Alexa Chung: 'I don't care about my sunburn. I'm so happy to have cheated winter'

Girl About Town

Share
Related Topics

I boarded the plane ... stuffed full of all the chocolate and cheese and cranberry sauce that Christmas could bestow upon my under-prepared stomach. The Boxing Day walk that I had braved the cold for had done little to ease the sense of goutiness I was experiencing. But by the time I touched down on Australian soil, left warm from the daytime sun, the previous festive celebrations felt like a distant memory.

My Christmas Eve was spent in the village "Pub With No Name" It's actually called the White Horse but the sign fell down years ago and I guess the owners felt no compulsion to replace it. Over time its new name became no name at all. There we sang along to a man with one ear who played the spoons and wailed sea shanties. As if that wasn't enough, he also passed around a bottle of dark brown liquid with the words "nettle moonshine" scrawled onto a recoiling label. It actually tasted rather nice, somewhere between Calpol and Sambuca. Thinking about it, that doesn't sound nice at all, so I guess I was drunk.

This all now seems like a dream compared to the waves, and the sand, and the unforgiving heat I am currently confronted by. Having just returned from a particularly ferocious game of bat and ball, it appears my sunburn comes in the form of a fetching red collar. I don't care, though, I'm so happy to have cheated winter. This morning as I was clearing away the bottles and bottles of beer and whisky in an effort to wake people up, two brightly coloured parrots perched themselves on the balcony overlooking the sea.

Rather than taking a moment to admire their beauty I quickly slid the glass doors shut in case they got caught in the apartment. This happened frequently when I was a child: birds always ended up flying into our house, but had trouble finding their way out. Disturbingly, they sometimes flew beak-first into our windows. I never want to see that happen again; a parrot bloodbath would really spoil my cheerful mood.

The plane journey here was surprisingly painless, I still got that sinking feeling when we stopped off at Singapore airport and I realised I had only endured the front end of a double-flight onslaught. The last time I flew to Australia I vowed I would never repeat the journey – with my knees up by my neck and nothing on offer but scores of dull rom-coms I'd already watched, the flight seemed endless. This time round though, I napped like a Grandma and indulged in a film called Man On Wire, about a Frenchman who walked a wire between the Twin Towers in the Seventies. I wept until I dislodged a contact lens and then consoled myself by eating aeroplane biscuits. It was altogether almost an enjoyable affair.

This bodes well, and sets me up for an almost enjoyable New Year's Eve, because my past experiences of those, too, have often been testing. I think it started when I tricked my way into a Bournemouth nightclub for the turn of the millennium. I was underage and in hindsight it was a poor choice, in fact at the time I think I knew it was a poor choice. I'd have been better staying in with friends supping on hooch rather than standing half-dressed and bewildered in the middle of a trance party when the clock struck 12.

Other New Year's celebrations in recent years have included a trip to New York where I and my best friend, four months pregnant at the time, spent the duration of a party urging smokers to ditch their fags for the baby's sake and defending her bump from the crushing crowds. Again, we should have just stayed in. Last year I left a house party I and my flatmates were throwing in order to catch a band playing round the corner. When I returned all the people in my flat were strangers and all the drink had run dry.

This year, though, I'll be watching the fireworks over Sydney harbour when 2009 is counted in, something I've previously only ever witnessed on TV. It always looked like so much fun, and hopefully it will be ... anything's better than trance and Bournemouth.

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: SQL DBA (SSIS, ETL) - London, £60k

£60000 per annum: Ashdown Group: SQL DBA (SSIS, ETL) - Central London, £60,000...

Recruitment Genius: Compliance Assistant

£13000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This Pension Specialist was established ...

Recruitment Genius: Service Agent / QA Engineer

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity to join an est...

Recruitment Genius: C# / XAML Developer

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity for a talented...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

Benedict Cumberbatch race row: Calling black people 'coloured' removes part of their humanity

Yemisi Adegoke
 

Dippy the Diplodocus: The great exotic beast was the stuff of a childhood fantasy story

Charlie Cooper
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee
World War Z author Max Brooks honours WW1's Harlem Hellfighters in new graphic novel

Max Brooks honours Harlem Hellfighters

The author talks about race, legacy and his Will Smith film option to Tim Walker
Why the league system no longer measures up

League system no longer measures up

Jon Coles, former head of standards at the Department of Education, used to be in charge of school performance rankings. He explains how he would reform the system
Valentine's Day cards: 5 best online card shops

Don't leave it to the petrol station: The best online card shops for Valentine's Day

Can't find a card you like on the high street? Try one of these sites for individual, personalised options, whatever your taste
Diego Costa: Devil in blue who upsets defences is a reminder of what Liverpool have lost

Devil in blue Costa is a reminder of what Liverpool have lost

The Reds are desperately missing Luis Suarez, says Ian Herbert
Ashley Giles: 'I'll watch England – but not as a fan'

Ashley Giles: 'I'll watch England – but not as a fan'

Former one-day coach says he will ‘observe’ their World Cup games – but ‘won’t be jumping up and down’
Greece elections: In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza

Greece elections

In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza, says Patrick Cockburn
Holocaust Memorial Day: Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears

Holocaust Memorial Day

Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears over Europe
Fortitude and the Arctic attraction: Our fascination with the last great wilderness

Magnetic north

The Arctic has always exerted a pull, from Greek myth to new thriller Fortitude. Gerard Gilbert considers what's behind our fascination with the last great wilderness