Suntan

It was early on Friday morning, at the election count in Hornchurch Sports Centre. I was there, with my agent and supporters, as Liberal Democrat candidate for RomCountBadgeford.

As I moved around from counting station to station, I found myself standing next to Andrew Rosindell, who was clearly about to be re-elected Tory MP for Romford.

He was pleasantly tanned and chose this moment to tease me that I was not. He suggested that was because he had been outdoors more campaigning than I had.

My (true) retort was that I had been using Sunblock.

I think my surname gives a clue why, as it probably of Nordic origin. Originally my hair was fair and would be further bleached by sunlight. My eyes are blue, and I need to wear a cap or hat with a brim to shade them. My father had sandy hair, before he lost it, so I may have some red-haired ancestry; my genes are against a becoming tan.

As a child, exposure to the sun would invariably result in reddening, followed shortly afterwards by peeling. Later on, careful management could result in slight tanning, but not a lot. Sometimes this would be followed by peeling, and then I could start again….

About twenty years ago I sat for some hours in the shade on a hotel balcony in Penang. What I hadn’t realised until too late was that the sun reflected off the white-washed wall caused my skin to burn.

Twice dermatologists have decided than sun damage to my face and neck has been threatening enough to require removal by surgery.

The sun and suntan are not my friend.

Election results for Havering constituencies:

https://www.havering.gov.uk/Pages/ServiceChild/Romford-2015-General-Election-results.aspx

https://www.havering.gov.uk/Pages/ServiceChild/Hornchurch-Upminster-2015-General-Election-results.aspx

https://www.lbbd.gov.uk/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/Declaration-of-results-Dagenham-and-Rainham-constituency.pdf

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