Tuesday 8 February
Weight: 10st 2lb (woe!)
Alcohol: one small glass (vg)
Cigarettes: zero (excellent)
Bars of chocolate to compensate for no cigarettes: four (better)
Times have checked phone to see if Daniel has called: a million (feels like)
I don’t know why I keep waiting for Daniel to call me – after all, I did tell him never to contact me again. So why am I so cross that, for once, my ex-boss and now ex-boyfriend is doing what I say? Perhaps I should forgive him. After all, maybe his philandering isn’t too bad – although it was a bit embarrassing when he made a pass at Auntie Una. As he says, maybe all men get a wandering eye when they’ve been with the same woman for six months. Hmm, must ponder.
Anyway, should get on with work. What a strange assignment – must just look at the brief again.
Feature for women’s page: working title: ‘Still a Chalet Girl at heart’. Hundreds of women of all ages who enjoy reading school stories from the last century get together online to share their obsession. What drives these women to do this – and what do they get out of it? Bridget Jones goes undercover in the CBB community to find out what it’s all about.
Apparently it’s about this series of school stories that was published nearly 100 years ago! Have managed to get hold of a few which have been republished by a specialist company near Bath. How on earth can they make a living? Surely nobody actually buys them. Or nobody normal, anyway.
Can’t start reading them now as going to see new film with lovely Tom and his new boyfriend. Oh when will I ever find true love?
Wednesday 9 February
Weight: 10st 2lb (consistent!)
Alcohol: too many.... (v bad)
Cigarettes: zero (excellent)
Bars of chocolate (zero – but replaced by inexplicable longing for Apfeltorte and delicious honey and nut cakes)
Chalet School books read: 1.25
I cannot believe how fantastic these books are! I was a bit confused at first as I started with one which was quite far into the series – although I was a bit shocked at what looked like a Nazi soldier on the cover! It was a thrilling tale – all about some schoolgirls who had to flee from Austria in the run-up to the Second World War. The whole thing was sparked by someone improbably called “The Robin”, which I thought might be a pseudonym for a spy at one point, but apparently it isn’t.
This brave little girl had rushed out to help a poor Jewish jeweller who was being attacked by a raging mob – it was much, much more compelling than Schindler’s List (note to self, email Spielberg’s office and see if he’s interested in turning this into blockbuster – I could write script and Keira Knightley could play Joey, although maybe she’s too old?).
Anyway, they were helped to escape by the dreamy Dr Jack, who, of course, ended up getting engaged to Joey (note to self: must try out that earphones hair-do) and by someone called Bill, who, against all expectations, is a woman and, indeed, a mistress! Although we don’t see much evidence of any belle du jour type activity from her; indeed, I think she’d have quite specialist appeal for me who like the strict sort. Now maybe that would have been a good tactic to try with Daniel. Must think about that one.
Have just started on the second book now, which, coincidentally is second in the series! Am already loving it, although I think I’d agree with Grizel – wonder how she pronounces that: Grizzle? – and would want to strangle Joey for singing all those folk songs. I wish I could wander along to buy apples from an old lady near the lake – somehow the Spar on the corner doesn’t feel the same. Have feeling I was really cut out for simple life with simple, wholesome pleasures.
Must stop now as Sharon and Jude have just called round to drag me out for some bottles of Sauvignon. Hmm, getting sick of Chardonnay being out of fashion.....
Wonder if just might bump into Daniel. Maybe try putting hair in earphones just in case!
Thursday 10 February
Weight: 10st 3 (doom!!!)
Alcohol: three units (not bad)
Glasses of creamy milk: three
Chalet School books read: three (but ‘tis for work!)
I almost feel I could log on to that CBB website now – I think I’m really getting the lingo so could go undercover quite easily. After all, it’s not like people will know the books so well that they would be able to pick up any imposter, is it? I mean, what sort of person would remember every detail about 58 books. Or is it 62? Must check.
Mind you, I’ve been lurking (they call it!) for a couple of days now and it does seem that people know their stuff. I can’t actually believe some of the discussions they have, particularly in the section they call “Lemon Biscuits”. It seems that poor EBD (as she tends to be known) is doomed to have every word and sentence picked over for the slightest nuance of meaning. Surely sometimes she just wrote something because it was the first thing that came into her head?
To my surprise, I loved, loved, loved Jo of the Chalet School – and I think my previous crush on Dr Jack is being replaced by one on Dr Jem: so deliciously firm, but fair. One can really imagine him being a supportive partner and coming along to Auntie Una’s parties without a murmur and he would never, never make a pass at her. I do wish Daniel was more like Jem....
And the scene of Christmas in Innsbruck! It really made me cry.
Anyway, have now read that, Exile, The School at the Chalet and Princess (the Crown Prince was kind of sexy too) and am just about to start on New House. I really like the cover – wonder where I could get an outfit like that.
Was delivery of bunch of flowers and bottle of champagne from lovely girls, Sharon, Magda and Jude – say they’re coming round to help me drink it and help me forget about horrid Daniel. Hope they don’t stay too long as I’m dying to find out what the prefects’ bedrooms are like in the new house!
Friday 11 February
Weight: 10st 1 (better)
Alcohol: one unit
Number of bread twists with sweet butter: six (but so delicious!)
Number of times have tried to put hair in earphones: seven (better)
Level of disappointment with Dr James Russell: (10/10)
How could he? He was so rude to poor Joey when she was only trying to help. And how could she resist a plea from that little Daisy girl? And why should anyone want to impersonate Margot? I suppose he redeemed himself a bit when he hugged his sister so tightly, but really. And sounding so harsh about how Margot had made her own choice when she married Venables (can’t help thinking Margot’s bloke was a bit like Daniel, though – maybe not the reliable type?). No, Dr Jem, I can’t feel the same about you at the moment. Hmm, wonder if there’s a discussion about this on CBB......
