Bridget Jones's diary

I hate this. I feel a colossal failure. How can it be a proper relationship if we haven't even been mini-breaking?
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Indy Lifestyle Online
Sunday 9 July

8st 13lb, cigarettes 25, alcohol units 6 (Daniel's fault), calories 600 (inspired by marvellous example of Nigel Lawson losing four stones, my new lord and guru), minutes spent looking at brochures: long-haul 45,

mini-break 87

This afternoon Daniel settled down as usual with the curtains drawn to flick between the tennis and the cricket, idly sticking his hand down my bra now and again, as if my right bosom was one of those fabric frogs- cum-bean bags which old ladies put on the chair arm to fiddle with. I had to eat an entire bag of tortilla chips to stop myself yelling out, "Why can't we go away together?"

The whole subject of holidays has become an absurd taboo now. I have to pretend I hate holidays; that the last thing I want to do is go on holiday; that if I ever went on another holiday again it would be too soon.

I hate this. I feel a colossal failure. How can it be a proper relationship if Daniel and I are not going on holiday this summer, and haven't even been mini-breaking yet?

The trouble with my fantasy life is it's like a dammed-up stream. If it's blocked one way, it will just trickle out another, and soon be flowing freely and happily again. No sooner had the holiday to Bali been firmly vetoed than I started obsessing wildly about mini-breaking. (Odd how mini- break fantasies naturally tailor themselves to the love object. With my last boyfriend, Arthur, I obsessed about mini-breaks to simple flagstone- floored pubs in mountainous areas. Somehow Daniel requires a mini-break fantasy on a much grander scale. Nothing short of a country house hotel - no, a country stately home hotel fantasy is suitable for Daniel.)

Eventually, after sitting in semi-darkness for the second weekend running on the hottest, loveliest Sunday of the year watching the most boring tennis match in the history of man, I suddenly blurted out, "Why can't we go on a mini-break? Why? Why? Why?"

"That's a good idea," said Daniel, mildly, taking his hand out of my dress. "Why don't you book somewhere for next weekend? Nice country house hotel. I'll pay."

9pm After Daniel had gone, the phone rang. It was my father, speaking in a weird, disconnected voice, almost as if he were a dalek. "Bridget. Turn your television set to BBC1." I switched channels and lurched in horror. It was a trailer for the Anne and Nick show and there, frozen in a Video Effect diamond between Anne and Nick on the sofa, was my mother, all bouffed and made-up as if she was Katie Bloody Boyle.

"Nick," said Anne pleasantly.

"... and we'll be introducing our new summer slot," said Nick. "Suddenly Single - a dilemma being faced by a growing number of women. Anne."

"And introducing spanking new presenter, Pam Jones," said Anne. "Suddenly Single herself and making her TV debut."

While Anne was speaking my mother unfroze with the diamond, which started whooshing towards the front of the screen, obscuring Anne and Nick and revealing, as it did so, that my mother was thrusting a microphone under the nose of a mousy-looking woman.

"Have you had suicidal thoughts?" bellowed my mother.

"Yes," said the mousy woman and burst into tears, at which point the picture froze, turned on its end and whizzed off into one corner to reveal Anne and Nick on the sofa again looking sepulchral.

Dad was devastated. Mum hadn't even told him about the TV presenting job. It seems he is in denial and has convinced himself mum is just having an end-of-life crisis and that she already realises she has made a mistake but is too embarrassed to ask to come back.

Actually, I'm all for denial. You can convince yourself of any scenario you choose and it keeps you happy as a sandboy - as long as your ex-partner doesn't pop up on your television screen forging a new career out of not being married to you any more.

I tried rather feebly to pretend it didn't mean there was no hope, and that mum might be planning their reunion as a really grabby end to the series, but it didn't wash.

Poor dad. I don't think he knows anything about Julio or the man from the tax office.

He asked me if I was around next weekend and I felt like a child murderer. I remember only too well that the worst thing about being Suddenly Single is the way everybody else in the whole world is doing something nice next weekend except you. I asked him if he'd like me to cancel but he said it's alright. The Alconburys are holding an Olde English supper in the garden on Saturday for the Lifeboat.

Tuesday 11 July

8st 12lb (vg), alcohol units 0 (but only 10am), cigarettes 5, calories 450. Minutes spent looking at mini-break brochures: 135

Feel personally touched and flattered by the Pope's open letter to We women, apologising for the way We have been treated throughout history. See myself alone with the Pope wearing a brave, but tearful smile, saying "It was difficult at times but ... we muddled through" and then breaking down in his arms.

Also find myself imagining the Thelma & Louise-style remake in 2010 with a female Pope sending an open letter to All Men apologising for the way they have been treated for the last 10 years but unfortunately omitting to mention the fact that the ban on male priests will be remaining intact.

Oh I am so excited about the mini-break. But should it be Thornbury Castle or Amberley?

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