Hello again everyone and welcome to those of you joining us for the first time on-board Crewfie101. Firstly I’d like to wish everyone a very Happy New Year and all the best wishes for 2018. My New Year was a quiet one at home with my Dad before meeting up with the rest of the Family on New Years Day…
This week I am planning to do this post plus a Trip Report on my trip to Beijing, China, from which I returned to the UK yesterday. That will come either later today or tomorrow.
So to this post. In the week building up to Christmas, I was very busy. The Monday before, I returned from Muscat in Oman to then head up to Aberdeen to celebrate my Mum’s Birthday, in the way only we can, by making our homemade Macaroni and Cheese. It doesn’t get better than that.
The day after I headed for my first trip to Africa of the week and I was off to Abuja, Nigeria. Now, amongst my fellow Cabin Crew this trip is definitely not the most popular on the network. However, being a new destination for me, I had absolutely no reason to judge it. I flew down from Aberdeen to London and headed to the report centre and caught up with a few friends before briefing for the flight. We were taking a fully loaded Boeing 777-200 down to Nigeria with a nice and short flight time of around 6 Hours. I would be the Business Class Galley Lead for this trip and was working with a great team of 4. We got on-board and settled in for the flight down. We arrived nice and on time, collected all the suitcases and hopped on the bus to the Hotel, a journey I recall absolutely nothing of due to being practically unconscious. What a sleep. We arrived at the hotel and had our free breakfast before getting some sleep and heading to the pool. I have to say it was strange spending the week before Christmas in 33 degree heat, not that I was complaining. We chilled in the sun, listening to the best Christmas songs in history before heading to get ready for dinner. Most of the crew made it down for dinner, I ate the prawn curry which came out looking a little different to what I was expecting. I was expecting creamy and golden, I got lumpy and brown.. Tasted good looked absolutely vile. Now for crew to be discussing sport is quite a rarity but when Arsenal take on Liverpool, apparently it erupts. As a Chelsea fan, I think I was hoping for Liverpool to win and to be honest I thought they would. Four of the crew and the Captain gathered in the Crew Room to watch and what a game it was. It went one way then the other eventually ending up in a 3-3 draw. I headed to bed at full time and got some sleep as it was an early start for the flight back to London Heathrow. The flight home was one of the longest flights I have operated, despite it being less than 6 hours in duration. I just couldn’t get into it. It was a tough day at the office and I couldn’t figure out why. But when I got back to London, the best thing was waiting for me. My Mum.
With my Airline we get a special standby ticket at Christmas which allows us to take any family or friends away with us. Last year I took my Dad to Singapore and Sydney and this year I was taking my Mum to Cape Town. Its definitely one of the perks of the job. As I commute from Scotland, I wasn’t going to fly back home on the 23rd to fly back down on Christmas Eve so we booked into a hotel for Christmas. That evening we headed to one of the best pubs in the Heathrow Area, The Pheasant for Dinner. You always get a good meal in there and a big one at that. On Christmas Eve my Mum and I headed into Central London to go around all the major sights taking pictures with our funny Christmas Hats on. We went to the Ritz and met an England Rugby Legend, Big Ben, Covent Garden and then ended up in Primark on Oxford Street as my shower gel had leaked in my bag.. Rookie Mistake. That evening we headed to the Royal Albert Hall, feeling very fancy with my Primark bag in hand and in my jeans and T-Shirt, for Carols by Candlelight with a full orchestra. It was an incredible evening.
On Christmas Day we got up, opened our lovely presents and headed for a run. Our Christmas Dinner was definitely unorthodox, McDonalds. We turned up with our Christmas crackers and made a meal of it. From there we headed back to the hotel to get ready, me for work and my Mum to get on the flight and enjoy it. I headed off to Terminal 5 and my Mum to Terminal 3. I met my team and we got completely “Tinselified” and yes I know that isn’t a word. Being a standby ticket, there was always a chance my Mum wouldn’t get on but luckily enough she got on and got a business class seat. I was so made up for her, she really deserves it after all she has done for me in my life. I was working upstairs on the beautiful Boeing 747-400, Queen of the Skies, with one of my good friends, Amber and we had a blast. We flew down to Cape Town and on the short journey to the Hotel we completed our Secret Santa.
We arrived at the hotel and for Mum and I there was no rest for us. We got changed and headed straight for Lions Head Mountain. Yes, we climbed a mountain after an 11 hour flight. Yes, we crazy. We headed straight up the hill and climbed as far as the chains where neither of us felt like that was an option. The views from Lions Head are spectacular. You get the view down to Camps Bay and the Cape of Good Hope, and on the other side you see the City itself plus Table Mountain. The most iconic sight in Cape Town. We managed to weave our way down the Mountain and got ready for dinner. We met the crew for dinner and headed to Café Paradiso for dinner, my favourite dinner at that. A South African Steak dinner, and damn it was good! We chatted for a good couple of hours and headed back to the hotel to get some very deserved sleep. I really needed it.
The next morning it was another very early start, to climb ANOTHER Mountain. This time the morning before an 11 hour flight. We headed to the base of Table Mountain and started the ascent. Now this was something that I had wanted to do since I started my job and to do it with my Mum made it all the more special. The path winded left and right and at times didn’t seem to go very far uphill. I will tell you something, that climb made my legs turn into jelly. The higher we got, the better the views got. Once we got to the top after 2 hours of solid climbing, we took pictures in the most dangerous of places but it had to be done. We had an Ice Cream and being a proud Scotsman, had a lovely can of Irn Bru at the top. This made for some lovely pictures. We walked round the top and encountered some of the of the Wildlife on the top of Table Mountain. We saw some Dassie’s and I managed to get up close and personal to get some absolutely stunning photographs. We descended down the mountain on the Table Mountain Aerial Cableway, which I would recommend to absolutely everyone who visits Cape Town. From Table Mountain we headed to the coastal suburb of Camps Bay for lunch at the Hard Rock Café, another steak was devoured.
From there we headed back to the hotel, got some sleep whilst Mum headed for a run around the coast. I got ready for the flight home before heading back to the airport and as an added bonus, my Mum got the chance to sit upstairs so that I could serve her. This was a great experience for both of us and one that I won’t be forgetting for a while.
After landing back in London we hopped on the flight back up to Aberdeen and lucky for me, I got a lovely Business Class seat. I needed it. But before boarding the flight I found out that I had got my days leave for New Years Day, which was a huge relief.
Both these trips made my Christmas extremely special. This is why I love my job and the people I work with. Yes, we were all away from our family at Christmas time but we became a family on-board the aircraft and made it a special time when we were away. As Cabin Crew we sacrifice a lot. We miss Christmas and Birthdays, Family Weddings and Events and just miss our family and friends in general. However in that briefing room we form friendships and bonds that often last longer than the flight and get us through some of the toughest times because it is hard at times. That is definitely one of the major drawbacks with this job however one which crew definitely embrace and try to make the most of by supporting our colleagues.
I hope everyone had a great Christmas.
See you next time on-board Crewfie101.