The Doctor will see you now…

Now is the time to get your check ups! The impending changes being made to our current healthcare system has given me a push to make sure I get an M.O.T which doesn’t necessarily guarantee I will be healthy but at least I know how much I will be paying for it.

My medical plan will be going up by about 30% and also increasing my co-pays (visits to the doctor). I always get an annual physical, but I have never had a dermatologist conduct a full body scan to check for skin cancer. So I got a referral from my GP and went along for one. I was a bit concerned when she wanted to investigate a couple of dark freckles. This meant doing a biopsy, which has scary connotations. But all was fine, fortunately. I do try to apply sunscreen every day and have done so for the twenty years that I’ve lived in California. It’s odd and perhaps disturbing, that many of the Brits back home refer to it as ‘sun tan’ lotion and not ‘protection’. And even more worrying when they get out their Piz Buin Factor 4 oil. My fair Irish skin rarely tans anyway so I have never even tried, but as a teenager I did go through a streaky orange phase (thanks to Boots biscuit-smelling self-tanning lotion). I know they are a lot better now, and the odors aren’t so intense either.

Fake Bake: Victoria Whitehead and Erin Gavin spread the word

So it was rather apt that the day after my skin screening I was contacted by fellow Brits in LA member Erin Gavin who has recently become a spokesperson for Fake Bake.

Back in 2006 it was Fake Bake’s UK founder Sandra Vaughan who successfully pushed a petition of 10,000 signatures through Downing Street to increase the age limit on sunbed use to 18 years old. With one in five Americans expected to develop skin cancer in their lifetime (, the brand’s humorous mantra of “Fake It Don’t Bake It” has a serious edge.

Erin thought some of our members might like to try it – their range includes both at-home tans and professional spray tan solutions – so we are going to give away some bottles – all you have to do is email us at to enter and the winners will be notified on Monday 27th at noon.

We will also give away some at next week’s Pub Quiz on Tuesday 28th, which for One Night Only will be hosted by our very own Craig Bobby Young!  We have lots of other prizes up for grabs including a cash prize and gift certificates to spend at Marmalade Cafe – get there around 7.40 to grab a seat as it does fill up pretty fast.

Lastly we have a pair of tickets to see the Stereophonics on November 30th at The Mayan – again email us at to put your name in the hat – we will announce the winner on Tuesday 28th.

Tickets go on sale for our Brits in LA Christmas Party this weekend so visit us on Facebook @BritsinLA for full details of date and venue.