Thursday, March 21, 2013

A new gadget

It’s not very often you get practically useful information here in the fog. So today I thought I’d post something that is good for your health, and is the result of extensive internet research that I have carried out, which might as well as not benefit somebody else.

Residents of the Northern Hemisphere might think I am crazy, but one thing I do not enjoy is standing or sitting around in the shining sun. I have the wrong skin and eye colour to find this a pleasant way to pass the time in Australia, and I ended up with pterygiums in my eyes in Townsville, that skin-cancer capital of the world, from too much sun (which I have now regressed by never leaving the house without Cancer-Council-approved sunglasses). That and my Mum has been telling me since I was a kid that one day I would have my ‘nose cut off’ when I got it burnt. I am also not a huge fan of sunscreen, not just because it’s greasy and makes you look ghostly, but also because it is made of powerful chemicals that I’d just prefer not to smear all over myself every day.

For the last few years I have been walking to and from work, and while the sun is lower in the sky at these times, I still feel like I get too much of it, and that a hat is not enough to keep the sun off my neck and the front of my chest. Not to mention the fact that hats make you hot when walking and do dreadful things to damp hair.

So this morning in the mail I had delivered a UV 50, wind-vented, folding, solar umbrella.

You should read those specifications again, because they are not easy to find. Indeed, I found one company in the whole world that sells them (though I have since found another). I discovered that you can get wind-vented, UV golf umbrellas in Australia, but not folding ones. And seriously, why have golf players had all the wind-vented umbrellas and I didn’t even know they existed? How many umbrellas of mine have been destroyed because they turned inside out in a gust of wind? (that is a rhetorical question).

I ordered this very special umbrella direct from Coolibar in the US, after reading this review, and the postage was only $10. I actually went crazy and ordered the beach umbrella also, for no extra postage, mainly as a result of standing around in the sun at markets last year, feeling myself burning and having to open the cellophane on products I was selling because condensation was forming inside them. So in future if I do markets I can take my own shade, and I figured the silver is classy and isn’t going to ruin any display or fade and look ugly.

I walked to work this morning with this new toy, angling it against wherever the sun happened to be coming at me from, and it was like having my own personal, mobile tree. I am strangely, and maybe pathetically, excited about all the uses I am going to have in the future for this piece of equipment. All I have to do is make sure I don’t lose it, which, second to them turning inside out in the wind, is the way of umbrellas.


Meredith said...

We will be needing a photo of you and your parasol sometime soon. Sounds excellent. It is not an easy climate with fair skin.

CharlieK said...

I don't know about the UV protection factor but I was happy to find out that Bunnings Golf Umbrellas are wind-venting :-)

Enjoy your new toys !

Ali said...

Ah Meredith, it is not such a pretty parasol (they do sell another more aesthetic one, but the folding functionality of this one won out for me). But yes, I might be annoying people and looking ridiculous for years to come, but am going to throw all that to the wind. The weird thing is that the people I most see around Sydney with sun umbrellas are the Asians, whose colouring is much more suited to the sun, while we fair-skinned caucasians walk around frying.

Yes, Charles, this wind-venting business is genius! I am happy for that too!