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.







March 18th, 1991

March 18th, 1991

Night flight from LHR – BKK

With the arrival this morning of yet another outrageously expensive phone bill, I took the initiative and rang crewing to see if I could start standby earlier than tonight, which was lucky as someone had just called in sick for this trip.

So, it’s off to Bangkok we go!


March 12th, 1991

March 12th, 1991

Night flight BDA – LGW

Sore feet, throbbing head, happy heart! That’s my present condition as we wing our way home, after the most amazing time celebrating Lorna and Klaus’s nuptials.

Meryl and Kimberly are working while Carl and I are on first crew rest. No sooner did we pull the curtain around us when Carl fell into the seat and zonked out! We only have thirty minutes, so while Carl’s getting a crick in his neck, I’m drinking tea and chomping my way through a plate of biscuits.

Ah, the glamour!



March 10th, 1991

March 10th, 1991

Flight from BDA – NAS – BDA

Hamilton Princess Hotel, Bermuda

I’m so enjoying this trip, which took precedence over a weekend in the English countryside at what I expect would be some stately home (ah!) owned by Jacob’s parents. Frankie and I had a good laugh after I remembered I was actually due to be here in Bermuda for Lorna’s wedding!

Just rolled in from a most entertaining evening with the wedding gang. We’re all so familiar with each other that it’s hard to believe we only met just over two years ago. Life for all of us has changed so much, all from joining British Airways as Cabin Crew.

Operated the shuttle to and from Nassau, with high winds and a deluge that drenched us while we waited for the crew bus to appear. Carl said the only remedy for the cold was rum and lots of it, so we headed to his room to put his theory to the test!

Several hours later, we made our way into town. I walked with Lorna, who seemed quieter than usual.

“Penny for your thoughts,” I said, linking my arm through hers.

“I’m just thinking about tomorrow,” she said, sounding wistful.

I squeezed her arm. “It’s going to be amazing!”

Carl and Daniel lead the way,  with Klaus walking between them. Klaus kept looking back, blowing kisses in Lorna’s direction.

“Look at him,” I said. “He’s totally gaga about you.”

“He is that,” she sighed.

Sensing something that I couldn’t put my finger on, I stopped walking. “Lorna, is there anything you want to talk about?”

“Nah,” she said. “I think I’ve just got a bad case of the wedding jitters.”

“I can only imagine what a big deal it is.”

“I think it’s just, you know, moving to Holland dealing with his family and stuff. It feels like a lot.”

I nodded. “I think once you’re married it’ll be different.”

She gave me a questioning look.

“What I mean is, I think your relationship with his family will be different.”

“How so?”

“I think once you’re his wife, it’ll be easier for you to tell them to piss off,” I said, making her laugh.


February 16th, 1991

February 16th, 1991

Night flight from BDA – LGW

Spent most of the day poolside, under the shade of an umbrella, watching in amusement as Ava swanned around the pool, her Rubenesque figure swathed in a pastel coloured creation that took on a life of its own anytime the wind kicked up!

“We really must stop meeting like this,” Graham said as I looked up from the sun lounger.

“Given our line of work, that might be difficult,” I smiled. “And I take it you’re off to Tampa?”
He nodded. “You have my number, right?”

We have a running joke that I lost his number, based on the fact I never ring him.

“Somewhere, yes,” I laughed, sitting up.

“I’d love to take you out for a drink at home sometime, you know, like normal people.”

“But we’re not…” I started to say, just as Ava appeared in a cloud of billowing polyester.

“Graham dahling,” she gushed, leaning in for a kiss. “I do hope you’re securing a date with Miss McGarr.”

“I’m trying,” he laughed.

“Try harder,” she said, lightly smacking his arm. “And as for you Miss McGarr, don’t forget what I said about the boat,” she winked, before slinking her way in the Captain’s direction. Graham gave me a quizzical look. “What’s that about a boat?”

“Just a few words of wisdom,” I shrugged.

Some people really suit being in uniform and Graham is definitely one of them. He smiled at me in such an appealing way that for a second, I thought I might ask if he’d be interested in being my guest at Lorna and Klaus’s wedding.

