up.”

“That’ll be nice.”

“Be nicer if you were coming.”

“I wish I could.”

“Me too but you’re going home to an exciting time.”

“I am?”

“Did you forget you’re buying a house?”

I laughed. “No, of course not, I just haven’t thought much about it.”

“It’ll be awesome, having your own place and all that.”

“You’ll have to come and stay.”

“Cool. Hey, I had a funny dream.”

“What happened?”

“We were floating in the ocean under a full moon, it was really cool. Dolphins were swimming around us.”

“Those pesky dolphins again, huh?” I said, trying not to laugh.


“How many this time?”



“Too many?” he asked.


“You sure about that?”

“Absolutely. One is enough.”

“No way,” he laughed. “One is sad.”

“One is plenty.”

“Three is better.”



I guess we’ll see!
















August 9th, 1990

August 9th, 1990

Flight from SEA – YVR – SEA

Seattle, Washington


Woke up with David on the phone.


“Hey yourself, this is a nice surprise.”

“I wanted to call like an hour ago but I figured with the time change, you’d be wiped.”

“What time is it?” I asked.

“Just after seven.”

“That’s fine, you can ring me anytime.”

“Cool, I’ll remember that.”

“How’s life on the roof this morning?”

“How did you know I’m up here?”

“I can hear the waves.”

“How do they sound?”

“They’re calling my name.”

He laughed. “You can’t ignore them.”

“Trust me, if I didn’t have to work the shuttle today I’d hire a car and land on your doorstep.”

“That’d be awesome. Where’s the shuttle going?”

“Vancouver, there and back.”

“What’s that flight time?”

“Just over an hour or so.  Not a bad work day.”

“Have you been watching the news coming out of Kuwait?”

“Yes, it’s all everybody is talking about. What do you think will happen?”

“I think we’re about to go to war.”

“You do?”

“It’s not looking good. Thousands of foreign nationals are trapped and…”

“I know, it’s awful. That must be terrifying.”

“British Airways fly to Kuwait, right?”

“Yeah but I haven’t been yet.”

“You’re not going!”

“I might not have a choice.”

“There’s no way I want you going there. No way.”

“So, if I get rostered a Kuwait what do you suggest I do?”

“Say you’re sick. Or that you don’t feel comfortable going to that part of the world.”

“I can’t say that. I’d lose my job.”

“I’m serious Karen. I don’t want anything bad happening to you. Promise me you won’t go.”









August 8th, 1990

August 8th, 1990

Seattle, Washington

Over breakfast at Clippers, we made plans to rent a car and go to Mount Rainier, where none of us had been before. Greg offered to drive and because there were six of us, we rented a minivan, which was really spacious and very comfortable.

It was about a two hour drive up through the winding roads lined with Cedar and Douglas Fir trees that towered hundreds of feet above us. The views were incredible, so much so that I bought the poster and will get it framed and put it somewhere in my new house.

Most of the day’s conversation centered around the situation in Kuwait and what it might lead to. Scary times indeed.


August 7th, 1990

August 7th, 1990

Flight from LHR – SEA

Seattle, Washington

First time in Seattle and the view from my room of office blocks and sailboats in the distance looks interesting. I’d love to go out for a walk but the eight-hour time change has left me feeling listless but if I go to bed now I’ll be awake at two in the morning. What’s a girl to do? I know, I’ll ring my LA lover!

“How far are you from Seattle?”

“I guess it’s about an eighteen-hour drive.”

“What are you waiting for?” I asked, only half joking.

“I wish,” David sighed. “Hey, did you write your diary yet?”

“Not yet. Why?”

“I was just thinking about your expression when you concentrate while you write.”

“Oh, you were, were you?”

“Uh-huh. I kinda love it.”

“I’m glad to hear that.”

“Guess what else I love?”

I felt my little heart swell. “What else?”

“You. I love you.”

“I love you too.”