God Save The Queen

It’s a streak! Two posts in a row! And guess what else…

I walked AND I meditated. If there was a mic in my hand, I’d probably throw it for a strike.

walk map 7.23.JPG

Tonight I decided to take my own advice and just, you know, WALK. Walk fast yes, but no running, not even a jog. Then in a stroke of brilliance (resilience!) I remembered I have an app on my iPhone called Buddhify. It’s designed for urban folks like me who spend considerable parts of their days commuting or walking through a city getting from here to there, often trying to disconnect from the blaring world around them, because honestly, one can only take so much city life with the bustling, busking and barking. (And I don’t mean by the dogs.) Buddhify has a a Gym meditation as well, so even though I don’t do gyms, it was the best fit for my intention tonight: connect my mind back to my body. Adorably, Buddhify is British, so you can select a male or female Brit to guide the meditation which could not have been more fitting on this day of Royal Windsor Baby Press Call. I watched a snippet of coverage right before the walk and found myself welling up over everyone’s authentic joy for these charming human anachronisms. Plus, there is no western culture that does pageantry like the British. I mean, there was a SIXTY-TWO gun salute. That’s pomp!

While coveting my hip British meditation guide’s cool tones and imagining how Princess Di would have been the best grandmother in the empire of the Universe, I thought of another favorite British character, the one and only Bridget Jones. (And not Renee Zellwegger’s version, the one that lives in my head based on The Book.) I read Bridget Jones’s Diary as soon as it came out in hardcover here in the US, which was the summer of 1998. I had already read the excerpts in Vogue and was a fan-girl from moment one. I would read the book in bed with my then boyfriend and start laughing so hard I would wake him from a dead sleep. Ahh happy memories…

Although I am now 10 years older than the eternally-32 Bridget, I can still relate to her struggles as an urban singleton and the desire to be loved just the way you are, even on the days you are up a size and the bigger tits are not feeling like a bonus. (Yes, gentlemen, I know, the tits are ALWAYS fine just the way they are, but especially bigger. Mine are. You’re welcome.) Eyes up here: so I found this fantastic excerpt and I howled with enough laughter in the re-read that I am sure to wake my new boyfriend from where he sleeps now.

Massive, breathless, earnest thanks to the writer of Bridget Jones’s Diary, the AMAZING Helen Fielding and to Brits in general for reminding me to carry on then, walk, meditate, mind the gap. Enjoy this excerpt.

Tuesday 3 January

130 lbs. (terrifying slide into obesity–why? why?), alcohol units 6 (excellent), cigarettes 23 (v.g.), calories 2472.

9 a.m. Ugh. Cannot face thought of going to work. Only thing which makes it tolerable is thought of seeing Daniel again, but even that is inadvisable since am fat, have spot on chin, and desire only to sit on cushion eating chocolate and watching Xmas specials. It seems wrong and unfair that Christmas, with its stressful and unmanageable financial and emotional challenges, should first be forced upon one wholly against one’s will, then rudely snatched away just when one is starting to get into it. Was really beginning to enjoy the feeling that normal service was suspended and it was OK to lie in bed as long as you want, put anything you fancy into your mouth, and drink alcohol whenever it should chance to pass your way, even in the mornings. Now suddenly we are all supposed to snap into self-discipline like lean teenage greyhounds.

10 p.m. Ugh. Perpetua, slightly senior and therefore thinking she is in charge of me, was at her most obnoxious and bossy, going on and on to the point of utter boredom about latest half-million-pound property she is planning to buy with her rich-but-overbred boyfriend, Hugo: “Yars, yars, well it is north-facing but they’ve done something frightfully clever with the light.”

I looked at her wistfully, her vast, bulbous bottom swathed in a tight red skirt with a bizarre three-quarter-length striped waistcoat strapped across it. What a blessing to be born with such Sloaney arrogance. Perpetua could be the size of a Renault Espace and not give it a thought. How many hours, months, years, have I spent worrying about weight while Perpetua has been happily looking for lamps with porcelain cats as bases around the Fulham Road? She is missing out on a source of happiness, anyway. It is proved by surveys that happiness does not come from love, wealth or power but the pursuit of attainable goals: and what is a diet if not that?

On way home in end-of-Christmas denial I bought a packet of cut-price chocolate tree decorations and a £3.69 bottle of sparkling wine from Norway, Pakistan or similar. I guzzled them by the light of the Christmas tree, together with a couple of mince pies, the last of the Christmas cake and some Stilton, while watching Eastenders, imagining it was a Christmas special.

Now, though, I feel ashamed and repulsive. I can actually feel the fat splurging out from my body. Never mind. Sometimes you have to sink to a nadir of toxic fat envelopment in order to emerge, phoenix-like, from the chemical wasteland as a purged and beautiful Michelle Pfeiffer figure. Tomorrow new Spartan health and beauty regime will begin.

Mmmm. Daniel Cleaver, though. Love his wicked dissolute air, while being v. successful and clever. He was being v. funny today, telling everyone about his aunt thinking the onyx kitchen-roll holder his mother had given her for Christmas was a model of a penis. Was really v. amusing about it. Also asked me if I got anything nice for Christmas in rather flirty way. Think might wear short black skirt tomorrow.

Wednesday 4 January

131 lbs. (state of emergency now as if fat has been stored in capsule form over Christmas and is being slowly released under skin), alcohol units 5 (better), cigarettes 20, calories 700 (v.g.).

4 p.m. Office. State of emergency. Jude just rang up from her portable phone in flood of tears, and eventually managed to explain, in a sheep’s voice, that she had just had to excuse herself from a board meeting (Jude is Head of Futures at Brightlings) as she was about to burst into tears and was now trapped in the ladies’ with Alice Cooper eyes and no makeup bag. Her boyfriend, Vile Richard (self-indulgent commitment phobic), whom she has been seeing on and off for eighteen months, had chucked her for asking him if he wanted to come on holiday with her. Typical, but Jude naturally was blaming it all on herself.


2 thoughts on “God Save The Queen

  1. I have never read Bridget Jones’s Diary! And now I must! (And for me, a good walk can cure many, many things.) Love it!

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