Saturday 27 January

9st 2 (extra fat presumably caused by cold, like whale blubber). Alcohol units 4. Cigarettes 12 (vg). No of correct lottery numbers 2 (vg). Calories 2,845 (v cold).

V much enjoying the Winter Wonderland and reminder that we are at the mercy of the elements - and should not concentrate so hard on being sophisticated or hardworking but on staying warm and watching the telly. Love the way journalists have joined in the spirit so that news language suggests we are living in a picture book of The Snowman, with the bitter North Wind blowing blizzards of burst pipes on to our Arctic Kingdom and turning all the roads into skating rinks.

Deplore, however, the media's irresponsibility in leading us on with a fantastic new Fergie story every day, then suddenly just stopping - so we have no way of reminding ourselves whether it was two nannies or two butlers she took to St Tropez, or how many holidays she had in 1993, should we suddenly forget. Depressed also by impending birthday. Find self constantly checking ages in Hello! in desperate search for role models - Jane Seymour is 42! Fighting long-impacted fear that one day in your thirties you will suddenly grow a big Crimplene dress, tight perm and a face collapsing like a movie special-effect and that will be it. Try to concentrate hard on Joanna Lumley. Feel bizarrely ashamed about not being in my twenties any more. Even though clearly not my fault it feels as though it is.

Sunday 28 January

Rebecca just rang asking if I was "all right". (Rebecca is one of those friends who slips horrible remarks into conversations in a lovely, friendly voice, leaving you feeling like sh*t). Thinking she meant all right about the impending birthday I said: "Chuh, well it's very depressing".

"Oh poor you - yes I saw Peter last night [Where? What? Why wasn't I invited?]. And he was telling everyone how upset you were and that you wanted to marry him. As he said, it is difficult, single women do tend to get desperate as they get older..."

Bloody Waspy (ex-boyfriend Peter). Last week he rang me up saying he'd changed his mind about marrying his fiancee and wanted to marry me and please, please would I meet him. I said OK - turned up and sat there for 45 minutes before returning home to whining answerphone message saying fiancee had made him stay in to make Delia Smith sausage dish. Hope they both become obese and have to be lifted out of the windows by crane.

Talking of which, have been excited by new calorie-free fat Olestra from America that slips right through you but Sharon now says it causes "anal leakage": an intolerable idea (unless taking place within Waspy's fiancee). Interesting that for no one, even bulimics, is it enough merely to taste food then spit it out. Everyone likes to eat it. It is the digesting they don't want to do. Surely it is only a matter of time until a new bodily pipe and switch is invented so you can eat exactly what you want and simply whoosh it out the other end when the switch is pressed - with no interim leakage.

Oh God. What am I going to do about the stupid birthday? Size of flat and bank balance prohibits actual party. Maybe cook food? But have added up all people ought to ask to avoid offence and comes to 15, risking birthday slavery and hatred of guests on arrival. Could all go out for meal but cannot pay for everyone so feel guilty selfishly presuming to force costly dull evening on others merely to celebrate own birthday. Sympathise with Jesus in sense of embarrassment he must - and perhaps should - feel at imposing expensive celebration of his birthday year after year on large part of the world.

Monday 29 January

Initially excited by Daily Mail "Sara's Euro Court Battle" headline but turned out just to be Sara Keays.

Just called Tom, who says, "It is your birthday and you should invite exactly and only who you want." So am just going to ask Shazzer, Jude, Tom, Magda and Jeremy and cook supper myself.

Called Tom back to tell him the plan and he said, "And Jerome?"


"And Jerome?"

"I thought, like we said, I'd just ask who I ..." I tailed off, realising if I said "wanted", it would mean I didn't "want" ie "like" Tom's insufferable, pretentious boyfriend. "Oh!!!" I said, over-compensating madly "You mean your Jerome? Course Jerome's invited, yer ninny. Chuh! But do you think it's OK not to ask Jude's vile Richard? And Sloaney Woney - even though she had me to her birthday last week?"

"She'll never know"

So when I told Jude who was coming she said perkily, "Oh, so we're bringing other halves?" which means Vile Richard. Also, now that it's not just six, I will have to ask Michael. Oh well. I mean nine is fine. Ten. It'll be fine.

Next thing Sharon rang. "I hope I haven't put my foot in it, I just saw Rebecca and asked her if she was coming to your birthday and she looked really offended." Oh No. Now I'll have to ask Rebecca and crashing bore Martin - but that means I'll have to ask Joanna as well. Shit. Shit. Now I've said I'm cooking I can't suddenly announce we're going out to a restaurant or will seem both bone idle and mean.

Oh God. Just got home to icy, offended-sounding answerphone message from Woney.

"Cosmo and I were wondering what you'd like for your birthday this year. Would you call us back, please?"

Realise I am going to spend my birthday cooking food for 16 people.