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.


March 7th, 1991

March 7th, 1991

At home

Home after sixteen hours (!) in London with Frankie, during which we saw “Miss Saigon,” at the Prince Edward theatre, danced at The Hippodrome and went to a party in Chelsea that finally wound down today, at lunchtime!

We’re now on our second bottle of champers having a good giggle over our antics, pondering whether to accept the invitation to Jacob’s “country house,” this weekend or not.

Ah, decisions, decisions!


March 6th, 1991

March 6th, 1991

At home

The sun was already up when Frankie began showing signs of fatigue, starting with droopy eyelids that ended up shut, but only after she slumped off the couch onto the floor in the most spectacular way! I didn’t see the need in rousing her out of what sounded like deep slumber, so I covered her with a blanket, stuck a cushion under her head and went to bed!

Didn’t stir ‘til after two this afternoon and only because the radio was being blasted downstairs.

“Morning,” Frankie chirped when she spotted me shuffling down the stairs. “I have an idea!”

“Hopefully it involves tea, toast and closing the blinds,” I said, shielding my eyes from the light streaming through the French doors.

“Let’s go to London!”
“When?” I yawned.

“Now! Well, when you’re ready. Come on, it’ll be fun.”

I made a groaning sound she chose to ignore. “Wake up, you!” she shrieked, throwing her arms around me. “I’ll make you tea and toast but only if you promise we can go to London.”

I groaned again but had to laugh when Frankie playfully shook her tiny fists in my direction.

“Well?” she asked, expectantly.

“Deal,” I smiled. “But only if you turn the music down. My head is throbbing.”

“Woo-hoo,” she yelled. “Buttery toast and lashings of tea coming right up. But the music stays on!”

And off to London we go!


March 5th, 1991

March 5th, 1991

At home, England

Frankie’s in the house! I picked her up from the train station and we haven’t stopped talking (or drinking) since!

When I came out of the bathroom, I heard Frankie on the phone. I knew it hadn’t rung so I held back to allow her some privacy but before going into my room, I heard her say; “So, what time is it in Antigua?” followed by, “Oh yeah, she’ll be back in a minute.”

“Who is that?” I demanded, dashing down the stairs.

“William,” she mouthed, her signature mischievous grin more than evident.

“Give me the phone!” I said, quickly grabbing it out of her hand. “Hello?”

“Sounds like you guys are partying!”

“Ehm, yes, ah, yes we are,” I stuttered, slapping my hand in Frankie’s direction.

“Frankie sounds awesome!”

“Uh-huh,” I replied, avoiding her gleeful gaze. “She’s something else, that’s for sure. Anyway, we’re in the middle of something so I’ll let you go but I’ll catch up with you soon, ok, byeeeee.”

Before William had a chance to respond, I hung up and glared at Frankie.

“Sorry,” she smiled, clearly not meaning it.

“How did you get William’s number?”

“It’s right there, silly.” She pointed to the slip of paper next to the phone.

“But what, I mean…why?”

“I just wanted to ask him if he loves you.” She looked so innocent I almost believed she was.

“What did he say?”

“He said he fell in love with you the first time he saw you.”

For some ridiculous reason, I felt the flush rise in my cheeks.

“Awww,” she purred. “Looks like you wuv him too.”

“Frankie, I hardly even know him! He met me under false pretenses! And we’ve talked plenty since I spilled the beans after Christmas about my true identity, but I still don’t know him.”

“But don’t you see,” she pleaded. “None of that matters.”

She looked so hopeful, I didn’t have the heart to tell her it matters to me.



February 27th, 1991

February 27th, 1991

At home, England

It’s my 24th birthday and I’m in bed. Alone! Sober!

“Oh, hello, pleased to meet you, I’d like to introduce myself but I have no idea who I am!”

The day began with William on the phone.

“What time is it in Antigua?” I asked, through a huge yawn.

“Early but I didn’t want to miss your birthday.”

“That was nice,” I said, meaning it.

“You sound wiped.”

I didn’t feel the need to explain that my ex-ex-boyfriend had left merely a few hours before and that I’d been so gutted by the news of his “amazing new girlfriend,” I hadn’t been able to sleep for hours.

“Are you still planning on coming back to the island?”

“Yes! And Millie wants to come as well.” No response. “Are you still there?”

“Yeah, I’m here,” he said.

“I take it Millie isn’t your cup of tea?”

“I just figured you’d come alone.”

