1 January-31 December 1996: A summary

Total weight lost: 5st 2lb (vg)

Total weight gained: 5st 3lb

Alcohol units: 3,836

Cigarettes: 5,277

Calories: 11,090,265 (bad)

Correct lottery numbers: 42 (vg)

Incorrect lottery numbers: 587 (sort of thing that could happen to anyone)

Total Instants purchased: 98

Total Instants winnings: pounds 101

Total Instants profit: pounds 3 (Yesss! Yesss! Have beaten system while supporting worthwhile causes in manner of benefactor)

1471 calls: 721 (approx)

Valentines: 1 (vg)

Christmas cards: 33 (vg)

Positive thoughts: 4 (g)

Hangover-free days: 74 (vg)

Boyfriends: 1 (vg)

Number of New Year's Resolutions kept: 0

A quite promising year's progress.

Monday 30 December

Flying home from lovely skiing holiday. Cannot believe quantity of food have consumed over festive period. Wonder how much weight it is technically possible to put on in one day? If you ate the most fattening things you could think of without being sick or stopping, how long would it take the fat to grow, and how much could be produced at any one time? Therefore how much could be put on in seven days of same?

Humph. Just asked Mark Darcy, who said I had to shut up or will tell air hostess to put me in jump seat.

Anyway, life is going to be completely different when get back. Am not going to smoke or drink and am going to be much more on top of things with Mum. For example am going to tell her Mark Darcy and I cannot come to Una and Geoffrey Alconbury's New Year's Day Turkey Curry Buffet in poised and adult manner. Also am going to really take pleasure from just being at home putting photographs in albums instead of going out to 192 all the time.

Noon Back In flat. Aargh. Terrified re ringing Mum. Last year Mum, Una and Elaine Darcy spent entire time at the Buffet trying to get me and Mark Darcy off with each other. Mark Darcy says reappearing as successfully- mated offspring would be not only intolerable (as we would be like pair of performing seals forced to have sex in front of assembled company etc), but irresponsible since Mum would spontaneously burst like Oscar Wilde with smugness then die, which would detract from festive atmosphere.

12.30 Just called Mum. "Oh hello, darling, how are you?" she trilled casually, apparently failing to notice my absence for entire Christmas period,

"Hang on a tick. Just saying goodbye to Marjorie." She dropped her voice. "You know Ray and Marjorie, don't you, darling - they have hen huts. Marjorie was trying to get hold of this special hen for some unknown reason and ... oooh hang on, the timer's off on the microwave." She then left me sitting on the phone for nine minutes. After spending three minutes yelling, " Mum, Mum," I put the phone down only to have it ring back immediately. " Bridget," Mum hissed dangerously, "Putting the phone down on another person is Very. Very. Rude."

"Mum, about Auntie Una's Turkey Curry Buffet we can't come," I blurted, getting down under the table, ready.

"Oh that doesn't matter darling! " she purred. "Daddy and I aren't going, either." I froze, grabbing the table leg, disbelievingly. It was like in a film when someone has thrown a grenade, everyone is tensed for it to go off, and it doesn't. Had Mum finally seen sense, or gone over the edge?

"Anyway, Marjorie couldn't get hold of this hen through the flap so she went in herself and the door locked shut. Well, when Ray came home he couldn't find her anywhere till he went for the eggs. No, Una's a very selfish, evil woman."

"Mum," I said levelly, trying to be like Mark Darcy and responsible, wondering if I should ring an ambulance, "could you bring Dad to the telephone, please?"

"What's going on?" I hissed, when Dad came on the phone.

"Oh God," he moaned, quietly.

"What? What?"

"It's Mum and Una. It's Apocalypse Now. They both turned up on Christmas Day in the same purple paisley Jaeger two-piece."

Mum grabbed the phone. "Don't exaggerate, Colin, they were Country Casuals seconds. We both bought them together at the mill shop but I saw it first and Una agreed that she wouldn't wear it without checking with me first. Of course, when she walked in I was absolutely livid, and in front of Marjorie - I mean Marjorie's been in the hen hut and she's a bag of nerves."

The upshot of it is I have to go to Mum and Dad's all day tomorrow for New Year's Day all on my own. Oh no.

1pm Wonder what to do now? Oh yes. Better unpack.

1.15pm Hate the thought of the horrible unpacking. Is bad enough coming home to mad mother without having to unpack . Maybe will have cigarette. No. Mustn't smoke.

1.20pm Mmm. Cigarette is delicious. Now. Where's the photograph album?

1.30pm Is no good. Hate being in singleton flat all on own. Was so lovely being away in chalet with all people around all the time (even if Yuppie- Sloane Ranger-style lawyers). Dread thought of getting up in morning with no one to fool around with; no using fact that everyone keeps getting into the bathroom before you as excuse for not getting dressed or washed for hours and hours, sitting at kitchen table gossiping. Wish lived in commune with all chums then would never be alone and could muck about having fun all day.

1.45pm Hmm. Maybe will have a little drinky to calm nerves. No. Will go round to Tom's and give him Eric Cantona calendar Christmas present (v amusing-style gift as Tom loves Eric Cantona.) Ooh goody, telephone.

1.50pm Was Tom, complaining that all he has been given for Christmas is five copies of the Eric Cantona calendar. Oh God. Am going to ring Jude and Shazzer and see if they want to come to 192.

4pm Argor esblurry goofun seeinggirlsagain. Maybe havelittle sleepy now. Oops.

7 o'clock am? pm? Aargh, aargh, Mark Darcy is talking on Ansafone. Oh God. Is 7 in morning. Have slept through New Year's Eve and missed Mark Darcy date. Is pitch black. Help. Cannot find telephone.

7.30pm Even when all seems darkness is light at end of tunnel. Was not the morning but evening, therefore still time to sober up and go out with Mark Darcy. Also, Jude and Shazzer had marvellous news. Apparently new pill has been invented in America whereby all fat is quickly sent, instead of to fat areas, to colon and converted immediately into poo. Apparently wonder pill will be available here in one month only. Hurrah. We can all look forward to New Year eating exactly what want with perfect figures. All need now is further pills for alcohol units and cigarettes converting hangovers, liver-failure and tar immediately into poo and will be no need whatsoever for New Year's Resolutions any more. Happy 1997 everybody! Hurrah!