Wear Sunscreen aka Q and A Ponderings

Random draft post found on my blog that probably should be published. A good song with plenty of sageful advice. Questions from a challenge About me?

Lyrics are found at the bottom of the post

About Me

How would you describe what your blog is about?

I blog about things that are important to me or information that is useful to others, with a heavy emphasis on my traditional art and craft, photography and essential life matters but this is not fixed in stone.

Do you see your blog changing (as in expanding or developing in any way) at some stage in the future?

I certainly hope so, but if it stays as it is, i.e. my own almanac/ journal for future descendants and anyone interested enough to read it, I will be content.

Do you write your blog posts straight onto the WordPress page or onto a word document first?

Straight into the HTML WordPress page, as I have had trouble getting consistent formatting with Word. Why? The computer gremlins inside my devices may wish to explain that for me…

When you write, do you need to be on your own or are you happy to write with others around you?

Easy to write when it is quiet, unless it is a photographic post and then I have no problem if my family are chatting, close by. I prefer to participate in social situations – to resort to technology on those occasions, is isolating.

Which is your favourite species of tree, and why do you like it?

Conifers! They are evergreen, even in the snow, and have intriguing branchlets instead of leaves. Normally I would like something functional as a favourite object, ie. something that doubles as a food source as well as being aesthetic, but conifers are exceptional!  They come in so many varieties and always have a welcoming permanence, and a nice shape.

If you were to have a day out somewhere easily reachable from your home, where would it be?

To somewhere near the water with lots of greenery and fresh air to breathe. Not a problem if the greenery is covered in snow, but that is extremely unlikely to happen, so either way, it’s all good.

Which ‘celebration’ (annual or otherwise) in the country where you live do you enjoy the most?

A fireworks spectacular or a food festival. It is fun to try different dishes or cuisine, and who can resist a fireworks display? Huge waste of money, and so transient, but darn mesmerizing, when it happens.

Which way would you choose to travel, given the choice: car or train?

Both appeal, so this is difficult to choose either one. Perhaps the car as it affords one more freedom in terms of the route chosen.

Which subject did you enjoy the most at school?

Japanese and when I could no longer do that – History and Geography – isn’t that a given?

What do you think is the best thing about being a woman today?

The freedoms we have that are denied to some people, be they male or female: freedom to travel and move about, to vote, to love who we want, to work where we wish (mostly), the freedom to wear fashionable clothes, or not, if we wish. There is more work to be done, but we have self-determination, and the freedom for a man to romance us if we choose. Freedom to vote is very important to me, given that women once were willing to go to extremes to achieve this simple right!

Ladies and gentlemen of the class of ’97
Wear sunscreen

If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be it
The long-term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by scientists
Whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable
than my own meandering experience, I will dispense this advice now

Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth, oh, never mind
You will not understand the power and beauty of your youth
Until they’ve faded, but trust me, in 20 years, you’ll look back
At photos of yourself and recall in a way you can’t grasp now
How much possibility lay before you and how fabulous you really looked
You are not as fat as you imagine

Don’t worry about the future
Or worry, but know that worrying
Is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing Bubble gum
The real troubles in your life
Are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind
The kind that blindsides you at 4 p.m. on some idle Tuesday
Do one thing every day that scares you

Don’t be reckless with other people’s hearts
Don’t put up with people who are reckless with yours


Don’t waste your time on jealousy
Sometimes you’re ahead, sometimes you’re behind
The race is long and in the end, it’s only with yourself
Remember compliments you receive, forget the insults
If you succeed in doing this, tell me how
Keep your old love letters, throw away your old bank statements


Don’t feel guilty if you don’t know what you want to do with your life
The most interesting people I know
Didn’t know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives
Some of the most interesting 40-year-olds I know still don’t
Get plenty of calcium
Be kind to your knees
You’ll miss them when they’re gone

