I’ve noticed something for a while now.
Years of cycling and surfing meant I’ve always had a tanned face and hands and arms (Farmer’s Tan). I also have somewhat sallow coloured skin for an Irish person, less obvious now than when I was younger, when I was occasionally asked if I was Spanish. (We Irish love the Spanish, ever since that whole Armada thing).
The winter of 2008/2009 was the first winter I swam through completely without a wetsuit. Since then I retain the open water swimmer’s tan longer into the winter, despite the chlorine bleaching, and due to the combination of sallow skin and mid-winter exposure, I gain it back quicker in the spring.
Heavily tanned shoulders and back, tanned arms and tanned back of the legs. Fish-belly pale front of the torso and thighs. Nose and forehead tanned contrast with white panda-eyes make the face healthy but odd-looking.
All my friends have similar asymmetrical tans. That’s not my point.
My point, indeed my concern, is …
Why, amongst all these people who are also tanned, am I the one looks like a bloody large orange Oompa-Loompa?