I will always remember an encounter I had at a function in Sydney, where I met a fellow who had migrated to Australia from Scotland many years before. I was talking to a colleague (of Caucasian extraction) and the other person joined in on our conversation. Since we were from the UK, he immediately brought up the weather as a talking point.

He advised my colleague to be careful about sunbathing and rolled up his sleeves to show us the skin on his arms, which looked rough and coarsened with rashes that came as a result of excessive exposure to the sun.

It is possible that the reported hole in the ozone layer in that part of the world might have made things worse than normal for him, but I also wonder about the cumulative impact of using sun beds to get a tan or glowing skin.

When I visited Zanzibar last summer, I didn’t see anyone lounging about in the sun, but there again I didn’t venture too far away from Stone Town, which is not the part of the island where tourists lounge about in swimsuits or anything like that.

Benefits from sunlight are well documented and I enjoy warm climates as much as anyone I know. Isn’t it best to accept the weather wherever we are for what it is and to avoid trying to contrive things?