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Of mice, men and sunny Scotland

I HAVE known people addicted to the sun.

So much in love with it that they pooh-pooh talk of cancer and couldn't give a hoot.

They think, actually, that the sun is worth it. And who am I to knock it? You only get one life. You can have it relatively short and enjoy it with booze or sunshine or heroin or quoits or whatever is your drug of choice.

Or you can have a long life with no or little drink, no filling meals, staying in the shadows, and playing quoits only under the strictest supervision and in - yawnorama, all together now - moderation.

There is great pressure in life to make everything dull: politics, football (all these pass-backs), the weather.

Where this dullness prevails there is generally safety, and safety remains the first prerequisite of human existence.

But, if you ken your yin and yang, you'll understand that you can't appreciate safety without knowing danger.

So you have to expose yourself to the sun to learn how evil it is. Or perhaps how good.

A report by top scientists - there are no fair to middling scientists - says sunshine can be addictive, affecting the brainlobes the like heroin does.

Boffins at Harvard Medical School found that mice exposed to sunlamps showed signs of addiction and went into withdrawal when deprived of a fix.

All together now: shove yer mice. Watch my lips here: we are not rodents. We have no fur. We do not come out at night and blunder aboot the place squeaking.

All the same, as another scientific report is ruined with the revelation that it applies to a different species, we can concede that mice and men are born of this Earth and may have things in common.

I speak as a man who has taken his shirt off in the past few days. Only, granted, in the secluded privacy of my back garden and, on a blazing hot day. But here's the rubbish: I enjoyed it.

Oh the warmth, the sensual thrill even - to be touched by nature! That said, I'm a logical, Spoke-like creature and, far from taking a gamble, know that lack of sun is discombobulating the peely-waaly people.

We all need a little fix. Whether I will become addicted remains to be seen.

I doubt it. Dullness is Scotia's default state. It has its comforts too.

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