`Winter Wonderland - but can't ski, mutant frogs, Mum's Christmas torchlight procession ...'
Monday 9 December

9st (but still time to lose half stone before Christmas), alcohol units 4 (pacing self), cigarettes 9 (vg), calories 4,276 (poor)

V happy and excited. This Christmas is like gift from heaven to make up for all Christmas nightmares of past. Mark Darcy says we are going away skiing for Christmas. Will be marvellous and Christmassy with all Swiss chalets, twinkling lights, reindeer and Winter Wonderland. Cannot wait. Maybe will get muff and earmuffs. Have not dared tell Mum yet but building up to it. 9pm Simon just rang so I told him exciting news.

"But Bridget," he said. "You can't ski."

Was reminded by Simon that have only been skiing once and that was with Jude and Shazzer five years ago, when we didn't actually ski as such except on the first day, when we realised what it was like, so got refunds on our skis and just went on the chairlift to different cafes. Trouble is have told Mark I can ski now.

"You're going to have to tell him, Bridge," said Simon, then he made a weird sound.

"Simon?" I said. It sounded like a sob. "What is it?"

"It's Christmas," he said in a strangled voice. "Last Christmas I was with Rachel, now I'm all on my own and I haven't got anyone to love. The whole bloody Christmas business just seems designed to torture people on their own." Knew exactly how he felt. Reminded of all Christmases past spent tiptoeing through singleton minefield high streets, trying to avoid strains of "It's Gonna be a Cold Cold Christmas Without You", trees, fairy lights, Santas or anything with word Christmas in - in case exploded in heart. Have arranged to go out with him on Thursday night and will really try best to cheer him up. Had no sooner put phone down when doorbell rang. It was Jude in floods of tears. "I'm lonely," she sobbed. It's Christmas, you're going out with Mark Darcy and Shazzer's going out with a teenager and I'm all on my own and the whole bloody world has turned into a Romance at Christmas torture chamber."

As went into emergency procedures - assembling bloody Mary ingredients, When Harry Met Sally video etc - brilliant idea suddenly popped into head. "Why don't you come out for dinner on Thursday night?"

Am marvellous. Am festive matchmaker in manner of Santa, only bringing sex rather than gifts. Why stop at Jude and Simon? Think will invite Matt from work and Rebecca - sharing Mark and my Winter Wonderland happiness with whole world.

Tuesday 10 December

9am Was just v engrossed in listening to radio terrified by scary stories of deformed frogs in Minnesota (one had only one eye which turned out to be in his mouth. Wonder if had eye in own mouth would be better at keeping to diet - if could see food coming?) when phone rang.

"Now, darling, you are coming home for Christmas on the Saturday aren't you? Wendy and Donald are having a bazaar." It was Mum. "A Christmas bazaar! You know, Christmas serviette rings and doilies. You can do all your Christmas shopping in one fell swoop."

"Actually Mum, I thought I might go away this ..." I began.

"Oh don't be silly, darling. Una and Geoffrey are having a Christmas Eve torchlight procession round the garden, like in Sweden!"

The thought of a pissed Una Alconbury and friends going round and round an area four metres square tripping over the rockery and each other into the fishpond strengthened my resolve. "Mum, I've been invited to go skiing and I really want to go," I said through clenched teeth, crouching under the table where I felt safe. "Oh darling you do tell some silly stories. What are you getting for Jamie? Daddy and I wondered if you'd like a Magimix! The other thing we thought about was a stole for parties." Only managed to get away by telling her the bath was running over. Do not know what am going to do.

9pm Am going to burst with happiness. Met Mark after work and bought Christmas tree then took it back to Mark's house to decorate. Almost like fantasy or Christmas card. Then Mark put his arm round me and patted my stomach with the other one. "Wouldn't it be nice if there was a little creature to unwrap all these presents on Christmas morning," he said. Immediate reaction at word creature was to imagine little mutant frog under tree surveying his presents excitedly through his little open mouth. Then suddenly realized what Mark had said. Had no idea how to react. Have been so conditioned by Jude that one must not even acknowledge the existence of earthly beings under the age of 10 in front of men or they will chuck you, that had no idea how to react so have come to loo.

11pm My flat. Completely miserable. When got downstairs from loo, Mark was looking at a brochure. "Oh, by the way, you know the Christmas dinner at chambers on Thursday, can I meet you there?" he said, without looking up. "Was your mum OK about the skiing? How good are you exactly? Can you do black runs?" I stared at the floor panicking "Well?" he said looking at me oddly. "Um," I began. Then deciding to get it all over with at once, admitted a) had not managed to get through to own mother about skiing, b) had forgotten about Thursday dinner and arranged to matchmake eight suicidal friends at my flat, and c) cannot ski. Is only time have ever seen Mark lose his temper. Am chucked for Christmas.

Must buy Bridget's blurry good novel

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