I'm just on the return leg of a trip to London (important frozen pea business to attend - don't knock the frozen food business it paid for this little excursion) kicking back in the Eurostar lounge.
I arrived last night to be introduced to my sister's boyfriend over a drink and a curry(the boy is not 'new new' but I haven't been allowed to meet him before. I'm not sure if that reflects worse on him or me). Before I arrived I sent a couple of little texts to explain that I would be arriving looking a little worse for wear. And that was before the train from Reims to Paris sped through the middle of a storm and I discovered there was a hole in the train roof right above my seat.
I had spent the morning at the dermatologist with a list of things to be done. This was my first trip to a French dermatologist and only second after the top Manhattan specialist a few years ago who tried to decipher what element was causing my face to be red, swollen and itchy to the extent that I couldn't open my eyes any more. My skin has a habit of behaving like a spoilt child, and this time I had a large cluster of white spots which had appeared all over my cheeks and eyelids over the last couple of years.
As I lay down on the treatment bed the charming French lady smiled and held aloft a couple of sterile metal implements and asked me to close my eyes. Ten minutes later she had squeezed all white impurities out of my face. The cheeks were fine, it was when she applied what felt like full body weight on my closed eye as she struggled to push out the nasties, and I felt my contact lens and eyeball sinking under the pressure that I began to panic.
One squeezed face, one frozen wart and examination of itchy legs later and I had a bill for Â45. Total. Take that expensive Mr Manhattan. That's full priced service French style. If I'd done it real French style with a special government card it would have cost even less.
So this is why I warned my sister I was turning up in London displaying a makeup-less, red, bumpy monging face. And I'm sure she was so proud to finally introduce her elder sister to the boy.