31 December 1995
no more than 14 alcohol units per week
down to 8st 7 (no toxins)
circumference of thighs by 3 inches (ie 1.5 each)
up money in form of savings, poss. start pension also
more confident and assertive
to gym 3xs a week (min.)
functional relationship with responsible adult
to programme video
I will not:
more than 14 alcohol units a week
sluttishly around the house but instead imagine others are watching
more than I earn
about others behind their backs but instead be a good person and
positive about everyone
obsessions with parts of loathsome Tories' anatomy such as Portillolips,
but concentrate when reading papers on issues in hand
for any of following: alcoholics, workaholics, commitment phobics,
people with girlfriends or wives, misogynists, megalomaniacs,
chauvinists, emotional fuckwits, emotional freeloaders, perverts or
upset over, or form "crushes" on men but instead be poised and
cool ice-queen and form relationships based on mature assessment of
about having no boyfriend but develop inner poise and authority and
sense of self as woman of substance, complete without boyfriend as best
way to obtain boyfriend
9st 5 (but post-Christmas). Alcohol units 16 (but including effectively
2 days as 4 hours continuation of party plus New Year's Day). Cigarettes
40 (bad). Calories 58424 (approx). Food consumed: Cold new potatoes 14;
Bloody Marys (count as food as Worcester sauce and tomatoes) 3; Bread -
half ciabatta loaf with brie on it; Coriander leaves - half a packet;
Milk Tray 21 (best to get rid of all Christmas confectionery in one go
and make fresh start tomorrow); Mince pies 5; Cocktail sticks* securing
cheese and pineapple 13; Portion Una Alconbury's Turkey curry with peas,
desiccated coconut and sliced bananas; Portion Una Alconbury's Raspberry
Revolution made with Gingernuts soaked in tinned raspberries with eight
gallons of whipped cream and decorated with glace cherries angelica and
* sticks themselves not
Last thing on earth I feel physically, emotionally or mentally equipped
do is go to Una and Geoffrey Alconbury's in Grafton Underwood. But mum
rang up - I swear to God - at 7.30 in the morning last August before I
was even awake and hissed, "You will be coming to Geoffrey and
Una's New Year's Day turkey curry buffet, darling, won't you?"
Actually I..." panicked wildly. What could I pretend to be
doing?... "Think I might have to work on New Year's Day."
doesn't matter. You can come up after work. Oh did I mention? Malcolm
and Elaine Darcy are coming and bringing Mark with them. Do you remember
Mark, darling? He's one of these top-notch barristers. Divorced. It
doesn't start till 8.
I've told you. I don't need to be fixed up with..."
don't be silly, darling."
been more or less constant artillery ever since. "Of course you
remember Malcolm and Elaine! They came over when we were living in
Amersham, and you and Mark played in the paddling pool! He's just back
from America - looking for a house in Holland Park. Apparently, he had
the most terrible time with his wife. Japanese. Very cruel race."
next time, as if out of the blue, "Do you remember Mark Darcy,
darling? Elaine says he works all the time and he's terribly lonely.
Guess what? He's coming to Una's turkey curry buffet."
don't know why she didn't just come out with it and hiss, "You are
going to shag Mark Darcy over the turkey curry buffet aren't you? He's
very rich." Must have fag. Oh dear no: 1996. Hmm. Will start giving
up tomorrow... Maybe Bloody Mary will improve matters. I hate Mum and
Thought the hangover might have cleared by the evening but as I rang the
Alconburys' entire-tune-of-town-hall-clock-doorbell had to accept I was
still in a strange world of my own, nauseous, vile-headed. "Come
along and meet Mark," Una Alconbury sing-songed. Being set up with
a man against your will is on one level of humiliating thing but being
literally dragged into it by Una Alconbury's hand, while tending a
bilious hangover, watched by a room full of friends of your parents is
on another altogether.
rich, divorced-by-cruel-wife Mark was standing with his back to the room
scrutinising the contents of the Alconburys' bookshelves - mainly
leather-bound series about the Third Reich which Geoffrey sends off for
from Readers Digest.
said Una, as if she was one of Santa Claus's fairies, "I've got
someone nice for you to meet." He turned round and while there were
no obvious superficial no-no signs - cable sweater, hankies in trouser
pockets, red face or braces, black polo-neck sweater, pipe or white
socks - he had an extremely irritating snooty expression suggesting he
just could not be arsed.
this is Colin and Pam's daughter Bridget," said Una, going all pink
and fluttery. "Bridget works in television, don't you
do indeed," I for some reason said, as if I were taking part in a
Capital Radio phone-in and were about to ask Una if I could "say
hello to a few people", then give an excruciatingly long list
finishing with "everyone at the turkey curry buffet".
I'll leave you two young people together. Durrrr! I expect you're sick
to death of us old fuddy duddies."
at all," said Mark, brusquely in a way that suggested he certainly
wouldn't be any less sick to death of me. At which Una, after rolling
her eyes putting a hand to her bosom and giving a gay tinkling laugh
abandoned us to a hideous silence.
you been staying with your parents over New Year?" I ventured.
he said, looking over at the rest of the room. "You?"
I was at a party in London last night. Bit hung over, actually."
didn't say anything.
I gabbled nervously so that Una and my mother wouldn't notice Mark Darcy
was refusing to speak to me. "But then I do think New Year's
resolutions can't technically be expected on New Year's Day, don't you,
since, because it's an extension of New Year's Eve, smokers are already
on a smoking roll and cannot be expected to stop abruptly on the stroke
of midnight with so much nicotine in the system? Also, dieting on New
Year's Day isn't a good idea as you can't eat rationally but really need
to spontaneously consume whatever is necessary, moment by moment, to
ease your hangover. I think it would be much more sensible if
resolutions began generally on Jan 2nd."
corner of his mouth almost twitched and he stared at me with an
expression of intense puzzlement. I noticed his hair was slightly more
untidy than you'd expect.
I really must get something to eat," he said, half nodded then
headed off towards the buffet, leaving me standing on my own, by the
bookshelf while everybody stared at me thinking "So that's why
Bridget isn't married - she repulses men."
Darcy didn't speak another word to me for the rest of the evening which
was frankly neither a great loss nor insult as he seemed to be doing his
best to avoid speaking to anybody, but Una Alconbury and Mum were beside
themselves and kept making me walk round with trays of gherkins hoping
we'd get talking. In the end they were so desperate that the second I
got within 4ft of him with the gherkins Una threw herself across the
room like Will Carling and tinkled, "Oh Mark you must take
Bridget's telephone number before you go, then you can get in touch when
you're in London."
couldn't stop myself turning bright red. I could feel it climbing up my
neck. It was as if I'd put her up to it, as if she was my school friend
going, "My friend wants to go out with you."
sure Bridget's life in London is quite full enough already," he
said, not particularly graciously, and turned back to his conversation
with Brian Enderby helping himself to a gherkin as he did so. Rude
pompous git, I wouldn't give him my phone number if his cruel-faced
ex-wife did water-torture on me. Huh.
2am. Oh why am I so unattractive? Why? Just had hateful dream where Mark Darcy, beautiful and gleaming in gold leaf on a statue in Trafalgar Square was dangling me on end of a big gun wearing no pants and dropped me into the pigeons with a cruel laugh. No one loves or cares about me. Hate 1996. Hate everyone... Anyway have got giant tray-sized bar of Cadbury's Dairy Milk left over from Christmas on dressing table, also amusing joke Gin and Tonic miniature. Am going to consume those and have fag. I wonder how old Mark Darcy is?