Maybe you’ll marry, maybe you won’t
Maybe you’ll have children, maybe you won’t
Maybe you’ll divorce at 40, maybe you’ll dance the ‘Funky Chicken’
On your 75th wedding anniversary
Whatever you do, don’t congratulate yourself too much
Or berate yourself either
Your choices are half chance, so are everybody else’s

Enjoy your body, use it every way you can
Don’t be afraid of it or what other people think of it
It’s the greatest instrument you’ll ever own
Dance, even if you have nowhere to do it but your own living room
Read the directions even if you don’t follow them
Do not read beauty magazines, they will only make you feel ugly

Get to know your parents, you never know when they’ll be gone for good
Be nice to your siblings, they’re your best link to your past
And the people most likely to stick with you in the future

Understand that friends come and go
But a precious few, who should hold on

Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography and lifestyle
For as the older you get
The more you need the people you knew when you were young
Live in New York City once but leave before it makes you hard
Live in northern California once but leave before it makes you soft


Accept certain inalienable truths
Prices will rise, politicians will philander, you too, will get old
And when you do, you’ll fantasise that when you were young
Prices were reasonable, politicians were noble
And children respected their elders

Respect your elders

Don’t expect anyone else to support you
Maybe you have a trust fund, maybe you’ll have a wealthy spouse
But you never know when either one might run out

Don’t mess too much with your hair
Or by the time you’re 40 it will look 85

Be careful whose advice you buy but be patient with those who supply it
Advice is a form of nostalgia, dispensing it is a way of fishing the past
From the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts
And recycling it for more than it’s worth

But trust me on the sunscreen

Baz Luhrman

68 thoughts on “Wear Sunscreen aka Q and A Ponderings”

  1. Amanda, a terrific song (or poem with a beat). I remember the kids loved these lessons. If their parents said the advice (and many have said some of it), they would not heed it as much. Keith

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Kids can respect other adults’ advice as it is new and there is less cognitive dissonance interfering with the communication with someone other than a parent, perhaps Keith?
      It is a great poem with a beat, isn’t it? I can hear it in my head anytime I hear the word sunscreen too. I imagined it was someone other than Baz Luhrman when I heard it. I think Moulin Rouge the movie when I think of Baz.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Amanda, so true. I wrote a post a few years back referencing this song as an impetus for other pieces of advice. Unlike your post, I did not included the song lyrics, which are important. I have always been one to support the concept of “it takes a village to raise a child.” So, good advice need not come only from the parents. Keith

        Liked by 2 people

        1. In another pun, parrellel to your comment, Keith, which I quite agree with, I had a T-shirt printed for my son, who is quite the Viking type – saying, ” It takes a Viking to ‘raze’ a village.
          Community is vital in so many ways, isn’t it? It offers a different perspective than what is found at home, can teach different skills and offer different experiences and can be a family for those with less than ideal family lives. Conversely, we can contribute to the community, sharing our strengths and expertise to give back, nurture and enrich our village!

          Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes I did learn Japanese at school, Sarah. And loved it so much. It is not such a difficult language at all! Very logical so easier for beginers to learn the basics quickly. My school was the one of the first pilot schools to teach Japanese. Now many schools here teach it. It was seen as more geographically relevant to Aussie kids than French and German, in the 80’s when there was significant Japanese investment in Australia. Japanese tourists began to holiday on the coastal beaches in large waves and my kids learnt Japanese from the ages of 8 years in school. Unfortunately, I changed schools and went to an old fashioned girls school that only taught French and German. Not having learnt the languages in early high school, I was not permitted to begin it in the final two years, although I would have, if I could have! I love languages.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Interesting post!
    Personally, I’m an anti-beauty proponent. The worship of and desire for personal ‘beauty’ is a cage that women (mostly) don’t seem to be able to break out of.
    I think true equality for men and women is if they can both leave home in comfortable shoes, no make-up or hair dye – and feel comfortable in that skin… AND not be judged by how they look.
    (The world wide beauty and personal care market is valued at $511 billion. The global fitness equipment market is about $11 billion…)

