The tan tends to go through a couple of stages. At first, I thought I’d escaped it. Take that, sun! I’ve beat you and your skin frizzling ways. This rejoicing ended later that evening when I noticed that the sun had, in fact, totally won. The initial sunburn stage is a sort of painful red glow that I have to wait to slowly pass whilst sitting perfectly stationary and resembling a giant Haribo Strawb. Any movement results in a raw bristle of pain. Nope, I’ve got to be motionless to survive this first bit.
Once this has passed I become a sort of pink colour, all half healed and irritable. I look like a cross between those hairless mice you see on nature documentaries and a big Flump. These two stages stick around just long enough for the holiday to end, forcing me to stroll around beaches and pools looking like a fire extinguisher with a face. I don’t usually tan until I’m back home where no one can see it and boy, does my skin commit to tanning. As I’m typing this I’m roughly the colour of an old mysterious treasure map.
But that’s enough about my weird tan. I also briefly went to London to do some work on the Southbank in Waterloo. As soon as I got there it reminded me of an incident that happened the last time I was in Waterloo. It was back in 2010. I was working in London for a bit and had arranged to meet a friend for the afternoon. We didn’t know each other very well and while it wasn’t obviously awkward, the potential for dead silence lingered.
At first, everything was going well. We got a burrito near Angel and wandered onto the Southbank to make the most of the sun. We strolled along the Thames passing musicians, food stalls and the London eye. We were chatting. Things were going okay. So far so good, I thought. It was at that point where I walked directly into a small child, my knee sending him flying onto the pavement like a little chocolate-loving football. The poor kid hit the floor so hard he did a little bounce.
I stood there shocked and wide-eyed looking at the boy on the floor, not knowing what to say or do. The kid looked back at me, locked in that weird pregnant silence that comes seconds before a child realises they’ve been hurt and remembers to scream. My friend looked embarrassed. The scream came not long before the little boy’s parents. He was fine, the parents we’re fine. I haven’t seen that friend since.
Have you ever accidentally floored a small child? Let me know in the comments below!