Liz Jones’s Diary: ‘In which we meet on neutral territory’

Sooo. When the ex ex turned up unexpectedly at my hotel, I put my hearing aids back in, fished my corner lashes out of the bin, pulled on my Paige flares and headed down to the bar.

Abbey Lossing at

Now, I know he left our Special Dinner before pudding, without even seeing me into a cab. In fact, if we want to condemn him on a technicality – because he asked me to order him an Uber as his app wasn’t working because he’s blind, stupid, technophobic – he took my cab, and left me without one. In the rain. I had followed his taxi journey on my app, watched the car moving towards West London, a toy car containing his body… and his enormous penis. It was nice to know where he was in the world. That he wasn’t on a yacht. Or in some Tuscan villa with his family (I’ve no idea how many children he has; I forgot to ask) and millions of friends. That he wasn’t with anyone else.

But I suppose I’m the opposite of Mary J Blige. I want drama in my life. Not conflict and stress and arguments, but I don’t want to spend the rest of my life alone, watching Love Island wearing a pore strip. And so when he asked if he could come up to my room for his Obligatory Birthday Sex, I took the easier option and agreed to go downstairs. He was loitering in reception, mask-less.

‘What took you so long?’ he asked, ushering me towards the bar as if he were Patsy from Absolutely Fabulous.

‘I had to put my corner lashes back on and I couldn’t get the bathroom light to work.’ Don’t you hate it when you go on holiday, and three days are wasted working out how the lights work?

We sat at the bar, as it was the only space free. I’m not good with bar stools. My bottom isn’t high enough off the ground to slide on to it; I have to place a foot on a rung, as if mounting a horse.

‘I wish you still drank,’ he said, gesturing at the barman.

‘Be supportive, why don’t you?’

‘Making notes, are we?’ he said, in a dig at my column*.

‘You only changed your mind about going off in a huff because you want birthday sex,’ I said.

‘Only partly. Though god knows what you’re like sober while doing it. You’re bad enough after half a bottle of champagne. Don’t kneel on my hair! Don’t rumple my T-shirt. Ew! I’m not doing that!’

He had put on a stupid voice while saying all that, and so I said, Mrs Robinson fashion, ‘Are you trying to seduce me?’ Honestly.

Why do men think they can get us into bed by moaning?

I then told him we would have to have sex with me sitting up, as if I lie down flat I get dizzy, and I wouldn’t appreciate any sudden movements. He rolled his eyes, and I’m afraid that did it. My patience snapped; my thong would be doing no such thing.

‘I’ve had enough of this,’ I said, sliding clumsily off the stool. ‘The only person you care about is yourself. When my column about my illness came out, you didn’t even send a text.’

‘But you’d already told me.’

‘And over dinner, you didn’t ask how I am! Or where I’m staying!’

‘You could stay with me if it weren’t for the fact your fake tan dyes everything brown.’

‘Once! Once!’

I waved at the barman. ‘Can you put the drinks on my room?’

‘What number are you in?’

‘I’m not telling you,’ I said, not totally sure my ex ex wouldn’t prowl the corridors. I seem to spend my life locking men out of hotel rooms. The ex ex swigged his whisky, then said, ‘I liked that photograph of you the other day in Hervé Léger**. Nice to see you wearing something different.’

‘What do you mean?’

‘You always wear the same thing.’

‘This from a man who wore black velour trainers to Locanda Locatelli!’

‘They’re suedette!’ he shouted to my retreating back.


**My ‘re-entry’ after lockdown outfit for a Daily Mail photo shoot