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Authors: Grace Dent

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Posh and Prejudice

BOOK: Posh and Prejudice
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Copyright

Copyright © 2009 by Grace Dent

All rights reserved. Except as permitted under the U.S. Copyright Act of 1976, no part of this publication may be reproduced,
distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, or stored in a database or retrieval system, without the prior written
permission of the publisher.

Poppy

Hachette Book Group

237 Park Avenue, New York, NY 10017

For more of your favorite series, Visit our website at
www.HachetteBookGroup.com
.

www.twitter.com/littlebrown

Poppy is a imprint of Little, Brown and Company.

The Poppy name and logo are trademarks of Hachette Book Group, Inc.

First eBook Edition: December 2009

First published in Great Britain in 2007 by Hodder Children’s Books, a division of Hachette Children’s Books

The characters and events portrayed in this book are fictitious. Any similarity to real persons, living or dead, is coincidental
and not intended by the author.

ISBN: 978-0-316-05259-7

Contents

COPYRIGHT

AUGUST

TUESDAY 19TH AUGUST

WEDNESDAY 20TH AUGUST

THURSDAY 21ST AUGUST

FRIDAY 22ND AUGUST

MONDAY 25TH AUGUST

TUESDAY 26TH AUGUST

SEPTEMBER

TUESDAY 2ND SEPTEMBER

THURSDAY 4TH SEPTEMBER

FRIDAY 5TH SEPTEMBER

MONDAY 8TH SEPTEMBER

TUESDAY 9TH SEPTEMBER

THURSDAY 11TH SEPTEMBER

FRIDAY 12TH SEPTEMBER

SUNDAY 14TH SEPTEMBER

MONDAY 15TH SEPTEMBER

TUESDAY 16TH SEPTEMBER

FRIDAY 19TH SEPTEMBER

WEDNESDAY 24TH SEPTEMBER

FRIDAY 26TH SEPTEMBER

SATURDAY 27TH SEPTEMBER

OCTOBER

WEDNESDAY 1ST OCTOBER

FRIDAY 3RD OCTOBER—SHIRAZ BAILEY WOOD’S BIRTHDAY!

MONDAY 6TH OCTOBER

WEDNESDAY 8TH OCTOBER

FRIDAY 10TH OCTOBER

MONDAY 13TH OCTOBER

WEDNESDAY 15TH OCTOBER

FRIDAY 17TH OCTOBER

MONDAY 20TH OCTOBER

WEDNESDAY 22ND OCTOBER

FRIDAY 24TH OCTOBER

NOVEMBER

TUESDAY 4TH NOVEMBER

WEDNESDAY 5TH NOVEMBER

SATURDAY 8TH NOVEMBER

WEDNESDAY 12TH NOVEMBER

FRIDAY 14TH NOVEMBER

WEDNESDAY 19TH NOVEMBER

DECEMBER

MONDAY 1ST DECEMBER

WEDNESDAY 3RD DECEMBER

MONDAY 15TH DECEMBER

TUESDAY 16TH DECEMBER

THURSDAY 18TH DECEMBER

SUNDAY 21ST DECEMBER

THURSDAY 25TH DECEMBER, CHRISTMAS DAY

FRIDAY 26TH DECEMBER

SATURDAY 27TH DECEMBER

JANUARY

THURSDAY 1ST JANUARY

SATURDAY 3RD JANUARY

THURSDAY 8TH JANUARY

MONDAY 12TH JANUARY

THURSDAY 15TH JANUARY

WEDNESDAY 21ST JANUARY

SUNDAY 25TH JANUARY

FEBRUARY

MONDAY 2ND FEBRUARY

THURSDAY 5TH FEBRUARY

FRIDAY 13TH FEBRUARY

SATURDAY 14TH FEBRUARY

SUNDAY 15TH FEBRUARY

MONDAY 23RD FEBRUARY

MARCH

SUNDAY 1ST MARCH

THURSDAY 5TH MARCH

WEDNESDAY 11TH MARCH

FRIDAY 13TH MARCH

SUNDAY 15TH MARCH

WEDNESDAY 18TH MARCH

APRIL

THURSDAY 9TH APRIL

MAY

MONDAY 4TH MAY

THURSDAY 7TH MAY

FRIDAY 8TH MAY

SUNDAY 10TH MAY

FRIDAY 15TH MAY

FRIDAY 22ND MAY

JUNE

TUESDAY 9TH JUNE

FRIDAY 12TH JUNE

WEDNESDAY 17TH JUNE

JULY

FRIDAY 3RD JULY

SATURDAY JULY 4TH

MONDAY 6TH JULY

GLOSSARY

For Miss Ruby Chaisty

 

 

 

This diary belongs to:

 

Address:
     
Shiraz Bailey Wood
34, THUNDERSLEY ROAD,
Goodmayes,
Essex,
IG5 2XS

AUGUST

TUESDAY 19TH AUGUST

I am the master of my own destiny.

