8st 11, alcohol units, cigarettes 29 (poor)
Feel marvellous. Really it is marvellous when one feels one has reached a plateau and everything seems just lovely. All things I used to think about not being attractive beyond a certain age not true. Look at Helen Mirren and Francesca Annis. As one gets older one grows in wisdom and knowledge of the world, and for many men, eg Ralph Fiennes, that is ... ooh, telephone.
"Hi, hon, do you want to come and see Crash on Sunday afternoon?"
"Certainly not," I said coldly. Honestly, sometimes Tom is sick.
"Oh. I bumped into Daniel yesterday."
Grr. One of the excellent things about self-improvement is it is vg way of drawing line under one's past. If embarrassing things, eg finding a giantess on your boyfriend's roof and then chucked by him, should have happened in one's past, one can simply think: "It is only natural that should have happened to the old me since it was before I had read The Road Less Travelled," etc. Even so, however, one does not want spectre of Daniel humiliation rearing up alarmingly in manner of Loch Ness Monster, or erection. "Oh really, where?" I trilled in a gay yet strangled voice. Whole point about exes is that friends should then punish and ignore them, not try and get on with both sides in manner of Tony and Cherie and Charles and Diana.
"In the Cobden Club."
"Did you talk to him?"
"Yes. After you blew me up last time I really took him to task and said..."
"Why were you so horrible to Bridget when she is so nice?"
There was something about the way he said this in his manner of a parrot which suggested he may not have been quoting himself word for word.
"Good," I said, "very good." I paused, determined to leave it at that and change the subject. I mean, what do I care what Daniel said? "So what did he say?" I hissed.
"He said," said Tom, then started laughing, "he said ..."
"He said ..." He was practically crying with laughter now.
"What? What? Whaaaaaaaaaaat?"
"How can you go with someone who doesn't know where Germany is?"
I let out a high-pitched hyena laugh, almost as one does when one hears one's grandmother has died and believes it to be a joke. Then it really hit me... I clutched the side of the kitchen table, mind reeling.
"Bridge?" said Tom, "are you all right? I was only laughing because it's so ... ridiculous ... Bridge? Don't you?"
"Yes," I whispered weakly.
There was a long awkward pause while I tried to come to terms with what had happened; ie, Daniel had chucked me because he thought I was stupid.
"So, then," said Tom, brightly. "Where is Germany?"
"Yeah, but where in Europe?"
Honestly. In the modern age is not really necessary to know where countries actually are since all that is required is to purchase a train ticket to one. They do not exactly ask you at the travel agent's which countries you will be flying over before they give you the ticket, do they?"
"Just give us a ballpark position."
I crouched, head down, eyes flicking around the room to see if there might be an atlas at large.
"Which countries do you think Germany might be near?" he pressed on.
I thought about it carefully: "France."
"France. I see. So Germany is near France, is it?"
Something about the way I said this made me feel I'd made some cataclysmic gaffe. Then it occurred to me that Germany is of course connected to Eastern Germany and therefore it is far more likely to be close to, eg, Hungary, Russia or Prague.
"Prague," I said. At which Tom burst out laughing.
"Anyway, there's no such things as general knowledge anymore," I said, indignantly. "It has been proved by articles that the media has created such a great sea of knowledge that everyone cannot possibly have the same selection of it."
"Never mind, Bridge," said Tom. "Want to come out for a little drinky?"
Midnight. Argor esworblurry goofuun. Who cares about Germs. Leremorff lightly afterwar if arskerself. Germans Aus! Aus! Aus! Ooops.
2am. Humph. How dare Daniel go round bad-mouthing me. How did he know I don't know where Germany is? We never went near it. Furthest we got to was Rutland Water. Huh.
2.30am. Anyway I am really nice. So there.
3am. Am horrible. Am stupid. Am going to start studying Economist and also go to evening classes and read The Famished Road by Ben Okri.
3.30am. Harhar. Have found atlas now.
4.30am. Hah! Right. I am going to ring that bastard.
5.15am. Oh God! Just dialled Daniel's number.
"Bridget?" he said, before I had time to say anything.
"How do you know it was me?"
"Some weird almost spooky sixth sense," he drawled amusedly. "Hang on." I heard him lighting a fag. "So go on then," he inhaled deeply.
"What?" I muttered.
"Tell me where Germany is."
"It's next to France," I said, "and also Holland, Belgium, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Switzerland, Austria and Denmark. And it has a sea coast."
I stared at the atlas furiously. It didn't say the other sea.
"OK," he said. "one sea out of two is fine. So do you want to come round?"
Oh my God. I was so flustered with geographical success I said yes. And Daniel is sending a taxi in five minutes' time. Aargh. Aargh.
The novel of Bridget Jones Diary is published in paperback by Picador this week, pounds 5.99.Reuse content