The weather in Torquay was pleasant but not especially blazing hot. Yet somehow I've come back with a tan. I look like Peter Andre. In the past five years or so I've grown to hate tans. They represent everything bad about this shallow, irresponsible, tacky first decade of the 21st century. I hate people who want tans, who go on holiday just to get tans, who come home and go on about how great their tan is, who lie on sunbeds (I call them cancer pods) so they can go gravy coloured, or failing that, rub smelly orange muck on themselves. I glare (and sometimes snarl) at people on the street if they have a deep tan. Now I'm having to snarl at myself.
The majority of people born in this country have fair complexions - we've evolved to be like that because this little damp and overcrowded island doesn't get much sun. I suspect that's why we invented so much in the 18th and 19th centuries. Heat (not the magazine) is so tiring, and as there was no point in sitting outdoors with a copy of Heat (the magazine), we stayed in and created patents.
My hatred is also probably a social class snobby thing. I'd never noticed it until I read Kate Fox's "Watching the English", but fashion for the lower classes increasingly seems to be about looking as artificial as possible - changing the colour of your skin or hair so that you look fake. This clip from the BBC3 "make-under" show, Snog, Marry, Avoid? makes me laugh.
Those two are from the same part of the world that I grew up in. I'm exactly like that boy.
I agree with the bossy computer voice "What's wrong with natural skin?" I guess I'll just have to go on holiday to the Artic Circle next year.