Monday, July 31, 2017

Tattoos and bicycles

This week's Sunday Letter.

Michael Commane
When I was a young fella tattoos were a rarity. They were more or less the preserve of sailors and seafarers. You would see the occasional one on  an arm.

And now they are everywhere and on all body parts. Last week in St James's Hospital I saw a young woman with her legs covered in tattoos.

That same day there was a news item about  a grandfather, who was taken off a Ryanair plane allegedly for bad behaviour. He claimed he was 'fingered' because of his tattooed face, which was posted on social media.

And it seems the US Army and Navy too are now permitting its soldiers sailors to sport tattoos below the elbow.

They're everywhere.

Did the current fashion begin with the Premiership footballers? I'm inclined to think so, but I may be incorrect. 

Thinking about it, they are not too common among jockeys. Indeed are there any Irish politicians sporting tattoos?

Would it look odd if the Taoiseach turned up at a function with a tattoo on his arm or if the Catholic archbishop of Dublin arrived out on the altar, also with an arm tattoo?

And now to bicycles. Again when I was a young fella, or maybe better to say when I was in my 20s and 30s there were not too many bicycles out and about in the city. 

And even if there were, it certainly was not a fashion item. 

These mornings when I try to cross the road outside the church at 08.00 bicycles are roaring down the road, heading for town at great speed. One wrong step and it could be disaster.

A mix of speed, style, women and men, plodders, fellas and girls, some in lycra, some with cameras on their helmets, some wearing fitbits. A lot of fancy bicycles too? It's a sort of catwalk on wheels. And most of them look so serious and determined. 

I've never had a tattoo and I'm cycling a bicycle 63 years.    

I hope to keep cycling and remaining tattoo-less. A stick-in-the-mud on wheels?

Fashions constantly change. Is there anything constant?

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