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From Lidl to The Maldives…


A standby story...


Let me paint a picture for you... a picture of how, as a crew member, your day can change, go from one extreme to another in just a moment...


It's Sunday, just after 1pm and there I am, living the housewife's dream in the self check out queue of my local Lidl. (It's local and I can be in and out in 15minutes so no judgements please 😅). I have five days of standby ahead of me, six hours a day from 3pm until 9pm and I have to make sure that if I get called the kids won't starve.

It's ok, there are lots of nice quick flights they might call me for... if I'm lucky I might get a JFK today or tomorrow, and then those last two days of standby are mine... free days off to be at home and look after everyone. Keep the house in order, walk the dogs, cook wholesome meals... funny how we mum's value such things over trips away, some sort of Stockholm-esque syndrome to our families I'm sure...

So anyway, I glance down at my phone, about to open up my Lidl Plus App (yes I have that too... it's all part of the dream!), and I see a notification. We have a new app for our flights, and I'm still a bit confused by it, so it takes me a while to work out that I've been assigned a trip. My stomach dips, I'd been hoping to escape today as I have changed the beds and the washing won't be dry yet... hopefully it's a late check in...

I go in, opening the app and navigating to my notifications as I get to the front of the queue. The man behind sighs loudly to prompt me to look up and see an empty check out. Okay, okay, I'm going... let me just check this.

Swipe left to view your notifications...

I swipe left.

Change of duty.

I brace myself, trying to work out what the three letters are telling me. They don't say JFK, or LOS, or DEL... all the codes my brain is expecting.

MLE

Huh?

I look again, mindlesslesly scanning the avacadoes...

MLE

Male, the new destination.... ah ok

Pizzas... beep, beep...

The Maldives!!

Apples...

I stop scanning, and focus.

I'm going to the Maldives!!!

Not only that, I realise as I open my calendar. Not only am I going to the Maldives, but I'm going there for five bloody days!!


Now I imagine you think at this point I am jumping up and down with excitement, but I have to remind you I have this syndrome, and I'm going to have to leave my babies for five days... (the dogs, I refer to... the kids wil be fine!) What will happen to the house?! Will they survive?! And what about the washing... I check the checkin time, I'll have to leave soon, it won't be dry...

Have I bought enough food?

Will I have time to cook dinner before I go..?


(I have a husband, my kids are 15/17... the whole problem exists only in my head, perhaps this syndrome has a name?!)


Fast forward four hours, and I'm in Heathrow, buying sun cream in Boots and racing to make my briefing... there is a tingle of excitement, but I'm still fighting it 😅

I feel I should point out that The Maldives is a new destination for us, and it has been expected that only the most senior crew will be successful in bidding for it. I didn't bid for one, and neither did I yearn for one. I'm 'a realist' as my mum would be proud to say... we don't want things we can't have, there's is no point wasting time dreaming of something you might not see, and so when the route started just two weeks ago I was quite happy to accept it wasn't for me. As for a standby call out, forget it, who on earth would go sick for one... except the really sick perhaps 🤔 No, I can find joy in the beaches of Barbados, I'll be happy with that... besides I'd always thought I'd be a bit bored in one of those water bungalows, I need more entertainment, there's only so much swimming you can do... the narrative of someone telling herself she doesn't want something she can't have...


It was half way through the night that it hit me... along with all of these lovely, excited passengers and crew, I was going to The Maldives!!!!


'Nick,' I grabbed my managers hand as we passed . 'I'm going to the Mall- f@@king-Deeves!!!'


The rest of the crew, they'd had a month to look forward to it... so forgive me but my excitement would have to be condensed now🤣

....


To be continued...


(I'm still here, soaking it all up, and my glass is empty, I'll be back photos for you all soon!)





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