“She’s quite forceful,” I laughed. “I don’t think she’ll let me go without her but she’s coming to my party later, so depending on her mood, I may or may not broach the subject!”

“I gotta get ready for work,” he said, as though he was ringing from down the street and not four thousand miles away.

“Oh, ehm, ok, I’ll talk to you soon?”

“Sure,” he said, before hanging up.

Over birthday lunch with mum (followed by carrot cake, yum!) I told her about William’s reaction.

“I cannae blame him,” she said.

“Do you think I should just tell Millie I’m going by myself?”

“Not if you value your life,” she chuckled.

It was interesting observing the dynamics of my friends, most of whom met for the first time tonight. Florence and Millie clashed and Sarah, Lulu and JoJo got on like a house on fire. Unfortunately, Pamsy couldn’t make it and Frankie was on a trip, which was a shame as I’d like to have seen how the pair of them fit into the mix.

I was hoping for some sort of birthday message from Ben, but nothing, not even a crappy card.














February 26th, 1991

February 26th, 1991

At home, England


I feel like a character in a film, one who finds herself on the other side of the door from;

A. Someone she previously had a romantic relationship with and wants to again.

B. Someone she has no desire to rekindle anything with.

C. Someone she doesn’t fancy in the least and has no desire to ever share a romantic relationship with!

In this instance, the answer, strangely, is A, when typically, with Jon, it’s B! This is all, of course, based on one fantastic evening when in fact it should have been based on the three years prior, but as usual I’m getting ahead of myself.

“McGarr!” Jon yelled through the phone, enough to make me jump.

“Why are you shouting?”

“I’m just making sure you can hear me!”

“Why wouldn’t I be able to hear you?” I asked, feeling more than confused.

“Well, with this being the last day of your twenty-third year, I thought you might be starting to lose your hearing, so I-”

“Cheeky bugger,” I giggled.

“Kidding aside,” he continued. “I’d like to take you out for dinner.”

“Oh, that’d be nice,” I stuttered. “When were you thinking?”

“How about tonight?”

A few hours later, he appeared on the doorstep looking as dapper as always.

“For the birthday girl,” he grinned, handing me a bouquet of white lilies and a bottle of Moet & Chandon.

“Ooohhh, thank you so much.”

“You smell lovely,” he said, kissing my cheek.

Over dinner in Stony Stratford, the conversation ran the gamut from work to how much we love Indian food (!) and the more we talked, the more I was reminded why I’d initially gone out with him. Not that I’d forgotten how well we get on but for some reason, I’ve always sort of kept him at a distance, which, as the evening wore on, made no sense whatsoever!

By the time dessert arrived (“I wanted to tell the waiter it was your birthday and have them put a sparkler on your cake and sing Happy Birthday but I knew you’d kill me!”)  I’d made up my mind that I’d suggest he spend the night and not with the intention of him sleeping in the guest room!

Back here, with my new laid plan in mind, I asked Jon if he wanted me to open the Champagne.

“Your birthday,” he said, looking at his watch, “is approximately seven minutes away, so yeah why not. And step aside, McGarr,” he said, playfully nudging me out of the way. “Allow me to take care of this.”

I quickly popped upstairs to my room, lit the candle on my bedside table, smoothed down the duvet, dabbed Obsession on my wrists and neck then dashed into the bathroom to brush my hair and teeth.

Back in the living room, I grabbed a bunch of cd’s, all of a romantic nature, and smiled demurely as Jon appeared, the bottle of Moet, placed perfectly in the middle of the ice bucket, complete with two flutes.

“How’s that for service?” he laughed, placing the antique tray on the coffee table. “Here’s to you, McGarr,” he said, clinking his glass to mine. “Happy Birthday to an amazing friend.”

“Thank you,” I smiled, feeling the flush rise in my cheeks, as I inched closer to him on the couch.

“Would it be strange if I asked what perfume you’re wearing?”

“Not at all,” I breathed. “It’s Obsession. By Calvin Klein. I always-”

“I’d like to get it for Stephanie.”

“Who’s the hell is Stephanie?” I blurted.

“My new girlfriend,” he gushed, looking happier and more attractive than ever. “I’ve been dying to tell you about her all night but we kept getting sidetracked.”

“Oh,” I uttered, seriously at a loss for words.

“Yeah,” he grinned widely. “She’s pretty fantastic. Do you want to hear how we met?”

