Like a hangover, sunburn is proof that too much of a good thing can be a very bad thing indeed.
Hot and ever-so-painful, the dreaded red menace that is sunburn can ruin lives as well as beach holidays. And it’s much worse in Australia and New Zealand – thanks to a hole in the ozone layer the size of North America.
That’s right, kids; the sun’s rays are stronger in this part of the world, able to turn even the palest Englishmen and Irishmen a fiery red in just a matter of minutes.
Even on a relatively cloudy day, the sun Down Under is not to be trifled with. Just ask the Cancer Society, which counts Australia and New Zealand among the countries with the highest rates of skin cancer in the world.
Kiwis and Aussies are nearly four-times more likely to get skin cancer than people in the United States of America, the United Kingdom and Canada.
Only so much of that can be attributed to our sunny disposition.
For me, the harshness of the sun here is even more noticeable after more than four years living in London, a city that doesn’t tend to rack up a heck of a lot of sunshine hours.
Over there, I could get away with not wearing much sunscreen; here, a day without wearing any sun protection is tantamount to drinking like there’s no tomorrow. Suffice it to say, you’ll be in a world of hurt later on.
And it’s a vicious cycle, too, because usually the only way to feel any relief is to go back into the water or to take your t-shirt off, risking further burn.
Honestly, I consider it the worst thing about the New Zealand summer – well, that and the hopelessness of the New Zealand cricket team (I’m not looking forward to the upcoming test matches against the English).
Enjoy the sunshine in New Zealand and Australia responsibly.
But don’t just take it from me: