Monday, January 3, 2011

it burns.

So I went to the beach yesterday with some girls who knew me when I still had crooked teeth we've been friends that long. Armed with olive bread, beetroot tzatziki, cherries and apple juice we found a space of sand just for us. We ate in the glorious sunshine, lolling on towels, talking politics and immigration and the influence of religions on societal ethics. Then we talked about boys and relationships. Then we went for a swim.

You know what was a stupid decision, though? When she said, sunscreen at the ready, "do you want me to do your lower back?" and me, lazily flickering back to past summers where only my shoulders got scorched, replying "nah, don't worry about it." That moment returned with startling clarity six hours later as I stared at my radioactive sunburn in dismay. Me, who wears sunscreen on my face every single day, even in winter. Half of me is looking forward to a dark tan and half of me is dreading melanoma. 

So maybe it's a relief that today I am embracing my usual sensible self and am hiding away indoors. I cleared my diary every day this week so that I can write the majority of my third chapter. Armed with a year's worth of reading and thinking, I am finally here (bathed in aloe vera gel and wrapped in long layers of cotton), flexing my fingers over my external keyboard. Today's task: re-reading my notes and writing at least 1500 usable words. Things to avoid: being distracted by Tommy Ton's 2010 fashion roundup and catching up with Cailin. Things to embrace: the possibilities of an unwritten year and the half-formed ideas that will crystallise as I bang away on the keyboard. (I am a typing class's worst case scenario: a two finger typist who smashes at the keys.)

And just to keep myself accountable, I'm going to post my favourite sentence on here at the end of each day so we all know that I have actually been doing work, not scouring 30 Rock Season Four for the James Franco episode (is this an urban legend? I canna find it!)
And if you are braving the summer sun on this delayed public holiday then please remember the message from our good friends at the Cancer Council: sunburn is skin cells in trauma.

image from here


  1. Isn't it tanning skin that is skin cells in trauma? I thought that was the sad truth that backed up the fact that 'There's nothing healthy about a tan'.
    Sorry it burns, but I've heard Vera is good for that.

    I might be a writer again soon.


  2. You're probably right! My burn is two days away from being a tan so I guess it's more or less the same thing? I can practically feel the trauma in my skin, it is not happy (jan).

  3. oh dear I can totally relate! I vowed to never get burnt again but did this past Wednesday - it hurts so bad.
    The James Franco ep does exist, it's episode 9 titled 'Klaus and Greta'

  4. I commiserate right back at you, M! (I totally bloggerstalked you and found that you are doing your PhD on blogs too! Where are you studying? And you're submitting in March? Good luck with the last stretch!)

  5. Aaagh, it's starting to peel! :)
    I am studying in Adelaide at University of South Australia. The final stretch should see me indoors, the upside, no more sunburn.

  6. mine is ITCHING!!!! ARGHHHHHHHH. Sun, you are my sworn enemy.

    ps. that is indeed an upside! Can I read it when you're done?