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Wednesday 16 August

Horrible night. Kept waking up bathed in sweat, panicking about the difference between the Ulster Unionists and SDLP and which of them Ian Paisley was involved in.

Instead of being ushered into the office to meet the great Richard Finch, I was left pouring sweat in reception for forty minutes thinking Oh my God who's the Health Secretary? before being picked up by the singsong personal assistant Patchouli who sported Lycra cycle shorts and a nose stud and blanched at my Jigsaw suit, as if, in a hideously misjudged attempt to be formal, I had turned up in a floor-length shot-silk Laura Ashley ball gown.

'Richard says to come to the conference, know what I'm sayin'?' she muttered, powering off down a corridor while I scurried after her. She burst through a pink door into a vast open_plan office strewn with piles of scripts, TV screens suspended from the ceiling, charts all over the walls, and mountain bikes propped against the desks. At the far end was a large oblong table where the meeting was in progress. Everyone turned and stared as we approached.

A plump, middle_aged man with curly blond hair, a denim shirt and huge red spectacles was jigging up and down at the end of the table.

'Come on! Come on!' he was saying, holding up his fists like a boxer. 'I'm thinking Hugh Grant. I'm thinking Elizabeth Hurley. I'm thinking how come two months on they're still together. I'm thinking how come he gets away with it. That's it! How does a man with a girlfriend with looks like Elizabeth Hurley have a blow job from a prostitute on a public highway and get away with it? What happened to hell hath no fury?'

I couldn't believe this. What about the Shadow Cabinet? What about the Peace Process? He was obviously trying to work out how he could get away with sleeping with a prostitute himself. Suddenly, he was looking straight at me.

'Do you know?' The entire table of grunge youths stared. 'You. You must be Bridget!' he shouted impatiently. 'How does a man with a beautiful girlfriend manage to sleep with a prostitute, get found out and get away with it?'

I panicked. My mind went blank.

'Well?' he said. 'Well? Come on, say something!' 'Well, maybe,' I said, because it was the only thing I could think of, 'it was because somebody swallowed the evidence.'

There was a deathly hush, then Richard Finch started to laugh. It was the most repulsive laugh I've ever heard in my life. Then all the grunge youths started to laugh as well.

'Bridget Jones,' said Richard Finch eventually, wiping his eyes. 'Welcome to Good Afternoon! Take a seat, my darling,' and then he winked.



Tuesday 22 August

9st 2, alcohol units 4, cigarettes 25, lottery tickets 5.

Still haven't heard anything from the interview. Don't know what to do for Bank Holiday as cannot face remaining alone in London. Shazzer is going to the Edinburgh Festival, as is Tom, I think, also lots of people from the office. Would like to go but not sure can afford it and fear presence of Daniel. Also everyone will be more successful and having a better time than me.

Date: 2015-12-17; view: 757

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