August 16th, 1990

August 16th, 1990

At home (mum & dad’s)

Went with dad first thing, to the carpet showroom, only to find the entire building secured with huge padlocks! There wasn’t a soul about, so I guess I’ll have to find another company, which means spending more money on something I already paid for.

The fridge was delivered this afternoon, as scheduled, but the bed didn’t show up, so I rang the company, in Italy, in the hopes of finding someone that spoke English.

“Buon pomeriggio, comme posso aiutarti?”

“Oh, eh hello,” I stuttered. “Do you speak English?”

“Yes.”

“Great, ehm, I’m ringing about a bed I ordered.”

“Bid?”

“Bed. B. E. D.”

“Sleeping?”

“Yes. I ordered a bed from your catalogue.”

“The book?”

“Yes.”

“Number?”

“C1984436.”

“Too fast. Again.”

“C 1 9 8 4 4 3 6.”

“One min eet pleeze.”

While on hold, I fanned myself with the invoice and ignored the outrageous amount of money I spent on something I bought because I liked the glossy picture.

“Ok,” she said, the sound of papers rustling in the background. “Tomorrow.”

“Tomorrow for what?”

“For the bid.”

“No, it’s supposed to be delivered today.”

“Not today. Dee lay.”

“I need it today. It’s supposed to be here today.”

“Tomorrow.”

“I won’t be here tomorrow,” I stated.

“So, you want today?”
“Yes!”

“One min eet.”

More fanning with a few deep breaths thrown in for good measure.

“Ok, so tonight.”

“Tonight? I can get it tonight? What time?”

“Ten or more o’clock. It is ok?”

“Eh, I suppose that’s ok, yes, that’s fine. I’ll be here.”

“Ok tonight for the bid.”

I now have a bed and a fridge. And bare floors.

 

August 15th, 1990

August 15th, 1990

At home (mum & dad’s)

Shot over to my house first thing to meet the flooring guys, who didn’t show up ‘til late this afternoon when a burly, gloomy looking guy knocked on the door and told me the company had gone into liquidation, therefore no carpets I already paid for! Dad said he’ll see what he can do tomorrow and in the meantime mum helped me clean the house from top to bottom, which, with the music blaring wasn’t so bad.

I’m so glad I didn’t buy a house in France!

 

 

 

May 20th, 1990

May 20th, 1990

At home

With the prospect of having my own place,  I spent much of the day looking at furniture and came to the conclusion that I basically want everything for sale in Habitat.

No word yet from Harvey on whether the owners accepted my offer but hopefully by the time I leave for Antigua it’ll all be sorted. I’d hate to leave with that in limbo, especially since I’ll be out of touch for two weeks.

Tried ringing David but no reply so I left a message on his machine saying it’d be great to talk to him before I leave the country again!

By tonight, I felt utterly restless so mum suggested we go to the pictures, where she drooled over Richard Gere and I did the same over Andy Garcia! I think the film was called “Internal Affairs,” that’s how little attention I paid to it, but it passed the time.

Just tried David again but this time I didn’t bother leaving a message. Ugh!

 

May 19th, 1990

May 19th, 1990

At home

Very exciting day!

Went out early this morning with dad and while we were driving around, dad spotted a For Sale sign on a building he knows I’ve long admired. The agency advertising it was just around the corner so we popped in. The woman at the front desk was very intimidating looking and said I wouldn’t be able to get in to view it until Monday at the earliest, but fortunately at that moment, a young chap appeared and said if we came back in an hour, he’d walk us over.

I liked it the minute I stepped inside and saw the French doors leading from the living room out to a small patio, strewn with terra cotta pots that reminded me of the stairway at David’s place. Harvey (the estate agent) urged us to look beyond the vast array of toys practically covering every square inch of the floor in the living room, hallway and two bedrooms.

“What do you think?” Harvey asked.

“I quite like it,” I said, trying not to give too much away.

“Enough to make an offer?”

“I’m not sure, I have to think about it.”

“Don’t wait too long,” he said, sounding like an estate agent. “Something like this won’t last, especially on this street. I’ll be in the office all day if you decide to do something.”

The second Harvey was out of earshot, I asked dad what he thought.

“I like that it has that secure entrance to the building. And the parking is close so you wouldn’t have far to walk with your suitcase.”

“Hmmmm, that’s a good point. Do you think I should make an offer?”

“It’s a nice wee place but you’ve talked about getting a house.”