“Of course,” I lied, my stomach feeling as though I’d just stepped off a cliff.

So far, the first two hours of twenty-four have been shit, which is how I hope Stephanie smells after she douses herself in my Obsession!


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 15th, 1991

February 15th, 1991

Flight from BDA – TPA – BDA

Hamilton Princess Hotel, Bermuda

Tea and toast this morning with Tessa and Ava (at this point, I barely remember the names of my fellow crew members!) where Ava held court from the comfort of the couch, informing us quite sternly that we, “Mustn’t miss the love boat.”

“What do you mean?” Tessa asked, sounding oh so innocent!

“Come a little closer, my sweet girls. I want you to listen very carefully. If you should happen to meet a chap, I mean one who holds your attention, grab onto him with both hands, and leave British Airways. Immediately! Am I making myself clear?”

Tessa yawned, but not wanting to appear rude, I nodded yes.

“You mustn’t end up like me,” Ava stated, looking wistful. “I missed the boat a very long time ago and I deeply regret never having married or having children. You must, are you listening Tessa?”

“Uh-huh,” Tessa uttered, picking at her chipped nail varnish.

“You must,” Ava continued. “And I mean must, pay attention to every opportunity life presents, most especially where love is concerned. I’ve found, sadly, that the boat sometimes sails only once.”

I think Ava has a point. I can already see how fast times flies (ha!) and how easy it’d be to reach, say, forty and turn around, wondering what on earth you’d been doing all those years. I’ve already discovered how quickly one trip falls into another but I think if you want to build a life with someone, the first step is being open to the possibility, which I believe I am, regardless of how shitty that’s proved so far!

This afternoon, we operated the shuttle to and from Tampa, where Ava refused to leave the aircraft, spending the turnaround time in, where else, but the First Class cabin. I suspect the last time Ava ventured through the curtain was decades ago, if ever! With the cleaners and maintenance people working around her, she had them eating out of her hand, tending to her every need!

Tessa invited Ava and I, as well as the guys to her room for drinks tonight and I had to laugh when Graham told me he and Elliott borrowed the ties they wore last night,  from Alan (what is it with these “senior” crew and their trip wardrobe?)

Alan was hanging on Ava’s every word and they enjoyed reminiscing about, “the good old days,” where it seems flying was much more glamorous and as Ava is fond of saying, “Civilized.”

Sitting next to Graham on the couch, he asked if I’ve ever met anyone like Ava.

“Never! She’s one of a kind, don’t you think?”

“Most definitely,” he nodded as I caught Ava’s eye.

“Don’t forget what we discussed dahling,” she cooed, from the other side of the room. “Sometimes it only sails once.”

Don’t worry Ava, I won’t forget.



February 14th, 1991

February 14th, 1991

Hamilton Princess Hotel, Bermuda

Met Ava and Tessa first thing and caught the ferry to the Southampton Princess Hotel, were, I imagine due to the overcast day, we were the only three people on the beach.

Tessa kept whining about the weather as Ava and I busied ourselves building sandcastles, when, out of nowhere a ridiculously tall guy appeared, asking if we were enjoying the day.

“Very much so, monsieur,” Ava cooed, gazing up at him. “Of course, the day would be complete if, say, a dashing man were to perhaps find us some lovely chilled bubbles to enjoy.”

“At your service, miss,” he smiled widely, holding out his hand. “The name’s Linky.”

“Ava,” she breathed, seductively, before turning her attention back to our poor excuse for a sandcastle.

“Who the hell is that?” Tessa asked from her horizontal position on the sun lounger.

“I have absolutely no idea,” Ava shrugged.


Linky returned with two bottles of Tattinger, an ice bucket, flutes and a handful of snacks.

“Why only three flutes Monsieur Linky?” Ava asked, cocking her head.

“My love for the bottle cost me two marriages and damn, those dee vor sis are expensive,” he chortled, in an accent I couldn’t quite place.

“Understood,” Ava stated, plunging her hand in between her ample bosom, from which she pulled a stack of notes. She blew on a one-hundred-dollar bill, before holding it out to Linky. “A small token of my appreciation.”

“No need,” he smiled, waving his hands dismissively. “The pleasure is all mine.”

For the next hour or so, Linky and Ava had Tess and I in stitches with their back and forth banter, chuckling as though they’d known each other forever. Then, all of a sudden, Linky stood up and said he had to go. He kissed Ava’s hand. “I hope to see you again,” he said, before making his way up the hill, towards the hotel.

