Growing up in west central Scotland means that the sun is sort of like those images of the virgin Mary. You hear stories of it appearing, but you've never seen it yourself. When I came over here to a place that has hot summers and clear skies, my pale-blue Scottish skin was totally unprepared for the onslaught of UV unfiltered by rainclouds and, sometimes, frost. Put it this way, if you see someone sunburnt in Scotland, the first question one would ask would be "where did you go on your holiday?"
So I have consistantly turned from pale blue to bright red when the sun comes out at least twice each summer I have lived here - I think it's because there is no sunblocking instinct. Whereas most people here see the sun, feel the heat or turn the calendar past April and instinctively run to WalMart to get some SPF 4 Banana Boat. I see the sun and, even after 6 years of living here, I stand outside and stare at this weird ball of fire in the sky wondering what it is, why the sky isn't its usual shade of grey or where the rain is.
Thus, I get burned. A lot. I'm getting better, I apply the sunscreen when I'm going to be outside for a while now... the problem is, I don't remember to re-apply. This weekend was yet another example of why I should just stay in and enjoy the air conditioning rather than go outside and be fascinated by the fact that I don't need a coat.
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