Page 27. " Tom, who has taken, unflatteringly, to calling himself a hag-fag "
Fag hag
Fag hag
Creative Commons AttributionFag hag - Credit: Till Krech

A fag hag is a woman who spends most of her time in the company of gay men.  As Tom spends most of his time with Shazza, Jude and Bridget, they are the hags he is referring to when reversing the term.

Page 30. " Dennis Healey eyebrows, face a graveyard of dead skin cells, spots erupting, long curly fingernails like Struwelpeter "

Der Struwwelpeter
Public DomainDer Struwwelpeter

Denis Healey is a seasoned Labour MP with magnificently bushy eyebrows.

Picture of Dennis Healey's unruly brow

Der Struwwelpeter is a book of ten morality tales for children, by German author Heinrich HoffmanStruwwelpeter, the subject of the first story, finds that his low standards of personal hygiene have lost him all his friends.  The name means "Shaggy Peter".

Page 33. " my reward, I know, will be to end up all alone, half-eaten by an Alsatian "
Alsatian
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeAlsatian - Credit: Shepaluteprez

Being found half-eaten by an Alsatian is an image that pursues Bridget relentlessly throughout her darkest moments.  It's never clear where this mythic canine beast is supposed to come from.

Page 37. " Mother is bright orange and more opinionated than ever, having just returned from week in Albufeira "
Albufeira
Public DomainAlbufeira

Albufeira is a popular holiday destination in Portugal, sometimes referred to as 'The Gateway to the Algarve'. Nightclubs and golf courses are both abundant.

Google Map
Page 37. " Apparently there is a Martin Amis character who is so crazily addicted that he starts wanting a cigarette even when he's smoking one. "
Martin Amis
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeMartin Amis - Credit: Escondites

  Martin Amis is a best-selling contemporary British author, whose works often satirise modern life in innovative detail.

His 1995 novel The Information features the character of Richard Tull, a frustrated writer, who talks about smoking a cigarette in between each cigarette.

                                       

Page 38. " Mum had been to church and suddenly realized in a St-Paul-on-road-to-Damascus-type blinding flash that the vicar is gay. "

St Paul
Public DomainSt Paul
The Bible contains four accounts of St Paul's conversion to Christianity - Acts 9:3-19; 22:6-21; 26:12-18; and Galatians 1:12-16.

Around 34 AD Paul of Tarsus, a former persecutor of the Christians, was travelling from Jerusalem to Damascus. He was suddenly overwhelmed by a blinding light and a disembodied voice spoke to him, asking why he chose to persecute Jesus. Struck blind for three days and forced to fast until he was healed by a disciple named Ananias, Paul converted to Christianity and became one of its greatest apostles.

Page 38. " plunging it back in a not unworrying manner, if one were a Freudian. "
Sigmund Freud
Public DomainSigmund Freud

The Austrian neurologist and founder of pyschoanalysis, Sigmund Freud, believed that actions could be analysed and interpreted to reveal what was taking place in the unconscious mind, where unacceptable or uncomfortable thoughts might dwell.

If one were a Freudian, one might see this action as an accidental manifestation of a repressed sexual or hostile desire.

Page 39. " On top of everything else, must go to Smug Married dinner party "

Just Married
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeJust Married - Credit: Liza Mae V.
"Smug Married" is another Bridget Jones invention that has entered the lexicon.  It describes people who rejoice in their own sense of achievement at having managed to settle down before their perceived "sell by date"... at the expense of those who haven't.

Page 40. " when they are together with their married friends I feel as if I have turned into Miss Havisham "
Miss Havisham
Public DomainMiss Havisham

Miss Havisham is a character from the novel Great Expectations by Charles Dickens. She is one of the most famous spinsters in literature, having been stood up by her fiancé on their wedding day.  She is so disturbed by the experience she remains forever more confined to her house, still wearing her wedding dress and reminiscing about the marriage that never was.  The character of Norma Desmond in the film Sunset Boulevard was inspired by her.

                                                   

Page 41. " Pouring a quarter of a pint of '82 Pauillac straight down his throat "
Pauillac
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikePauillac - Credit: Laban66

  Pauillac is a subregion of Bordeaux, France, producing some of the most esteemed and expensive wines in the world.

1982 was a good year.  You can buy a bottle of '82 Chateau Latour for a mere £1,993 here.

Pauillac Wines

Page 46. " Baby, I was born to run "

 

Bruce Springsteen
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeBruce Springsteen - Credit: Howcheng

 Listen on Spotify: Born to Run

 

 

        

Page 47. " It is too Brian Rix for words. "

Brian Rix is an English actor who formed his own theatre company, specialising in farce, in 1947. A number of his productions were televised by the BBC, and Rix, a martyr to the requirements of the genre, would often appear on screen without his trousers.

Page 47. " a parental practical joke brought on by over-exposure of my parents to Noel Edmonds "

 Noel Edmonds is a television presenter whose popular Saturday night TV show, Noel's House Party, featured a slot in which members of the public were set up by members of their family for the nation's amusement. Like this:

                              

Page 47. " Maybe Dad will appear hanging upside-down outside the window dressed as a Morris dancer "
Morris Dancers
Public DomainMorris Dancers - Credit: Man vyi, Wikimedia

Morris dancing is a traditional English folk dance, performed by groups of men dressed in white, carrying sticks or handkerchiefs, with bells tied to their ankles. It has proved inexplicably popular since the 16th century, when it was first practised.

 

Page 47. " I'll be alright on my bloody own. I'll just clean the house like Germaine sodding Greer "

Germaine Greer
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeGermaine Greer - Credit: Walnut Whippet

Germaine sodding Greer is an Australian author and staunch feminist who has written extensively about women's liberation.

                                                             

 

Page 47. " I said, as if this were Sleepless in Seattle "

Sleepless in Seattle was a 1993 romantic comedy starring Tom Hanks as an amiable widower and Meg Ryan as a winsome journalist, convinced he is her soulmate after hearing him choking back the tears on a radio phone-in. Obviously these two cannot be trusted to get it together by themselves, so in steps Jonah, son of Hanks, to make sure things turn out the way they are supposed to.  The movie was inspired by An Affair to Remember (1957).

                                

Page 48. " I thought the clitoris was something from Nigel Coles's lepidoptery collection "
Butterflies
Public DomainButterflies

Nigel Coles's Lepidoptery collection would comprise of the various species of butterfiles and moths he has managed to catch, kill and probably pin to a display board.

 

Page 49. " Maybe going out with a doctor would be better still, both sexually and spiritually fulfilling. I even began to wonder about putting an ad in the lonely hearts column of the Lancet. "

The Lancet is a leading international medical journal.