“What?” he said, grinning.

I waved my hand dismissively. “Nothing. I hope the Tampa shuttle goes well, with no delays.”

“You’ll be gone by the time I get back, right?”


“Can I give you a kiss goodbye?”

“No kissing allowed in uniform,” I laughed.

“You’re not in uniform,” he grinned, bending towards me. I expected a peck on the cheek but he went for a full mouth kiss, taking me totally by surprise. “Ring me,” he whispered.


February 13th, 1991

February 13th, 1991

Flight from LGW – BDA

Hamilton Princess Hotel, Bermuda

This pale pink hotel is, by far, one of the nicest we crew stay in and it’s exciting to think that in less than a month, I’ll be back to attend Lorna and Klaus’s wedding.

We arrived to a beautiful, sunny afternoon and on the crew bus, Ava, the First Class purser sat behind Tessa and me and joined in our conversation. According to our Purser, Ava’s nickname is Lady Lace due to the fact she insists on covering the FC galley and cabin in various what she calls, “enhancements,” because, “Life is so much prettier in lace!” I doubt British Airways would be thrilled to learn their award-winning First Class silver service comes adorned in lace doilies, but I suppose when you’ve been flying as long as Ava you can get away with anything.

Ava asked Tessa and I if we’d like to join her for “a spot of window shopping,” so we made our way along Main Street, with Ava oohing and aahing at the array of window boxes outside every pastel coloured building. Outside a shop painted sun yellow, a girl was handing out chocolates so I stopped to take one.

“Let’s take a peek inside,” Ava suggested, so we stepped into what I presumed to be a chocolatier, heaven on earth for sure, but once inside, I realized we were in no such place.

“I’d like to get my lady bits waxed in the shape of a heart, in honour of Saint Valentine,” Ava cooed to the girl behind the counter.

Tessa’s mouth dropped open and I turned my back so Ava wouldn’t see me giggling.

“I shan’t be long dahlings,” Ava smiled, as another girl led her into one of the treatments rooms.

Tessa and I took a seat on the plush couch in the reception area and browsed through several brochures offering all manner of cosmetic procedures. The only sound we could hear, aside from the calming music, was Ava’s booming voice.

“Make it a little smaller dahling, that’s it, a nice little furry heart.”

“Furry heart?” Tessa mouthed as I popped another chocolate in my mouth, nearly choking on it.

“Girls? Girls?” Ava called. “Would you care to see the masterpiece Marcia has created?”

I immediately fell into a fit of giggles and couldn’t speak.

“Uhm, no thank you, Ava,” Tessa managed to say. “Thank you for the lovely offer though!”

“Ok my dahlings, I shan’t be long.”

Ava reappeared, looking rather chuffed with herself. She noisily pecked Marcia the heart maker on each cheek before pressing a wad of cash into her hand.

“Beautiful dahling, just beautiful.”

Back at the hotel, Ava invited us to her room for, “A civilized drink. Nobody bothers to take the time anymore. I find it all rather depressing.” In Ava’s room, a woman, donned in the uniform worn by hotel staff, was unpacking her suitcase and ironing!

“Thank you my sweet,” Ava gushed as the woman smiled and continued with the task at hand. “Dahling, would you mind terribly if I took the liberty of asking you to procure two bottles of the very finest bubbles room service has to offer?”

“My pleasure,” the woman, whose name tag read, “Ali,” smiled.

After the first cork was popped, Ava said, “Gosh, Ali dahling, please do put down that dratted iron and come join us in a little celebration.” With the second bottle empty, Ava managed to acquire two more, over which she regaled us with tales of her thirty plus years of flying, slipping in the fact she has a Rolls Royce, complete with, of course, a chauffeur!

“A woman driving is so terribly common, wouldn’t you agree, dahlings?”

By the time I left Ava’s room, I felt more than woozy and the prospect of a relaxing evening seemed more than appealing, all until Ava rang to remind me she was treating the entire crew to “An early lovey dovey supper in honour of Saint Valentine.”


