12 January, 2017

Today is my 41st birthday, and I swear the sun here in Whangamata is trying to make sure it’ll be my last. I still don’t fully understand why the New Zealand sun is so much more “intense” than in other places – why half an hour outside here will burn you more than a day in other countries where summer temperatures are regularly 10 degrees higher. And I definitely don’t understand what it is about this East coast town that’s amplifying the effect even further – all I know is that I step outside and the sunlight feels like knives.

No, I know what it feels like: There’s a period of Egyptian art that includes depictions of the sun-worshiping Pharaoh Ahkenaten and his family having life bestowed upon them by the disc of the sun – this is depicted as rays of light extending down towards the royal family, each ray terminating in a hand holding an ankh.

Imagine that picture, only with me instead of the Pharaoh, and instead of ankhs, each hand is holding a syringe full of skin cancer. That’s what it feels like.

I have a theory that the reason why sun block works is nothing to do with filtering out ultraviolet radiation; the act of applying it is just a ritual designed to debase ourselves until the hateful Sun is sufficiently entertained to let us go about our business unsinged.

“Yes, smear it on. All over yourself, you little piggie. You love it, don’t you piggie? And soon you’ll start sweating and it’s all going to run into your eyes and sting and you’ll love that too, won’t you? SAY YOU LOVE IT, PIGGIE!”

I’m just saying, do we have proof that sun block isn’t just bottles of the Sun’s jizz?

Still, it’s my birthday today, which means I can refuse to leave the shade of the house and no-one can tell me different. I’ve received presents – stuff I needed, stuff I wanted, stuff I don’t know I wanted until I got it – so that’s nice. And with little else to occupy me, I’ve been doing a lot of reading, of whatever crappy crime novels have been left lying around down here and also the book of Neil Gaiman essays I was just given.

Writers always say that in order to write you have to read a lot, which is something I’ve always rolled my eyes at a bit. That would imply that, having made my way through more books in a few days than I normally read in a year, I’d then feel the need to put up a blog post on a site that I haven’t touched in almost as long. Piffle.

I see the Lazy Town post is getting more traffic than ever, and it seems like at least some of it hasn’t come from Google searches for underage pornography. So that’s nice.


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