how to enjoy a day at the beach summer sunburn
(Image: Getty Images)
  1. Summer is here, and you know what that means… venture into the shed and dust off the boogie board and esky because it’s beach season, baby!
  2. Pack all the essentials into your car: towels, sunscreen, hat, bug spray, sunglasses, food, cool drinks and the six spiders that have been living in the esky over winter.
  3. Spend approximately one hour attempting to find a park close to the beach before giving up and leaving your car 5km away. Wrestle with the sunshades to protect your car from the heat. Make sure they do not cover any of the windscreen and instead flop pathetically over the seats.
  4. Finally arrive at the beach — hooray! Kick off your thongs and feel the intense sting of burning sand under your toes. Scream horrifically and engage in the customary hot coals dance in front of amused beachgoers until you choose a spot to throw down your belongings, still screaming.
  5. Safety first: slip, slop, slap. Slip on a thin singlet that protects around 2% of your skin from harsh UV rays, and ask a friend to slop sunscreen on your back even though you are already burned from the walk from the car. Slap on a wide-brimmed hat.
  6. Watch your wide-brimmed hat disappear along the beach after a particularly strong gust of wind.
  7. What’s the point in lounging by the ocean if you won’t get in? Run into the waves before remembering it’s impossible to look elegant while your genitals are splashed by cool water.
  8. Bob around for a few moments before spotting something dangerous — is that a bluebottle? OH GOD. Panic and yelp loudly while fighting against the current before realising it is actually a plastic bag.
  9. You are now fatigued from the bluebottle incident. Time for lunch! Open up the esky to realise you forgot to pack coolers. Flick a spider off the now-warm sandwich and enjoy the unmistakable taste of hot mayonnaise.
  10. One of your “fun” friends has brought a frisbee. What a playful and quirky person! Have them fling it to you, and then watch as the wind boomerangs it back behind them. Wave goodbye as it flies towards the horizon (presumably ending up with your wide-brimmed hat).
  11. Beaches are for relaxing, so it’s time for a sunshine nap. Wriggle for several minutes in an attempt to carve a torso-shaped hole in the sand. Allow sand to enter your bathing suit as large flies bustle in and out of your ear holes.
  12. A sudden cool change means it’s home time. Time for the long walk back to the car. Make sure to bring home at least 6kg of sand.
  13. As the hot seatbelt buckle presses against your chest, peer over your sunburned shoulder that was not protected due to expired sunscreen from 2012, and smile to your friends. “That was fun! Same again tomorrow?

Read more of Deirdre Fidge’s handy summer holiday hacks here.