The Flight Attendant's Shoe by Prudence Black, New South, $49.95
On a chilly international flight the other day, I asked the harried attendant for a blanket. "No blankets on this plane", she said, before scuttling off with my $3 for a bottle of water.
Ah, the glamour. If it's tough on passengers, think what it must be like for the women we once affectionately called "hosties".
Groomed to perfection in their trim uniforms and iconic court shoes, the early hostesses had a job many young girls dreamed of — overlooking the fact they'd be out of it the minute they married.
This lively, picture-packed account of the evolution of the Australian flight attendant — her hair, her clothes, the weird rules of etiquette — will evoke squeaks of recognition and a big nostalgic thank you from someone who remembers the way it was, before cheap fares and mass travel.
Just don't give it to someone who grew up with cattle class, it'll only make them depressed.