There have always been butterflies appearing in my life.

My childhood of lies, violence and abuse were made beautiful by the buddleia bush that invited butterflies to show me there is beauty in everything.

My pregnancy was a miracle, and I grew my own butterfly.

When my husband jumped and took his life, my daughter had a butterfly farm in her bedroom.

We thought it hadn’t worked so I put it on the balcony that he jumped from.

The next day the farm was full of butterflies and we released them over the balcony.

I searched for oblivion in drugs, I searched to fix my ugly inside.

The first time I put a crack pipe in my mouth the butterflies danced in my mind.

written by jane


My tattoo is a laurel branch with 12 leaves.

It is a symbol of my son Lorenzo (his name means crowned with laurels), who was born on February 12.

I did it on my hip, at the level (I think) of my right ovary.

It is a tattoo that celebrates my fertility.

I recently had the feeling that it should evolve, so I looked for my old tattoo artist (I couldn't find him and had to go to a new one) to add three flowers.

I think the flowers are my nephew and nieces, Zoé, Hugo and Violeta.

So my tattoo is no longer just about my fertility but about my family's, about the tree. It's about inheritance and legacy.

I feel that it will continue to grow and at some point, not so far away, another branch will appear that will climb my ribs.

written by vanessa


The birth of my son made me speechless with love. The birth of my second daughter was more relief than anything.

Actually the original tattoo I had didn’t work for me so this one is on top of it, a cover up.

It has her delicate little baby feet from a photo taken in the hospital.

There is a saffron coloured rose for Saffron-Rose with her birth date in Roman numerals on one of the petals.

There is a pair of wax cap mushrooms because I like them, and lots of forget me nots, poppies and a dragonfly.

There is a significance to the dragonfly. They are so beautiful, but as a kid they used to scare me. My brother told me that they could sting you, perhaps that the long body was their sting.

Today, 1st April 2020, is the tenth anniversary of my daughter’s birth.

I will not visit her; it is not an essential journey under lockdown.

My wife and I will stay indoors.

I had this tattoo as a memorial. She was born at the Spring Unit in Poole Hospital. It was hard. We spent the day with her and I kept willing her to open her eyes, to wake up, but of course that wasn’t going to happen.

written by simon


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