Updated: Mar 31, 2020

I was never very careful with myself, but learned how to channel it.

A balancing act between myself and my job, acting.

That is why my tattoos are largely unseen. They span a length on one half of my body - on my thigh, up my back to my shoulder. My 'good' side, I call it. My pirate lady tattoo was a copy of my grandad's, which he probably got done somewhere between Chatham Docks and the Suez crisis via the Caribbean.

He had left an abusive home life and joined the Royal Navy, arriving years later in our lives and marrying my nan.

My grandad and I were not joined by blood but later, by ink. He got ill with terminal cancer and I cared for him until he died.

He managed his life and death with utter dignity. To me, he was safety, protector, routine, pride and order.

I took photos of all his tattoos before he died. We both knew why. After, I got my tattooist to redo his tattoo onto me; the proud Pirate lady, sword in hand, and an anchor.

My tattoos are about memory, memorial, qualities to embody or use.

Dark made light, light made dark.

written by candis


Updated: Mar 31, 2020

My dove tattoo lies just above my left wrist. It represents peace and calm. As a Christian I believe the dove to be a symbol of the Holy Spirit.

The dove portrays a period in my life when I felt the presence of tranquility.

And for a short time, I did.

My dove makes me feel secure and grounded, yet also possesses an ability to fly me away to pastures new.

The dove is a truly beautiful creature.

Its beauty can settle even the most anxious of minds.

My dove can take me under the wings and envelop me in love, forever.

written by katie


Updated: Mar 31, 2020

In March last year, my sisters and I gathered in the south of France where the youngest had moved a few months before.

It was the first time we were away together, just the three of us. Away from our parents. Away from the noise of the past.

The time of squabbling and arguing was over. We rediscovered each other over a weekend. It almost felt like I had just met these two young women.

Turns out, we really got on.

The first night, we talked and we hugged a lot.

We said that even though we now live miles away, we would always support each other. Our childhood may have been messy, but we realised we were now old enough to make our own choices.

We talked about our grandmother, on the English side of the family, and of the things she had taught us. We talked about those moments when all of life seems bad, and we laughed about the fact the three of us do the same thing: we make a cup of tea, and by the time the teabag is in place, by the time the water is boiled and poured, we already feel a little bit better. It's our Englishness.

We decided to get a matching tattoo.

We didn't talk about it much. One of my sisters scribbled on the back of a receipt from a cafe.

We would all get a tiny cup of tea, with its steam bringing warmth towards our hearts.

It's a story about a promise. A secret pact.

It's a story about becoming an adult.

It's a story about three young women realising they will never be alone.

written by ninon


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