|In the South of France with my sister|
Sam had discovered grunge through her school mates, a group of grubby hairy boys who played guitars and thought they were cool (to be fair, they were). During the course of our holiday I worked my way through her tape collection. The music spoke to me. It took my teenage angst and turned it into poetry.
I changed a little that summer. I swapped my sandals for Doc Martins (which I spent an entire morning rubbing against a brick wall, scuffing up, the worn out look was way more ‘grunge’ than the brand new look). I dyed my long hair purple. I started wearing tie-die hippy dresses and wrapped strings of love beads up my arm. I started smoking. I honestly thought it made me look cool.
I wanted a tattoo. But I was 15. And my mother forbade it. And despite many a stroppy teenage tantrum she wouldn’t change her mind (which kind of makes sense now…).
Over the years my musical tastes evolved, as did my hair colour. But I always wanted the tattoo. There were a few times I got as far as the shop front. I looked at pictures. I accompanied several friends as they got theirs. Something held me back… maybe I was scared of the pain, or of making a mistake and living with the consequences.
At the grand old age of 29 I finally worked up the courage to get the tattoo that I’d always wanted. I chose to have a small butterfly on my foot, deciding that that it would be easy to cover if necessary, a subtle tribute to my purple-haired-Doc-Martin wearing days. It was also the last leg of my around the world trip and getting a tattoo seemed like the perfect souvenir to what had been the trip of a lifetime.
My travelling buddy Rob came with me to hold my hand and stop me chickening out. Sporting some seriously cool ink he proved quite the expert. I chose a design. The tattoo artist arranged a transfer of my little butterfly on my foot.
“Is this ok?” he asked.
I considered the transfer for a moment. Clearly I needed to be sure about the position…
In that brief moment I decided to change the angel of the butterfly, so that I could see it better. So that when I looked down, I would see it the right way up…
What I didn’t realise was that whilst I got to see a butterfly, small and subtle just as I wanted… when other people see it, it doesn’t look anything like a butterfly….
It looks like a prawn…
I have a tattoo of a prawn.
I must admit that I like prawns, especially when they are the main ingredient in a Thai Green Curry, or smothered with garlic and barbequed to perfection. But I don’t like them so much that I want to pay tribute to them for the rest of my life!
Thank god I didn’t get it filled in pink!
Do I regret getting it done? Nope! Not one bit. It was something I always wanted and five years later I still feel the same way.
Plus, as an added bonus… It makes me laugh!