Not a good day - all kicked off with the dog being sick on the carpet, spraying it up the walls as we frantically tried to get her out of the door. Ok, I can deal with this, I thought in my PJ's and with Marigold's on. Took daughter to school, drove son, plus his crutches, to his school and got home to make life restoring, vital- to- get –the- day -going coffee. Machine had hissy but I gave it a stern talking to, cleaned behind its ears and it mustered itself to deliver for me.
Okay, so I know I've got it easy really. And although I won't give up, I do have off days with my writing when I think ' Is it all worth it? Someone give me a sign, ple..as...e?' Especially when I read that someone else got a publishing deal for their book about having cancer and I’ve been flogging my memoir only to be told, ‘you write well but you have to be a celebrity these days to get it off the ground.’
The only thing I can think of to get z list celeb status is doing an ‘Erica Roe’ across the rugby pitch and unfortunately I’m not that well endowed, [it’s also going slightly south in that area,not a pretty sight, but don’t tell anyone.] Let me lick my wounds for a short while and I'll be back in fighting order, promise.
A treat is in order - don't know what yet but it can't cost too much so a holiday to Barbados is out -any suggestions?
For new visitors to my blog it's all about 22yr old, Suzi's mad existence as cabin crew. Best to go back to the beginning if you want to fill in the details - she's currently having trouble landing in Nairobi...
Diary of a Long-haul Stewardess
I decided to send Ed a gift in return as a 'thank you' for rescuing me and for the stockings. Humm…what to give a man who possibly has everything and flies around the world so that he can get anything he likes, even it if it is fake. A bolt of inspiration hit me. I had recently been browsing a local ‘buy any tat here cheaply’ shop [don’t ask why] and seen the tackiest, yuckiest pair of Union Jack boxer shorts in really nasty thin material. Result! I couldn’t afford to get him anything decent so going way OTT on tat was, I considered, the best step. I knew where he lived and could put a cheeky note thanking him for his kindness and generosity and add that I hoped never see him in them. If Candy happened to see the parcel or the note I’m sure it would put the cat among the pigeons but, what the hell? If the man wants to play games he’s got to take the consequences.
The next few days were spent catching up with domesticity. I’d like to say that my life is all exotic glamour and if I was telling a stranger I would, but in reality just between the two of us, there is a load of monotonous drudgery involved as well. I could get all my laundry done in the various hotels across the world but as I’m saving that seems just a tad extravagant.
I’ve decide to start looking to see what kind of property I can afford. I need to stay around this location to make it easy to get to and from the airport but the nicest locations seem few and far between and of course, that’s where everyone else wants to live. A cottage along from Ed is on the market but apart from being way out of my price range, I don’t think Candy would be pleased to see me tottering down to put my rubbish out in my PJ’s or kindly lend me a bowl of sugar if I needed.
My next trip is a weird one, encompassing Africa, the Gulf and ending up in Hong Kong. It does feel as though scheduling just stick pins in the map and build our itinerary around them.
It felt a bit like Déjà vu flying into Nairobi again. This time though there was a bit of excitement as we were coming into land. I had all the passengers strapped down in my section and the cabin ready. I had just strapped myself into my jump seat when I realised that we had stopped descending and seemed to be levelling off to circle the airport. Continuing to smile as the extremely boring man sitting opposite me tried his best at flirting, I took a quick glance out of the window. There, lined up, were the flashing lights of numerous fire engines with their ambulance companions parked next to them. People standing at the edge to the tarmac looking up at the plane. Not one to panic immediately, well, not until I hear ‘Brace, Brace’ from the Captain anyway, I fixed my smile in place and watched as the Cabin Service Director came hurrying up the aisle from the tail end of the aircraft.
‘Keep smiling,’ she whispered in my ear. ‘We have to circle the airport. We’re not sure the landing gear is down. It may all just get a bit hairy.’ And with that she rushed off up the plane to deliver her news to the next crew member.
For new visitors to my blog it's all about 22yr old, Suzi's mad existence as cabin crew. Best to go back to the beginning if you want to fill in the details - she's just got back from Africa...
Diary of a Long-haul Stewardess
When someone offers you a slice of meat to eat in a restaurant, it seems churlish to refuse. Someone on the crew suggested going for a meal. It seemed a good idea at the time so I put my hand up and went along with the others. How many opportunities like this will I get? There's no point being boring and staying in my room.
The only trouble was I couldn’t get the whole leg on my plate. Ha-ha. No really, the waiter had the leg of meat held aloft on a huge skewer as he sliced a piece and put it on my plate. It wasn’t that that caused me to pause and take a breathe. It was the smell that wafted up from the joint that was enough to put me off placing even the tiniest morsel to my lips. All I could picture as the odour filled my nostrils were soft, brown eyes with those long, long eyelashes staring down at me. After that, how could I eat giraffe?
It was a direct flight home from Jo’burg, so I was exhausted when I got in the front door. The girls were all out. Goodness knows where Debbie was, probably gone to stock up on bumper packets of value crisps, but thankfully the house was quiet. I was too tired to talk to anyone and just wanted to pull that duvet over me whilst I recovered enough to get through the rest of the day.
