I am pale. I am so pale that people always used to want to stand next to me in school photographs (being pale in England is the opposite of being pale here, it’s considered to be just about the worst thing in the world) as I would accentuate even the most non-existant of tans.
Sadly though, I manage to lose any pale-points I could score by living over here because my paleness is overlayed with – yup, take a deep breath – freckles.
In England they are considered a sign of beauty (*smug smile*) but rather distressingly, here, the place I call home, they are considered HIDEOUS. There’s not much I can do about mine so I sport them proudly and defiantly, choosing to favour the British point of view on this particular subject.
It does make beaches a bit of a bugger though as there’s usually not much in the way of shade – bad for me as I burn easily, despite excessive suncream slathering (which admittedly I’m not great at remembering to top up).
Aussies are quite used to doing battle with the sun, so when I was delivered the chicest of solutions to any beach scenario in the form of a rather cool, almost-tent, (above) I was really quite thrilled that there was something out there with a bit of style.
I gave it its first outing one morning at Tanjong Beach where even at 10am in the morning it can get swelteringly hot.
It comes in its own sleek and very passable beach bag that you can also whack a load of other stuff into too:
The ropes, pegs and poles were actually a bit off putting at first and I fiddled about with the instructions which actually, second time around I would ignore as it’s so logical that you (almost) don’t need them.
There’s a vaguely amusing bit in the booklet where it says ‘Get your helper to hold….’ and I felt hugely confused as to how the company could possibly have known that, yes, I had indeed bought my maid along to help me (UK readers, a maid over here is commonly called a helper). Did everyone?
The point they’re making is (I got there in the end) that you do need two people to make this thing stick in the ground and stay there. One to hold (me in any and all situations), one to do the work.
It loses a few marks because you do need to bang the pegs into the ground with something and I don’t know many people who go to the beach with a hammer. I thought the sand would be soft enough below the surface to be able to use hands to push the pegs in, but it wasn’t.
Of course I could have perused the instructions before I headed out but that’s not really my style. I struggle badly with written instructions and resist them in any way I can. We managed to find a big stone in the end, which did the job perfectly.
Confession: I was actually sent this to use on holiday when we went to Batu Batu in June but hopelessly never got around to putting it up (too much wine probably). If you’re buying one to take away on hols, have a trial run beforehand so you know what you are doing when you get there. You could even put it up at home on the grass if you can’t be bothered to treck to a beach.
My sunshade was courtesy of Sunny Jim and is in Torquay Tomato (aka orange and white). The beach bag is the same whichever colourway you choose for the shade.