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A question about sunbathing

Tom Winnifrith
Saturday 21 July 2012

I have never really got into sunbathing and still do not get it. As someone with fair skin the annual two weeks in the sun sees me either retain my natural whiter shade of anaemic white or turn lobster red. There is no real in between stage. Some folks manage to pick up a sensible tan quite easily – I just do not get it. But I am trying and am slowly turning from my normal white to a darker shade of white. In the end my one hour a day will get me there. But something confuses me about those who just lie on the beach all day.

Why they are not burned to a crisp confuses me. I cannot think that it is good for them. But what really baffles me is why they do not get bored. Lying in the sun doing nothing for eight hours would not only turn me into a crisp but just drive me insane. There are articles to write, folks to chat to, things to see and do. Yet I see grown men and women just lie there.

My suspicion is that there is an inverse correlation between how long you can lie in the sun doing nothing and the size of your basic intellect. Naturally this is self serving in that as a short spell tanner this, by definition, makes me a bit of a brainbox.

I am prepared to admit the possibility that the dozens of heavily tanned young ladies lounging on the beach are in fact nuclear physicists taking a quick break in the sun and who, while they improve their tan, are considering what to do with the Higgs Boson particle when they find it. But I doubt it. Intuitively, I just have to believe that if you are able to spend 8 hours lying around doing nothing other than increasing your odds of getting skin cancer, you cannot have a lot between your ears. I am prepared to accept that there is another view and so if any sun worshipping genius is reading this and cares to explain where I have missed a trick, I am all ears.

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About Tom Winnifrith
Tom Winnifrith is the editor of When he is not harvesting olives in Greece, he is (planning to) raise goats in Wales.
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