I’ve started to realise that a lot of this blog (and a lot of my bucket list) is really a story of my friendships. And what I am about to write here is a mere droplet in the vast lake of my friendship with G. I never thought I would have a friend so good, and true and loyal (and to be honest bloody-mindedly determined) that we would have a bond that has endured now for over 21 years. I would say that she is the Kirk to my Spock, but I suspect she wouldn’t be terribly flattered by the comparison….. I also definitely, bet-your-bottom dollar, didn’t think I’d ever end up getting matching tattoos with someone. I mean, seriously…? Oh, okay.

So, anyway, the other day whilst on my computer, I glanced down at my forearm (I cannot believe I’d actually pushed my sleeve back, as I haven’t willingly uncovered any flesh since early December, but I digress…) and had one of those great out-of-body moments when you see yourself through someone else’s eyes. And I realised that I have a quite frankly ridiculous tattoo. I literally cannot believe none of my students have ever said, ‘Aye up Miss, how come you’ve got a Fibonnacci spiral, painted ocean colours and with the words Nil Desperandum written across the middle?’ Because I bet that’s not a common request at the tattoo studio.

Well, settle back children, and I’ll tell you. You see once upon a time, I wrote on my bucket list that I wanted to get a tattoo that I had drawn myself. There was, however, a teensy, baby flaw in this brilliant plan. I can’t draw. But, as a true scientist, I realised that I could draw an extremely pleasing spiral, based on the work of the famous mathematician Fibonacci, who’s golden ratio describes any number of patterns and shapes seen in nature, including (you guessed it) wave formations, using mathematical construction and 0% artistic talent. So far, so good. But for something truly special you need to throw G into the mix.

For some reason (and it could just be a perspective thing), I seem to spend a lot of time helping G to move house. It’s bordering on a hobby. And this woman has stuff. The last time she made me pack tapes. TAPES! Anyway, the house that she fell in love with (and quite right too, it has a fairy tower in the garden!) has among its many fine features a very large engraving over the bedroom fireplace that says Nil Desperandum. What better phrase to turn to in times of crisis (or house moving)? I’m not quite sure of the sequence of events that led from ‘it’s carved above the fireplace’ to ‘let’s get it permanently inked onto our arms’, but wine may have been involved….

And that is how I came, on New Year’s Day 2020 (hahaha, how innocent we were back then!) to be laying on the couch of an airline-pilot-turned-tattoo-artist in a lovely little studio on the wind-swept sea front of Borth, whilst G drip feeds me sugary snacks to prevent me passing out.

So, thank you G for helping make #3 a reality. And please, rest assured, ridiculous though my tattoo may be to anyone who doesn’t know the story, it fills me with joy every time I look at it.

For the curious among you, here is my tattoo’s non-identical twin:

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