My Glamorous, Glitzy Life

Hands up if you think being married to a pilot is glamorous.

Did you raise yours? In that case I know you aren’t married to one.

Most people think this is what we do all the time:

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Yip, that’s me, in the Maldives. Over twenty years ago, and before kids, but it’s me. We went. It rained nearly all the time, but it was beautiful, and I’m thankful we went.

He didn’t fly the plane that took us there. At that time, he flew helicopters, taking workers to North Sea Oil Rigs. I’ve never been on a passenger flight when he’s been in the cockpit. Once though, my daughters and I were at the airport looking out the window as we waited to board a flight to visit my parents, when a airplane taxied to the stand and flashed its lights. A few minutes later my husband was on the tarmac, playing peekaboo around the plane while two excited toddlers bounced up and down beside me.

That’s another thing about being married to a pilot – you get to do a lot of visiting relatives on your own, because pilots don’t get their holidays (vacation) at the same time as the rest of us. Still, it meant I could write an article about how to travel solo with a baby. That article was the first of mine to get Hub of the Day on HubPages, so I’m thankful for that. It was probably also the first time I knew I could write articles, since till then I thought of myself as a fiction writer.

Once he and another pilot flew a helicopter from Baltimore to Oregon. That’s glamorous. I didn’t get to go.  But one time, I did get to go on a trip. It was very glamorous. This is where we went:

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And this is the gorgeous outfit I wore for the journey:

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That was the latest in survival suit glamour, circa 1995.

So, you can see being a pilot’s wife is indeed a very glamorous life. I am so thankful!

Seriously though, I was really thankful to make that trip. It was to St Kilda, a remote group of islands far off the west of Scotland.  Its last native inhabitants left in the 1930s. They asked the government to rehouse them because they no longer felt able to go living there. We went there because the  Nature Conservancy Council and the army had bases and the company my husband worked for took supplies to them in the summer. (In winter its was too windy for a helicopter to land, so supplies went by boat.) So seeing St Kilda was a big deal. I got to be there for – oh – maybe five or ten minutes, long enough to unload supplies and leave. St Kilda is famous for its puffins, but I didn’t see any because they live on another island.

I did see seals. (I’m cheating a little with this photo because this isn’t a St Kildan seal, but a Shetland one, so don’t tell anyone!) They might not be glamorous, but they are cute. I’m thankful I get to see them every year.

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I’ve got distracted. I was telling you about the glitzy life we lead. Hands up if you think the phone ringing at 3.33am is glamorous.

Thought not.

Yes, it was 3.33am precisely when the phone rang. I checked. And I checked the clock again an hour later, when I still hadn’t managed to get back to sleep and the chickens two doors away had started their dawn clucking chorus. By then my husband was in a taxi, heading to an airport 150 miles or so away. So, yes. I was thankful that it wasn’t me. It’s 8.30 pm now and he’s back in bed, since he’ll be doing it all again tomorrow. (Without the phone call, because he was on standby this morning, but we already know he’s working tomorrow.)  I, on the other hand, will get up in a leisurely manner and head off to yoga. Yeah, I’m thankful I’m not a pilot!

I was also thankful that I did eventually get back to sleep. And that it is Saturday today, so I didn’t need to get up and get school lunches ready or find lost homework. Oddly enough, I’m also thankful for those clucking chickens. It’s nice to have a bit of the country in the middle of the city. I’m also thankful I’m not their owner, because honestly I couldn’t be bothered with having to clean up all that shit. The cat’s just been sick and that’s bad enough! I’m thankful for kitchen paper, which I throw over it, to stop me throwing up while I clean up. (It’s still waiting, I’m finishing this first…)

And to finish off this thankfulness, I’ll answer this question posted by our our charming host Lizzi: Screen Shot 2014-05-17 at 22.39.30

I’m thankful to say the answer is no! When I’m happy thankfulness comes far more naturally to me. And feeling grateful makes me feel happy.

And now, excuse me while I go clean up you know what… oh I lead such a glitzy life!

Wishing you a happy and thankful week.

Comments

  1. You are something else. Hands up everyone who thinks this is an amazing post by an amazing person. Thanks for living and recalling these moments–they are now indelible in my mind.

    xox jean

    1. Author

      Aw, Jean you are so sweet! Thank you. Hope the cat sick isn’t indelible in your mind! 🙂

  2. What a great reminder to us all that even though life may be hard at times there is always something to be thankful for. I am thankful for reading this post as it serves as a great reminder that we should be more thankful each and every day!

    1. Author

      Thanks Bismah, for your very kind comment. Though to be honest I don’t think I’ve had it that hard this weekend. You are right though, there’s always something to be thankful for – even if it is that we don’t have to clean up after chickens!

  3. You know what … I did always think it would be awesome to be married to a pilot. I admit, I’m rethinking that now…but still! Ya get to fly anywhere ya want…I call that freedom! Lol

    1. Author

      No, no, no Kelly! 😀 If only we got to fly anywhere we want! I can see that my comment about going on trips without him would give the wrong impression – those trips are to visit family.
      Once upon a time (in the days when he flew helicopters) there used to be agreements between airlines and we did get discounts. Mostly they were standby, so we didn’t always travel on the same flights! But that’s gone now, or at least his company isn’t in any agreements and gives minimal staff discount on a few flights – so apart from that, we pay the same fares as everyone else. 🙁 It’s all these riffraff that fly nowadays ruined if for us jet setters! Ha, ha!
      Oh and BTW, I tried to leave a comment on your blog a few days ago and couldn’t get it to work. I’ll try again soon, though!