Sitting on my bed was a parcel. Nothing strange in that but when I opened it I pulled out an exquisitely tissue -wrapped package. On further investigation it revealed a pair of very expensive stockings, by a make that I wasn’t familiar with but they were in my size. I continued to rummage around for a note and found one tucked in the corner.
‘Suzi, -thought you might like these as a replacement for the one I stole from you. Maybe I will see you in them one day? Ed x’
My heart did a small somersault as I held them up against the light to admire. I don’t know what Ed’s game is, I bet Candy doesn't know about them, but there’s no way I’m going to return these.
For new visitors to my blog it's all about 22yr old, Suzi's mad existence as cabin crew. Best to go back to the beginning if you want to fill in the details - she's currently in Nairobi...
Diary of a Longhaul Stewardess
I’m having a bit of a wicker moment. A wicker plate fetish to be precise. I went to the market in Nairobi with Caroline, another stewardess on the flight. Yes, I know I keep throwing names at you but that’s what’s it’s like. You go to work and have to learn the names of a whole new set of work colleagues every time. Most of them I’ll never see again in my life which is really weird as they share the most intimate details of their lives with you because of this reason. Think hairdresser's chair for confessions and quadruple it. You passengers may think we’re just polishing the counters when we’re in those galleys but really we’re divulging our inner most secrets and we’ve only just been introduced. Caroline's secret is that she's married but has been having an affair with a steward for two years now. I asked her why she didn't just leave her husband but she replied that this way of doing it was much more exciting. See, everyone's at it. It was only the first sector out of Heathrow and I found out her lover is meeting her when we get home from this trip and they're off to Paris for two nights of passion. She's lied to her husband about when she gets home!
I don’t mind Nairobi. A lot of crew don’t like it because the expenses are poor but it’s lovely to have a bit of heat coursing through my bones. So, we’re at the market and I see all this wicker work. Like knitwear, I love wicker work so I bought masses of wicker plates. Ok, I know you’re going to ask…what the hell? But I reasoned they would be very useful to put a paper plate on when I have all those summer BBQ’s. Feminine logic at it’s best, eh?
I need to make plans. All this renting is just wasted money and the whole man thing is so unreliable. How do I know I’ll ever meet anyone and settle down? Now Matt is off the scene with no sign of a replacement it doesn’t look as though I’m going to be able to rely on the ‘girl meets prince and lives happily ever after’ scenario. I don’t want it just yet but it would be nice to know it’s hovering in the future somewhere. SJ texted to say she’s thinking of getting back together with that bastard who dumped her not long ago, Sam’s still working on her boss and Debbie, well you know about her. So as I’m going to be the lonely old maid with only my cats for company I’d better make sure I’m one who lives in comfort. I must save for the future. I like to think I’ll have my own place one day and be able to entertain like the Queen. Okay I know she probably doesn’t serve the cucumber sarnies at her garden parties on paper plates encased in wicker work from the market in Nairobi, but I can dream. In the meantime they will be essential for a house warming party. Saving is so boring – it was only twenty plates, not so bad surely? If I have more than 20 guests I'll just ask them to share.
When I got back to the hotel I had to squash and squeeze, eventually sitting on my suitcase, to fit them in – it was just at the moment of trapping my finger in the side of the case whilst questioning my rash decision to buy them in the first place that my phone pinged with a text. Ed! Maybe I won’t have to be an old maid after all?
For new visitors to my blog it's all about 22yr old, Suzi's mad existence as cabin crew. Best to go back to the beginning if you want to fill in the details - she's currently on her way to Nairobi...
Diary of a Long-haul Stewardess
‘Hit it! Hit it… quick. Get your shoe off and hit it!’ No it isn’t some sort of masochistic game cabin crew play at room parties- just cockroach killing. They sometimes show their heads crawling over the surfaces in the galley on the aeroplane. Someone told me they come in on the trolleys when we stop down-route. I don’t care where they get on the plane, I just want to make sure I boot 'em off.
After my encounter with Ed when he kissed me I drove him back to his car and we said goodbye. I felt sure he would call but three days at home and nothing. Ah well, some you win and … I’ll just have to put it down to experience. And what a lovely experience. Not only is he fit but makes me laugh like a hyena. Probably not my most attractive feature, head back, mouth wide open and almost snorting with mirth but men like to think they’re funny don’t they?
