HERE is a serious question about hot weather. How do you get the backs of your legs brown?
I have taken a couple of hours off each day during the outbreak of summer – enjoy it while you can, it could be winter next week – and sat in the back garden in nothing but my shorts to read a book in the sun.
My body at first turned pink and then shaded into brown. I have to confess that I do tan easily.
Unfortunately, this process only occurred to the front of my body so that I became two tone.
I hadn’t noticed until I went down to the pub in my shorts which is, of course, a funny place to keep a pub. Fellow drinkers pointed out my strange condition. From the front I was the South of France, from behind Norway on a cold day.
“What have you come as?” said one wag. “A negative?”
To rectify this imbalance I have tried laying on my front on a sun lounger but the position is uncomfortable, I find it impossible to read a book and I get bored easily.
It’s not that I am a dedicated sun worshipper, although research has said it can, as you get older, ward off dementia and help your brain power which sounds useful.
Apparently this is due to the increased levels of vitamin D you get from the sun. An alternative way of acquiring this boost is by eating oily fish. So, have a tuna salad during a heatwave and you’re laughing.
Of course, you have to balance these benefits with the possibility of skin cancer if you overdo it. But, I should be all right with a couple of hours here or there as long as it isn’t in the heat of the noonday sun which used to be the preserve of mad dogs and Englishmen.
These days, most Englishmen have the common sense to stay in the shade during this peak period. Dogs certainly should. They are not good with heat which is why they should never be left in cars, even with the window open.
Warnings aside, I am among that percentage of the population that enjoys a heatwave. It is also extremely entertaining, especially when walking around town. The sights you see when you haven’t got your gun!
In fact, I am probably one of those sights, with my brown front and white behind.
“Why has that man got a white behind, daddy? Are you going to shoot him?”
Which is why I would like advice on how to become totally tanned rather than wander through summer (what’s left of it) like a liquorice allsort.