We're only into March but I’m sure you will all be chuffed to learn I’ve booked myself a couple of well-deserved holidays.

You know what that means?

Aside from making a few appointments to get my back and chin waxed, I’ve had to go through all the rigmarole of having my passport renewed.

I managed to find my old one. My oh my! What a little fox I was. Please notice the use of the past tense. A petite, brunette beauty. The picture was obviously taken before I’d discovered the joys of cigarettes and decided, in moments of madness, to pop out two kids.

I looked at myself in the mirror. It was as though comic actor Melissa McCarthy was sporting a lifelike mask of EastEnders ’ Shirley and was staring back at me.

The sad thing was that this image was going to be stuck on an official document for every airport official to see.

“Well you need to get your picture taken, otherwise it’s going to be Silloth for the fourth year in a row,” the other half sighed.

“Well, we could go back to Blackers?” I suggested.

“No chance.” He shook his head. “If you think I’m bailing you out again for getting drunk and jumping on the stage at Funny Girls you can think again.”

“It’s not my fault I look like a hot drag queen,” I replied.

“You’ve been watching too many episodes of Drag Race ,” he said. “You need more realistic aspirations.”

It was soon apparent that I wasn’t getting out of this photo. What was worse was that the only opportunity I had to get ripped off in a booth for some miniature, miserable-looking photos was immediately after work. This meant that I was going to be rocking my not-so-snazzy work uniform on my passport photo.

As anticipated the shift prior to D-photo was horrific. My pristine eyeliner had smudged, my perfectly-applied lippy had disappeared apart from a thick line of lip liner and my barrel curls had straightened out and all that was left was a barrel-shaped head.

To add insult to ugly injury I had to remove all my piercings, leaving my face looking like someone had mistaken it for a dot-to-dot puzzle.

I wasn’t expecting a huge flash from the camera in the booth and I heard some old guy laugh outside as I yelped.

I waited around outside the booth once the torture was over. You know what they’re like – they just want to wind you up by making you wait an extra 20 unnecessary minutes just to see how awful your appearance really is.

“Oh no!” was my expected exclamation.

I’d squinted when the flash went off. I’d also simultaneously pulled back my face, just to make sure I’d managed to get all of my several double chins into the shot.

“That is… pretty bad, ” the chap sighed. “Take some solace in the fact you’re not that bad in real life.”

“That is of great comfort to me,” I said.

There wasn’t chance to redo the offending pics so I soon ended up with what looked like the ID of a simple criminal.

“You look familiar…” the official at Charles de Gaulle mused. “I know! Shirley!”

He then, bizarrely, began humming the Emmerdale theme tune.

I smiled and started walking towards the baggage claim.

“Wait!” he shouted. “From the back you look like…”

“Melissa McCarthy?”

“I was going to say Jonah Hill!”