Thursday 14 December

9st 3; alcohol units, 2 (bad, as did not drink any units yesterday. Must make up extra tomorrow to avoid heart attack); cigarettes, 14 (bad? Or maybe good? Yes: a sensible level of nicotine units is probably good for me as long as do not binge-smoke); calories, 1,500 (excellent); Instants 4 (bad but would have been good if Richard Branson had won non-profit- making lottery bid); cards sent, 0; presents purchased 0.

V. confused. Want to be pleased by Stephen Dorrell's generous alcohol unit increase but feel exactly the same as when I got down to 8st 7 and everyone said I looked better before. It is like having a rug pulled from under your feet: you don't know what you are aiming for or who you are any more. Am going to have to go back over every week's records now and will probably find was worrying about consuming too much when in fact was underdrinking all along.

Hmm. No, actually, I think I was OK. Easily doing 21. Fortunately.

Anyway, it is obviously just another pathetic attempt to suck up to us, like the tax cuts. If the Government really wants to ingratiate itself, why doesn't it reassure us that we are OK and not wrong or inadequate? All it ever does is criticise, criticise and make us people feel we are not good enough - failing to play nicely at happy families and not having jobs with large salaries as captains of industry. Anyone who has studied self-help books in even the most perfunctory way will know that people always respond best to encouragement rather than undermining.

I would like to see Richard Branson as our Leader. It is impossible to believe that Richard Branson would not be telling the truth about his bribe since he has built up such a store of decency and honesty. I, too, would wish to build up such a store if he were in charge, instead of wishing, as now, that I were thin, rich and more drunk.

I hate the Government: with its arrogant, manipulative "them and us" attitude. Huh. In fact, I am going to join the Labour Party... ooooh, telephone.

Ding dong! Matt from the office asking if I'm going to the Christmas lunch on Tuesday. He can't fancy me - I'm old enough to be his great aunt - but then why did he ring me in the evening? And why did he ask me what I was wearing?

Must not get excited as v. bad to have affair with young whippersnapper in office, however intelligent and divine.

Best ring Sharon immediately. Sexually tantalising Christmas lunch followed bizarrely by disco-dancing in afternoon (such being Editor's idea of a good time) involves severe outfit choice complexity.

Tuesday 19 December

9st 7 (but still nearly 1 week to lose half stone before Christmas); alcohol units, 9 (VG); cigarettes, 30; calories, 4,000; Instants, 1 (excellent); cards sent, 0; cards received, 11 but including 2 from paper boy, 1 from dustmen, 1 from Peugeot garage and 1 from hotel spent night in for work 4 years ago. Am unpopular. Or maybe everyone sending cards later this year.

9am. Oh God, feel awful: horrible sick acidic hangover and today is office disco lunch. Cannot go on. Am going to burst with pressure of unperformed Christmas tasks, like revision for finals. Have failed to do cards or Christmas shopping, apart from doomed panic buy yesterday lunchtime as realised was going to see girls for last time before Christmas at Magda and Jeremy's last night.

Dread the exchange of presents with friends as, unlike with the family, there is no way of knowing who is and isn't going to give and whether they will be tokens or proper presents so all becomes hideous exchange of sealed bids. Two years ago I bought Magda lovely Dinny Hall ear-rings, rendering her embarrassed and miserable because she hadn't bought me anything, so last year I didn't get her anything and she bought me an expensive bottle of Chanel. This year, therefore, I bought her a big VG bottle of Double Never-So-Much-As-Seen-A-Man Olive Oil and a distressed wire soap dish and she went into a complete grump, muttering obvious lies about not having done her Christmas shopping yet. Last year Sharon gave me bubble bath shaped like Santa - so last night I just gave her Body Shop Algae and Polyp oil shower, at which point she presented me with a handbag. I had wrapped up a spare bottle of posh olive oil as a generalised emergency gift, which fell out of my coat and broke on Magda's pounds 500 Conran Shop dhurrie.

Ugh. Would that Christmas could just be without presents. It is just so stupid everyone exhausting themselves miserably haemorrhaging money on pointless items nobody wants, no longer tokens of love but angst-ridden solutions to problems. Humph.

Just had Mum on the phone. "Darling, I've just rung to say I've decided. I'm not doing presents this year. You and Jamie know there isn't a Santa now and we're all far too busy. We can just appreciate each others' company."

But we always get presents from Santa in sacks at the bottom of our beds. World seems bleak and grey. Won't seem like Christmas any more.

Oh God, better go to work - but will not have anything to drink at disco lunch, just be friendly and professional to Matt, stay till about 3.30pm then leave and do my Christmas cards.

Tuesday/Wednesday night, 2am.

Course is OK - everyone drunks office Chrstmas parties. Is a goodfun. Must gust sleep - doen mattr about clothesoff.

5.30am. Oh my God. OH MY GOD. Where am I?