Title: Bridget Jones: Mad About the Boy.
Author: Helen Fielding.
Genre: Fiction, diary, humour, chick lit, romance, family, death, writing.
Publication Date: 2013.
Summary: What do you do when your girlfriend's 60th birthday party is the same day as your boyfriend's 30th? Is it morally wrong to have a blow-dry when one of your children has head lice? Is it normals to get fewer Twitter followers the more you tweet? Is sleeping with someone after two dates and six weeks of texting the same as getting married after two meetings and six months of letter writing in Jane Austen's day? And finally, is it possible to ever get over the death of a beloved spouse and move on to something other than guilt and ? Pondering these and other modern dilemmas, Bridget Jones stumbles through the challenges of loss, single motherhood, tweeting, texting, technology, and rediscovering her sexuality in middle age. After 14 years of silence, Bridget returns in a timely, tender, touching, witty, and bloody hilarious continuation!
My rating: 7.5/10
♥ You see, Hedda Gabler is really very relevant to the modern woman because it is about the perils of trying to live through men. Why hasn't Roxster texted me yet?
♥ The mornings, waking up at 5 a.m., washed clean by sleep for a split second, thinking everything was the same, then remembering: poleaxed by pain, as though a great snake was ramming me to the bed, straight through the heart, unable to move in case I disturbed the pain and it spread, knowing that in half an hour the children would be awake and I'd be on: nappies, bottles, trying to pretend it was OK, or at least keep things together till help arrived and I could go off and howl in the bathroom, then put some mascara on and brace up again.
But the thing about having kids is: you can't go to pieces; you just have to keep going. KBO: Keep Buggering On.
♥ I had become a Born-Again Virgin. The trouble with the modern world is that you are bombarded with images of sex and sexuality all the time - the hand on the bum on the billboard, the couples smooching on the beach in the Sandals ad, real-life couples entwined in the park, condoms by the till in the chemist - a whole wonderful magical world of sex, which you no longer belong to and never will again.
♥ "Jude, shut up," said Tom. "You are lost in a morass of nebulous cyber presences, most of whom don't exist and who simply turn each other on and off randomly at will."
♥ 12.27 a.m. Having cleared head with swig of wine, realized was immaterial washing sheets, etc. Only essential objective, surely, was to keep children alive until morning, ideally simultaneously avoiding nervous breakdown.
♥ *With above in mind, ask Mum to stop sending me unused handbags, "stoles," Wedgewood "tureens", etc., reminding her that age of rationing ended some time ago and is now space rather than possessions which is in short supply (at least in Western urban world).
♥ I WILL NOT
*Drink so much Diet Coke before yoga that entire yoga session becomes exercise in trying not to fart.
... *Get annoyed by dishwasher, tumble dryer and microwave beeping in attention-seeking manner to tell you they have finished, wasting time crossly imitating dishwasher by dancing round saying, "Oh, oh, look at me, I'm a dishwasher, I've washed the dishes."
♥ 9.15 p.m. Children are asleep and house is all dark and quiet. Oh God, I'M SO LONELY. Everyone else in London is out laughing uproariously with their friends in restaurants and then having sex.
♥ Yes! That is what I need. Is not natural for children to be isolated in individual houses with one or two adults focusing far too much attention on their happiness, scared to let them play in the street for fear of paedophiles. Sure there must have been paedophiles when we were growing up, but mass-media-induced fear of paedophiles has changed the whole face of parenting. Need other parents to spontaneously talk and drink wine with while children play, so whole thing would be like extended Italian family having dinner under a tree. For as the saying goes, "It takes a whole village to raise a child."
♥ 11.30 a.m. Just back from canal ride on bike. Went really well until someone threw an egg at me from a bridge. Or maybe it was a bird which went into sudden early labour. Will clean off egg, not do Boris Bikes any more and go to Obesity Clinic on bus. At least will be alive and clean when sitting on arse instead of dead and covered in egg.
♥ Noon. Am never going to gym again. Am never going to lose the weight, never and don't bloody well care. Was consumed with rage whilst lying on front with bum in air failing to lift weight bar with ankles. Looked round to see everyone contorted ludicrously in machines like Hieronymous Bosch painting.
Why are bodied so difficult to manage? Why? "Oh, oh, look at me, I'm a body, I'm going to splurge fat unless you, like, STARVE yourself and go to undignified TORTURE CENTRES and don't eat anything nice or get drunk." Hate diet. Is all fault of SOCIETY. Am just going to be old and fat and eat whatever I like and NEVER HAVE SEX AGAIN and WHEEL MY FAT AROUND ON A TROLLEY.
♥ I could hear the music and laughter inside. Fought the urge to run off. But then the door opened and Jeremy was there.