Well, that’s what Ms. Bracket, my English teacher last year, always says.

“Shiraz Bailey Wood,” she says. “The sky is the limit for a bright spark like you! You could be anything you want. Like an
astronaut! Or a lion tamer! Or the Prime Minister! The only thing stopping you is yourself!”

She used to jar my head sometimes she did. She was proper obsessed about us passing our GCSEs. Ms. Bracket isn’t bothered
about all that “Superchav Academy” stuff. That’s what a lot of snobby newspaper reporters used to call my old school Mayflower
Academy, you see. And I’ll say it again for the billionth time…

WE WEREN’T ALL CHAVS, RIGHT!?

(Jury’s out on Uma Brunton-Fletcher, though.)

Ms. Bracket isn’t prejudiced and stigmatizing toward young people like most grown-ups are. Saying that, she doesn’t take any
of our crap either. Like when I told her me and Carrie didn’t need no English GCSEs ’cos we were starting a world-famous singing
duo called Half Rice/Half Chips.

“Fair enough, Shiraz,” Ms. Bracket says. “But in the event that you
don’t
become the next Beyoncé Knowles you’ll need to get a job to feed and clothe yourself! SO DO YOUR HOMEWORK!”

In the end even I had to admit that passing my GCSEs was a better plan if I didn’t want to end up flogging the homeless paper
Street News
outside Food Lion. If you’ve ever seen that YouTube clip of me and Carrie on ITV2’s
Million Dollar Talent Show
you’ll know why. Oh my days, that was well shameful.

Ten pounds flaming ninety-two pence we spent on those matching red leg warmers and devil horns, then we only get one verse
into “Maneater” by Nelly Furtado and this snotty-looking judge in trousers so tight you could see the outline of his trousersnake
tells me I’m singing like someone strangling a donkey.

Yeah, BARE JOKES, bruv. Jog on.

Not like I cared though. I just laughed in his face. He was like thirty-three years old or something. A proper antique. It’s
not my fault if he couldn’t appreciate me being an individual.

Oh well, that’s break over. Better get back to work.

2:15
PM
—I don’t regret nothing in my life. Nothing. I’m always moving forward, me. I’m keeping it real. It’s just sometimes, when
I’m standing here behind this pan, frying an egg, and I’m proper sweaty and some bloke with a hairy bum cleavage is at the
counter moaning on going, “Ugggh, you’ve made my yolk hard. I wanted it runny. I like my eggs runny!”… Well, it’s times like
that when I remember Mayflower Academy. I think about what a laugh Year Eleven was with Carrie and Luther and Chantalle and
Uma and Kezia.

Y’know there was a bit last year when I even started planning to go to Sixth Form. And I ain’t exactly a Sixth Formery type
of girl if you know what I mean.

But I never thought I’d wind up here at Mr. Yolk on Goodmayes High Street making Set Breakfast C two hundred times a day for
geezers with bigger baps than me.

This was NOT in Shiraz Bailey Wood’s life plan.


EAT LIKE A PRINCE FOR
£2!!” That’s the “mission statement” at Mr. Yolk. It’s written in BIG CAPITAL LETTERS across the front of my T-shirt. I know
I look totally butterz in it, but my boyfriend, Wesley Barrington Bains II, says I look hot.

“Wifey,” Wesley says. “You could put on anything and you’d look buff, innit.”

Wesley reckons I’ve got it proper cushy working at Mr. Yolk ’cos:

1) It’s just down the road from my mother’s house, and

2) I get free dinner every day and they do steak and kidney pot pies, and

3) He can pop in and see me on the way to his plumbing NVQ and get his egg roll.

Wesley don’t like his egg runny. Wesley likes his egg yolk quite hard and he likes the ketchup just on the egg white NOT the
yolk, with a sprinkle of black pepper on the yolk. The first dozen times I made Wesley’s egg I got it wrong, but now I make
Wesley’s egg just perfect he reckons. That’s my biggest achievement all August.

