Bridget, Renée & me: How we've changed

So this Papery Peep post is slightly different to normal, it's still about the paper in my life right now but it also explores how we've changed and a call to action. A call to action for me that is... You see I've bought myself an actual book - a book I've been keen to read the next instalment of, but one I've only just got around to buying. I know it would have been easier to buy and download the kindle version, but I resisted. I love my kindle - and it's one of the first things I pack when we travel, but I wanted the book to complete my set.  My call to action is to find some time to sit down to read and enjoy it - you see once I get into a good book (and I'm hoping it will be) that's all I want to do, so I need to time my entry point carefully!

You may have already guessed which book I've bought from the title above, but if not I'm talking about the third and latest Bridget Jones book, Mad about The Boy. Though since I've bought it Renée Zellweger has made the news for having a "new face" but before that, I'm going to look back...

It seems I was a little late to the Bridget Jones party the first time round too - the edition I have of Bridget Jones's diary was published in 1997, however her diary was first published the year before.  So Bridget was a thirty-something single working woman living in London looking for love often in the wrong places and often with hilarious results. In 1996/97 I was approaching the big 3-0, living alone in my own house, with my four cats... but I was younger than Bridget Jones (not Renée) who was, and still is, a whole five years older than me.  


Hmmnn, looking at Bridget's New Year's Resolutions on the I Will list, there's one I still set myself each year - that's eat more pulses - actually there's another - put photographs in photograph albums.  Although I think at that time I was probably better at this than I am now - I've since gone digital but have stacks of photos from the intervening years still in their packets, which I now plan to store in boxes, rather than albums.  Oh there's probably more resolutions on the list too that resonate and some I'd never contemplate, let alone write down and attempt to stick too. I am though feeling quite smug as I already knew how to programme the video (and since then the DVD Recorder and now the V+ box!) 

By the time the second book was out I was clearly better prepared and bought the book - the hard back - the same year it was published, 1999. By now I'm 32, still living in my house, still with the four cats. I'm sure things had changed, things do but not so dramatically that I can remember so much now. Although they were about to as the following year I started seeing MOH.


It was around this time that I created my own fictional character called Fidget Bones who was a new addition to our company netball team and submitted regular light-hearted diary-type articles of our matches to the staff magazine. No doubt our chip consumption featured, as well as our exploits on (and off) the court... I wonder where I got the inspiration from!  Happy days, indeed. 

Looking back I was surprised to learn the years the films with Renée Zellweger, Hugh Grant and Colin Firth were released - 2001 and 2004 respectively - Bridget certainly had some staying power back then.  As an aside you'll remember there's some recognisable London landmarks in the films and the Corporation of London has a self-guided walking tour which includes these and filming locations for Harry Potter and James Bond.

So that brings me to the third book - released in 2013, some eighteen years after the first one, where it seems I can look forward to Bridget pondering modern dilemmas, single-motherhood and "rediscovering her sexuality in what SOME people rudely and outdatedly call middle age".  Or that's what the back cover tells me anyway. I hope it turns out to be V. V. Good...  Luckily Bridget (but not Renée) is still five years older than me - but middle age, I'm going to have to agree it's rude and outdated. Surely, we're not... No, don't answer that. 


So in the eighteen years that's elapsed lots of things in my life have changed - I mean it would right?  I met, dated and married MOH, we bought a house and have been here for twelve years. Sadly though I no longer have the cats, but they lived long and I hope happy lives. I have lots of the same friends and some new ones too. There's other changes too.  I mean, gardening is now something I do through choice not necessity, although getting up as soon as I wake up is still something I'm resisting (in case you're wondering that was on Bridget's New Year's Resolutions too, not mine).

Do I look different? Yes, I expect so. But I still look enough the same, I think. I mean people still recognise me. The only time I think I've looked drastically different was when my thyroid went into overdrive and then I ended up with some cheek bones, although sadly the cheek bone look didn't hang around too long... 

Has Bridget's life changed? The indications are that it has - from the back cover I already know there's a child or children (I'm not going to spoil the book for myself and dip in just for this post) and if that didn't change you, it would be wrong, surely? Now I know Bridget is a fictional character, but if her appearance didn't change then it would be very odd, so I'm assuming she's changed too.  

So onto Renée. Last week there was the fuss that she had a "new face" - really? Isn't she just ten or so (or more) years older?  Does she look unrecognisable? I think not, and clearly the media recognised her too. There's suggestions she's had some work done, so what, that's her business. She says she's spent the past few years 'making a home,' 'loving someone,' and 'growing into myself.'  Well good for you Renée.  I think Bridget and I have been doing all that too, and so have lots of normal once thirty-somethings. It's life. And actually I think it'd be more odd if you didn't look any different.

Has your life and looks changed since 1996? I'm guessing it probably has too...

So an evening of reminiscing all things past and present Bridget and Renée seems to be just the thing I needed and I think I'm ready for my call to action and start that third book. I'm hoping it's as good, if not better than the others... And I do hope she's done better than me at those resolutions!

The Reading Residence
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