09 July 2012

Mixed emotions upon holiday return

The sun sets, in at least two ways

Just got back from weeks in Italy. Most of which was spent sunbathing in Sperlonga. And by 'sunbathing' I mean 'hiding in the shade, wearing SPF 50 and sweating'.

Sure, I would occasionally scoot out from my hiding spot to take a dip in the sea, but for the most part it was way too hot for me to be able to enjoy the weather - even Italians complained about the heat, and that is a rare thing indeed. But for me, my Welsh skin, Canadian roots and habituation to London weather ensured that even after two weeks, I was still the whitest person on the beach (although I did have the most freckles - so at least that's something).


That's not to say there weren't things to enjoy, because there were. Things such as: Italy's incredible EURO 2012 run (every game except for the final were really enjoyable, especially the Italy-Germany semi-final); I ate a lot of tomatoes, and fruit and ice cream and seafood; I watched Letterman most nights (in English with Italian subtitles); and I read a book. In short it had all the hallmarks of a wonderful and restful vacation.

But for me, a sunny day at the beach is a countdown to a sunburn disaster or serious boredom. And now I know, after two weeks of lying prone in the shade, that two weeks lying in the shade at the beach during a heat wave can be considered too much of a good thing. 


I'm not looking for sympathy, but to give you an idea of the scale of this issue I'll tell you this: I even started looking forward to coming home.

However, now that I'm here in the United Kingdom, and it's pouring rain - apparently it didn't stop sheeting down the whole time we were gone - I'm not quite sure whether I am happy or not. Sure, I'm enjoying the change of weather, and the familiarity of home, but I'm not sure how long, realistically, that will continue. Plus, lying on the beach - heatwave or no heatwave - compares pretty favourably with sitting in an office.

They say the grass is always greener on the other side, but when that other side is a sun-soaked beach green isn't quite the right colour: it's more of a blue.


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