I’m dreading picking up my GCSE results next week. I tried my best and everything. I knew that
Jane Eyre
book backward by May! I used to go to sleep at night and dream about Mr. Rochester on his horse, clip-clopping through Romford
and scooping me up outside Time and Envy nightclub and taking me away from Essex.

I tried my total best in that exam, honest.

It wouldn’t be the first time my best wasn’t good enough.

WEDNESDAY 20TH AUGUST

Oh my gosh, today at Mr. Yolk was proper DULL. OK. I tell a lie, there was one exciting bit at about 3 o’clock when we totally
ran out of one-quid coins and Mario (Mr. Yolk himself—Goodmayes’s biggest celebrity) let me get the bus to the bank in Ilford
Mall and get some.

So I take one of my detours round by Greggs the bakers and I spot Kezia Marshall and we both buy a gingerbread man in the
shape of Bart Simpson. Then we sit on the wall outside Claire’s Accessories chatting about Kezia’s bump. Last year everyone
thought Kezia was pregnant by Luther—then it turned out to be a false alarm. Then it didn’t. Kezia really was pregnant by
Luther. Even my mum was shocked at that.

Kezia’s bump is well big now. She looks like one of them Teletubbies with her red hair and orange hoodie and big belly. Like
LaLa or Tinky Winky, me and Carrie couldn’t decide. Kezia kept pulling down the front of her trackie pants and making me feel
the bump kicking. Kezia didn’t mind which passersby saw the bump and pretty much all the rest of her downstairs bits too.
(Safe to say, red is Kezia’s natural hair color.) I didn’t feel like my gingerbread man much after that. I worry about Kezia
a bit. Kezia says Luther ain’t calling her much no more like he used to. Kezia says all their mums and dads are trying to
sort something out. Poor Kez.

I asked about baby names and Kezia says she likes Usher for a boy or Latanoyatiqua for a girl. Then she’s going to double-barrel
the surnames. Latanoyatiqua Marshall-Dinsdale! Oh my days—by the time the poor kid’s got that spelled in finger paints at
school the day will be over.

I went back to Mr. Yolk and Mario was all up in my face giving it. “Where you been? I give you ten minutes!” So I said I had
menstrual pain in my womb and had been in Boots looking at the ladies intimate problem counter, then Mario pushed away his
beans on toast and made a face like “Too much information” and got back on the phone to his bookie.

See, even the exciting bits at work ain’t that exciting. Only fifty more years and I can retire.

8
PM
—My mother—Mrs. Diane Wood—says work ain’t meant to be exciting. Mum reckons the important thing is that I’m bringing home
some cash and earning my keep. This ALONE should be exciting enough for me, Mum reckons. Yeah, she is barking mad. I love
my mother ’cos like you have to don’t you, but she is a proper mental sometimes when she says stuff like this.

I said to her, “Mother, have you ever cleaned out a deep fat fryer and had your bum cheek pinched by an eighty-six-year-old
customer with missing bottom teeth for £3.50 an hour?!! It AIN’T EXCITING, right?”

“Oh, Shiraz. Give it a rest. Real life ain’t never exciting.” My mother sighed. She was half-staring at
Emmerdale,
where some vet had his arm up a cow’s bumhole. “REAL LIFE AIN’T NEVER EXCITING!” my mum said again. “That’s why I pay for
this bleeding Sky+ satellite TV subscription!”

I gave her £50 out of my wages toward my keep and she rolled it up and stuck it in her pocket. Then she rubbed Penny, our
obese Staffy, and said, “Woohoo Pennywenny! More Russell Stover Chocolates for you and me. Ooh, we like those coffee truffle
ones, don’t we?!”

She’d better be joking.

I went to my room and put cotton balls in my ears to drown out the noise and carried on with this book I’m reading called
Pride and Prejudice
by a bird called Jane Austen. Ms. Bracket said I would like it and I do. It’s proper old. It’s about this woman called Elizabeth
who fancies this well-minted proper buff bloke called Darcy who is sexy but up himself. I can’t stand lads like that.

10
PM
—Carrie just texted. Carrie’s going to schlep over tomorrow and do me some false nails. Carrie says she’s going to use some
stronger glue this time. Carrie says she’s still a bit freaked out about the last time she did them. One of them fell off
at work when I was making the tuna mayo and Mario had to give some old geezer the Heimlich maneuver when it got jammed in
his windpipe. That was definitely exciting. Just, like, not in a good way.

BOOK: Posh and Prejudice
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