On the ferry back, Ava said she suspected Linky might be one of the hotel owners and asked if Tessa and I would like to join her in her room for dinner. I was seriously in the mood for a quiet night in my room but didn’t have the heart to say so.

“I’d like you both to dress for the occasion.”

“What’s the occasion?” Tessa asked.

“Dahling, please,” Ava sighed, looking disappointed. “I didn’t get a furry heart for Easter, you know!”

I tried not to laugh as Tessa, clearly oblivious, continued. “I don’t have anything special to wear.”

Ava gave me a questioning look.

“This is it,” I said, motioning to my shorts and casual top.

“Then you must both come to my room.”

Hanging in the wardrobe in Ava’s room, were at least half a dozen dresses.

“Take whatever you desire my sweet girls, and I won’t say no to a very generously poured g and t.”

Tessa took the bait as I thumbed my way through the beautiful dresses (none of which I suspected would fit Ava!) settling on a green silk, flowy number.

“Your turn,” I said, moving aside for Tessa, who promptly found a red silk sheath.

“You’ll find an assortment of accessories in the drawer,” Ava smiled.
Dinner was planned for eight and Tessa and I arranged to meet beforehand to pick up some goodies. I was waiting for her in the lobby, swathed in the green dress, when the new crew arrived. I quickly scanned the weary faces and smiled when I spotted Graham.

“Well, well, well,” he said in greeting. “What’s the occasion?”



“One of the pursers.”

“Lucky guy,” he whistled.

“Actually, it’s a woman,”

He shook his head. “You’re a real mysterious one.”

Just then, Tessa appeared, and, as I suspected, she looked stunning in the red dress.

“I’ll be right back,” she mouthed.

Graham looked at me in bewilderment.

“It’s a long story,” I offered, continuing with our small talk, before Tessa returned with her friend Elliott, from the newly arrived crew.

“You two ought to join us later in Ava’s room. Come by around, say, ten ish,”

she said, glancing at me for approval. “Trust me dahling,” she laughed. “Ava will love it.”


On our way to the gift shop, our heels clip clopping on the tile floor, Tessa grinned. “Graham’s not too shabby. What’s the deal?”

“It started as a trip fling that, incidentally, began right here, in this hotel.”

“Ava will devour them,” she laughed. “They don’t stand a chance!”

In the gift shop, we bought chocolates, then spent an exorbinent amount on two bottles of Champagne from the hotel bar. However, when we handed Ava the gifts it was worth every penny to experience her reaction (after her “butler for the evening,” opened the door to us; yet another member of staff poached from the hotel!)

“My dahlings, my beautiful, sweet girls,” Ava gushed, in between her high demands for, “More Champagne Ramos dahling, ahhhh, thank you. Can I keep you?”

Ava insisted that the man who delivered the room service dinner join us for, “a lively glass of bubbles.” He said he couldn’t, but Ava somehow managed to convince him he absolutely could!

Classical music was playing on the radio, and Ava threw the balcony doors open with such gusto, I thought she and her long pink chiffon dress might go hurtling outside!

“I hope you don’t mind Ava,” Tessa began sheepishly, “but we invited some friends for drinks later.”

Ava lowered her heavily mascaraed eyelashes suspiciously. “Here? Who are they?” she demanded. Tessa cleverly slipped the words, “Nice looking men,” into her sentence and all was well in Ava’s world again.

Right at ten pm on the dot, there was a knock on the door, which amused me no end because I knew Graham would be right on time. When I met him for the first time two years ago, his timing had amused me no end.

We were expecting only Graham and Elliott, but they showed up with their Cabin Service Director, Alan, a man I suspect to be as “mature,” as Ava. The three of them were dressed smartly in shirts and ties and they brought chocolates for each of us, as well as flowers for Ava, who was in her element and wasted no time flirting outrageously with each of them.

“How clever you are, amazing Alan,” Ava grinned, her fingers firmly pressing his shoulder as he found a radio station playing tinny sounding sixties music. “Now we’re really strolling down memory lane. Come along you sweet young things, dance with me!”

It’s now 0540, and Graham just walked me back to my room. Last I heard, he was going out with another crew member so I asked if he was still seeing her. Looking at me with his come-hither look, which I have to say is not entirely unappealing, he shook his head and uttered, “It ended very badly,” but I still didn’t invite him in.



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.”