Tuesday, 30 September 2008

Market meltdown

What strange times we're living in. I couldn't quite believe my ears when I heard last night that US congress hadn't passed Bush's financial rescue package. That vote has huge implications not only in the US but also world-wide - we're certainly feeling them here in the UK. Yesterday one of our banks, Bradford and Bingley, was part-nationalised, and the FTSE closed down at almost the same level as it did on 9/11.

Despite the bullish attitude of the US congressmen that a free market problem will eventually find a free market solution, I can see the signs of the financial crisis on people around me. Colleagues in particular have been very concerned for me since my husband's redundancy, and I don't think all of that is just affection for me; I think many of them are thinking "that could be us next month".

They suddenly realise that their comfortable middle class lifestyle relies on both partners' salaries, that their mortgage is huge and their outgoings similarly sizeable. It's all a delicate balance between profit and loss, and no mistake.

Thursday, 25 September 2008


Inspired by some posts on other blogs recently, I thought I'd post a few of the search terms people have been using to find my blog of late:

Air hostess and pilots stories
Blogs about women who worry their husband is going to cheat
My gf's an air hostess will she cheat?
Notice a theme here? I think I've written about the whole "pilot cheating on wife" stereotype just a couple of times, but it's one of the primary reasons people find my blog! It's clearly a stereotype that endures.
Should I settle for my best friend
Time on my hands could be time spent with you
Tabatha Calvert Steele
Baby altitude
A very strange hybrid of my blog title and my infertility ramblings... I wonder what they thought they were getting when they arrived at my blog?

Daily life continues here in much the same vein as it has every day since that fateful day when my husband's airline vanished into thin air. I go to work, and try to do my job whilst thinking about what we're going to do next, whilst my husband stays at home, and thinks about what we're going to do next. Neither of us has managed to come up with a solution yet, just lots of questions, and a great number of application forms. We just pray one of them arrives on the desk of someone who, by some miracle, happens to need pilots.

So life is mainly made up of sleep, eat, work, eat, sleep, oh, and apply, apply, apply. I think my husband's brain is pretty much maxed out now. He's so tired and could probably answer "what skills do you have that you can bring to this job?" in his sleep. Surely the answer to that is - "I'm a pilot, that's my skill!"

I just wish I could do something more to help than be a second pair of eyes over application forms. It's horrible feeling like neither of us have any control over this really. Only the bankers and the oil skeikhs can do a thing about it - and I really hope they do, soon.

Sunday, 21 September 2008

Losing your identity

Just a little thought in the same vein as this post, from Oh the life of a pilot's wife.

On the day my husband's airline went bust, he went to their crew room to find out any information he could about his rights, what he should do next, etc. But instead of finding any other employees there, he simply found a room stripped bare, a bouncer and somebody from the receivers.

The receiver told him he wouldn't see any of the money the company owed him, but was vaguely sympathetic. The bouncer, however, was another story. He just looked at my husband and said "I'll be needing your airside pass now, sir". He just took it, and pretty much frogmarched my husband off the premises, like he was some sort of security risk, not somebody whose company went bust through no fault of his own.

My husband's very quiet about it, but I'm sure that the loss of his airport ID pass - something he'd worked towards all his training, something that I'm sure he wore with pride - hit him right where it hurts. Add to that the piles of un-ironed work shirts which neither of us know what to do with, his jacket, which we're hidden down the side of the wardrobe, and his old hat which is now gathering dust on the top of the book case, and what do you get? Reminders of something you wanted so badly, and worked so hard for, and had taken away overnight.

Having said that, I truly believe this is just a temporary blip, and it won't be long before he pulls another pass over his head, irons a different-emblemed shirt and bemoans the look of another new hat. I'd just give anything to know when and where this will be, as it's this uncertainty that grates the most. Please, God, just show us the way...

On another topic, dear readers - thanks so much for all the comments you've been leaving. It does make a difference to know people are thinking of us. The online blogging community is really a very lovely thing.

Thursday, 18 September 2008

Dark times

If you're wondering why I've been silent for a bit, well, there's a reason for it. Completely out of the blue, my husband's airline went bust - and that was it, nada. No pay for the month, no redundancy - in fact, nothing.

We find ourselves completely at sea. The industry in the UK is really in trouble at the moment (even the big boys are making big losses and redundancies) so my husband's chances of getting a new job over here in the near future are slim.

I heard a quote on the radio this morning that I really related to - "the darkest hour is the hour before the dawn". Well, that's how I feel now, that when you hit rock bottom, there's nowhere further to go. I hope and pray we see a little speck of light soon.

And, in that spirit, I thought I'd compile a list of ten things that make me happy, money or no money.

1) My husband. I still thank God every day that I met him and that we're together. He makes every day magic, even in the darkest of times.
2) Our parents. We're so blessed to have loving, caring parents who we know will be there for us whatever happens in life. They will always be on our side, and we know it.
3) Our dog. Animals are so wonderful, aren't they? When you need them most, they just seem to know.
4) Music. It's free to make and free to listen to, and it brings us both a lot of joy.
5) Food. Well, obviously it costs a little to buy, but it's a huge pleasure to craft and a delight to eat. And who can beat chocolate and crisps?!
6) Snow. I love snow, and frost. Frosty English days when the sun's shining are among my favourites.
7) Sun. In the same vein, of course, there's nothing quite like standing with the sun on your face, feeling all that energy getting inside you. Totally rejuvenating.
8) Christmas. I totally love Christmas. The music, the decorations, the food, and yes, the pressies, although they're no biggie. I wish the atmosphere stayed all year long.
9) Reading - there's nothing like the escapism you get in a book.
10) And last but definitely not least, my friends. Wow, they're an amazing bunch of people, and they've been supporting us so incredibly since the news came through. I can only hope that if they ever need my help, I come through for them like they've come through for us. It certainly is true that you find out who your true friends are in a crisis.

And there's another phrase that keeps running through my head at the moment - "if you're going through hell, keep going".

That's exactly what we're going to do.

Wednesday, 3 September 2008

Summer holiday

I've left it a little late to blog about it, but we had a fantastic week away. It's wonderful sometimes just to stop thinking about everything else except for what to eat, when to sleep, and of course, each other.

When I'm on holiday I rejoice in not having to wear a watch. It's incredibly liberating. My husband often doesn't bother either. And it was because of this that we noticed what I suspect may be a pilot trait - knowing what time it is anyway!

Every day, I'd find myself asking him whether it was time for lunch/dinner yet, roughly guessing by the position of the sun. And instead of checking his watch, he'd just announce "I think it's 12.24" or "I think it's 5.15" and incredibly, he was rarely more than 10 minutes out. How's that for a weird (and quite useful!) skill? Has anyone else spotted this?



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