Bridget Jones's Diary

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Indy Lifestyle Online
Monday 1 April

9st 1; alcohol units 3 (vg); cigarettes 13 (g); hamburgers 1 (vg); articles read about cow holocaust 13 (excessive); minutes spent trying to programme video 210 (poor).

7pm Mum just rang. "Oh hello, darling. Guess what? Penny Husbands-Bosworth is on Newsnight!!!"


"You know the Husbands-Bosworths, darling, with the dairy herd at Winterfields. Ursula was in VI Lower."


"Don't say what, Bridget, say pardon. The thing is, I'm going to be out because Una's doing a slide show of the Nile, so Penny and I wondered if you'd record it - ooh, better dash - there's the butcher!"

8pm Right. Ridiculous to have had video for two years and never to have been able to make it record anything. Also is marvellous FV 67 HV Videoplus. Simple matter of following operating instructions, locating buttons, etc, certain.

8.15pm Humph. Cannot locate operating instructions.

8.35pm Hah! Found operating instructions under Hellos. Love last week's Hello with Fergy airbrushed beyond all sense (why not save effort by simply printing photo of Yasmin le Bon and writing "Duchess of York" underneath?) then on very next page thrillingly contrasting. Fergy goes horse-riding feature with Fergy as huge-jawed, wrinkled monster. Right "Programming your video is as easy as making a phone call." Excellent.

8.40pm "Point the remote control at the video recorder." V easy. "Turn to index." Aargh horror list with "Timer controlled simultaneous HiFi sound recordings", "the decoder needed for encoded programmes", etc. Merely wish to record Husbands-Bosworth cow rant, not spend all evening reading treatise on spying techniques.

8.50pm Ah. Diagram. "Buttons for IMC functions". But what are IMC functions?

8.55pm Decide to ignore that page, turn to "Timer controlled recordings with Video Plus: 1. meet the requirements for Video Plus". What requirements? Hate the stupid video. Feel exactly the same as feel when trying to follow signposts on roads. Know in heart signposts and video manual do not make sense but still cannot believe authorities would be so cruel as to dupe us all deliberately. Feel incompetent fool and as if everyone else in world understands something which is being kept from me.

9.10pm "When you turn your recorder on, you must adjust the clock and the calendar for precise TIMER controlled recording. (Don't forget to use the quick adjust options to switch between summer and winter time). Clock menus called with red and digital number 6."

Press red and nothing happens. Press numbers and nothing happens. Wish stupid video had never been invented.

9.25pm Aargh. Suddenly main menu is on TV saying "Press 6". Oh dear. Realise was using telly remote control by mistake. Now news has come on. Goody. Wish to keep abreast of cow holocaust.

If hear phrase "restore consumer confidence" once more will scream. Knowing Government is trying to restore your confidence in cows is like knowing someone is trying to make you fall in love with them or go back out with them when you don't love them. Everything they do gets on your nerves. McDonald's were better, behaving in style of spurned lover with personal dignity - merely withdrawing so you cannot have them even if you want to, thus making you appreciate and respect them.

Called Tom and asked if he could record Penny Husbands-Bosworth, but he said he didn't know how to work his video, either.

Suddenly there is clicking noise within video and the cow holocaust is replaced, incomprehensibly, by Blind Date.

Just called Jude and she can't work hers, either. Aaargh. Aargh is 10.15. Newsnight in 15 minutes.

10.17pm Cassette will not go in.

10.18pm Ah, Pride and Prejudice is in there.

10.19pm Pride and Prejudice won't come out.

10.21pm Frenziedly press all buttons. Cassette comes out and goes back in again.

10.25pm Have got new cassette in now. Right. Turn to "Recording".

"Recording will start when in Tuner Mode if any button is pressed (apart from Mem)." What, though, is Tuner Mode? "When recording from a camcorder or similar press AV prog ... source 3 x during a bilingual transmission, press 1/2 and hold for 3 seconds to make your choice of language."

Oh God. Stupid manual reminds me of linguistic professor had at Bangor who was so immersed in finer points of language that could not speak without veering off into analysis of each individual word: "This morning I would ... now `would', you see, in 1570 ..."

Aargh aargh Newsnight is starting.

10.31pm Ok. OK. Calm. Cow holocaust item is not on yet.

10.33pm Yesss. RECORDING CURRENT PROGRAMME. Have done it!

Aaargh. All going mad. Cassette has started rewinding and now stopped and ejected. Why? Sh** Sh**. Realise in excitement have sat on remote control.

10.35pm Frantic now. Have rung Shazzer, Rebecca, Simon, Magda. Nobody knows how to programme their videos. Only person I know who knows how to do it is Daniel - cruel, adulterous ex-boyfriend.

10.45pm Oh God. Daniel fell about laughing when said I could not programme video. Said he would do it for me. But feel humiliated as suspect he thought I was ringing to try and make him go back out with him in manner of Government restoring consumer confidence. Still at least have done best for Mum. It is exciting and historic when one's friends are on TV.

11.15pm Humph. Mum just rang. "Sorry, darling. It isn't Newsnight it's Breakfast News tomorrow. Could you set it for 7 o'clock tomorrow morning. BBC1?"

11.30 Daniel just called. "Er, sorry Bridge. I'm not quite sure what went wrong. It's recorded Film 96 with Barry Norman."