It’s been such gorgeous weather here in the Yorkshire Dales that Nic suggested she cheer me up by taking me for lunch. We went to The Saddle Room, near Leyburn. I’d brought the puppies, but it was too hot for them to stay in the car, so we sat outside, admiring the view of Wensleydale. I was almost happy, just for a fleeting second.
My phone pinged. It was a text from David, asking how I am, and if the weather was as nice in the north as it was in London. I told him I was with the puppies, having delicious pea and broad bean fettucine in the sunshine. I even sent him a photo.
‘There is only one thing missing!’ he replied.
‘Me in that empty chair!’ And then he sent me a smiley face. I’m impressed and surprised he actually knows how to do this.
The next day, I’m beavering away at my computer, and a message from David pops up.
‘You didn’t tell me you were not alone when you had your fettucine!’
I replied, ‘What are you on about? Is it the effects of glue again?’
Him: ‘There is evidence that someone is sitting to your right.’
‘You are mad. I had lunch with Nic, her treat. I don’t often go for something to eat on my own.’
‘Not mad or jealous, just observant.’
He must have been peering at the photo for 24 hours. He’s turning into Columbo, and not in a good way.
‘Why is it interesting that Nic is there?’
‘It’s not. You told me about the puppies, just saying.’
The man is a crackpot; either that, or he has too much time on his hands. My theory is that he is ragingly jealous. It is like the time I was at the Arena in Sheffield, to see the Spanish Riding School, got a text from him, replied, saying I was backstage and couldn’t talk, and he texted me, distraught: ‘Are you with Him?’ ‘Who?’ ‘The RS?’ ‘No. I’m with Carl Hester, the Olympic dressage rider, and 25 lipizzaner horses.’
‘Well done. You have made me feel sick. I thought backstage meant you had got back with Him!’
This time, I ignore his paranoia, and send him a photo of Mini Puppy, with the caption, ‘Really kind eyes.’
‘Just like you.’
I ignore that. I’m not good with compliments. ‘She’s beautiful, isn’t she? Thirty degrees today, keep dousing her and Grace Kelly with cold water.’
‘Yes, and you are beautiful.’
‘Not really, but thank you.’
‘Eye of the beholder.’
I’ve never quite known what that sentiment means. That you are not really beautiful, just that the other person thinks you are? You see? Not good with compliments.
The next day, I told Nic about the fact David said he had ‘evidence’ someone was sitting to my right. I showed her the pasta picture, and she peered at it. ‘Ah!’ she said. ‘Look, on the right, you can just see the corner of my beer glass. He must have thought you were with a man!’
Nic had indeed ordered a half a pint of lemonade shandy. David must have peered at the photo, enlarged it, turned it upside down, and convinced himself I had run off with another man. Given I have only ever had three and a half boyfriends my entire life, this is highly unlikely.
What other wonderful things have happened this week?
• I have an appointment to see the Official Receiver in Newcastle. I asked my debt advisor if I should be worried, given I have nothing left, and there is nothing more they can do to me. ‘No,’ she replied. ‘It is just a formality.’ I still don’t understand how this has happened to me. I’ve never had a day off sick in my life. I’ve never been late. I’ve never not tried my best.
• I applied for a job the other day, sent off my cv: 11 years on The Sunday Times Magazine. Deputy editor of The Sunday Times Style. Editor-in-chief of Marie Claire. Features editor and chief interviewer of London Evening Standard. Fashion editor of the Daily Mail for 11 long and frantic years. Columnist for YOU and The Mail On Sunday since 2003. Award winning. I was told I was a nonstarter, as I probably ‘wouldn’t want a pay cut’. I replied, which didn’t do me any favours, that I have to pay an accountant and a PA, have no pension, no holidays, no sick pay, no IT department, no company car and zero job security. Pay cut? My tiny a***.