Hello Sunshine

10 May

**WARNING!**
This blog contains images of my legs not designed for those of a sensitive nature.

Ah spring. Skirts get shorter, tops become skimpier, no one judges you for drinking in a park. It’s a magical time. Where everywhere you look are sun-kissed freckled cheeks and luscious, honeyed limbs.
Unless you’re round at my gaff.

I have always preferred to stay pale and inter… pale during the summer months, and as a natural goth I’m usually very careful in the sun, even though I don’t seem to tan or burn. However many afternoons I’ve spent in the sun, foregoing the laughter of my peers and leaving the factor 50 tucked safely in the bottom of my handbag (where it inevitably explodes, never to be fully wiped off anything) I never seem to change colour, not one shade. I’m the one who bitches at friends who sunbathe. I have a collection of large hats, high-SPF sun-creams and can spot the best bit of shade a mile off. If you discount the fags and the vodka I’m rather proud of the fact that at 60, while I’m surrounded by leathery sun worshippers, I’ll have the supple, creamy skin of an albino teenager.

Then last year in Spain, for the first time ever, I went red. Sitting on my stepmother’s balcony in October I decided to make the most of the sunshine before heading back to Blighty. I’d forgotten my sunscreen in a tornado of minimalist packing but I’d never burnt before, why should the scalding Mediterranean sun be any different? Unfortunately I only went red down one side. A perfect line down the middle of my face divided my creamy Irish complexion from the scalded, guiri red of my newly acquired sunburn. Thankfully it faded after a day and a half, but not before some Alicante teenagers had openly laughed at me. It didn’t hurt and it didn’t last and at worst was pretty comical. But never again, said I! From then on I would always take precautions rather than face the ridicule of spotty, adolescent Europeans.

But that was last year and by Easter the shame had faded and I’d forgotten all about my mishap. While the Sunday was an absolute scorcher (I sensibly stayed inside, which may or may not have had something to do with a hangover) Easter Monday seemed a lot cooler, probably due to the almost gale force winds. I was up nice and early and at 10 decided to hit the garden and get some vitamin D. What follows are the actions of a complete and utter tool.

In shorts and a vest I lay out on a garden chair and became engrossed in Robert Harris’s Conspirata. I sent texts to three friends along the lines of ‘I’m sitting in the sun in no sun cream! Oooh get me!’ I was clearly setting myself up for a fall.

By half 12 I was feeling a bit hot, but wasn’t at all red, just very freckled. My sensible side kicking in, I smothered myself in Soltan, shoved on a hat and a big cotton man’s shirt and went back outside.

(Yeah, I took a photo of myself. We’re all embarrassed, don’t worry.)

Three hours later I realised I’d probably had enough sun. When I got into the kitchen I noticed that I was a bit pink so on went the aloe vera. By this point I was slightly groggy and passed out on the sofa for two hours only to be rudely awoken by my friend Asha calling, asking to come over.

Oh good God, the agony. I didn’t realise people could go the colour I was. By the time Asha turned up I was covered in soaking tea towels, shivering despite the raging fire burning all over the front of my body.

I had a big, red stripe, starting at my forehead and ending at my ankles. I’ve never known anything to burn so much. I had ice baths, covered myself in aloe vera gel and dosed up on paracetamol. But obviously not before taking pictures to show everyone what an arse I am. The below don’t even give you half an idea of what a ridiculous cerise I was.

(Please note the fantastically patterned knees)

The next day at work was painful in two ways. My jeans rubbed the burns on my legs dreadfully, and I’ve never seen the boys too speechless to even laugh. One of the girls told me that it would fade to a lovely golden colour, which was no help as if that happened it was going to look just as bloody ridiculous. It didn’t help that by Thursday I had run out of high-necked tops and had to display my idiocy to the world.

By the Friday, and Jess’s Royal wedding champagne barbecue, it hadn’t even started to fade. Thankfully by the time everyone turned up I was hammered so if anyone commented I didn’t notice.

Two weeks later the colour has eased somewhat but Christ do my legs itch. Unlike Spain, this time I have really learnt my lesson. From now on I am always going to stay covered up, even if it means rickets.

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One Response to “Hello Sunshine”

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  1. Rosemary pesto bread | sarahduggers - July 1, 2015

    […] everything dries within half an hour. It’s amazing. Apart from the fact I got so badly sunburnt on Tuesday. Like, dude. Come […]

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