January 29th, 1991

January 29th, 1991

Flight from OSA – ANC

Anchorage, Alaska

Started off the day in Japan, ending in Alaska, after a seventeen-hour time difference between the two continents!

Met Emilio first thing and headed for the high-end department stores, filled with beautifully turned out staff, all in possession of impeccable manners. We couldn’t afford to buy any luxury items but did spend a small fortune at a market stall, on rubbery tasting strawberries that swiftly ended up in the bin. I told Emilio I had a hankering for freshly picked strawberries, served with fresh cream, preferably on a warm June day, somewhere like, say, Wimbledon.

“Let me guess,” he laughed. “Front row?”

“But of course,” I teased.

Passenger total was only fifty-five, which on the Boeing 747 feels eerie, especially when darkness falls. Even with such a severe lack of passengers, Harold still refused to allow us any crew rest. I must remember to make a mental note to leave the flying world long before I hit thirty. Emilio estimates Harold to be in his sixties but I think he’s probably closer to fifty, with almost twenty-five years as crew under his belt (no thanks!)

We arrived in Anchorage to, surprise, surprise, snow! It was only nine am, so Emilio came to my room for tea and toast. It was too cold to go out so we started watching “Top Gun” but I dozed off. I have yet to see past the scene where Goose and Maverick sing “Great Balls of Fire” due to the fact I either fall asleep or have to leave the hotel!

Emilio woke me to say he was going back to his room, and that was it, I was wide awake. This is the biggest time difference I’ve been through and I feel like I’m in the twilight zone. Not only that but it’s been a terrible day in the food department, with breakfast and lunch in Japan, then breakfast, lunch and dinner (yes, all on the same day!) in Alaska!

In an attempt to quash the crew rumour that Emilio and I are involved in a romantic relationship, we met up with them and went to dinner but before doing so, we had a good laugh about it.

“They all think we’re shagging like rabbits,” Emilio grinned. “I even heard Harold talking to Samantha about us.”

“It’s actually quite amusing, considering all we do is talk and ea

Speaking of eating, I’m going to bed with a full tummy and a sneaking suspicion that, thanks to too many Margarita’s, I may wake up feeling that most redundant of emotions; Regret!


January 25th, 1991

January 25th, 1991

Flight from ANC – NRT

Presently on the flight from Alaska to Japan (seven hours) with our naff crew, who went to great lengths on the crew bus describing every detail of the snow and “absolutely superb skiing you both missed.” Yawn.

Neither Emilio or I had any interest in freezing to death in the frigid temperatures so we, wait for it, ordered room service, only this time we ate healthy food. There really is a first time for everything!

Samantha asked Emilio how his ankle is, and based on his response, he’ll be sharing this year’s Oscar with Perfect Penny!

December 31st, 1990

December 31st, 1990

Hilton Hotel, Perth, Australia

Ending 1990 on the other side of the world, in a hotel room, where I’m not alone.

Still fragile from the room party our gregarious Captain insisted upon, even although we arrived at eight this morning (!) I stayed in bed most of the day and didn’t get up ‘til I heard a knock on the door.

I peered through the peephole to see Perfect Penny and my initial reaction was to creep quietly away, until I spotted the plastic shopping bag in her hand, at which point I knew something was “off.” Perfect Penny isn’t the sort of girl to ever be seen in public in possession of a bag with any less status than one designed by a woman named Coco (whose real name, incidentally was Gabrielle.)

As soon as I opened the door, Perfect Penny strode into my room.
“Hey Penny, come on in, why don’t you!” I drawled, my tone snarky.

“Penelope. Please,” she hissed.

She looked pale. “I see you’re still suffering as well.”


“From the room party? You-”
“I must use your loo,” she blurted.

“Be my guest.”

I scanned the room service menu to see if they offered chocolate mousse (they did) and thought I’d order one not only for myself, but also for PP, mostly because I knew there was no way she’d eat it, which brought a smile to my face but that quickly changed when I heard her piercing scream.

“Are you alright, Penny?” I called out.

