Saturday December 9th

07.30 Woken by phone, Una in one of her flaps.  Insists I find out what exactly Bridget wants for Christmas before Argos opens at 9.

07.35 Actually could phone B, need an excuse so I can slip in a mention of the Vibrant TV Xmas party.  Have realised I can’t turn up and surprise her, as she is likely to burst into tears, just like that time we gave her a Monopoly set for Christmas when she had asked for a puppy.  I need her to fake happiness, and tell everyone what a wonderful role model I am.

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Thursday December 7th

 10.26 Lovely phone call from Tarquin.  Apparently they are all missing me and feeling badly that I left without so much as a farewell card.  Suggested I came to the Christmas party, but the very thought made me sick to my stomach.  So I opted out, and just wished them all a very merry Christmas.

10.42 T. called back.  Said the general consensus is that I was right avoid the fake jollity of a party with Gavin and the new girl.  New girl is rubbish he says but is sleeping with G. so what can you do?  Anyway new plan is to gate crash Vibrant TV’s Christmas lunch party and give Bridget a bit of a surprise.  I said no thanks.

Am just not in the mood for jollity.  I can hear Colin on the landline phoning the butcher, cancelling the ham order and insisting on a smaller turkey.

10.58 C. has just announced that we will be hand delivering all local Christmas cards.  The walk will do us good.  I said ‘the walk will just make us hungry and wear out shoe leather.’ He said ‘you should have thought of that before you gave everything we own to your fancy man.’

I can’t take much more of this.  I need to get back to work and make my own money, instead of being dependant on tyrannical husband.  And I need to get our stuff back from the bailiff.

11.13 Phoned Tarquin.  Agreed to go to Vibrant TV party – will make it clear I am available for work, bringing the unique Pam Jones style to whatever little project they have in mind.

11.15 Phoned solicitor, made an appointment to talk about the stuff.  Without Colin who only creates confusion. It seems that old Mr Dewhurst has retired and I will see a female solicitor.  Excellent!

Tuesday December 5th

09.15  Colin is in the spare room.  I can hear him rummaging about.  He is unearthing my Christmas shopping, that I packed away so carefully in the wardrobe. And the chest of drawers.  And the tallboy.

09.45 Colin is on the phone. He is trying to persuade shops to take back all my shopping.  At least he isn’t in the kitchen pacing up and down and ranting about how much I spent.

10.45 Colin is in a sulk. After an hour he achieved precisely nothing, unless you count a huge phone bill.  So he had another little rant, and then announced that we will be selling everything at the car boot sale.

Sunday December 3rd

12.22 Colin just arrived with small suitcase and what looks like entire contents of shed in boot of car.  Handed me the suitcase and said it was ‘laundry’.  Handed it back to him and said it was ‘not my problem.’  Never managed to train Julio to use the washing machine but will try again with Colin.

14.06 Am in study using internet to look up money saving tips.  Once the turkey is all gone we shall live off lentils and rice, and once visitors are gone we shall turn the heating off.  Can always light the fire in the lounge, can burn our way through Colin’s wood stash.

C. is in the lounge watching golf in black and white. Feels like nothing has changed.

Except me.  I’ve changed.  Must try not to forget that.

Saturday December 2nd

08.37 Credit card bill arrived. Bill is horrendous. Checked bank account. Account is empty. Woe. Oh, phone.

08.40 Colin. He said ‘Una isn’t talking to me but Geoffrey says I’ll have to start paying rent since your fancy man has cleaned them out of their savings.’ Upshot is, he’ll move back in here and save money – two can live as cheaply as one.

08.42 Everyone hates me. It cannot go on. It’s no good, I’ll have to visit everyone concerned, apologise for whatever it is that Julio is supposed to have done, and promise to pay them back if he doesn’t do so himself.

21.13 What a day, what a day. Have made my peace with Una, Audrey and Mavis. Mavis even said ‘we never thought it was your fault Pam, he’s probably relieved you of a few pounds too.’ Denied it, and then remembered the website money. Grovelled before Penny and Linda, but had the satisfaction of telling them Colin and I were back together. Not strictly true, but there you go.

Left the Darcys till last as was dreading it on account of spoiling Bridget’s last chance of marrying anyone. But they were completely OK, to my astonishment. Had not actually got round to transferring any money, and apparently Mark’s aunt hasn’t got any money and was just fantasising about buying a villa. They even seemed to think B. was ‘rather fun’ and ‘quite a girl.’ Odd people, if you ask me.

Friday December 1st

72.1 kilos. 72.1! How depressing is that? Entire day turned out blacker than the blackest black.

20.43 Always weigh self on December 1st ahead of Christmas indulgence.  Knowledge is Power they say.  But in this case it is more like Knowledge is Misery.  No wonder clothes are tight, been telling myself it was shrinkage.  Huh.  Been lying to self all along.

So toddled off to Maison Kevin for a consoling shampoo and set (missed Wednesday appointment due to Colin-and-bailiff-related crisis).

Except, except… Kevin not his usual cheerful self.  Thought perhaps it was Christmas-related stress, since everyone wants their hair done on the 23rd or 24th.  I said sympathetically ‘is it Christmas-related stress Kevin?’  He went scarlet, absolutely scarlet, and said ‘no it isn’t, it’s that boyfriend of yours, he’s fleeced me for some non-existent villa and now I can’t afford the rent on my new branch.’

Gave him an extra large tip.

On the way home, walking down the High Street, Penny saw me and dashed across the road, was nearly run over by a bus.  I guess she hates me too.

Wednesday November 29th

14.23 Colin’s just left.  Long talk this morning, mostly about money.  Apparently we have very little left and he feels honour bound to repay everyone for everything.  I said ‘don’t be ridiculous, no one had to do business with Julio, no one forced them, it was their choice, and anyway when he turns up he’ll put it all right, you’ll see.’  He muttered ‘we must owe that Darcy fellow something for his help’ and I said ‘don’t you worry about that, Bridget will sort that one out.’

Honestly, people.  One small financial crisis and suddenly it’s the end of the world and I’m supposed to sort it out.  As if.