WATCHING Love Island is like getting through half a tub of Pringles in one go. It’s a short fix guilty pleasure, quickly replaced by queasy self-loathing.

The appeal of the summer hit show - unless you’re a 15-year-old boy, in which case the appeal is probably Megan - is its plentiful supply of car crash telly moments. You can’t help but cringe at the general carrying-on of it all - the cheesy romancing/predatory flirting/brazen self-promotion/lack of depth, sincerity or dignity of the lean and lovely twentysomethings parading around the villa.

When night falls, limbs are entwined in double beds lined up next to each other in what looks like a neon-lit lab in some kind of couple-cloning dystopia. By day there are cheap tasks, requiring young women to gyrate like lap dancers in front of a row of guys. “Is it just me or is this a bit icky?” I find myself saying, watching from behind my fingers.

But the thing I wince at most is all the sitting around in strong sunshine. I’m particularly concerned about Alex, the junior doctor, who is growing increasingly pink as the series goes on.

I’m sure the “islanders” are given advice on skincare, and there are often bottles of sun cream in shot, lined up for product placement, but I do wonder how they maintain such glorious, even tans, with not a hint of sunburn. And how on earth do the girls manage to keep a full face of make-up on beneath the Majorcan sun? I can’t even wear a touch of mascara in this heat without it sliding down my cheek by lunchtime.

Even in my youth I couldn’t sit in the sun without ending up a sweaty, blotchy, red-faced mess. As a child, on holiday, I got so sunburned it made me cry. As a teenager I resorted to using sunbeds to get a ‘sunkissed’ glow. Lord only knows what lasting damage to my skin that has caused.

My lowest point came about a decade ago when I spent too long lying on an Algarve beach and ended up with a face so tight it felt like I was wearing a leather mask. It was the last day of my holiday and I’d thrown caution to the wind, or rather a deceptive sea breeze. My face turned tomato-red and took a good two weeks to settle down. On the ‘plane home, people were looking at me in double-takes, and not in a good way.

Since then I’ve been cautious in the sun and these days I rarely sit in it. I’ve accepted that I have fair skin, I’m never going to have a Mediterranean glow, and I’m very much aware of the risks of sun exposure. And I don’t want to end up one of those leathery-looking older women; a lifetime of sun-basking finally catching up with them.

I wear sun block on my face every day and seek the shade if I’m spending time outside. I’ve even taken to wearing unflattering hats on holiday.

Much as I’m enjoying this long hot summer, which I feel we deserve after such a harsh slog of a winter, I look forward to that lovely time of year when there’s an early autumn chill and the nights start drawing in.

* I was pleased to hear that children’s books have been placed in seat pockets of easyJet aircraft to encourage youngsters to read. More than 17,500 copies of books translated into seven European languages will be stocked across 300 planes. EasyJet’s director of cabin crew, Tina Milton, said: “Reading is so important for fuelling a child’s development, vocabulary and imagination and a flight provides the perfect opportunity for them to get stuck into a book.”

Children spend so much time staring at screens - these ‘flying libraries’ are a great way to discover the simple pleasure of reading a book.

* IT was the summer of 1990 when I watched an entire football match on TV for the first time. My brother and his mates had piled into our living-room to watch England face West Germany in the World Cup semi-final. I perched on the sofa, a half-hearted observer from the sidelines. It was a night of dreams, drama and, ultimately, disaster, and I tasted the thrill and agony of football. I barely watched a match after Italia ‘90 (Euro ‘96, packed into a pub, was probably the next time) but I've enjoyed the feelgood vibe of this extraordinary World Cup. It's been quite a summer for us fair-weather fans.

* LIKE everyone else, I was gripped by news reports of the Thai schoolboys trapped in a flooded cave.

The image of their hopeful faces peering out of the darkness, deep within the labyrinth, haunted me as the daring rescue unfolded. Now their ordeal is over, with all 12 boys and their football coach safely out.

Cheers erupted at a local government office where volunteers and journalists awaited news of the high-risk mission.

Central to the rescue were Thailand's navy Seals and a team of Thai and international divers, including seven from the UK.

But I bet when the inevitable movie comes out, it'll be a US beefcake team that saves the day.