Monday, 6 September 2010
I always thought I was the girl who couldn't tan.
My skin has always been very pale, and I typically don't even burn - I just get so uncomfortably hot, and start suffering from dehydration headaches, such that I hide from the sun before it comes close to affecting my skin.
So it came as some surprise to come home from Iceland and discover that I had strong tan lines on my feet from where I'd been wearing the same sandals for six weeks. Six weeks of rain and overcast skies, mostly, but we'd been outside a lot and somehow the sun had got through. And I had the same thing on my face, with tan lines caused by the straps of my cycle helmet.
Greenland seems to have had a similar effect - I was wearing long-sleeved shirts all the time to ward off the mosquitoes, but my hands were exposed to the arctic sun, and ended up a few shades darker than my arms.
But the most notable feature about this arctic tan seems to be its persistance. The colour still shows on my hands, and it's now two months since I got home from Greenland. And I could still pick out the tan lines on my feet six months after returning from Iceland. I don't have enough experience with tanning to know whether that's normal... it seemed like a long time to me!