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I do agree Margy. I very rarely if ever wear or have worn makeup – I might like to wear nice casual clothes but comfort is key in what I buy. I am certainly no slave to fashion and I dislike the terrible waste. I have clothes that I have had for 20 years that are still comfy and nice to wear. Hair dye would be my only failing.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. There is no “love” button here but I did love every bit of this. I’ve never heard of any school other than college offering Japanese. My daughter is trying to learn it on her own. I was not expecting any of this from the title. That video said it all. Of course, I don’t use sunscreen anymore. I stay covered and out of the sun for the most part. Need a little for vitamin production. As you know, we fair skinned girls have to watch our exposure. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. We fair skinned girl do have to be careful. Absolutely. MInd you, as I have olivy undertones – (from the Spanish slaves taken by the Vikings back to Scandinavia, apparently), I tend to tan easily, and have less skin cancer, if at all, than my husband who has the Irish complexion. He has many many cancers that regularly get removed or burnt off. They never wore a hat or sunscreen when he was young. Now he is paying dearly for that.
      I love that your daughter is learning Japanese. It is regularly taught in all streams of schooling here, from ages 8 and up. It is seen as relevant given that we live in Asia and have many Japanese tourists and businessmen frequenting our shores. I used my high school Japanese when I visited Japan, but the speed of the native speaker makes it hard to understand it unless you are immersed in it. This would be the biggest obstacle to becoming fluent for your daughter. My cousin went to Japan and taught English there and only became fluent when she went to the rural areas when there was no one who knew English. I wish her luck with it. I might have a Japanese tuition book lying around that I used at school. I hated to throw it out. If I find it, I will let you know and send it on to her if she would like that.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Thanks for the offer of the book, Amanda. She has quite the collection and mailing from Australia is very expensive. I know that for certain. I have family there. My daughter has olive tones as well from her paternal side. French Canadian Indian. Who would have thought that would turn up dominant? My sister has had lots of cancers burned off too. She refuses to cover up also. I think she is one molecule away from albino as she has really no color in her eyebrows or lashes. Her hair would disappear when wet as a child. I’m not quite that fair. We didn’t cover up as children but I definitely do now. Have a great weekend.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. It is the lifestyle here too, as well as damage to the ozone layer so the UV rays are more intense. There was no such things as sunscreen until after I was a teenager. Getting sunburnt was a fact of life. Now, years later, people pay the cost of that lifestyle. I wasn’t really that much of an outdoor sporty person so I am okay for the minute. I am sure the sunburns I received over my life will come back to haunt me in my 60’s.

          Liked by 1 person

  4. Listening to this made me teary. Such wise words to live by particularly in this daily grind culture that seems to be the rage at the moment. The knees line make me laugh- I think I was mid 20s when I realised they were precious.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. The knees! Oh goodness yes. I have thought about this too when my knees give way. The Man of the House is missing his. Did you play a lot of sport early in life to have trouble with your knees in your 20’s?

      Liked by 2 people

        1. Good it is only one knee, but you probably know that if you have one knee that ‘plays up,’ it can put a strain on the other knee. Both of mine creak substantially when I bend them!

          Liked by 2 people

      1. Thankfully no but I do have wrinkles I blame on sun damage and dark spots coming thru. I was a huge sun worshiper back in the day. Not so much now! 😕

        Liked by 2 people

        1. I can relate – I find that sunscreen blocks my pores and I dislike the heat. I do like to be out in the early morning sun though. For me the wrinkles are appearing too…… I try to think of them as our life experiences though

          Liked by 2 people

  5. Great advice Amanda. I was reading it and thinking “This is good but somehow, it doesn’t sound like Amanda …” and then it says to live in New York city and in Northern California and I knew it wasn’t you 😉 Only a Broadway or Hollywood creative would say that. You & I know that there’re many other places to live … although, I do like NYC 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. You know me better than I thought, Sandy. New York – as I think has been discussed, I can’t see the attraction – but there must be one or two and I can’t dismiss it as I have never been there. Is the appeal just in the building, the buzz of people and the fact you can get anything you want? Doesn’t the negatives detract from the appeal?

