In which my roller­coaster re­la­tion­ship takes its toll

Irish Daily Mail - YOU - - LIZ JONES’S DIARY -

We had ups. Then we had downs. The ups… David ar­rived on Satur­day bear­ing birth­day gifts. He had in­deed bought me the black Dries Van Noten gown with the gold em­bel­lish­ment in the MyTheresa sale, and had ac­tu­ally cho­sen the cor­rect size: a French 38. He also brought with him a bot­tle of cham­pagne, and a slightly weird gift of a wooden box full of pol­ish and brushes for shoes. I was leav­ing for Italy early the next day for work, and so on Sun­day evening Nic ar­rived to col­lect the pup­pies. She and David ex­changed not a word. It’s awk­ward for girl­friends, isn’t it, that one minute you’re telling them: ‘Well, I just told him he is so f***ing needy! And he told me to p*** off. I didn’t re­ply un­til the next day, when I told him: “I p***ed off. And then I came back again.”’

And the next day your girl­friend turns up at your house and there he is, in tracky bot­toms, cradling a G&T, and she has to paint on a ric­tus grin.

Any­way, it was a bit strange, as I had point­edly told David that the pup­pies were hav­ing a sleep­over, so we would be ON OUR OWN for the night, with­out a prone col­lie with a pointy nose smelling of sheep be­tween us, like a hyper­ac­tive hairy tod­dler. Yet that night, noth­ing, noth­ing, noth­ing. No sex at all. When we first started go­ing out, we had sex ev­ery time we met up, even if I had just got off a plane, or was be­tween waxes, or was go­ing on a re­al­ity TV pro­gramme the next day, or had eaten fet­tucine, or had a fash­ion show to pre­pare for (I do have to con­cen­trate). But now? Noth­ing. He gave me a lift to Manch­ester air­port the next morn­ing, and as we drove, he pointed out land­marks from his youth: Rochdale, Mans­field. Most places were punc­tu­ated by girl­friends. ‘Is she still pin­ing for you?’ I asked of an ex in Bolton. ‘She got over me in­stantly.’ See­ing the Pen­nines, I re­marked, ‘This must evoke mem­o­ries of be­ing a post­man!’ ‘What?’ he said. ‘You told me you walked for miles over moun­tains.’

‘Yes, for plea­sure. I was never a post­man! Some­times, I re­ally don’t think you love me at all.’ That’s the end of the ups, I’m afraid. The downs… He dropped me off, and I stag­gered to the Easy­Jet desk with my huge case. I was only go­ing for one night, but can you be­lieve the travel com­pany had the cheek to ask me, ‘Do you re­ally need a case, which costs ex­tra?’ ‘Well, yes, I do, ac­tu­ally, given I have to have my photo taken while I’m there, and put on make-up and do my hair and wear clothes.’ As Brid­get would say, ‘Bug­ger off!’

A three-hour de­lay turned into five. I fi­nally got to my ho­tel – by the side of a mo­tor­way in the sub­urbs of Mi­lan – at mid­night to find it did not do room ser­vice. ‘But I’ve been trav­el­ling for 14 hours!’ I wailed. I was shown to my room, and when I went to have a shower and wash my hair, there was not only no sham­poo, but no soap. Just a dis­penser nailed to a wall. Gaahhh!

I woke early, tried to ex­plain to the man on the desk I wanted an espresso to no avail (you’d think they’d know that word in Italy), and got a taxi to the cen­tro. There, at last, was the place I re­mem­bered. The Valentino shop, the huge Ar­mani store on the cor­ner. Corso Como, with its es­o­teric mix of pasta, cof­fee-ta­ble books and Alaïa shoes. The shops and restau­rants that I used to fre­quent as a glossy ed­i­tor seemed to mock me, as far away as the moon. I hadn’t had any food for 36 hours.

Af­ter my in­ter­view and shoot wrapped up, me nearly faint­ing from fa­tigue and mal­nour­ish­ment, I went straight back to the air­port. I landed at Manch­ester, walked what seemed like 400 miles to the sta­tion, and shiv­ered on a freez­ing plat­form, wait­ing for the Tran­sPen­nine Ex­press. My friend had promised to pick me up, but in the end she backed out, pre­fer­ring a night in with Paul Hol­ly­wood. From land­ing to home took six hours. I used to dis­em­bark at Heathrow, get into a lovely car with Muham­mad, and be home be­fore I knew it. Back in the lap of Is­ling­ton and my lovely life.

I texted Nic. ‘I can’t do this any more,’ I told her. ‘With no money, no treats, no food, no lovely shops. It just doesn’t seem worth it. And I’ve got nowhere to wear my Dries dress.’

I texted David the same thing. ‘I can’t do any­thing right,’ he said. ‘No,’ I replied. ‘Just ac­cept it.’


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