Helen Fielding's wildly successful books started life as a column


Below is an extract from 1997 in The Independent:

Thursday 3rd August: 14st (most likely) alcohol units 90 cigarettes 500 (feels like) Calories 4 bloody million.

11.45pm Huh. Just got back from dinner party with ego size of lentil. It was me, four married couples and Jeremy’s brother (forget it – red braces and face. Calls girls “fillies”). “So,” bellowed Jeremy, pouring me a drink, “ how’s your love life?”

Gurgh! Why can’t Smug Marrieds understand this is no longer a polite question to ask? We wouldn’t rush up to them and roar: “How’s your marriage going? Still having sex?” Maybe the Smug Marrieds only mix with other Smug Marrieds and don’t know how to relate to individuals any more. Maybe they really want to patronise us and make us feel like freaks. Or maybe they’re in such a sexual rut that they think, “There’s a whole other world out there” and hope for vicarious thrills  by getting us to tell them the roller-coaster details of our  sex lives.

“Seriously,” said Woney (baby talk for Fiona). “Why aren’t you married?”

“Because I don’t want to end up like you, you fat, boring, Sloaney milch cow,” was what I should have said, or “Because if I had to cook Cosmo’s dinner then get into the same bed as him just once, let alone every night, I’d tear off my own head and eat it”.