Bridget Jones's diary

I was standing at the top of the stairs, thinking, 'Inner poise, inner poise', when the doors swung open and Daniel emerged
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The Independent Online
Friday 16 February

9st 2 (but v heavy wine bag inside self in manner of interior wine box). Alcohol units 0 (not as vg as would seem as system still feeding off internal wine bag). Cigarettes 0 (vg). Calories - Public Immunity Certificate prohibits disclosure: important point being had no intention to pig out).

2.00am. Ar Gor swor brilliant eve with Shazzer an Jude. Feel sickly though. Oops.

7.00am. Ooh. Could really fancy some chips.

8.15am. Aargh, aargh. Last thing need is Michael Heseltine on radio in current hungover state but cannot lift head to turn off. Shut up, shut up. Aargh.

8.20am. Oh for God's sake. Hezza seems to be telling off the Today presenter for being so rude as to keep asking him questions and announcing in bossy voice Labour Party and all journalists must resign for being so impertinent as to imply Scott report anything but enraptured psalm of praise to marvellous heavenly-host-style Cabinet. Ugh. If hear "did not intend to mislead" once more, will be sick in empty coffee mug.

Mind you, was bloody good fun last night with girls watching William Waldegrave going "did not intend to mislead", "did not intend to mislead" over and over again whatever anyone asked him in manner of mad parrot. V amusing. Ought to be on stage.

Grrr. Hezza. Shut up. What is the matter with Ministers and Captains of Industry? Seem to have become incapable of answering any question with slightest semblance of candour. Behave like my friend Greg who is always being late through personal chaos but thinks that any lie, however implausible is better than the truth, however understandable. If Ministers just said nicely and reasonably, "Look it was v difficult situation and were trying to do best thing we could ... if did it wrong v sorry and want to have fresh start, sort out and not do again, etc", who could blame them? Whole thing so incomprehensible no one has first idea what was going on in first place. But minute they start with pompous bluster and skulduggery trapping Robin Cook in windowless room forcing him to eat sandwiches, immediately suspect them of shipping rockets to Iraq pointing them at own brave troops and personally letting them off while swigging bottles of free champagne donated by arms dealers.

Anyway. V much emotionally replenished by night with lovely girls. Was fearing scary literary party next Tuesday: launch of Kafka's Motorbike at the Ivy with all people from old job there: bossy Perpetua and cruel ex-boyfriend Daniel. Jude, guided by article in Company was teaching me how to improve social skills, confidence and Make Parties Work for Me.

One should never, Jude explained, talk to anyone at a party for more than two minutes. When time is up, you simply say, "I think we're expected to circulate. Nice to meet you," and glide prettily away. When introducing people, add a thoughtful detail or two about each person - eg "Gina is a keen skydiver and lives on a barge." Most importantly, one should never go to a party without a clear objective: perhaps to "network", to make friends with someone specific; or "clinch" a deal. Going with aim of not getting too pissed is clearly not good enough. Sharon had just one party hint, "Don't end up back in bed with Daniel."

Tuesday 20 February

Party got off to a bad start when spotted Perpetua talking to her friends Piggy and Arabella. Approached with confidence but instead of saying, "Bridget comes from Northamptonshire and is a keen gymnast", Perpetua just carried on talking - far beyond the two-minute mark - and ignored me.

Cunningly pretending I had not intended to join Perpetua at all, I hovered towards Simon from marketing then, suddenly noticing he was talking to Julian Barnes began to sidle, terrified, away: at which Simon said in a superior voice he never used to use when trying to get off with you by the photocopier: "Did you want something, Bridget?"

"Ah! Yes!" I said, panicking wildly as to what I could possibly want. "Ahm ... "

"Yeees?" Simon and Julian Barnes looked at me expectantly.

"Do you know where the toilets are?" I blurted. Damn? Why? I saw a faint smile hover over the thin-but-attractive lips of Julian Barnes then suddenly realised who the third person in the group was: Mark Darcy.

"Ah. Over there. Jolly good. Thanks," I said, diving for the exit.

Mark bloody Darcy. That's all I needed. I was standing at the top of the stairs, hyperventilating, thinking "Inner poise, inner poise", when the doors swung open and Daniel emerged, looking furious.

"Bridget! Darling!" Pissed. He kissed me, then kicked the wall.

"What's up with you?" I said wishing Daniel wasn't quite so attractive when you found yourself alone with him.

"Someone in there I never ever wanted to see again."

"Who?"

"Guy called Mark Darcy"

"I know Mark Darcy!"

Daniel looked horrified. "How?"

"He's Malcolm and Elaine Darcy's son. I used to play with him in the paddling pool".

"I bet you did, you dirty little bitch," he growled hornily. "Listen," he murmured, "Why don't you and I go have some dinner?"

I stared at the floor, blinking frantically, trying to remember the party hints.

"Come on, Bridge," he whispered seductively, brushing my cheek with his finger, "I've missed you so much, darling. Come on".

Anyway. Although I told Sharon afterwards I had stuck to all the party hints, I did not intend in any way to mislead her. And at least I didn't get too pissed actually at the party.

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