I’m currently on a type of holiday that is very rare for me – a relaxing beach holiday on the East Coast of Italy, where sun and sea are the main activities. Usually Matt and I schlep around cities, no matter how uncomfortably hot or cold the weather.
And my inexperience shows. That pale skin that covers my muscle and bone means I’m the weirdo huddling under a long black t-shirt and floppy straw hat while everyone around me angles for the best tanning position in their brightly coloured swimsuits.
Saving my skin from the sun becomes a mission every summer – a win is escaping with only a minor burn. So, despite the heat, I venture out in a hat and sunglasses, and I wear t-shirts when singlets would be much more comfortable.
I also emit my own menthol haze, from the tiger balm spread over the red blotchy mosquito bites that dot my legs. Sometimes I feel like a Very Awkward Person.
But oh, the beach is beautiful. The water is so warm and clear, and that same burning sun so warming when you climb back out of the sea. Summer isn’t over yet.