Tuesday 28 January

9st 1 (vg); alcohol units 2 (not nearly enough to prevent heart attack: must do better); cigarettes 5 (excellent); calories 8,243 (poor).

Oh no. Scary dinner party tonight with lawyer-style people. Mark Darcy says it would be a good idea to join in the conversation more instead of sitting in silence looking terrified and that it was not necessary to say "Please may I get down?" to the hostess at the end of the meal. Obviously I know that, and on the occasion when it happened it was an accident brought on by Louise Barton-Forster who is an incredibly opinionated partner in Mark's law firm and the sort of woman you can imagine forcing you to eat cabbage. Anyway will make an effort to join in perhaps even reading the paper to form opinions. Hmm. Think will put different bra on.

2am. Back home. Disaster. Was determined to join in but Louise Barton-Forster was hogging the entire conversation with complete gibberish "but in a sense one could argue the entire ER Emeuro Proto is a Gerbilisshew". Then heard chap at other end of the table going, "What we need to be talking about is what kind of party people actually want."

As luck would have it this was a subject very close to my heart. "I completely agree," I joined in eagerly, seeing Mark look pleased. "What people really want is back to basics." Emboldened by Mark's proud expression I went on. "The time parties were really good was when everyone was united in a common purpose, and half an hour after you arrived all the lights would be off and everyone was snogging on the floor."

Suddenly Mark burst into polite laughter which didn't sound at all like him, but which everyone else joined in. "But seriously", he said, shooting me a filthy look, "I think you're absolutely right, Nigel. If I'm going to vote Tory again I want to know my views are being a) researched and b) represented."

I stared at Mark, dumbstruck, in complete horror. Felt like my friend Simon did once when he was playing with some lovely little children at a party then their grandfather turned up and he was Robert Maxwell. I have always known there was something a bit odd about Mark Darcy - keeping Japanese Rabbitboys in his bed and wanting to put on my hip-and-thigh slimmer - but had never suspected I had been sleeping with a man who voted Tory. Suddenly felt I didn't know him at all, and for all I knew, all the time we had been going out he had been slipping off to rugby matches on a coach, and mooning at other motorists out of the back window.

Was all very tight-lipped in the car on the way home. "What's the matter?" he said.

"Nothing," I mumbled.

"You're... quivering. Come on. What is it?" Eventually he stopped the car and made me tell him.

"So I vote Tory, what's wrong with that?" he said, staring at me incredulously.

"But, but..." I stammered. "I mean if I voted Tory I'd be a social outcast. It would be like turning up at Cafe Rouge on a horse with a pack of beagles and Charles and Camilla in tow or having dinner parties on shiny tables with side plates."

"What do you vote?" he said.

"Labour, of course," I hissed. "Everybody votes Labour."

"Well I think that's patently been proved not to be the case, so far," he said. "Why, anyway?"


"Why do you vote Labour?"

"Well because..." I paused thoughtfully, "because voting Labour stands for being left-wing". He looked at me strangely. "And socialist", I added.

"And what does that mean?"

"The workers standing together."

"Well Blair hasn't exactly been shoring up the powers of the unions, has he?" he said. "Look at Clause IV."

"Well the Tories are rubbish."

"Rubbish?" he said, in a really nasty cold superior voice. "The economy's in better shape now than it's been in for seven years."

"No it's not," I said emphatically, suddenly realizing I had no idea what I was talking about. "Anyway they've probably just put it up because there's an election coming."

"Put what up?" he said. "Put the economy up? How does Blair's stand on Europe compare to Major's?"

"Quite left of centre," I said doubtfully. "Anyway he would rescue the NHS."

"So why hasn't Blair matched the Tory promise to increase spending on health year by year in real terms?"

Honestly. If only Jude and Shazzer had been there it would have been all right since they could have explained it is perfectly obvious that Labour stands for sharing, kindness, gays, single mothers and Nelson Mandela as opposed to braying bossy men having affairs with everyone shag shag shag left right and centre and going to the Ritz in Paris then telling all the presenters off on the Today programme.

And that it is important to vote for the principle of the thing, not on the itsy bitsy details about this per cent or that per cent. But Mark just started up the car and drove along going on and on about pledges on VAT and Labour and the single currency to the point of utter boredom. Eventually instead of driving us back to his place, he drove straight to mine, and didn't even undo his safety belt or turn off the engine.

"Bridget", he said, "if you persist in these bigoted, ill-informed woolly liberal views I don't see how there can be any future for us. I'll call you tomorrow to discuss this more calmly."

Am torn between love and my political principles in manner of Harriet Harman, Romeo and Juliet or similar. Oh my God. Am on horns of dilemma. Oooh, I wonder if Eurotrash is still on on the telly.