Summer Essential: Sun Cream

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Oh boy it was hot today. The temperature wasn’t all that unusual – it was about 22 degrees – but I wasn’t really expecting it to be quite so warm, so I wore a thick t-shirt and jeans. Definitely time to investigate my summer clothing options (which are alarmingly limited – I just noticed my favourite, and only, pair of shorts has developed holes that make them unsuitable for public wearing).

I would have been warm anyway because I spent the day at the children’s hospice and cleaning is warm work! We cleaned bathrooms, vaccuumed floors, washed down the tables and chairs in the dining room (not just the surfaces but the legs and underneath as well), cleaned the paintwork, swept the floor of all the kitchen areas and store rooms, and generally wore ourselves out. Time goes past really quickly there, because everyone chats and jokes and just gets on with things. I’m really enjoying it (and the wonderful lunch I got was exactly what I needed after four hours of cleaning!).

It is actually an even brighter red than this

I finished at half past two and walked home. It’s about an hour from there to our house, mostly flat until I reached the hill we live on, which is a twenty-minute hike on steep and winding roads. I don’t mind walking long distances if I’m actually going somewhere, but I’d foolishly forgotten to put any suncream on and my pale-as-milk covered-all-winter skin is now bright red. Ouch. There wasn’t really any shade anywhere on the road and that might account for how exhausted I was when I got back; I fell asleep on the sofa within ten minutes, and once I’d got into my bed I slept for three hours.

Now I’m slathered in aftersun and well-rested, but I won’t be making that mistake again. Sun cream if I’m venturing out of the doors even for ten minutes. After seeing my brother suffer from second-degree sun burn in a French holiday resort when we were little (he had to be taken to hospital, which was not how I’d choose to spend my holiday) I’m determined not to suffer the same fate. A pox on our Scottish/Irish heritage!

I’ve been preparing for my choral scholarship audition, which is two weeks on Friday. I’ve never sung solo classical music so I had to ask for advice on what I ought to prepare – I think the director of music interpreted my email as saying that I’d never sung classical at all! She seemed relieved when I assured her I have sung in several choirs. I’ve chosen “O Thou That Tellest Good Tidings to Zion” from Handel’s Messiah, which I really liked as soon as I heard it, and which requires some pretty good breathing. Hopefully the leaders of my church choir will be able to help me practise it. My proud Northern vowels aren’t really in keeping with classical music so I’m struggling to remember how to sing them “properly”.


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