Saturday, 31 December 2011

Saying Goodbye.

As the year comes to an end here on my lighthouse lit island, shared with all manner of irritating fireworks I’m not having a hard time at all saying goodbye to year I could have done without.
Most of what took place has been negative and in my opinion best forgotten, as with all those involved and so saying goodbye to 2011 has not been hard to do at all. Now with an eye to the future and the birth of a new year, and I’m grateful to be starting from a good, healthy place, deep inside myself, and with that I think the year can only be a good one. I hope to put all those hard lessons learned from this year to good use and they will serve me well, and allow me to do the best at my passion for my art by creating beautiful works for my clients. I am truly fortunate to have the clients I do, and to all of you, I am forever grateful for the opportunity to have been able to create the kind of tattoos that you love. It is a great honor and privilege to be able to continue to tattoo you.
It’s said that saying goodbye is never easy, but in this case it is, so to all a very happy new year!
Below is the beginning of a new piece I have begun on Jerusha, “Bombs away boys” is in the text giving the dive bombing Stuka’s the F#$k you. A session or two more to go and it will be realized.

Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Love and Happiness

At this time of year when everyone is reminded that being a human being is being kind and loving, forgiving and tolerant, I feel that it's all bullshit, this is not a state for the holidays, this should be a constant state and something we should strive towards in our everyday lives. I blogged about being a "mensch" and perhaps it's good to remind ourselves what it means to be one. what follows is that blog

A while ago I mentioned being a “mensch” and I was not really clear on what it means. A good friend and client brought this in for me, it’s part of an article written by Charlotte Cohen, and it sums it up well.

What is a honourable mensch
It is a voice, and the understanding behind it.
It is the eyes, and the intelligence behind them.
It is the recognition that support is needed, and asked for, giving it
And the kindness that lies behind all of that.
It’s keeping quiet when one ought and speaking when one should and knowing the difference.
It’s giving praise deservedly and encouragement unreservedly.
It’s standing up for what is right, standing up for ones own rights and standing up for a friend.
It’s thinking with one’s heart and acting with one’s mind.
It’s the fusion of up to date views with old fashioned values.
Always maintaining a sense of honour, and always sustaining a sense of humour.
A mensch is a person one can trust, who’s non-judgemental and plays fair.
A mensch sees the world as ‘we’ not ‘I’
A mensch is always there.
A mensch is a manifestation of the human spirit, using the inimitable character that lies within , and the infinite energy that lies beyond.

Thanks Sari.

Saturday, 24 December 2011


First off, Merry Christmas and all that bullshit!

Ok so that’s over, I have been trying to sell my hotrod, to begin a new project, a cafĂ© racer, well with a little luck, and a few great connections, it looks like I may not have to sell the hotrod after all. It did get me thinking and looking at motorcycles again, and believe me I have had many in my life, but the shear art of these machines, yes of course we are all aware of “Zen and the art of motorcycle maintenance” and some even aware that the Guggenheim Museum did a huge exhibition on the art of motorcycles, but there are a lot of builders out there expressing themselves through motorcycles.
Now this needs to be said, and said early on. I am not talking about the garbage one sees in American chopper and the like, these are like watching a soap like “Days of our lives” but in a bike shop, and if that bunch are creative then I’m fuckin Van Gogh.
These programs follow a set pattern and this is visible in all that stuff, from the Cake Boss, to LA Ink, the latter to my beloved industries shame, but before I digress into a rant about how reality TV is nothing about reality, let’s gets back to the art of motorcycles.
I have talked about often in blog about how there seems to be a return to custom hand made, and this is seen in a lot of things, old crafts being nurtured and practiced to keep them alive and create art. So without boring you any further, take a look at this piece.

This beauty started it’s life as a Honda cb350, and it was never pretty, but the artistry and craftsmanship in this motorcycle is just staggering, from fabrication to paint, the attention to detail is incredible, this is beauty and the art of motorcycle Zen.

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Girl with the dragon tattoo

I spent a great day working yesterday, with all sorts of people popping in to chat about work and as well as cleaning up some tattoos some one else did, I have almost finished Liliana's back, one more session odd finishing touches and highlights and it's done, and we are both pleased with the outcome.

southsiders: Hook Motors

Take a look at this shop, wow, it's just beautiful
southsiders: Hook Motors

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

“Little Miss Chievious Thruxton”

My wonderful friend Tracey came by to do the second session on the “Little Miss Chievious Thruxton” yesterday and it’s beginning to look amazing did 80% of the Thruxton, and in the next session we should complete it, I love what’s it’s looking like and here is a sneak peak.

