Bridget Jones's Diary

Beauty of travelling with just hand luggage is that do not even need to check in until get to gate. Maybe time to try Dorothy Perkins bikini on
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Indy Lifestyle Online
Monday 24 March

Gatwick Airport South Terminal.

8st 13 (fat consumed by excitement and fear) Cigarettes 4 (vg) alcohol units 0: excellent (but is only 7.30 in morning).

7.30am Really it is a marvellous step forward to arrive at an airport with so much time to spare. It just goes to show, as it says in The Road Less Travelled, that human beings have capacity to change and grow. For example I used to suffer from constant lateness and career doldrums but now here I am with clear hour before departure and clear brief to jet set to Rome for major interview of Mr Darcy or "Colin Firth" as he is known - just whizzing in and out wearing sunglasses. Beauty of it is do not even need to check in till get to gate as only hand luggage. Oooh Dorothy Perkins.

7.45am. V. keen on floaty-chiffon-with-roses-on fashions for spring but do not think they should design them so they will not fit over people's arses. Love the lovely airport shopping area. Sir Richard Rogers, Terence Conran or similar is always complaining that airports have turned into great big shopping malls but I consider that to be good. Possibly will incorporate that into next major profile possibly with Sir Roger himself if not Bill Clinton. Maybe will just try bikini on.

8am. Right. Will just post letters, and get Body Shop necessities then go through. Wish did not keep thinking passport has jumped out of bag and gone back home.

8.05am. Oh God. Although excited by interview haunted by fear that it will become intolerable when Mr Darcy has to go. What if he just gives me an hour in some scary restaurant chink chink chink and then that is it forever. What if it all gets too much and I just, like, burst out and kiss him. Also trousers are too tight and will show stomach. I wonder if there is time to get new trousers.

Actually am not going to be neurotic about this. The marvellous thing about travelling alone is you can really start to develop a new character, and be quite elegant and Zen-like and no one knows you .... Aargh, aargh Aaargh.

"Darling! You shouldn't have come to meet me, you silly Billy. Durrr! Geoffrey and Daddy are waiting for us outside. We've just come to get Daddy a present. Come and meet Wellington!"

It was my mother, tanned bright orange with her hair in Bo Derek braids with beads on the ends and wearing a voluminous orange batik outfit like Winnie Mandela.

"I know you're going to think he's a Masai but he's a Kikuyu! A Kikuyu! Imagine!" I followed her gaze with slow horror to where Una Alconbury, also orange dressed in head-to-toe batik but wearing her reading glasses, was standing at the counter in Sock Shop with her purse open gazing up delightedly at an enormous black youth with a loop of flesh hanging from each ear with a film canister on one of them and dressed in a bright blue checked cloak.

"Hakuna Matata. Don't worry be happy! Kenyan. Isn't it smashing? Una and I have had the most super time and Wellington's come back to stay! Darling come and say Jambo to Bridget."

"Shut up, mother, shut up" I hissed out of the corner of my mouth, looking from side to side nervously. "You can't have an African tribesman to stay. Daddy's only just got over Julio."

"Wellington is not," said my Mum, drawing herself up to her full height, "a tribesman. Well at least he is, darling, a proper tribesman! I mean he lives in a dung hut! But we mustn't fall into the trap of typecasting or dehumanising the African. Wellington is an individual."

"I've got to go," I muttered, "I've got a plane to catch."

"Where are you going?" she said suspiciously.

"Rome."

"Oh don't be silly, darling. You're not still chasing after Mark up and down the globe? I thought he'd left you for Japan."

Even the mention of Japan stung me to the bottom of my heart. If it was another girl he had decided he liked better than me I could do something about it like stopping smoking and being more serene but I can hardly start being more like Japan unless I lie very still and stretched out on the ground with lots of little tiny Japanese people and cars running all over me eating sushi which would be really ridiculous.

"Wellington! Una. Look who's here!"

I stared at the bizarre trio through lowered eyebrows, breathing unsteadily like a cornered animal. Then suddenly I knew what I must do. I took hold of my rucksack Dorothy Perkins bag firmly in both hands and bolted towards the departure gate. "North Terminal" said the woman as I showed her my boarding card.

"What?" I almost shrieked.

"North Terminal. You go on the little train."

"How long does it take?"

"About 15 minutes to the gate."

I looked up at the screen. It said last call. It said departure 8.30. It was 8.22.

Just then an announcement rang out.

"Would Miss Bridget Jones please come to the airport information desk." Maybe Mr Darcy!

Panting and sweating I flung over to the desk where the lady was holding out a telephone.

"Bridget for God's sakes". It was Michael from The Independent. "I have just rung the gate. You aren't even checked in. I've got them to hold the flight for five minutes only. If you're not sitting in your seat when that bloody aircraft closes its doors you're bloody well fired."

8.40am Mmm. Mmm. Love the feeling when aircraft take off. Is fantastic. Is no need for all other passengers to look at me like that. Was sort of thing that could happen to anyone. Particularly top journalist under pressure. Mr Darcy Mr Darcy. Hurrah.

Bridget Jones's interview with Mr Darcy will appear in this Saturday's Independent Magazine

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