Each time I take a sunshine holiday, I learn something new about my pasty-white self.
This time around, it was about the length of my arms. Or is it more about the length of my legs? Either way, I learned that sunscreen really works, especially on day one of the sunshine holiday. If you happen to miss two long swaths of backside, you will have an uncomfortable day two if you want to sit or lounge.
Previously, I learned through hard experience the perils of too many cocktails at lunch and how the sun changes position through the day.
I also learned on a previous trip that a thin coating of SPF 30 is no substitute for SPF 8. Instead of allowing more sun through to provide a little colour at the end of the trip, you will end up with quite unattractive giraffe-type markings.
My habits now include a three-song limit on my iPod per side, and lying in the sun only twice a day with as much SPF 15 as I can slather on as much of me I can reach (or remember).
I'm constantly amazed by the relationship other people have with the sun.
A woman on the same flight to Mexico as my girlyfriends and me last week spent all day -literally- basking in the sun. While my buddies and I arranged the wee canopies for shade on the beach, she was moving her lounger into direct sun, and stayed there for the next nine solid hours, getting up only to turn the lounger to a more direct-beam position as the sun moved across the sky.
We four strolled to lunch, frolicked in the surf, made new friends, were served multiple (!) drinks and gossiped about our friends and fellow holiday-makers as she lay there all day for at least the three days we spent on the beach rather than having adventures in the pool or boardwalk.
However, on the plane home, this woman had no more of a tan than I did, and perhaps less, depending on the body part. I'm betting she has her sunscreen habits down cold. I also suspect she's not peeling...