Sometimes I worry about the kind of people we associate with...
I'm also worried about the bloke in the background, who's managed to appear in two different mirrors, facing in opposite directions at the same time. There's something very weird going on.
But at least Amelie seems happy. She's always liked brightly coloured birds.
(I'm talking about the phoenix there, obviously).
Anyhoo, it's the first of February today, and that can mean only one thing: the 2009 Brighton Tattoo Convention. Or to put it another way, our annual meeting with our old Ipswich chums, Crash n Donna. We last saw them on January 26th last year, two days after I heard I'd got a job, and one week before we found out Lisa was pregnant. So they wanted to meet up again to hear tales of my worklife. Or possibly to see Amelie.
Our last meeting was at Bella Italia in the Lanes, and we decided to go there again, partly because we had such a nice time last year, but mainly because they still accept Tesco Clubcard vouchers. We opted for an eleven o'clock appointment in the hope of catching them sober, but Donna mentioned that she'd had beer for breakfast the day before, so it doesn't always work.
Anyway, a lot's changed in the last twelve months. Crash now looks like Lenin (which is appropriate as he's become a union firebrand and calls everyone comrade), while Donna's finished her phoenix and is now considering a portrait of Billy Butlin on her other arm. I think she's a big fan of Hi-de-Hi. As for Crash, he's added a cabbage to his tattoo of an angry carrot and murderous sprout. Don't ask.
The good news is that Amelie's ability to extract gifts from people continues unabated. Crash and Donna presented her with not one, but two pirate babygros from Piracy Boutique. So she can now start hijacking ships off the coast of Somalia.
Anyway, we spent an enjoyable hour or two eating, chatting, and trying to ignore all the people offended by Amelie's crying, before deciding she might be quiet if we froze her solid, and starting the walk back home. We parted company at the taxi rank, with Lisa and I promising to drop in if we ever have cause to visit Suffolk. Crash said he'd let me know when they erect a blue plaque outside my old flat, so I'm sure it's only a matter of time before we see them again.