I saw Jeremy feeling what I was feeling: the yawning gap beside me. Where was Mark, his old friend?
"Ah, there you are! Excellent," said Jeremy, blustering over the pain, as he had consistently done since the moment it happened. That's public school for you. "Come in, come in. Great! How are the children? Growing up?"
"No," I said rebelliously. "They are stunted by grief and will be midgets for the rest of their lives."
Jeremy has clearly never read any Zen books and doesn't know about just being there, and letting the other person be there, just as they are. But for a split second, he stopped the bluster and we just were there as we were, which was: extremely sad about the same thing.
♥ Maybe will go to yoga and become more flexible.
Or maybe will go out with friends and get plastered.
♥ It's horrifying how some people treat you when you're fat, to when you're not. And when you're all done up and when you're just normal. No wonder women are so insecure. I know men are too. But when one is a woman, with all the tools at a modern woman's disposal, one can literally look like a completely different person from one half-hour to the next.
♥ Instead of processing the whole meeting, calling Brian to get him to get them to give me more time, then rushing home to see how Billy is, and having a serious think about telling Chloe she has to make decisions herself if I am in important meetings, I replied to Roxster with a complete list of every item of food in the meeting...
♥ "Why didn't he have to wreck it? Everyone meets online now. Turning out to be nuts is such a cliché."
♥ "The trouble with George is that he always seems to be somewhere else," I started thinking piously, whilst feeling my phone vibrate. "He's always either just about to talk to someone else, or talking to someone else or emailing someone else or just getting on or off a plane." I glanced down to open my text, thinking, "Why? Why? Why can't George just be where he is? 'Oh, oh, look at me, I'm in the air, I'm a bird, why don't we all have breakfast in China?'"
Text was from Roxster.
♥ 2 p.m.
LIST OF JOBS
*Put washin on
*Respond to Zombie Apocalypse invite
*Call Brian Katzenberg about the Ambergris Bilk email
*Blow up bike
♥ Ended up rushing from car to school in ungainly half-walking, half-running gait in middle of which Scandinavian tourists chose me - for unexplained reasons - to ask for directions. Panicking that they were trying to steal my time, I carried on walking determinedly whilst gesturing directions back to them. Oh God. Have let down country by being inhospitable to foreigners (though Scandinavia is in EU, I think?). But what is world coming to when one is more scared of passers-by stealing one's time than one's handbag?
Jerked into action in a frenzy of goodling country pubs on LateRooms.com to find absolutely everything was booked up.
We are like Mary and Joseph with no room at the Inn except that rather than about to give birth to the Son of God am about to be broken up with by Joseph.
♥ 10 p.m. Back in London now. Blissful. Got home at six feeling like a new woman. Children seemed to have had a really good time and I was delighted to see them again, and was so full of joie de vivre and bonhomie that even a Sunday evening, with the panic of forgotten homework, passed in a golden joy of 50s-style hearth and home. Better, Easier Parenting? Just get laid a lot.
♥ I watched him walk over to the piano with his music, looking so small and scared, and I just wanted to go and scoop him up. Then Mr Wallaker strode over, whispered something to Billy and sat down at the piano.
I didn't know Mr Wallaker could play. He started with a surprisingly professional jazz introduction, and nodded to Billy to begin. Although there were no words, I could hear every one of them as Billy puffed his way painfully through "I'd Do Anything", Mr Wallaker gently following ever wrong note and wobble.
I would, Billy, I would do anything for you, I thought, tears welling up. My little boy, with all his struggles.
♥ When he's hot, he's hot; when he's not, he's not. But at least there is always food.
♥ "THEY ARE CHILDREN!" Mr Wallaker roared. "They are not corporate products! What they need to acquire is not a constant massaging of the ego, but confidence, fun, affection, love, a sense of self-worth. They need to understand, now, that there will always - always - be someone greater and lesser than themselves, and that their self-worth lies in their contentment with who they are, what they are doing and their increasing competence in doing it."
"I'm sorry?" said Nicolette. "So there's no point trying? I see. Then, well, maybe we should be looking at Westminster."
"We should be looking at who they will become as adults," Mr Wallaker went on. "It's a harsh world out there. The barometer of success in later life is not that they always win, but how they deal with failure. An ability to pick themselves up when they fall, retaining their optimism and sense of self, is a far greater predictor of future success than class position in Year 3."
♥ I looked out at the snowy garden. The moon was white and full above it. And on the garden wall, the barn owl was back. He stared at me, calm, unblinking. Then this time he spread his wings, looking for a last moment and flew upwards, his wings beating, almost to the beat of my heart, into the winter night and the darkness and its mysteries.