Back at the house things had been progressing for the girls. Remember I told you that Debbie’s parents were divorcing and stopping her allowance? Well, this caused her such trauma that after pleading with them and getting no reaction she was at home crying her eyes out at her dilemma when Matt dropped round to bring back some of my things I’d left at his place. He found Debbie awash with grief and stayed to ‘comfort her.’ Now, I wasn’t born yesterday. I’ve seen Debbie’s dramatics. She can really do an Oscar performance when she wants. According to Sarah-Jane, Matt was sucked in like fluff up a Hoover and stayed for the evening. This then led to him calling round the next morning to ‘make sure Debbie was alright’ and before Sam and SJ realised, the two of them were an item. I didn’t get Sam’s worried text before I arrived home so it was a bit of a shock to see them ensconced together on the sofa but I’m really happy for them. Really. I think they are ideally suited. I’m so glad Matt was able to get over our relationship so easily. I’d hate to think of him distressed for more than an hour or two before he moved on. They have now found their soul mate and can do absolutely nothing with their lives and watch endless TV together. I just hope Debbie has enough crisp wrappers and Pizza boxes to cover them both.
I stayed out of their way as much as possible whilst I was home, caught up with my folks and friends and am now on my way to Nairobi. Don't worry about me. I’ve just named the two latest cockroaches I’ve battered to death with my shoe after the happy couple. I feel soooo much better.
For new visitors to my blog it's all about 22yr old, Suzi's mad existence as cabin crew. Best to go back to the beginning if you want to fill in the details - she's currently having a run- in with Candy.
Diary of a Long-haul Stewardess
Okay, so I can see how it must have looked from her point of view but no wonder she only works for the airline on the ground if that’s the way she greets strangers. Even if the stranger is naked underneath her boyfriend’s bathrobe. My mind raced – should I come clean and own up to the innocence of it all or play along for a bit? Hummm…
Drawing myself up to my full 172.5 cms, I towered over Miss Petite and stood my ground. It was a relief that from that angle I could see she was not so perfect as her picture; she really needed to get her roots done.
‘Hi, I’m Suzi,’ I smiled in my best stewardess way. ‘My car broke down and Ed rescued me.’ See I’m not all bad. That was adequate. Don’t need to explain all the details.
‘But why are you dressed like that? Where is Ed?’ Her voice was beginning to sound a tad squeaky. Even without my training of recognising the signs for passenger anxiety I could see that she was getting stressed.
‘Sorry, you are…?’ I answered. Well, if I hadn’t seen her photo over the fireplace earlier I wouldn’t have a clue who she was. I was only assuming she was his girlfriend because of those puppy dog adoring eyes and the way she clung onto him.
‘I’m Candy. Ed’s girlfriend,’ she stated puffing out her tiny chest and folding her arms triumphantly. The sound of my mobile ringing made us both turn round. Before I could get past her Candy walked over to the coffee table where I’d left it, picked it up and looking at the number that flashed up, pressed the receive button and answered the call.
‘Ed! Ed!’ she squeaked down the phone at him. ‘What’s this woman doing in your house and in your bathrobe?’
It’s weird only hearing one side of a row. Poor Ed was obviously getting a grilling for his chivalry. No amount of apparent pleading seemed to calm Candy down as I heard her repeat over and over again that he’d better have a good explanation.Ha! Even the innocent explanation of the real circumstances wouldn’t appease this woman. I sat down on the sofa and put my feet up on the coffee table to wait until she finished her rant on MY phone.
Was Ed just like most of the other men I’d met who fly? Girl in every port so Candy had reason to blow her top or was she just the over- jealous type who flew off the handle at the slightest hint of anything suspicious? I didn’t know Ed well enough to decide whether he liked is women needy and possessive or whether this whole show was a complete turn off for him.
It was just as Candy was mid-flow with choice expletives that my battery went. I forgot to charge it in Antigua, not thinking I would need it much before I got home. Unfortunately I was smiling at the respite I’d inadvertently bought Ed when Candy turned round and caught my expression.
‘And what do you think you’re smiling at?’ she barked at me. Whoa, lady. Calm. I’ve done nothing wrong. Must be something to do with her height that made her so fiery.Time to take charge.
‘Look Candy,’ I started, getting up from my seat and walking towards the kitchen. ‘I’m going to put the kettle on.’ Candy glared at me and opened her mouth to start up again. ‘There’s no need to have a go at me,’ I continued. ‘Nor Ed. He was simply being a Good Samaritan and helping me out. I can’t go anywhere until I get my car back so why don’t I make us a cup of tea and we wait until he turns up.’ Sounded a good plan to me. Candy shrugged her shoulders and seemed to accept the inevitability of the situation.
‘Take that bloody robe off,’ she said storming past me. ‘I’ll make the tea.’
PS And here's where we stayed - pretty eh? Valerie serves the best breakfast I've ever had at a B and B. Should have taken the picture the evening before - wouldn't have had the shadow.
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Romantic weekend went well! It's always encouraging to re- confirm that the other 'arf and I still like each other and have plenty to talk about which doesn't include kids, house or money [mainly lack of it.] I always find quantum physics such a good place to start.
Monet's gardens lived up to expectations, although I do wish I hadn't had to do so much jostling to get my spot by the lily pond. We visited early in the day; it was surprising so many others struggled out of their pits too.
Here's a pic or two - well worth a visit if you like gardens and are in that neck of the woods.
Suzi is eager to tell you what happened with Ed and her car problems but just lacks the time to write at the moment but will be back ASAP.