Dorothea MacKellar’s famous ode to Australia echoes loudly down through the generations.
The harsh Australian sun has taken its toll on my fair freckled skin after a youth spent outdoors. This week I have had a basal cell carcinoma removed from my forehead.
Spending my childhood and teenage years outdoors without a hat or sunscreen was normal for me and my generation. I spent most of my free daylight hours outside playing tennis, swimming, and water-skiing. Cracked lips, peeling noses, and sun burnt skulls were badges of honour as proof of sun-worship. My skin did tan to a light golden colour and to me this was some kind of validation of my Australian identity, shunning my English, Scottish and French ancestry. I inherited my skin type from my mother and aunt and they both have had many nasty things cut and burnt from their skin. My aunt who will turn 90 years of age this year has had so many cuts made to her face that she looks like she has been in a car accident. She is not the slightest bit vain about it and I admire her common-sense and practical attitude.
I still enjoy an active outdoor life but nowadays I wear a hat and sunscreen. Unfortunately the damage is already done and I fear this little operation may be the first of many.
The recent Web 2.0 conference resulted in some new connections with suggestions and requests for more work. With a couple of days off work I know my workload is piling up. I have lots to do. I need to report on the conference; think about writing an article for an organisation whose representative approached me after my presentation, create more wikis, find some appropriate videos for classroom projects, transfer the library content from our intranet to the new content management system, as well as my usual library work. Not to mention catching up on reading the email, blogs and twitters that will be accumulating.