I’ve just realised that I’ve managed to get my back and shoulders spectacularly sunburnt.
Please dismiss any images of lounging around soaking up the rays on a beach that that sentence might conjure up, for they would be wildly inaccurate. I’ve been working very hard today. On a Sunday, for shame. Tsk.
Of course, ‘work’ no longer means ‘sitting at a desk in a darkened room with no window for eight hours a day’. Thanks to the marvels of freelance writing, I can work where and when I choose to, which, it goes without saying, drastically transforms my attitude to it. I love my job!
Brief pause as I reflect upon exactly how many years I’ve spent longing to say that with a straight face.
And so it is that I got out of bed when I felt like it, made a nice big pot of coffee, and settled myself at the floor-to-ceiling windows of the appartment to tackle my work in the warmth of the sunlight. Feeling slightly like I was on show in a greenhouse, I threw the window wide open and enjoyed the cool breeze as I typed. As a result, a casual glance in the mirror when I stopped for lunch revealed, to my dismay, some upsettingly red portions of skin. That’s going to hurt.
I am no stranger to sunburn, being a girl of Very Little Brain who consistently fails to learn from some of life’s more painful lessons. Forever etched upon my mind is the fateful family holiday in Tenerife, where I spent at least one day (probably more – it’s all a bit blurry) in bed because of a severe case of sunstroke. It improved my Spanish slightly, as I could only move enough to switch on the TV, so I spent my time groaning feverishly and watching dubbed episodes of The X Files and Friends.
Fastforward to a few summers later, when I took a break from my A Level revision to have lunch in the back garden. Naturally, I fell asleep on the sun lounger, and with no one there to wake me up I found myself sitting some of my exams in a considerable amount of sunburnt pain. Putting on school socks over red-raw skin is not a pleasant task.
Yet still I did not learn. A camping trip to Tollymore Forest Park with a group of friends a few years ago saw me lying blissfully in the sun, uttering phrases like “Ahhh… this is the life!” before predictably falling asleep. That was dire – so badly burnt was I that I needed assistance to get up from my inflatable mattress the next morning. Poor Lollibelle had to half-carry me to the showers, where she threw me in and waited anxiously outside as I stood, swaying dangerously and propped up against the wall, underneath a lifesaving stream of cold water.
Still. Getting sunburnt whilst sitting at my ‘desk’ is such a novelty that I don’t think I can bring myself to complain.
This is the life!