I got your name tattooed inside of my arm

Brian Fallon of The Gaslight Anthem

The Gaslight Anthem’s Brian Fallon, courtesy of Last Year’s Girl

Last night Gem and I went to see The Gaslight Anthem at Glasgow’s O2 Academy. The girls, meanwhile, went to Grandma and Grandpa’s for a sleepover, something they absolutely adore. That doesn’t stop them being curious about what Mummy and Daddy will be doing of course.

“We’re going to see a band playing. You like some of their songs. You sing along to them in the car” I said, before breaking out YouTube to show her who I was talking about, and what the experience might look like. What I wasn’t expecting was the question that followed:

“Why does he have so many tattoos?”

Gem and I were talking about this later, and agreed that the chances of either of us having seen a tattoo were slim – in those days they were reserved almost exclusively for sailors, builders and convicts. But that was a long time ago, and times have changed. Just because neither of us have ever felt the urge to get inked, doesn’t mean plenty of our friends haven’t. Among our generation, tattoos are as commonplace as glasses or dyed hair. Or beards.

And, getting back to the story, it’s undeniable that Brian Fallon is a man with a lot of tattoos, including that one on his neck that must have stung a bit. So I answered in a suitably matter-of-fact manner.

“Yes, Heather he does. Some people have lots of tattoos. Do you not like them?”

If we weren’t expecting the initial question, we certainly weren’t expecting her next response, which left the two of us pretty much speechless.

“No, he has too many. I mean, if it was a Hello Kitty…”

Me and Gem just looked at each other, dumbfounded. Here was our little girl discussing the relative merits of different tattoos. I can’t honestly remember how we responded to that. It might even have been at that point that Heather pointed out the 2 guys in the video walking through the Reading Festival crowd, dressed as Mario and Luigi.

But it was certainly an interesting moment, and one which, combined with her being almost word perfect on Taylor Swift’s “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together”*, confirms that she’s getting older all the time. Our little girl isn’t so little now, she’s learning more about the world every day, and is more than capable now of holding her own opinions on all sorts of things.

Including tattoos, although I’m not so sure Brian Fallon would agree with her taste.

*Incidentally, Megan also loves a bit of Taylor Swift, and will happily sing “Trouble, trouble, trouble, trouble” whenever she hears it

This autumn I'm running/cycling in a 30km duathlon and a half marathon, to raise money for Breast Cancer Campaign. You can read more about my challenge here or support me here. All donations, however big or small, gratefully received!

365 pictures: 31-40

Astonishingly, this is my fourth grouping of daily pictures, which means we’re now over 40 days into 2013 – that’s more than a tenth of the year gone already! How did that happen, exactly? Beats me, and yet somehow we’re already into the middle third of February. Time certainly flies when you’re having fun, and looking back at these images I think it’s fair to say we’ve had a lot of fun so far this month. In amongst the tears and the tantrums of course…


31. Are you talkin’ to me?
Megan, although pretty handy with cutlery for her age, is still quite a messy eater. Hence the apron. I loved this picture, because of the attitude that seems to be pouring out of every fibre of her being. For the record, she looks a lot happier in the other pictures I took at the same time. Especially when she’s ripping a banana skin to shreds. As you do…


22. Waiting
February 1st was MoT time for the car I drive to and from work in, which meant catching a bus between office and garage on the way home. Which was inevitably late. And it was chilly. I love the dazzle of the lights in this one – not a special effect, although it probably does mean I need to give the lens a clean.


33. Tunnel
This is my favourite picture of the year so far. Both girls love this caterpillar tunnel, although it’s Megan who gets it out more than Heather these days – maybe now that she’s turned 4 it’s not cool any more?


34. Super Bowl
Last Sunday was Super Bowl Sunday, and we decorated the place to celebrate with bunting (which the girls loved) and a US flag over the coffee table. William the hippo had to be included in things – he was a gift to Heather from an awesome friend in NYC, where the *real* William lives in the Metropolitan Museum (aka The Met). Megan’s got one of her own too, and the various Williams have literally been all over the world (3 continents and counting) featuring in countless pictures along the way. Everyone needs a travel mascot!


35. Butter wouldn’t melt
The observant amongst you will notice that this set of pictures is dominated by Megan, this being the third of seven pictures she’s in. That’s not deliberate in any way, but is probably down to a couple of things:

  • Heather can be a bit camera shy these days, hiding from the camera unless she’s really in the mood
  • Megan is at an age where pretty much everything she does is photo-worthy in some way – especially with that smile
Hopefully balance will be restored over the rest of the year.


36. Stickers
I’ll be honest, I forgot to take any pictures last Tuesday, so this was a creative attempt not to miss a day. I think it turned out not bad, personally, all things considered.


37. Hello Kitty
Suzy, one of Gem’s friends from work popped over a couple of weekends ago, and brought the girls Hello Kitty goodie bags which included these masks. The stickers have long since been stuck to (and removed from) pretty much every available surface, but the masks live on.


38. Doctor in the house
One of my favourite things over the past few months is how well the girls have become at playing together. Heather still leads the way of course, but Megan loves joining in with everything, including various role play games. This one, first thing one morning, involved taking turns at being doctors. This is Megan’s surgery in the corner – Heather’s was on the other side of the living room, in front of the TV. Consultation ended when the porridge I was making for both doctor and patient was ready


39. Chillaxin’
Another favourite, this is Megan relaxing with some milk before bed. Gem will sometimes sit on an armchair with her leg hooked over the arm like this, so Megan is very much channeling Mummy here. What Mummy doesn’t do, however, is go on to kick her legs back and forth and come close to spilling what’s left of her milk. Guess who did that then…


40. Lunch
On Saturday we had an impromptu trip to Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, and had lunch in their KG Cafe. I love the sheer mischief in Megan’s eyes here. Perhaps it was a sign of things to come, as she spent the next couple of hours trying to run off and refusing to hold hands or be carried! Both girls love Kelvingrove, though, especially the various natural history exhibits and the working bee hive. They’re not so interested in the galleries of paintings up the stairs though, which means I never get to wander round those either. Maybe one day…

This autumn I'm running/cycling in a 30km duathlon and a half marathon, to raise money for Breast Cancer Campaign. You can read more about my challenge here or support me here. All donations, however big or small, gratefully received!