Now as I promised an update on the DATING site… what a pile of shit, really besides being a complete scam and needing to pay, which made me feel a little dirty, it just doesn’t work for me. Really, to be making a call on whom you would like to date, by purely looking at some photo, just seems shallow and wrong, and as some may judge me as shallow, I’ll stick with wrong. For me a woman I would like to see is more, it’s about style, grace, carriage, character, humor, taste and the things that just are not perfect, the quirky things, not some random photo, with a cheesy grin. Then there is the opportunity for complete disaster, what if she’s a stalker, a bunny boiler, a smother mother, an instant wife to be. In my opinion, it all a large pile of shit, I did this to broaden my horizons, thinking that perhaps fishing from my spot all the time was narrow minded, and I should open up to other possibilities, but I have learned it’s more like layer cake, stay in your layer, you know what is in there, no need to go up or down a layer where you are out of your depth. One last thing, to the 71-year-old lady, I’m very flattered, but I think you may just be a little old for me, but thanks for reminding me that I should stay away from the younger women…lol

Sunday, 18 December 2011


On Sunday I was visited by my long lost cousin and his partner, it must be about 16 years since I saw him, he had moved to Holland and due to typical Italian family bullshit some how we didn’t have much contact. After all that time it was fantastic to see him and see the man he has grown into, from that little guy we used to tease when they visited. He was very close to my Mum, and it was great talking about those days, and huge family lunches, with all my uncles and my Grandparents. The was sometimes 15 to 18 people at the dining room table and the conversation like the food, just kept on till late into the afternoon. Through rose tinted glasses, those were the best of days.
He surprised me by asking me to tattoo him, something I never really thought he would get, I know my Uncle well, and so it did come as quiet a surprise but I never baulk at an opportunity to tattoo family, and piss the others off….lol I took enough condescending attitudes from some of my family, to really enjoy converting some of them one tattoo at a time

Please Take a moment to read the article I wrote for the magazine and let me know what you think.

What a beautiful Photo, posted just because

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Wall of Death

I must have been six or seven years old, when my Dad and I went to the Rand Easter Show, I must have been that age because it was the two of us, which meant my brother’s were still to young. The Rand Easter Show, is a huge consumer exhibition, where thousands of exhibitors from all over the word come to Johannesburg to trade, it is in fact the largest show of it’s kind in the world outside of the US. My farther had been sent by his boss to take a look at some German machinery that was on exhibition, or something like that, because my Dad wasn’t the kind of guy to go with having to be prodded with a stick, of course for me, it was going to be great, because as a kid the only real attraction was the Carnival. The Carnival was huge, with Rollercoaster, Octopus and all sorts of rides, there were games of skill where you could win stuff and candy vendors, and tucked away in a corner there it was this thing that emitted a loud noise. The Wall Of Death the name did it, I was hooked, and then that noise, I nagged and dragged and nagged some more until he finally said yes, and if you knew my Dad, you will know just how much nagging it took. He bought tickets and I remember as we climbed the stairs that went around the wall, eventually spilling out onto this balcony, the sound was hypnotic, looking over the edge into that barrel, I was in awe, mesmerized by these motorcycles, and these people, I just couldn’t believe what I was seeing, it was the most amazing thing ever.
I don’t want to get into the science of the wall, but it’s all about centrifugal force, something all motorcyclists learn very early on, and it’s what keeps you upright when leaning over into a corner, obviously speed and is relevant to angle and all that.

The Wall of death was an offshoot of the old wooden board track racing days of the early 1900’s, and I believe its first appearance was at Coney Island, New York. The wall is a cylindrical barrel of wood, between 6 and 10 meters in diameter, where stunt riders on motorcycles and the odd racecar literally rode the wall doing tricks. It’s the Wall of Death because it’s no mean feat and it’s dangerous as all hell. The Wall of Death’s heyday was in the 1930’s and there were troupes travelling all over the US and the UK and back then in the US there was even a family that rode the wall with a lion, yes you read that, they were a circus family and kept lions, and the one used to sit in the car while being driven around the wall.

