Maybe you were a child. Maybe you were a teenager. Maybe you were an adult and should have known better. Maybe you were on a beach. Maybe you were in the mountains. Maybe you were in the middle of a city. Maybe it was summertime. Maybe it was winter. It happened to me once in the autumn. I didn’t realise it could happen in the autumn.

Maybe you thought you had protected yourself. Maybe you didn’t think you needed to do anything because it had never happened to you before in your life. Maybe you didn’t realise it was happening. Maybe you didn’t think it was as bad as it turned out to be. Maybe it was worse than you could have ever imagined.

Maybe it made your friends laugh at you. Maybe it ruined your holiday. Maybe it kept you awake all night. Maybe it hurt you so much you couldn’t do anything except lay down in bed. Maybe it made you cry. Maybe you even had to go to hospital.

Maybe it happened to you 20 years ago and you still bear the scars. Maybe it happened to you loads, but your body could handle it. Maybe it damaged your DNA, but you don’t know about that yet. Maybe it caused you serious, life-threatening health problems decades later. Maybe you wish you would have listened to the warnings.

I was 10 years old. Outside all day. Playing on the beach, playing in the forest. I was wearing only a swimsuit. I don’t think anyone thought of protecting me. By that evening the damage was done. I was hurt, crying, raw. No one could do anything to ease the pain. Maybe I was given an aspirin, I don’t remember. I couldn’t sleep that night. There were huge, painful blisters on both my shoulders. Second degree burns. The damage is still visible to this day.

When did the Sun burn you?