Monday 4 September

8st 13, alcohol units 4, cigarettes 7 (excellent), calories 974 (off food).

Thinking about Jude and Dad makes me want to cry. Daniel says I am being ridiculous, that I only saw them in a car together and am stuck in a provincial nuclear family mindset and should lighten up. But they weren't just in a car together, they were on the way to a party which Mum was at and Jude was wearing a red basque and bunny ears. The whole scenario breaks every rule in the book, as follows, and is unacceptable:

1. Parents should not have sex: not with each other except to bestow the gift of life and certainly not with others.

2. Parents should not prefer anyone else to you.

3. Exes (and I include my father in this category, by the way, because I am identifying closely with my mother, not because there is any question of child abuse) should never go out with or marry anyone else after you. Instead, they should remain celibate and lonely to the end of their days to boost your ego (though maybe there is something unnatural to do with Dad buried deep in my consciousness which only expensive therapy could get out. Maybe that is why I feel so weird about Jude. Oh, no).

4. Sexes should be equal. Therefore it is wrong that my Dad in his sixties should be able to pull my friend in her thirties as this would not work the other way round.

5. Best friends should not form successful relationships when one is not in one oneself.

6. Friends should not do sneaky things behind one's back such as, just to give an example, shagging your father.

7. The whole thing is too humiliating. It is definitely worse than when an ex-boyfriend marries and everybody realises it wasn't that he couldn't commit, he just didn't want to commit to you.

Tuesday 5 September

Why hasn't Mum rung? Surely this will destroy her. Jude is half her age. It is so difficult for older women in our society who feel they have outlived their power and attractiveness once they pass 50, like Germaine Greer and the Invisible Woman.

Wednesday 6 September

Mum finally called at 7.30 this morning. She must have been crying all night. "Oh, Mum - are you all right?" I said.

"Darling, you are sweet. I'm under such terrible pressure."

"Is there anything I can do?" There seemed to be rather a lot of noise in the background.

"Actually, there is something," she said brightly. "Do any of your friends have a number for Lisa Leeson. Darling? You know - Nick Leeson's wife. I've been desperate to get her for days - she'd be perfect for Suddenly Single, especially if we could screen it the day of the Frost interview."

"I was talking about Dad," I hissed.

"Dad? I'm not under pressure from Dad. Don't be silly, darling."

"But the party.... and Jude."

"Oh, I know, hilarious, poor thing. Made the most absurd fool of himself trying to attract my attention, turning up with some half-formed piece of fluff dressed as a hamster or something. Honestly! Julio says women don't become remotely interesting until they've passed 55. Anyway, must run, but will you think who might have a number for Lisa? Let me give you my direct line, darling."

Thursday 7 September

9st 4 (horror, gone to seed), alcohol units 6, cigarettes 23, calories 4,526, Instants 9 (bad, but won pounds 2, so total expenditure pounds 7).

4pm. Just had a call from Daniel. He was supposed to be away all week in Frankfurt but is coming back this afternoon and will pick me up from the office, but that means I will not have time to do anything to myself before I see him. Being a woman is worse than being a farmer - there are so many areas to be cultivated and maintained: legs to be waxed, underarms shaved, eyebrows plucked, feet pumiced, skin exfoliated and moisturised, spots cleansed, roots dyed, eyelashes tinted, nails filed, cellulite massaged, stomach muscles exercised. The whole performance is so highly tuned that you only need to neglect it for a few days for the whole thing to go to seed. Sometimes I wonder what I would be like if left to revert to nature - with a full beard and handlebar moustache on each shin, Denis Healey eyebrows, face a graveyard of dead skin cells, spots erupting, long curly fingernails like Struwwelpeter, flabby body flobbering around. Ugh, ugh. Is it any wonder girls have no confidence?

6pm. Huh. Tried to get leg-waxing appointment in afternoon. Ended up having to do legs with Immac in third-floor loos hoping nobody would notice the smell. Waited until coast clear then dashed out, tightless, to rinse shins. Standing with one leg in washbasin and supporting leg still covered in Immac when Perpetua walked in.

"Ah, Bridget," she said. "Thought I'd find you in here. Daniel's on the phone."

"Ah. Could you ask him to ring back in five minutes?" I said, taking my leg out of the washbasin in a dignified manner.

"He's about to go into a meeting. He said to tell you he's not coming home until Saturday now."

8pm. Got home to a message from Dad, asking if I'd like to come out for a meal tomorrow night. Then a second message from Jude, in tears, asking if I'm free tomorrow night.