“I know but I can’t afford a house in this area so maybe I start with a flat and work my way up?”

Twenty minutes later, Harvey looked like the cat that got the cream when he looked up and saw us.

“So?”

“I want to make an offer.”

“Good decision,” he said, practically rubbing his hands together. “But first, we need to talk about financing.”

“I’m already approved for a mortgage,” I stated.

Careful you don’t choke on that cream, Harvey, I thought, as a smirk took over his chubby face.

So, now we play the waiting game and see where it goes. Harvey cat said if the offer gets accepted, I could be moving in, in as little as four weeks!

 

March 26th, 1990

March 26th, 1990

At home

“Och, I forgot to tell you,” were the first words out of mum’s mouth this morning. “Jon phoned while you were in Paris and apparently, you were supposed to phone and let him know if you were going to see him or not.”

“Shit, I completely forgot.”

“Don’t swear.”

“Sorry. Did he sound annoyed?”

“Does he ever?”

I laughed. “No, never. I really hope he meets a great girl who absolutely adores him.”

“Aye so do I, he deserves it.”

“Oh, so you’ve given up all hope of us being together?”

“Aye, well I heard a wee bit of your conversation with David last night.”

“Mum!”

“Uff, I couldnae help it when I was going in and out of the kitchen and it’s no as if you were in your room and I was outside the door listening.”

“Which is probably what you’d do if I had a phone in my bedroom.”

Her smirk gave her away.

“Mum, you’re so nosey!”

“I cannae help it,” she said. “You’re my lassie.”

“I know,” I said in a huffy tone, “But I’d appreciate at least some level of privacy. Especially when I’m on the phone.”

She chuckled.

“What?”

“You,” she smiled. “You sound more American every time you talk to David.”

Lovely evening with Sarah and Lucy at The Swan, one of my favourite pubs. Sarah was talking a million miles a minute but Lucy was much more subdued. Of the three of us, Lucy is definitely the quiet one, so much so in fact that I sometimes feel I don’t know her as well as I should after almost ten years of being friends.

It’s interesting witnessing the various directions our lives are moving in but I love that no matter where we end up, we’ll always have the shared experience of our school years. Even if we do have three different versions of all that happened!

March 21st, 1990

March 21st, 1990

At home

I’d hate to be in Mandy’s ugly, white plastic shoes. Her so called boyfriend is a nightmare and a mean spirited, argh, I don’t even know what to call him. Actually, I do but I’m not willing to soil my diary with filth.

I’d planned on going to Paris on the afternoon flight and arranged to meet Jean Jacques at Charles de Gaulle. I made a point of telling him the purpose of my visit, which was to look at some properties I’d seen advertised in the paper. Jean Jacques offered not only to make the appointments but said he’d be happy to drive me around the countryside.

But then you know who rang and asked if I wanted to meet him after work and grab something to eat and instead of saying no and continuing with my Paris plans, I stupidly, regrettably said yes.

 

I knew from the minute I saw him that he was in one of his what I call weird, distant moods but as usual I pretended everything was fine and started rambling on about all sorts of nonsense, none of which he responded to.

I said I’d wait outside the shop for him to finish his shift and my instinct was telling me to make some excuse about having to leave but of course I completely ignored it and sat like a fool, waiting for him.

When he came outside, he was in no better a mood and mumbled something about not being hungry.

“Oh,” I uttered. “I thought you wanted to get something to eat.”

“I’ve changed my mind.”

“Oh, ok, do you want to just have a look around the shops then?”

“Nah, I think I’ll go home.”

Looking back, I really should’ve let him have it but it was my own stupid fault for agreeing to meet him in the first place, when I should’ve stuck to my guns and got on the plane. And, to make matters worse, instead of leaving him there, I said I’d drive him home. Honestly! What is wrong with me?

Mum is none too pleased that I didn’t go to Paris, which is ironic given the fact she usually refers to Jean Jacques as “a slimey wee worm.” However, she did agree that if I’m going to look at houses in France, it makes sense for me to do it with someone who speaks fluent French.

I left a message for Jean Jacques but I haven’t heard from him yet.

Ugh! When will I ever learn?

 

December 15th, 1989

December 15th, 1989

At home

Went shopping with mum and felt sad knowing I’ll be away for Christmas (on a trip with Frankie that will, no doubt, be very interesting!) Mum mentioned more than once that Christmas won’t be the same without not only me around, but also Nana.

