LIZ JONES’S DIARY: In which I (try to) look on the bright side of being bankrupt

The only plus side to being made bankrupt is that…

1 You find out who your real friends and relatives are.

2 You learn valuable life lessons, such as not to be generous again, ever.

3 You appreciate the small things in life, and what’s important, such as my border collies, even though the new one, Missy, has gone completely mad, having come out of her shell and is now barking like a seal at all hours of the day and night.

In the past three years, since my nails lost their tenuous grip on a slippery slope and I plummeted, I’ve had just one email from a relative, asking if there was anything she could do. A friend’s PA sent me some cat food, mainly I think because her mog turned his nose up at it. Another friend sent some clothes from a charity shop. The friend who got all my Miele appliances when I lost my home did nothing. My family did nothing.

What have I learned? That no matter how generous you are, people resent you for it. You take them on holiday, and are later told during an argument, ‘What do you mean, you took us to Bath? That was just a weekend!’ And, over the years, the things I gave away! A brass double bed. Lloyd Loom furniture: the original stuff, not copies. Chanel, Cartier and Prada handbags. My grandmother’s diamond and platinum engagement ring. I sent one sister to rehab in Switzerland, acted as guarantor for her rent twice, and yet my nephews barred me from her funeral! What’s all that about?

Anyway, during a lull, I decided to look up an old boyfriend. Not for possible dates, oh dear God no! But to try to work out how I got to where I am now: not Who Do You Think You Are? More How? We were ‘together’ in the very early 90s; the inverted commas are there to denote the fact that even though he moved in with me, he refused to have sex with me for about a year.

I was working on a national Sunday newspaper and he was a fashion and music PR, trying to make it. And while he lived in my Old Street flat, I paid for almost everything: I can’t imagine the amount I must have spent on chicken ready meals from M&S. He never once got the Hoover out, but instead spent hours crouched over the stereo, compiling mix tapes. Eventually, after much asking on his part and stress on mine, I managed to persuade my editor to let him do a fashion shoot and compose some words. The whole thing was a disaster, yet, more than 25 years later, that one piece is mentioned on his website under ‘My Life Story.’

There is a huge, moody photo of him on his site (why don’t I have a bleeding website or a Twitter account or Instagram? No wonder my book ideas and novels keep getting rejected), taken in a trendy café. He is wearing a crisp white shirt, immaculate sweater, dark coat (at least he’s lost the flat-top, as he’s now bald). All seems well in his world. And yet he has published one piece in the quality national press. I’ve written an average of a million words a year! I gave young women leg-ups only to have them disappear on maternity leave. I even wrote my ex- husband’s jokes! I once sent a relative a cheque for £1,000 when her partner left her so she could buy her son a TV, and she later sent me a bill for a book she bought costing £25. I’ve p***ed off everyone from Rihanna to Sir Philip Green to Kate Winslet! I’ve been to lots of awards ceremonies.

I think it’s true of everyone I’ve dealt with over the past few years (and even those I employ to advise me) that if you’re a single woman with no children, the assumption is you don’t deserve a nice life or success. You must surely be a selfish, mad cat person, so let’s try to take everything off you for ourselves.