The sun has a funny effect on us Brits, who immediately want to strip-off, exposing our lily-white bodies to its rays, and soak it up with a quite comical zeal. I recall being at a hotel in Dubrovnik (Croatia being a country that gets some serious sun!) a few years back during the month of August, where a couple from Newcastle (a place not widely know for sun) arrived mid-week and proceeded to spend every daylight hour of the next five days lying flat-out by the pool sun-bathing. Despite turning as red as the proverbial beetroot they remained 'happy as Larry', and I sincerely hope they didn't see my wife and I (who thought they should've been hospitalised in a severe burns unit) wince every time we dared venture out from the protection of our sun shade.
Being of Welsh origin, I am of course a special case when it comes to the sun. Coming from a land where it tends to rain about 300 days out of the annual allotted span of 365 (301 in leap years!) I don't think my epidermis ever really got acclimatised to sun. In bygone days, although my head appeared to boast chestnut coloured locks my hair actually had quite a lot of red in it - an unfortunate combo, pale white skin, reddish colouring and an upbringing in aforementioned rainy Wales. Brown is not a colour my skin has ever known. After exposure to the sun I tend to look like someone with extremely high blood pressure - this generally lasts about a week before I turn white again. I once worked in North Africa for several months and after arriving home was in danger of seeming invisible if I happened to be found standing in front of a pillar-box!
However, I do love it. I got out of bed this morning, saw the glorious light streaming in through the bedroom window and thought, "Carpe diem!" I dug out a pair of shorts (first time this year!), carefully avoiding the glare from the whiteness of my legs for fear of being temporarily blinded, and happily set to work. As I type this blog my legs are dangling out from the hems of my shorts like a couple of uncooked pork sausages, but I remain unashamed! I am British, it's the summer, and I'll even wear socks with sandals if I want to!