Another staycation this week but one when we have definitely not "stayed" in. For once (and this is a true rarity) we have had (a) good weather and (b) good health - usually one or more of the kids are ill or else Karen and I come down with some unnamed lurgy which prevents us capitalizing on our paid annual leave from Grindstone Inc. So. Lots of "day trips". Remember those? I did loads when I was a kid and looking back on them now I can see it was because my parents didn't have the money for a proper going away holiday. But you know what? They were just as enjoyable with the added advantage that the food was always decent and you got to sleep in your own bed at night.
So. Kenilworth Castle (twice). Chesterton Windmill (and a second visit lined up today, it being a favourite of Tom's). Out for a meal. A scamp around the park. And yesterday a day in Great Malvern introducing Tom to his first proper experience of hillwalking. He did well. We've had a few tantrums from him this week (and from the older boy as well but that's another story); as his language skills develop so does his capacity to try and exert his will upon all around him with varying degrees of success. That burgeoning personality is beginning to stamp itself all over the world like a mini Godzilla in a Mickey Mouse T-shirt. Only much, much cuter.
But I digress. The subject for today's post is... Sun block. Sun Screen. Sun Tan Lotion. Factor 999. Whatever you want to call it. Karen and I both try and be sane and responsible about applying it. We want our boys to catch a few rays - 'cos a few are good for you and build up your skin's natural resistance / tolerance. But we do not want to go down the boiled lobster root. I'm probably more neurotic about it than Karen and reach for the Factor 30 spray shield as soon as the sun strikes its midday position. Arms, legs, neck, face - all get blurred in a fine mist of sun protection chemicals. Adults as well as children. I read a story in the paper the other week about a bloke who got sunburnt once - just once - playing cricket and within a year had developed skin cancer. Forget my neuroses; it just ain't worth the risk with my little chickadees.
Despite that, arms and faces had gone a nice gentle brown colour. We've all caught the sun but haven't been branded by it.
So we were aghast when nipping into Sainsbury's after one of our little day excursions to see two mum's chatting over their wonkily parked trolleys while two beetroot coloured youngsters in nothing more than swimming trunks played on the tiled floor at their feet. Their backs were varying shades of purple and red. Scorched. Braised. Chargrilled. Positively napalmed.
You could see that a whole welter of agony and crying was only a few hours away.
Now, I know it's none of my business but if Little Miss Let's-Toast-The-Kids can afford copies of Heat, Marie-Claire and Chav Scum magazine she can afford some decent sun block. Hell, even some cheap sun block. Protect your kids for God's sake woman! Now, I'm against a nanny interventionist state along with the best maverick renegade but, really, some people plainly need a few things spelt out to them.
Wake up and smell the impromptu barbecue, you stupid cow!
Or am I just getting hot under the collar about nothing?