News, Culture & Society

LIZ JONES’S DIARY –  In which curiosity gets the better of me

Friday. Not my best day. Let me inform you that manifesting does not work. 

First, I got an email, giving me really bad news. My new novel has been rejected by Penguin. They don’t offer on ‘partial’ novels, apparently. I don’t know how they expect artists to eat while writing, but still. 

I texted Nic. Her reply is unprintable. Asterisk, asterisk, asterisk, asterisk. The first letter was ‘C’. There goes any chance of me buying a house. Ever. 

And then? Oh, dear God. David 2.0 texted. (We have never met, but he has sent a selfie. He has a stomach, that’s all I’m saying. He’s standing against an awful, awful door, like something you’d find in a Premier Inn. I once turned down a date with a perfectly decent man because his selfie, taken before he went for ‘a run’, revealed the carpet in his flat to be stained.) 

ILLUSTRATION: Tom Peake at Meiklejohn. This week Liz Jones speaks about when curiosity got the better of her 

‘Hi Liz. I know I have been column fodder and that’s fine*, it made me laugh. Weak men would run a mile. I am confident, self-assured and successful. I drive a white Ferrari – red are too common. I am looking forward to us having an animated conversation. I am more than your match. I want to strip away the outer, abrasive layers that the media sees [??] and find the warm, tender person inside. I am in Istanbul at the moment and thinking of you. Are you up for the challenge?’

Lots of women would be tempted by a fancy car, but I’m not one of them 

He had added a smiley emoji. Gag. 

I considered ignoring him, as I don’t want a sparring match, and I’m not Anneka Rice. But, like Teddy the new collie, he really hasn’t done anything wrong. Yet. Lots of women would be tempted by a fancy car, but I’m not one of them. When I went for dinner with the luxury goods heir who owned a Maserati (Him: ‘Did you hear the roar of the Maserati as I drove up to Middleton Lodge?’ Me: ‘No, sorry. I should have turned up my hearing aids’), I spent the entire time worrying about Gracie chewing his seatbelts and weeing on the napa leather. 

But instead of ignoring David 2.0 I replied, keeping it cool: ‘I have only been to Istanbul once. I stayed in the Four Seasons, which used to be a prison: the very one featured in the film Midnight Express.’ 


  • Men who conduct loud Zoom meetings in a restaurant while you are trying to enjoy a quiet lunch 
  • Spa days. All you get for £70 is access to the pool and the ‘experience shower’. Oh, and ‘included in your day are a complimentary fluffy robe and slippers’. That’s like booking a restaurant and being told ‘we include plates, a knife and a fork’ 
  • Petrol stations 

I’d been on a fashion trip and, in a sartorial panic, had bought a pair of Jimmy Choo knee-length boots at Heathrow. I hadn’t realised we would spend the first day visiting mosques, which of course don’t allow shoes. It was very hot and that, what with the plane, meant my legs had puffed up. Consequently, at the entrance to every mosque a team of very nice young bearded men was enlisted to help me get the boots off, then shove them back on again. 

He then sent another selfie, ignoring my anecdote. He’s with two bearded Turkish men. I think I prefer them. 

Anyway, I’m having my hair and eyebrows dyed tomorrow, plus a pedicure ahead of a readers’ event** at a hotel in London, so I text him: ‘I’m in London next week if you want to meet for a quick drink.’ 

Note the word ‘quick’. 

Several hours later, he sends this: ‘Will let you know when I’m back.’ His message is accompanied by a video. I open it, not without trepidation. It has been taken inside some sort of club or bar in Istanbul. 

It is a video of a woman. And she is pole dancing. 

Pole dancing. 

Give him his due, though, he then replied: ‘It’s too short notice. When we meet I would prefer to treat you to dinner. I’m not keen on being relegated to a “quick” drink slot.’ 

Maybe I’ve met my match after all. 

*I never asked for your permission, numbnuts 

**Oh, dear God, I hope that David 1.0 hasn’t bought a ticket. He’ll be lynched


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