Yesss! And most people think what I do – apart from some people who think that Jem was acting the way he was because he was nervous and excited. Hmm, maybe better think about that a bit. Does that mean that the apparently strong Dr Jem can allow his emotions to control his actions? Maybe should register on board to make this very valid and salient point. Probably nobody has thought of it before and they will hail me as CS genius (even though I cannot play piano like Margia, sing like choir boy nor play saxophone like Corney!)
Must leave books now and go out with lovely friends – they say I’ve been neglecting them since I started on this exciting assignment – not that I’ve confessed to the subject yet! Tom even accused me of being in love with someone new the other day – said he’d never seen me look so happy, especially not with Daniel. Hmm, must think about that.
Saturday 12 January
Weight – who cares?
Alcohol – ditto
Cigarettes – urrgh, filthy stuff.
Level of hatred of Valentine’s Day – 11/10)
Deadline is approaching on this assignment so I’ve taken the plunge and registered on the CBB. I was going to call myself BJ but didn’t want to be confused with London mayor or with slang for a sexual practice. Slang – such a good word. Have found myself using lots of new expressions, such as “topping”, “jolly” and “miraculous” (although in general I’m not too keen on the later books – read one called Redheads which completely jumped the shark!). Maybe will start language trend!
The Chalet School books – and, indeed, the CBB – are about the only thing that is going right at the moment. Tom rang last night to say that he had seen Daniel out with a long-legged blonde with a Mulberry hand-bag and that she was really thin and pretty too. Looks and money and Daniel – it’s not fair, some people have everything. And I bet he doesn’t even send me a Valentine’s card.
You know, I can’t see Joey or Madge, or anyone else in the Chalet School putting up with behaviour like Daniel’s. Imagine what Joey’s reaction would be if she found that Jack had been unfaithful – even if it “didn’t mean a thing”. After she fainted (she’d be bound to faint), she’d certainly make him think twice about doing anything like that again. Mind you, I can’t really imagine Jack cheating on Joey, although he does get really quite flirty with Marie in Jo to the Rescue.
Maybe I should try to be more like Joey? Not just to get and keep man, you understand, but to be famous author while having 11 children. On second thoughts, maybe not the 11 children although three little tiny triplets would be adorable. Only if I could have someone like the faithful Anna to look after them, though. Those lemon biscuits sound fabulous!
Anyway, have registered on CBB and made my first post – in Spot Supper! Was a bit confused about what a SLOC was, but soon worked it out. (and just missed that bit out!) Have called myself Hilda1 – she does seem to be the grooviest character in the latest books when, I must admit, Joey gets a bit much. And she is so serene and at ease with being a singleton. In fact, she could be queen of the singletons. Maybe will suggest it on CBB!
Sunday 13 February
Weight: (haven’t checked)
Alcohol: None (too busy at computer!)
Cold baths: one (ok, just dipped a toe in and it didn’t give me a glowing complexion!)
Cigarettes: Why do I even write this now when have really, really given up?
Times logged on to CBB: a million-ish (better)
Have been spending scary amounts of time on the CBB and as feature has been cancelled (being replaced with something on the fashion influence of The King’s Speech. Why? Why??) don’t even have the excuse that it’s for work.
I find myself returning to the site several times each day (hour?), partly to see if someone has responded to my insightful remarks, but also to find out what’s going on. The Rose Garden is really addictive – I find myself thrilled to see that someone got 89 per cent for that exam she thought she’d failed and slightly worried about running into someone else who seems to have a fondness for knives!
The board is just so supportive – it’s like there’s always a listening ear, no matter what time it is. And people really seem to care about each other – although some can be refreshingly acerbic too.
I tried to explain to Sharon and Jude what it was like and the lovely girls tried not to act as if I was going mad – although am quite sure they think I am. We’re going out tomorrow night, so I might lend Shaz one of the books so that she sees what I mean. Surely she’ll see the attraction of being trapped by a blizzard in a herdsman’s hut and drinking hot milk flavoured with wood-smoke and onions, knowing that a doctor or two will be along to rescue them. Wonder how they go to the loo, though.....
Wonder if Shaz will fancy Jack or Jem more. Actually, I think she’ll go for Gottfried – she has a thing about men in leather. Jude would probably prefer Plato – she likes a challenge!
Anyway, I’ve had enough of men – real, if not fictional! – for the moment. I’ve stopped checking my phone for messages from Daniel and am making plans to go on holiday with the girls. I’m sure they’ll love hotel with spa in Austria (just won’t tell them why I chose it!)
Actually don’t imagine I’ll hear from Daniel again after we ran into each other earlier. “Bridget, can I talk to you?” he said, beseechingly. “The question, Daniel, is not ‘can you’, but ‘may you’”, I responded haughtily. “And the answer in either case is ‘no’.”
With that I stalked off with the feeling that Hilda would be proud of me. In fact, I’m taking her as my role model from now on and in every tricky situation will remind myself to ask “What would Hilda do?”.
So no Valentine’s card for me – somehow don’t care very much. Got lovely, lovely friends – in real life and (feels like!) in lovely books.
I’m so glad I discovered the CBB – and the GGBP section in Foyles – but there’s one area of the board I haven’t looked at yet. Apparently there are things called drabbles (nothing to do with Margaret) where people write CS-related stories. What sort of person would do that? Maybe will just take a peek.
This was written in 2011 in response to Nightwing's UnValentine's challenge which was (roughly!) to write about different sorts of love, if I remember rightly.
This was written in 2011 in response to the UnValentine's challenge, which was to write about different sorts of love, or something like that anyway! I thought (given the date) I'd have my first go at posting something on the SDL.