Thursday 17 August

9st 3 (but had drunk 1 litre of mineral water directly before weighing = 2lbs approx.), cigarettes 0, Hamlet Cigarillos 22 (substitution experiment - failure, clearly), alcohol units 4, instants 2.

2am. Cannot sleep. Knowing Tom as I do, when he thought he saw my second- best friend walking into a restaurant hand in hand with my father last Saturday he was probably so busy obsessing about whether his dark brown Timberlands were working with the white Levis that in reality it was Bonnie Langford about to have a business meeting with Trevor MacDonald. Nevertheless, the sickening suspicion that Dad and Jude are in the dizzying throes of a new affair has lodged in a particularly sensitive area of my stomach like a determined, long-staying house guest. It is one of those rumours which throw up such a web of tiny, unconscious past observations and instincts that you immediately sense that it's true. God. Surely not. Surely they won't try and do this behind my back? But then, if it is true, and they don't, they'll have to break the news to me in some indescribable way. Have sickening vision of being summoned to meet them in Cafe Rouge, finding them smiling coyly at each other and Jude saying, "Bridget, Daddy and I have something to tell you..."

No wonder I haven't heard from bloody Jude for two weeks. Sharon seems to be avoiding me also. It is clearly a conspiracy.

Friday 18 August

9st 1 (thus proving litre of water theory), cigarettes 25, alcohol units 9 (Friday night with Daniel: inevitable), calories 3,874.

6pm. Just got home and called Tom who can't get hold of Jude or Sharon either.

"You know what makes me really furious?" I said. "Most things?" said Tom.

"It's just that there is no way, in a million, trillion years, that one of my male friends in their thirties would end up having an affair with my mum. Life is so bloody unfair for women. Look at all those absurd 30- year-old-woman-conceives-powerful-attraction-for-70-year-old-man movies like that bloody stupid Indecent Proposal and In the Line of Fire. It makes me want to puke up. Just fat old male studio owners hoping life will mimic art. Huh. In their dreams. I'd like to see a film where a lithe 30-year-old man gets a monster crush on bloody Miss Daisy and starts a torrid affair."

"Bridget," said Tom. "Can I borrow your black Levis tomorrow night?"

Honestly. There is no way he would fit into them. Better start lengthy body grooming process as Daniel will be round in 45 minutes.

2am. Cannot sleep again. Woke up in floods of tears from a hideous recurring dream I have where I'm sitting A-level French and realise as I turn over the paper that I have forgotten to do any revision and I'm wearing nothing except my Domestic Science apron, trying desperately to pull it round me so Miss Hand won't see that I'm wearing no pants. I expected Daniel to at least be sympathetic. I know it's all to do with my worries about where my career is leading me, but he just lit himself a cigarette and asked me to run over the bit about the Domestic Science apron again.

"It's all right for you with your bloody Cambridge First," I whispered, sniffing. "I'll never forget the moment when I looked at the noticeboard and saw a D next to French and knew I couldn't go to Manchester. It altered the course of my whole life."

"You should thank your lucky stars, Bridge," he said, lying on his back and blowing smoke at the ceiling. "You'd probably have married some crashing Geoffrey Boycott character and spent the rest of your life cleaning out the whippet cage. Anyway..." he started laughing, "there's nothing wrong with a degree from... from..." (he was so amused now he could hardly speak)... "Bangor."

"Right, that's it, I'm sleeping on the sofa," I yelled, jumping out of bed.

"Hey, don't be like that, Bridge," he said, pulling me back. "You know I think you're a... an intellectual giant. You just need to learn how to interpret dreams."

"What's the dream telling me then?" I asked sulkily. "That I haven't fulfilled my potential intellectually?"

"Well, not exactly."

"What, then?"

"Well, I think the pantless apron is a pretty obvious symbol, isn't it?"


"It means that the vain pursuit of an intellectual life is getting in the way of your true purpose."

"Which is what?"

"Well, to cook all my meals for me, of course darling," he said, beside himself at his own amusingness, again, "and to walk around my flat with no pants on."

Monday 19 August

9st 5 (Right. This has gone too far. This is how obesity begins), cigarettes 12 (excellent), alcohol units 0 (Scarsdale diet), calories 1,200 (Scarsdale diet plus one chocolate croissant consumed before weighing revealed necessity for diet).

Came in from work to three answerphone messages.

1. From Dad, inviting me and Daniel to a Tarts and Vicars party in the Alconbury's garden next Sunday and saying he has a surprise for me.

2. From Mum, asking me if I think it will be all right to take Julio to the Alconbury's Tarts and Vicars party.

3. From my friend Simon, asking me for my mum's phone number.