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Monday, January 31, 2011

The good thing about tattooing, body art and probably extreme piercing too, is that it brings people together. If it wasn't for the annual Brighton Tattoo Convention, I'd never see some of my friends. Not that I'm a big mutilator myself. Personally, the closest I've ever come to a tattoo was a trip to Edinburgh in my teens. But I'm not averse to hanging out with the overtly decorated, so yesterday we went out for breakfast with our old friends Crash & Donna...

Brighton Ink
I don't know what it is about that photo, but Lisa, Amelie and I look like three small children out with their parents. Crash is clearly twice the man I am. And he has more hair on his top lip than I've got on my head. We planned things well though: both Lisa and I chose our tops to match our friends' hair.

Anyhoo, since I moved to Brighton, we only ever see Crash & Donna in late January when they fly south for the winter Tattoo Convention at Brighton Racecourse. For some reason we missed last year, so it was actually 2009 when we last saw them. Amelie was only four months old at the time, with the kind of laid-back attitude that meant she was quite happy to be cuddled by someone with pink hair and a massive phoenix on her arm, but we thought we ought to prepare her this time around, so I showed her the photos from our last meeting, and told her who the people were. As a result, she spent Sunday morning calling them Chris & Donald. I was going to correct her, but it was funnier not to.

We'd arranged to meet at the Ha Ha Bar at 10am, but we arrived to find the place temporarily closed for business. Donna asked a member of staff when they open, and the woman replied "February the 4th", so we decided not to wait. Plan B was to head around the corner to Bella Italia, who also wouldn't let us in (we've been there before), but having tried a few places nearby, we eventually found an establishment willing to serve us at such an ungodly hour (10am on a Sunday, when most people are at church), and ended up at the Post & Telegraph, which sounds like a couple of broadsheets, but is actually a Wetherspoons in North Street.

Crash & Donna had picked up a trio of stalkers at the convention, so there were actually eight of us at breakfast. Lisa, Amelie and I were the only ones without body art, but Lisa's as pretty as a picture, and Amelie had felt-tip on her face, so we blended in quite well. And it was nice to catch up. Crash told us about his plans to become the next Andy Millman by branching out into the world of film and TV extras, while Amelie passed the time by naming all the insects he has tattooed on his arm. Both Lisa and I were quite impressed by the standard of art on display, but having heard how much they paid for it, we'll be sticking to washable transfers from the pound shop.

Anyway, a good time (and a lot of breakfast) was had by all, and Amelie definitely warmed to her colourful new friends. As we waved goodbye at the door of the Post & Telegraph, and made our way back towards the bus stop, Amelie turned to me, smiled and said "I like Chris and Donald". You can't get higher praise than that.


Phil's Mum said...

I'm surprised she didn't give her rendering of 'Old Donald has a Farm'!

Dave said...

Of course, she hasn't met me yet.