Factors of Life

Let me begin by making one thing clear; while I understand it is a deeply unpopular viewpoint, I still really hate the summer.

For a start, I hate the heat. As I believe I have mentioned on one or two occasions, I am not a skinny waiflike girl who is unable to walk over a cattle-grid or stand up in a stiff breeze. Don’t be fooled by the low resolution image of me you can see on the side of your screen, that picture was taken from above with me attempting to look as thin as possible. I am a UK size 16-18, most of which is made up of my bottom. This baby got much back.
When you are, ahem, curvy, the natural instinct is to cover up. Covering up makes you hot which makes you sweat which makes you feel unpleasant and look even worse. I know that I am being foolish and that, in all honesty, nobody actually cares and that it is far better to feel comfortable than worry about being laughed at by 13 year olds. I know the importance of holding on to that thought. It’s just that whenever I get a grip on the idea, I usually see somebody dressed in clothing two sizes too small for them with a massive muffin top and bulbous quadrabreasts and I fear that I look like that and nobody has mentioned it because they are all too lovely.
I was in Wexford town the other day and I saw a nice looking girl in a white linen skirt which, when exposed to full sunlight, revealed a particularly intimate tattoo on her rear along with a certain amount of… crackage, shall we say. I’m sure she had no clue about it and, although I felt bad for her, I didn’t want to be the random stranger who walked up to her and asked her how long she’d had to eat standing up and mentioning that Marks and Spencer are good for underskirts. I hope one of her work colleagues pulled her aside at the end of the day and had a discrete word. Seriously girls, white linen of any description needs a bottom covering top or proper big knickers.

I also hate getting a suntan. Due to being pale, having light coloured eyes and more than one hundred moles on my body, I have to be very responsible about not getting skin cancer. This means having a suntan lotion with a high SPF, a very fetching sun hat which even a Provencale farmer would be embarrassed to put on his donkey, and generally staying out of the daylight until after 4pm from March through to October. Should I venture into daylight, I must ensure I am well covered up which makes you hot, which makes you sweat and so on and so forth and I really mean it, girls, about the knickers.

Every year I have a debate about which SPF I am going to choose. Mammy always tries to convince me that I should get a 20 so that I can go a bit brown “like a little sausage”. I then tell her that I don’t want to be a sausage and she goes all misty eyed with nostalgia saying “that’s just what you used to say when you were little. You used to cry because you didn’t want to be a little sausage”. Usually I opt for a 30 which, with the help of clothing, sun hat and the indoors, keeps the sun burn to a three day pinkness level (it takes three days to go from pink to slightly brown).

This year, due to the last two summers of total rain and abject misery on the faces of everybody who wasn’t me, I am even paler than usual. My face power, which is the palest one available from the nice lady on the Clinique makeup counter, is verging on too dark. That’s how pale I am. As a result, I am now wondering if I would be more sensible to opt for the mighty 50+ SPF.
This is not something I wish to get wrong. A bottle of Ambre Solaire costs €17.99 in Tesco. I could buy a cheaper, inferior brand but any money I saved would be drained from my pockets by the future chemotherapy such a move would necessitate. It is important to get this right.

While I have been procrastinating, the warm weather has rather snuck up on me. It has been clear skies and sunny days a-go-go around here this week, so yesterday afternoon I donned my sundress and spent some quality time with my decking.
Knowing from previous experience how capable I am of getting hideously disfiguring sunburn even in April, I lathered on an inch thick layer of Mammy’s bottle of factor 15. Knowing from previous experience that my legs are impervious to getting either tanned or burned and that it will take until August for them to show any sign of it, I did not bother lathering an inch thick layer of Mammy’s bottle of factor 15 upon them.

As it turns out, I may have been wrong on that matter.

As it also turns out, while socks with cows on may protect feet from chilblains and decking splinters (as well as looking really natty with a turquoise blue cheesecloth dress), they are not the most conducive accessory to even tanning.


sarah said...

:) we are kindred spirits!!! much to the distaste of people around me, i`m not a summer person either!(not liking summer seems to be like kicking a baby bunny ... people wonder what`s wrong with you) and when it gets hot in japan and i look put out, people always say, `You`re from AFRICA` which i guess is supposed to indicate a love for sweltering desert type drought places... i don`t. i like the desert but only because i love camels.

Theo said...

At least in the desert it is a dry heat. Why can't you buy clothes with built in dehumidifiers, eh?

durdlin said...

Theo, I am your interwebs stalker from Queensland and I cannot lurk in the background drinking tea any longer.

Summer. Is. Vile.

Theo said...


I concede your humidity in Queensland is worse than mine but at least you have winter now.

Good to have you around!