On the drive to work I hear on LBC that Shaa (one of Cosmopolitan's Student Advisory Board) has been arrested. We do pick unusual women. Shaa's gutsy, she'll hack it. Rush in and find the Sun has done three pages on her. Try to send flowers. Hampshire police say nice thought, but they don't do vases.
The British Society of Magazine Editors' Tony Blair lunch at the Ritz. Blair's like a very nice man in marketing. Says NOTHING memorable. There are no taxis outside. I walk back to the office in my black patent high-strap shoes. The features editor pleads with me to discuss November features schedule. Feel a shit for not being able to tell her.
Saturday: It's hotter. I hit Marks and Spencer at midday. Buy food I won't eat and stuff it in the freezer. Collapse in garden. Hope I leave work before the summer flowers die. Grab the Mail, the Telegraph, the Times, don't read any of them. 7pm drift to bed.
Sunday: Slept brilliantly. Up at 6am watering the garden. Drive to office at nine. Clear out files, check three years' worth of Christmas cards for useful addresses. Find two. Will I write a real book? I don't think so. Stare round the office at empty desks and search for some emotion. Nothing.
Jo comes for lunch in the garden. Factor 15 on our faces. She asks me about my plans. I say South Africa for the winter, maybe the Hamptons for a few weeks, what about the cookery course in France? I may let the flat and rent a house in Gozo, I've been thinking about teaching in the Gambia. How do I tell the office? How do I tell my mother?
Monday: 9am hair appointment. 10:30 meeting to finalise press release. We giggle, eat chocolate biscuits, agree release, consultancy agreement. Start to smell freedom. Holiday mood overtakes me.
Grosvenor Street for a cosmetic launch. The products smell pretty good. One's called "Peace of Mind". They're also marketing little balls you clench when you're stressed. I tell Terry, our MD, to take them in all colours. They give me the products for confused skin. Rush to South Molton Street. Buy three pairs of tarty shoes.
4pm, I have to tell the office. Everyone sits, stands looks at me. Never could have rehearsed this one. I say there's no easy way to tell them. Voice doesn't crack. Can't hug them from this side of the desk. Can't say how much I love them. Can't leave in case I crumple. One or two had guessed something but they're stunned. I walk out of the office and they're in silent huddled groups. Jane, who knew, briskly makes tea. Sam from fashion appears with a bouquet of flowers almost too heavy to lift. Stagger home at 7.30pm drained.
A 17th-century female nude drawing has fallen off the wall in the living room. Smashed glass everywhere. Dinner at Chelsea Arts Club. Put flowers in water at 1am. Daren't think about everyone in the office.
Tuesday: Dentist. Four injections. Mouth frozen. Do a TV interview for Andrew Neil programme on Germaine Greer. Mouth still frozen. What will I look like in close-up on Saturday night? Do I care? I don't care.
4.30pm, train from Fenchurch Street to see my mother in Leigh-on-Sea. Mummy takes news rather well. Asks if I have enough to live on. And she hopes it doesn't mean I don't intend to work. Offered to sell her Abbey National shares. I could always have her money if I needed it.
Wednesday: Phone starts ringing, reacting to the press release. A piece in the Evening Standard says: "She could always open a shop selling lingerie." Dinner at the Chelsea Arts Club. Get home at midnight, 26 messages on the answering machine.
Thursday: London Business School for the Cosmopolitan/ Wallis Entrepreneurs Programme. Young women, eager, bright, charming. This is one of the bits I love. Evening Standard asks if Cosmopolitan could go from "gutter to sewer" under next editor. Terry and I discuss press reaction. The Daily Express piece called me emotional and got my age wrong. Home 10.15pm; 16 more messages. All that garbage about women editors being "vituperative", I've heard from them all.
Friday: Woke at 7am. Desperate about column for the Independent. Also realise it's rail-strike day. Phone starts ringing when I'm in the bath. Goes nine times before 9.30am. Realise the woman whose time has come has a cleaning lady whose hasn't. Flat in chaos. All the bouquets of flowers dying.
Terry calls. We discuss hyper shrieking bitchy page in the Daily Mail. Terry asks if I'm OK. I say you know me, I couldn't care less, but where do they get this stuff? I've never been out with married men in my life. He was separated by the time my affair started. And she was having an affair with someone else.
Ring Mummy. Tell her not to worry. Exhausting day with the Guardian and Evening Standard. So hard defending and explaining something you haven't really thought through.
The Guardian writer says she thinks I am eccentric. I don't think having a monkey is that eccentric. Phone keeps ringing. Aline's 14th July party this evening. I may go on my knees. Just grasped two things. One, why I don't keep a diary and two, why I have to leave work.
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