This time last year, we were heading off to the sunshine. Before I lost my job, you understand. We had money then. A couple of holidays a year. Spent a fortune at Duty Free. Ah the bliss of a bulging pay packet; the security in believe All This Would Last Forever.
And then the curtains came crashing down. End of Act Work, Scene Naive. Onto Chapter Life Swap, Scene Reluctant.
We went to Majorca. Not the ropey bits around the edges, but the lovely, untamed, undiscovered bits in the middle. We’d rented a fantastic farmhouse in the middle of nowhere. It had a pool, stunning views and wonderful privacy.
Unfortunately, it also DIDN’T have any shops, and being in the middle of what is essentially a desert, it was blisteringly hot – and we’d forgotten to pack the sun cream. D’oh!
This might not have mattered so much if it was just me and the missus. We’d have been happy lying in bed all day and emerging at night to chuck hunks of rump on the barbecue and sup ourselves stupid on sangria and Rioja. But it wasn’t just me and the missus – it never has been just me and the missus. We had our three little ‘uns in tow (they even came on our honeymoon four months later) and for some bizarre, weird and altogether mystifying reasons, they wanted to behave like children and splash around in the pool and frolic in the sunshine.
Of course, this was A Problem. At first, we thought we’d chance it by covering them with my wife’s face cream and forcing them to wear their T-shirts. But kids being the stubborn little buggers they are, they weren’t wonderfully cooperative and before we knew it, the shirts were off and the face cream had created an oily slick on the surface of the pool. And then before our eyes, our little cherubs started to turn into little lobsters. Langoustines, I think the word might be.
It was actually a scary moment. We’re not stoopid, my wife and I, but we didn’t really appreciate how the Majorcan sun was until we saw the evidence glowing before our eyes. It only took a few minutes for them to turn pinker than Peppa Pig, which makes sense really, because their skin is still much more sensitive than ours; like them, is still finding its place in the world.
And so, for the rest of that day, I motored around the island, looking for a shop that was open (during Siesta time!) to track down some Factor 50 to protect our children from the blazing orb and to save our holiday.
As we smothered them in lotion, we spoke to them about how important it was to protect themselves. And then we did the same to ourselves, because we too were starting to look a bit on the radioactive side.
This year, it’s very doubtful we’ll be going on holiday. My Successful Other Half will be working too hard and, well, money’s tight. But going by the sunshine we’ve had around our neck of the woods this weekend, it won’t matter too much.
Even so, the kids will still need protecting. We saw that for ourselves on Saturday as they stripped to their waists to run around in the park. Fortunately, a nice PR from Nivea sent me some of their new range of lotions and sprays specifically aimed at kids. NIVEA SUN Kids Pure & Sensitive is especially developed for children’s sensitive skin. It’s 100% free from perfume, colourants and preservatives, and is produced only in the very high protection of SPF 50+. It also has the highest quality UVA and UVB protection system to prevent both immediate sunburn and long-term sun damage, plus a very water resistant formula,so the kids will be able to get in and out of the sea as often as they like without having to keep re-applying.
Fingers crossed it’s going to be a long, hot summer. And if it is, we’ll have some peace of mind from the fact that even if the kids run around naked and torment passersby, they’ll be well covered up from the harm the sun’s rays can do.
• NIVEA SUN Kids Pure & Sensitive Sun Lotion and Sun Spray SPF 50 RRP £16.84 is available from March 2011 only at Boots
• For more information on all Nivea’s products, go to their website www.nivea.co.uk/products/Sun-Care
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