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«Bridget Joness Diary», Helen Fielding

To my Mum, Nellie, for not being like Bridget's


With particular thanks to Charlie Leadbeater for first suggesting the column at the Independent. Thanks too to Gillon Aitken, Richard Coles, Scarlett Curtis, the Fielding family, Piers, Paula and Sam Fletcher, Emma Freud, Georgia Garrett, Sharon Maguire, Jon Turner and Daniel Woods for inspiration and support, and especially, as ever, to Richard Curtis.

New Year's Resolutions



Drink more than fourteen alcohol units a week.




Waste money on: pasta-makers, ice-cream machines or other culinary devices which will never use; books by unreadable literary authors to put impressively on shelves; exotic underwear, since pointless as have no boyfriend.


Behave sluttishly around the house, but instead imagine others are watching.


Spend more than earn.


Allow in-tray to rage out of control.


Fall for any of following: alcoholics, workaholics, commitment phobics, people with girlfriends or wives, misogynists, megalomaniacs, chauvinists, emotional fuckwits or freeloaders, perverts.


Get annoyed with Mum, Una Alconbury or Perpetua.


Get upset over men, but instead be poised and cool ice-queen.


Have crushes on men, but instead form relationships based on mature assessment of character.


Bitch about anyone behind their backs, but be positive about everyone.


Obsess about Daniel Cleaver as pathetic to have a crush on boss in manner of Miss Moneypenny or similar.


Sulk about having no boyfriend, but develop inner poise and authority and sense of self as woman of substance, complete without boyfriend, as best way to obtain boyfriend.




Stop smoking.


Drink no more than fourteen alcohol units a week.


Reduce circumference of thighs by 3 inches (i.e. 1? inches each), using anti-cellulite diet.


Purge flat of all extraneous matter


Give all clothes which have not worn for two years or more to homeless.


Improve career and find new job with potential.


Save up money in form of savings. Poss start pension-also.


Be more confident.


Be more assertive.


Make better use of time.


Not go out every night but stay in and read books and listen to classical music.


Give proportion of earnings to charity.


Be kinder and help others more.


Eat more pulses.


Get up straight away when wake up m mornings.


Go to gym three times a week not merely to buy sandwich. Put photographs in photograph albums.


Make up compilation 'mood' tapes so can have tapes ready with all favourite romantic/dancing/rousing/feminist etc, tracks assembled instead of turning into drink-sodden DJ-style person with tapes scattered all over floor.


Form functional relationship with responsible adult.


Learn to programme video.

JANUARY. An Exceptionally Bad Start

Sunday 1 January


9st3(but post-Christmas), alcoholunits14 (but effectively covers 2 days as 4 hours of party was on New Year's Day),cigarettes 22, calories 5424.


Food consumed today:


2 pkts Emmenthal cheese slices

14 cold new potatoes

2 Bloody Marys (count as food as contain Worcester sauce and tomatoes)

1/3 Ciabatta loaf with Brie

Coriander leaves 1/2 packet

12 Milk Tray (best to get rid of all Christmas confectionery in one go and make fresh start tomorrow)

13 cocktail sticks securing cheese and pineapple

Portion Una Alconbury's turkey curry, peas and bananas

Portion Una Alconbury's Raspberry Surprise made with Bourbon biscuits, tinned raspberries, eight gallons of whipped cream, decorated with glace cherries and angelica.


Noon. London: my flat. Ugh. The last thing on earth I feel physically, emotionally or mentally equipped to do is drive to Una and Geoffrey Alconbury's New Year's Day Turkey Curry Buffet in Grafton Underwood. Geoffrey and Una Alconbury are my parents' best friends and, as Uncle Geoffrey never tires of reminding me, have known me since I was running round the lawn with no clothes on. My mother rang up at 8.30 in the morning last August Bank Holiday and forced me to promise to go. She approached it via a cunningly circuitous route.

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