Category Archives: Sunny Day

Always wear sunscreen

While glorious, always welcome, and generally unexpected, the sun in Scotland isn’t renowned for packing much of a punch.

Having spent much of my recuperation period inside, Thursday was the first time I’d really been exposed to sun this summer.  As a result, I was keen to leave the beach on Thursday with “bit of colour”.  I wasn’t showing too much skin (I wore Shorts, T-Shirt and a baseball cap), but my limbs were left exposed to the elements.  I declined the offer of sunscreen – factor 50 really wasn’t going to do much to enhance my “tan”.

As hoped, I was starting to show signs of colour as we left the beach.  Colour which continued to evolve throughout the evening.  [I guess now’s a sensible time to point out to anyone who doesn’t know me, that I don’t generally tan very well.  At all, in fact.  Whereas the rest of my immediate family go a nice olive colour, I tend to go red and then back to white.  Two years in the Middle East left me slightly “off-white” at best.] 

During the evening my arms and legs started to get warm, then hot.  It is at this time that I made my mistake…  to relieve the increasing heat I reached into creams and potions in the bathroom for some soothing After Sun, and applied liberally.

All was good.  Relieved, I went to bed.

The following morning I awoke to a slightly strange colouration, particularly on my legs.  I assumed my heart medication may have altered the way my body reacts to sunlight.  Perhaps, I could finally produce melanin.  Perhaps I was tanned!  Slightly suspicious, I checked the After Sun (all seemed in order) before re-applying.

Umpa Lumpa

Before and after “Tan Maintaining” After Sun

The colouring continued to develop.  By Friday evening my feet wouldn’t have looked out of place on an Umpa Lumpa.

While the After Sun had been applied liberally, it had not been applied consistently.  The smudges and blotches are perhaps less appealing than the solid sections.

I guess the upside is that it did take the edge off the sunburn… the colour should last for weeks!  Delight!

What I now know, is that I should avoid any products that includes the words “Enhancer” or “Maintainer” in combination with “Tan”.  Apparently “maintenance” on me is the equivalent to a full-on artificial tan for others.  You live and learn!

Two lessons:  (1) Wear sunscreen and (2) Read the small print!

That’s why they call it fishing!

The Caribbean?  South of France?  North Africa?


No!  Balmedie, Aberdeenshire, Scotland.

We have beautiful beaches.  We also have fairly crappy weather.  The occasional cracking day brings people out in their droves.  Today there appeared to be a surprisingly large number of pre-school kids (and supervisors), a cross-section of society I don’t tend to rub shoulders with very often.

Visiting beaches in Scotland isn’t something I’ve done very regularly.  However, on Tuesday I made a move that might change this… buying a fishing rod!  It got it’s first outing that evening, feathering for mackerel in Inverbervie… without success!


Feathering for mackerel in Inverbervie

Today was the rod’s second outing… targeting flatfish.  To be honest, beyond 5 minutes research in the internet, I didn’t really know what I was doing.  Fortunately, every nursery school pupil on the beach appeared to be highly experienced, and very generous with their advice:

Expert #1:  “Throw it out further!”

Expert #2:  “You need to put it in the water!”

Expert #3:  “The fish were nibbling my toes while I was paddling.”
Paul:  “Can I borrow one of your toes to put on my hook please?”
Expert #3: 
(After a nervous pause)  “No.”

Unfortunately, despite this sound advice and offers of assistance, my rod must still look forward to it’s first catch.

Still, it was a good excuse to switch off and stare at the sea for a few hours while the girls turned into kids again, playing chicken with the (near Baltic) North Sea waves, collecting shells, burying each other in the sand, and generally larking around.

Apparently it’s going to be even nicer tomorrow.  Head to Scotland, and bring your buckets and spades! (or fishing rods)


An arty picture of driftwood and rocks