I have lovely memories of helping Nana wrap our gifts, then feigning surprise when I opened mine on the day.

“It’s just what I wanted,” I’d say, laughing.

“I’m so glad you like it, hen,” Nana would say, avoiding eye contact with me for fear of cracking up laughing.

I do feel bad I won’t be here, especially this year, where things have been difficult for mum and dad but more than ever I know it’s time for me to move out. I’ve been thinking about Christopher’s offer of helping me get set up somewhere in New York in an apartment that I’d rent (no way could I afford to buy there.) I still love the idea of buying a place in France but New York captures (and holds!) my attention unlike anywhere else and I can imagine “popping in,” to see Christopher (the only person I’d know in New York!) on my days off.

I know plenty of cabin crew who commute, ok maybe not to New York but with the short flight time, I think I could make it work.

 

December 4th, 1989

December 4th, 1989

Flight from LHR – MCT

Hotel Inter Continental, Muscat, Oman

Flight time was just under eight hours but we were chocka so no crew rest. Lovely passengers, albeit very demanding, with one very sweet older woman who reminded me of Nana. Needless to say, she was very well taken care of, so much so in fact that she remarked it was her best flight ever and right before she disembarked, she gave me a huge hug and told me she’d been back in the UK to bury her sister. Took everything I had not to burst into tears and it reminded me that you never know what someone is going through.

Ben rang while I was still at home this morning, asking when I’ll be back. “In a week,” I said, which is a lie because I’ll be home in a few days. Granted, we just had the most fantastic few days together but that doesn’t mean I’m going to allow myself to fall into my old habits and act like a fool. I have no intention of doing that again. Not ever. Not with anyone.

We arrived in Muscat just before seven tonight and most of my crew arranged to meet in the hotel bar but I wasn’t in the mood for socializing. I feel really sad about Nana and thought my time would be better spent alone, writing.

After we left Scotland for England eight years ago, I didn’t get to see Nana as much as I did growing up but she still spent every Christmas with us and I made sure to get up to Scotland to visit as much as I could. Plus, we talked on the phone frequently and wrote all the time. I’m finding it hard to come to terms with the fact I’ll never see Nana again. Or even talk to her. Somehow, that part feels worse than knowing never seeing her again.

It’s two in the morning and I’ve been cocooned in this lush, ridiculously comfortable bed for hours on end. As usual, I’ve already used up every scrap of hotel stationery, most of which is now strewn across this giant bed. Ah, I’m in total bliss!

Needless to say, some of what I wrote has to do with Ben. I actually wrote a letter to him earlier but after I read it, I tore it up. I know I need to step away from him. I don’t think I’m ready just yet to let go completely but I think I’m getting close.

 

November 11th, 1989

November 11th, 1989
At home

“Hey Karen, it’s David.”
Ah, that voice. “David! Hello! You’re up early.”
“Oh I guess old habits die hard,” he laughed.
“The beauty of a routine filled life.”
“I’ll bet that’s something you don’t get as a flight attendant.”
“Not at all,” I said.
“I know I have a hard time dealing with different time zones when I travel.”
“Actually I do too. I don’t think I’ll ever get used to it.”
“Well I’m surprised you picked up, I figured I’d be talking to your mom first.”
Instinctively, I looked upstairs and felt a pang of sadness.
“Hey Karen? You there?”
“Yes.”
“Are you ok?” he asked.
“Eh, yeah, sorry. My mum’s actually not been feeling well recently.”
“Oh that’s too bad. Does she have like the flu, or something?”
“Something like that,” I said, not quite knowing what else to say.
“Okay, tell your mom I hope she gets better soon.”
“I will, thanks,” I said, suddenly feeling like I might cry.
“So, I was talking to a buddy of mine here at work who knows Tokyo pretty well and he said I can take a train from Tokyo to Narita.”
“Oh, that sounds promising.”
He laughed. “I love your expressions.”
I felt myself blush. “So, eh, do you think you might want to do that?”
“Sure, if it’s ok with you?”
“Absolutely, it’d be great to meet up.”
“Cool. Okay, I had another idea.”
“Go ahead.”
He laughed again. “How about if I get a room at your hotel? I could stay for two nights before I go home?”
Several visions of us “Going To London,” together flew through my head and I felt my cheeks flush again.
“That sounds like a great idea.”
“Are you sure?” he asked.
“Absolutely. Let’s do it.”