“It’s Penelope,” she shrieked.


She opened the door and held out her hand, in which she held a stick from a pregnancy test kit. I glanced at the solid pink line and a little sound, indicating shock, escaped my lips.

“It might be wrong,” I stated.

“I hope you’re correct. I shall try again,” she snipped, slamming the door shut.

I paced around the room, the appeal of chocolate mousse suddenly gone, then I heard the bathroom door creak open. “What does that one say?”

PP held out the stick. The result was the same.

“I’ll try another one,” she uttered, this time closing the door, slowly.

“How many do you have?”

“Four,” she whimpered, from the other side of the door.

“I’ll make us some tea,” I offered, because I really didn’t know what else to say.

PP came walking out of the bathroom as though she was in deportment class at finishing school but I could see she was shivering as she sat down.

“Here,” I said, pulling the blanket off my bed, draping it around her bony shoulders. “And I made you a nice cup of tea. Drink it up and I’ll turn up the heat.”

I sat on the bed across from her and noticed her hands were trembling. We didn’t speak for a while until PP broke the silence. “I don’t….I don’t know what I’m going to do.”

“They’re all-” I started to ask.

“Positive, yes,” she nodded. “All four of them.” Her voice sounded shaky.

“I’m sure you and Jeremy will figure everything out,” I said, in my most soothing tone.

She stared at the floor. “I can’t tell him. He’ll be furious.”
“Things don’t always go as planned,” I uttered, my mind wandering briefly to a momentous moment in a hotel room in LA just last month.
“I don’t think you understand,” she stated. “Jeremy and I have yet to…explore that side of our relationship.”

My questioning look prompted her to confess. “He thinks I’m still a virgin.”

“Oh,” is all I managed to get out.

“We planned on changing that on our wedding night, so you see, I…I can’t tell him.”

“Shit, Penny.” She glared at me. “Sorry, Penelope.”

“Thank you,” she sniffed, picking up the cup and saucer.

I didn’t know if she was thanking me for the tea, or for using her full name.

The evening arrangement was to meet in the First Class purser’s room at eight, then head to an Italian restaurant close by, where the Captain had reserved a private room. However, as the hours wore on, the reality of PP’s “condition” seemed to take hold of her and she went from being quiet and trembling, to crying hysterically.

She shared with me the entire sordid tale of the passionate affair she’s been having with the man who trains her horse (he’s twenty years her senior, married, with three kids.) He and Not So Perfect Penny have been having it off in the stables for the past six years!

After a few hours of trying to console her, I moved my suitcase off the spare bed and tucked her in. She was fully dressed and didn’t put up a fight, which is when I knew she’d gone over the edge. Within minutes, she was sound asleep, making murmuring sounds that led me to believe she was dreaming of her horse!

I can’t believe I feel sorry for her, but I really do. At some point, I’ll have to inform the Cabin Service Director, but it’ll have to wait, as I know he’s out celebrating with the crew.

Meanwhile, I’m 9,000 miles from home, trapped in a hotel room with sleeping beauty and her bun in the oven, thirty minutes away from 1991.


December 30th, 1990

December 30th, 1990

Night flight from MEL – PER

Short, uneventful stay in Melbourne, now on crew rest, as we make our way to Perth, the place where we’ll bid farewell to 1990, the year in which I travelled to;


Malaga, SPAIN



New York, New York, USA

Montreal, CANADA

Detroit, Michigan, USA


Washington, Dulles County, USA

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA

Toronto, CANADA

Johannesburg, SOUTH AFRICA

Nairobi, KENYA

Dusseldorf, GERMANY

Kingston, JAMAICA

Amsterdam, HOLLAND


Los Angeles, California, USA


Miami, Florida, USA



Cairo, EGYPT


Seattle, Washington, USA

Vancouver, CANADA



Puerto Ayacucho, VENEZUELA

Boston, Massachusetts, USA

Newark, New Jersey, USA

Cologne, GERMANY


Melbourne, AUSTRALIA



Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA

A total of 21 countries and 376, 279 miles!