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I think the appeal changes depending on whether you’ve ever lived there or wanted to live there.
        For creatives though – Broadway has a reputation for being the center of the stage-making universe. I think the hubs may have expanded worldwide but it’s still a big deal if you’re into show business. Maybe if you were in the business, you’d want to be there too!

        Liked by 1 person

            1. Tightening up here in Aus. Especially down south in NSW and Victoria. Things are okay here at the minute and like you, I find loads of things to do at home, so am well occupied. However, we can still go out atm, although that could change as Delta creeps it way northward.

              Liked by 1 person

  6. Thank you Amanda for truly making my day ! Not only have I read both you and Baz about three times up-and-down but broken some rules methinks in reposting the whole to friends and colleagues . . . I truly searched your blog top-to-bottom hoping to find an email address and ‘do the right thing’ but either I am blind or it is not available ! Loved to learn more about you . . . we agree from conifers to food festivals to loving geography . . . !!! But I was SO grateful to find Baz Luhrman’s deceptively simple but monumentally true words here . . . oh, I knew how very special that guy was way before ‘Moulin Rouge’ when over twenty years back he made a film called ‘Strictly Ballroom’ in Sydney’s Petersham . . . bestest . . .

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sending me an email via the message box on the Contact Me page will send me an email and then I can reply to you. I don’t have my email listed publicly, because of you know… spam.
      Thanks for liking my post. I forgot that it was there sitting in my drafts and didn’t even check it thoroughly before posting. So I like that we agree on tree and festivals! Are you in NSW? I am up in Qld.
      Strictly ballroom was a good movie – I agree. It is always fun to watch again and again.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I used to use parts of this recording for listening comprehension and discussion in my English conversation courses for adults here in Germany. The text was written in 1997 by the American journalist Mary Schmich for her column in the Chicago Tribune. Baz Luhrmann recorded it with her permission, and she receives royalties as the author.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you, Donna. I would like to clear out my drafts folder. There is 130 odd pieces in there. Some of them just reminders to write about something in particular, others almost completed pieces. Do you have a collection sitting in your draft folder too?

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Multi language. Interesting. Well, If I am going to describe my blog, as a “writer of emotion”. I used to write on people’s emotions which are buried somewhere as like smile. Every people smile but there is smile is as fake as foundation. That’s why I said everywhere that, ‘Smile is the best foundation over every grief’…
    Especially our youth is deprived of smile. So I start to write for emotions.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Amanda, thank you for mentioning your post and glad to have found it! Wonderful advice from both the song and yourself – it is always fun to learn more about a person! So not only was Japanese taught at school but you enjoyed it! Can you still speak it? Have you ever travelled to Japan? My son was sad when we couldn’t find a Japanese course nearby – he tried online but it just isn’t the same. I am impressed you write your posts directly on the editor – I usually write by hand than on a computer document for more editing and changes before finally pasting it into WP! I’m with you on conifers and they look majestic in the snowy landscape of Sweden – their natural habitat! It’s as if at any minute they uproot themselves and stride out across the valleys!


  10. I am tickled that you found the post relating to the same poem/song you just posted about.
    When I post directly into WordPress I type things down as they come into my head and sometimes the paragraphs need quite a bit or re-arranging! The editor is so useful for that as you can move paragraphs up or down as you like – I tend to do lots of that! Although I don’t proofread as well as I should, as I noticed a few punctuation errors here that I just corrected more than a year later! Haha!
    Learning a language online is not the easiest thing to do at all. Well done to your son for trying. I did love learning Japanese at school, but I think that I would have loved whatever language I was offered. Except perhaps, a tonal languages – I think my aural sense is not fine-tuned enough to discern finer differences between words.
    And, if you could see my garden – you would notice conifers are the predominant plant. They cope with the seaside winds here better than some of the native species. Plus they remind me of Scandinavia! That memory trigger is always welcome!
    Have a fantastic week!


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