I traipsed around the West End yesterday in pre-going away clothes: the ones you wear the days before you fly away because all your good things are about to be thrown into a suitcase. These are the clothes I'm sitting in now: musty, dank, unloved and unloving in return. It's always when I'm wallowing in the dresses of yesteryear, hair unwashed, face un-made up, that I bump into somebody I know, or, worse still, am spotted by somebody I don't know. I hear "was that Alexa Chung?" Or rather: "I think that's the girl from T4."
The reason for my dreary appearance is that I have had to pack for a trip to Australia. I've been forced to haul my suitcase full of goodies with me to my parent's house in Hampshire, ready for my departure straight from here in a few days time.
Waterloo to Privett is a boring journey. Not quite long enough to get involved in a book, too long to sit alone with my thoughts. I would drive if I could but I can't.
I did once try and pass my test but I failed. I like to think this wasn't so much my fault, but more the fault of a tardy driving instructor resulting in me getting to my test five minutes late, resulting in the man testing me telling me I couldn't take said test, resulting in me calling him a moron.
When I finally did get to take the test a few weeks later it was that same moron who failed me because of "undue hesitation", which I took to mean he was still angry that I didn't fail to hesitate when insulting him the first time round.
Today when I arrived at the train station I was glad to have somebody to save me from the crippling weight of Christmas presents vs a two-week-holiday sized suitcase. I was also relieved that the rigmarole of preparation was over once more. I seem to spend my life extracting, washing and repacking the same Sonic Youth T-shirt over and over again. Maybe that's my punishment for only really liking about four of their songs. I'm basically as bad as the losers that walk around in those Ramones T-shirts from Urban Outfitters without even having had the decency to Wikipedia them.
There will forever be at least two large bags obstructing the hallway. I'm either taking a few outfits along for filming or bringing things to a photo shoot or travelling. This means I'm usually fruitlessly searching for items I've left somewhere.
This week I appear to have misplaced my black Chanel pumps, some Tom Ford sunglasses and pretty much everything I ever bought from Topshop. The ballet pumps are particularly baffling as I wear them every day and can't recall walking around shoeless at any point. It's OK, though, because for every item I lose I seem to get given something bizarre to fill its space.
Sometimes, though,I get sent something I love. This week I was over the moon to receive a pair of black wellies and a bottle of whisky. This means I can drunkenly stalk my way around a muddy field in Hampshire, surely the perfect way to spend Christmas Day.
The reality is, however, that I'll probably spend the big day squabbling over Trivial Pursuit and trying not to throw pieces of the "cheese" at my brother's head. It's funny how the family hierarchy slots back into place almost immediately. As the youngest of six I think it's fair to say I'm the brat. I'm the one who asked for a pony/ was fussy about eating meat/ always demanded attention.
This situation is polarised at Christmas time when I get to have separate gravy. If you too are vegetarian, don't be bullied by the meat eaters; don't let them wear you down. You too can have your very own gravy. Why stand for a dry Christmas dinner? After all, not only is Christmas a time for giving, it's a time for getting what you want too.