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On Holiday… and At War

If you’ve somehow missed my incessant gloating on Twitter (@darrylmorris), I’m on holiday. I’ve taken a break from posting teasing pictures of the beautiful pool and cocktails on the beach to sit in the Thai sun. It’s as glorious as it sounds, and then some. But here in this seemingly blissful moment, I’m locked in one of the longest running and most bitter battles mankind has known. Long before the fall of the Roman Empire, Hitler’s attempt at taking Europe, Isaac and Ishmael and the Arab Spring – this war was quietly but forcefully raging.

The ginger vs the sun.

It’s a war that many laugh at. They poke fun at us, the underdog, and take pleasure in our suffering. Yet, we fight on. For 22 pale and painful years I’ve sat deep in the darkness of the parasol, fearing for my pasty skin. Others look on in wonder, some aware of our struggle, some ignorant to what is happening under their nicely sun-kissed noses.

To be nicely sun-kissed is something we have dreamt of for generations; my grandfather and his before that. When I was younger we would gather as a family to hear the elders recall stories of the bloodiest encounters our people have faced. The famous summer of 1976, when we were tragically struck down in our thousands. Brave men and women sacrificing a layer of their precious skin to the cause. Waves of anger and confusioin would flood over me and I felt inspired to make a difference. I knew I was to be a leader in this great war and that it would be an enduring encounter. I cannot sit by in agonising silence, I must continue the work of generations before me, for generations to come. I will be victorious.

It’s been a long road. A milestone that sticks sharp in my throat and mind are the events of Ibiza 2004. Two hundred and seventy bottles of ‘Factor 50′ were drafted in and we attacked with all the force we could muster. But again…. we lost.

It’s with great sadness I must report yet more causalities here in Thailand. Just yesterday, a young red haired woman was struck down in the prime of her swim. She was brave to mask her pain, standing strong for as long as she could. She won’t be forgotten.

I know in my heart of hearts that my time is limited. Freckles are gathering in mass but their efforts are often in vain – on retreating last night, a quick glance in the mirror revealed early signs of redness on the top of my shoulders. I realised in that moment that victory wasn’t going to be as simple as my young mind had thought years earlier.

I must move to the pool bar. The sun is high in the sky and there are rumours of a further push. The bar is shaded and has fans. We will be safe there. I will continue our struggle after 16:00. You have my word.

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By darrylmorris