  4. 3:33 in the morning! damn!! is there a time of day that is more ‘not-a-time-to-be-awake-and-conscious’ than after three in the morning?
    what a very strange place the world is at this time… not just about falling asleep (as might be 2 am-ish) or ‘do I see the beginnings of dawn, (as 4am has the potential to be)…
    3:33 am….a time of dark magic is all

    1. Author

      Yes, Clark, you pretty much summed up how I felt when the phone rang yesterday morning.
      Though it won’t be long till it’s daylight here at 3.33 am. We get long summer days, and we’ll be going further north soon to Shetland where it never gets fully dark in June. My Dad used to grumble that the nights were drawing in when it got dark at 10.30 or so in late July!

  5. HA! I like this, Yvonne! I don’t think I remember seeing you fun and slightly snarkastic in your writing up until now. This is awesome 🙂 I always feel like your posts are very earnest and well thought-out and researched and…deserving of a bit of hallowed respect, really. This one’s a hoot.

    Glad you aren’t a pilot and that you got the cat-sick cleared up. The more I hear about animals, the more I realise I am NOT a pet person.

    You have a good week, and I shall try to continue remembering to be thankful.

    1. Author

      Oh, I have a few posts of this ilk Lizzi! 🙂 Probably more on Writing a River. Like the one I wrote last year on a lucrative new genre of fiction. What surprised me is some people thought that one was serious especially since the “new genre” was the eroticatectivampire novel! (That all sparked from a FB conversation, that I think Kelly may have been involved in.) I’m working on a novel that I hope is at least halfways funny (though my husband didn’t laugh at the first draft) and have another languishing half-finished that even a man thought was humorous. 🙂
      I find it such fun to do this kind of post, makes me smile as I write, so I’m glad you found it a hoot! Thanks for that!
      And wasn’t my outfit for St Kilda so utterly, utterly cool and glamorous?!

  6. I was married to a funeral director who came and went at odd hours, with many calls in the middle of the night that woke me, too, of course, and could never get back to sleep. So I get it. (I’m still married to him, by the way, he’s just not a funeral director any longer.) Love the picture of you in the survival suit. I’d hate to be on a flight where I had to wear one, since it implies you might possibly NEED it.

    Oh, and two of my three cats barf quite regularly (NOT the precious Ruby). I have found that throwing a paper towel over it until it, ahem, cools down helps a lot, as does wearing disposable gloves, because accidentally touching it is EWWWWWWWW gross!

    1. Author

      Dyanne I had not realised funeral directors would come and go at odd hours. Now there’s a truly glamorous job! I’m guessing you were quite pleased when he stopped doing it…

      The survival suit wasn’t needed that day, thank goodness, but I was very glad when my husband left helicopters behind. In the time he worked on the North Sea there were at least 2 helicopters went down with no survivors.

      It sounds as if we’ve got the same cat-sick clearing up technique! And so sweet of Ruby not to indulge in barfing!

      1. Believe it or not, people seldom seem to die between 9 and 5 :)They wait until the middle of the night, or when your food is just being set in front of you at a restaurant or your child is getting ready to do a performance at school or you’re going to open Christmas presents.

        1. Author

          Dyanne, my naiveté comes from not realising that funeral directors get called in so early after the death. I thought there would be several hours in between. I guess there is when the person dies in hospital but less often when they die at home? I grew up on an island, and there weren’t funeral directors as such, just a couple of guys who did the job. So I think my grandparents were just kept at home until the funeral. It’s different there now, because car ferries now link the islands so a funeral director now covers the entire archipelago, though people still wouldn’t call them in the night since the ferries don’t run then.

          My Dad died at around 2.30pm. He was considerate even in death. So like him.

  7. Love this post! And I didn’t know that about your Hub of the Day. I will say that although I’ve always journaled and loved to write, I never, ever considered myself any kind of writer until I started writing hubs. Now, I HAVE to write. Even though I don’t have a lot of time while I’m finishing grad school, I know it’s something I always want to do. More hubs and occasional blog posts? Yes. 🙂
    That is awesome about your husby being a pilot. I want to travel more but in this day and age you really have to plan for it – which I’m working on.
    Have a wonderful Sunday!

    1. Author

      Cyndi, thanks! I know what you mean about HAVING to write. I even had to do it at 4.30 am yesterday so I could get back to sleep. It’s my salvation really.
      Keep writing yes! Did I see that you finish Grad school in December?

  8. I always thought being a pilot would be fun, but being married to one? No way.
    I’m glad you’ve gotten at least a little perk or two from his job. St. Kilda would be interesting, but I’d be a bit nervous having to wear a survival suit. It’s not good when the native people throw up their hands and say, “Get us out of here!” 🙂

    1. Author

      Christine, I thought of you when I was writing this post! Can you guess at which bit?
      St Kilda is a fascinating place and I was so grateful to go there, even if it was for such a short time. The helicopter went back and forth several times that day and I had thought I could go on an early trip and wander around the island, but they couldn’t leave me because the weather can suddenly change at any time. So I spend most of the day on a beach on a Hebridean island. It was fun too!
      I will be over to your blog soon, didn’t make it there over the weekend.

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