Planes, Trains and Automobiles

Sometimes the need for glamour at one’s destination exceeds the needs for dignity on the journey there. It’s the Machiavellian principle applied to glamour: the trends justify the means.

I have, on occasion, been known to put my make up on while on the tube (not known exactly, as I wouldn’t do this in the company of anyone I know). Although I have gotten my daily make-up routine down to 4 ½ minutes, sometimes I just cannot get out of bed that one-half of a snooze alarm earlier.

It was much easier – or less of a public spectacle at least – when I used to drive to work. The main reason I refuse to learn how to drive stick is because one hand must be on the wheel, while the other must be free for mobile phone calls, eating breakfast, changing the radio station and, most importantly, make-up application. I once woke up so dreadfully late that I drove to work with a few rollers in the back of my hair. A head scarf only partly concealed this ridiculous vision. Large, dark sunglasses were required to complete the look and avoid recognition at stoplights or in traffic. Do not try this at home.

The other day I had to rush from my temp job to an audition and back again, all over my lunch hour. The only way to do it within a reasonable amount of time was to hop in a taxi and change clothes en route. I needed to go from business casual to Swiss Miss between London Bridge and Baker Street. I expertly did my hair in braids before wriggling a skirt on over my trousers. The trickier bit was doing the shirt change while trying to retain some level of modesty. I’ve done this before: it involves careful timing, skillful gesticulations and some ducking out of view.

Unfortunately, during this delicate process, the taxi driver jerked to a stop to avoid hitting a cyclist. My nimble maneuvering was thrown out of whack and I popped up from the back seat arm in neck hole and head trapped mid shirt – not my most graceful moment. I scrambled around to get the shirt right-side-up and my arms in their respective armholes. I quickly composed myself and looked around, as guilty parties often do, to see if I had been caught.

I had.

In the car next to me Marcus, the director from Cannes, was looking right at me and chuckling. By the next stoplight, I had a text message “Nice one, Lucy.” At least he didn’t have a camera phone.