Progress with Better Pregnancy Diet: 0; Liver or other organ meats: 0; Egg
whites, tofu, other colourless blubber: 0; "Bunny favourites": 0; Cadbury's
Fruit and Nut: 3.
5pm. Phone just rang. Lunged at it, hoping was Daniel.
"Ooh! hang on, I've got a hair in my mouth," - my mother. I listened,
despairingly, to series of gargling/ choking noises at the other end.
"Oof! There we are. What a long hair!" (My mother doesn't have long
How had she got a long hair down her throat?) "Anyway, darling, I was
just ringing to make sure you're coming to the Christmas market on
"You mean the Christmas market in Amsterdam?" I said,stomach lurching.
Mum and Una set off to Amsterdam two weeks ago. If they were still there it
could mean only one thing: another holiday romance. Found self imagining handsome Moroccan gastarbeiter playing "Oh Tannenbaum" on native pipes at Christmas market - long hair trailing down his colourful costume and, subsequently, my mother's throat.
"It was Antwerp, darling," she said huffily. "Anyway, I'm talking about Una and my Christmas market on Saturday."
Wish she would stop assuming I know about things of which there has been no mention. Makes me feel senile. But maybe she's so confused by celebrity culture she thinks I've already read about it in the Mail on Sunday. "It's on Una and Geoffrey's Roman Patio. Everybody's coming! The Enderburys, Penny Husbands-Bosworth, the ..." - slight pause - "Darcys." Una and Geoffrey's "Roman Patio" is a DIY carport which Uncle Geoffrey
never finished, leaving a concrete floor and six supports with no roof. Una was
livid until she happened upon the Roman Patio interpretation, held a toga party and never looked back. (Though, after the party, the adjacent goldfish pond was abruptly filled in, for reasons which are never alluded to.)
"Sounds festive!" I managed, heart aching at how lovely would have been to arrive with Mark as reunited pregnant Christmas duo, trying to forget about fuckwit-father-to-be Daniel putting phone down on me when told him was pregnant.
"Of course, Malcolm Enderbury used to be VERY friendly with the Blairs," Mum was prattling, on, oblivious. "But even he's disgusted by Euan's goatee. I mean, he looks like one of these fashion 'homos'. As Mavis says, if Prince William's studying charity companies for his work experience and then doing the Homeless and Mountain Rescue, how come the Prime Minister's son is spending his running round Paris in a black Mercedes, drinking Louis Vuitton?"
"Well, firstly, Louis Vuitton is a luxury clothing/luggage line, not an alcoholic beverage, and secondly, Euan is not preparing to inherit the role of Prime Minister."
"Yes he is! He's the oldest son!. Well at least he isn't, darling, but the point is, you don't see Prince William in a goatee, do you?"
"Well I'd better be getting along," I ventured brightly, but it was hopeless. She had started on a coy trip down a "Georgie" Best memory lane, and then it was Dad's stand against Blair's nuclear power: "He's trying to get Geoffrey to join Greenpeace and Una's furious Geoffrey will use it to look at girls. I mean, I've told her they're all lesbians but ..."
Finally crashed in with "Mum, I've got to go, bye." and put phone down.
And now I must go round and tell Mark Darcy that he isn't my baby's
father, after he was so overjoyed, and that his arch enemy is, before he hears
it from someone else. Which is nice.
9pm. Sometimes there is nothing to say but the truth, so I simply blurted:
"I'm very sorry about this and very sad and wish it wasn't true but the baby's father isn't you, it's Daniel Cleaver."
Mark went completely silent and motionless but his face said everything.
Eventually, he murmured, "I see," then turned his back to me and started
opening and shutting all the kitchen cupboards
"And will ... Daniel ... be shouldering his fatherly responsibilities?" he said eventually, locating a bottle of antique whisky and pouring a glass.
"I don't know," I said, trying not to cry.
Mark drank it in one, wiped his mouth and said: "I think I need to be alone now."
Ended up letting myself out and sobbing on the steps. Everything seemed so
hard. But then remembered Abigail Witchalls who was stabbed and paralysed
when pregnant and now doesn't need to forgive because she never blamed. We
live in such a culture of self-pity and blame. Instead one must be noble ,
strong, rise above it, and be grateful for what one has.
9.05pm. Why is this happening to me? WHYYYYY? FUCKING God. It's SO
unfair. I wish I was DEAD. Ooh! Wonder if Jude and Shazzer are still in the
11pm. The longer I don't drink, the stranger the girls seem late at night.
"OK she was drunk. OK she was tartily dressed," Shazzer was ranting,
waving her glass at the waiter "Did that mean Daniel could rape her? No!"
"But he didn't rape me."
"Of course he raped you," growled Jude.
"And Mark Darcy's no better. Did it even enter his head that someone
else might be the father? Oh no! Mr 'I'm the only one who'll shag Bridget'.
He's worse than Steve Bing."
"But I thought we hated Steve Bing because he assumed it WASN'T an
"Shut up, Bridge," said Shaz.
"But you see," I went on earnestly, "I'm trying to look on the bright
side and not blame Daniel, but forgive."
"Wha?" slurred Jude. "Bridge, do you mind if I light up?"
"Of course you can't fucking light up, she's fucking pregnant,"
"Maybe Daniel thought I was joking. If Mark Darcy was delighted, why
wouldn't Daniel be?"
They stared at me as if I was a rubberised dragon which had descended
through the ceiling via a movie marketing campaign.
"Because," said Shazzer, as if talking to a half-wit, "Daniel is a
fuckwitted commitment-phobe bastard shitbag. Oh, hello!"
"Ladies! What a pleasure!" murmured Daniel, attempting to slide past
with a stunning, half-dressed brunette. "Whoever can you be talking about?"
Published: 01 December 2005