Today there are probably only a handful left if that, and while motorcyclist jump there bikes and do multiple summersaults, knickknacks, can cans, and what the what ever else, these memories stay with me, that smell, the sound those amazing men. I still own a motorcycle, I always have since I was 14, and though I have nearly lost my life to them, I still can never get away from them, and I think this is why. The impression of that the Wall of Death left with me however romanticized will always be with me, and my motorcycle.

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

"Cape of Storms"

So much for summer, damn the rain, wind and cold that's blown in.... just as I was really starting to enjoy the weather. Even Laika jumped up on the bed and curled up against me, ok she is a husky that likes laying in the sun, so she didn't like the wind and cold either. We live at one of the most dangerous seafaring places in the world, many factors combine here making it a passage feared by sailors. The violent, rampant winds and the hundreds of reported shipwrecks along the coast earned it the name "Cape of Storms" and later changed to the Cape of Good Hope. The Peninsula, in occupying this latitude, is first in line to be affected by the extreme winds and huge Antarctic swells which conflict not only with the South African anticyclone but also the powerful Agulhas current, descending from the Indian Ocean. This all makes the ever changing weather a pain, that's what you get when you live on an island with a

Oh good heavens, baby where's my medicine?
I must have left it outside with my etiquette
The undertaker's rule of thumb
It's hard to talk with a novocain tongue

This room smells like hotel illness
The scars I hide are now your business
I can't seem to make hair nor hide of this
No baby love is not a punishment.

Hypnotize by your rotten behavior
This week's fashion is last year's flavor
I got a head full of sermons and a mouth full of spiders
The politics of the world's greatest liar

So tell me baby is it true all those things that they say about you...

Monday, 12 December 2011

New Tricks

Today been a day of chores and mixed feelings, good, bad and sad, I picked up my Kona’s remains this morning, made me look at Laika and know she misses her as much as I do, and the hole she left in our lives. It’s the end of an era in my life, it closes the door, and is the final tie to my marriage, which is what has left me with, mixed feelings. I don’t miss that segment, of my life, but to make out like it was all bad would be a blatant lie, but it wasn’t a walk in the park either. We spent so much time together, people used to comment, that we were the “perfect couple” spending all our time together and never arguing. Well after 10 years of someone being with you 24/7 you are not such a perfect couple, and when you get home after spending every minute of the whole day together you just don’t have anything to talk about anymore, nothing is new, and everything that’s happened to either of you, you both already know about, so there isn’t anything left.
I do think in this day and age, being together and separate may just be a way to be, I have become fiercely independent, to the point that I don’t even date anymore for fear of having to give any of it up, but without children, and a family I guess that becoming selfish is just what happens. Perhaps for people like myself, and I do think there are a whole lot of us, finding a new way of being, might be the right way to go, not sure what it is yet, and it’s definitely not a fuck buddy, cause that’s not a solution either, but perhaps before beginning something a whole lot of ground rules need to be laid out. I know you wince, hell-of-a-romantic… but people fall into things that seem right at the time and a month later just don’t know how they got there.
A friend was relaying a story of meeting a lovely woman, they both have kids in there late teens and early twenties, they went out a for some months, and then went on holiday to Italy with everyone in tow. Needless to say all hell broke loose and by the end of the trip, they left on separate flights. I just wonder if before the time they had been honest with each other and lay down some ground rules, what might have happened, might have saved him 3 tickets to Europe. So with all this in mind, I did something I would never do, I joined a dating site, a scam, anyway that’s a rant for another time, but they ask you all sorts of stuff and want you to tell people about yourself, like I’m tall, handsome, large brown eyes, strong physique, blab la bla, like all the ones you read they are all bullshit, so I thought fuck it, I’m going to do it as honestly as possible, so I did, you can just imagine the response, hahahahaha, well if you can call it that. The truth is probably closer to fantasy, and that’s what this is all about, I guess the better the fantasy the more you will deal with to have it, and even bullshit yourself you’re the perfect couple.  Does it make any sense? Well that is one thing I really don’t know, does it matter? I can’t answer that either,

Saturday, 10 December 2011

Time takes a ...

On wednesday my great buddy arrived from JHB to spend some time and get tattooed. We had a great time, tattooed him, laughed, while good people visited and we talked and drank loads of tea. It got me thinking about friendship, and how friendship is as they say like a good red wine, it needs to age, not that I would know as I don't drink alcohol. It's true though, I have been in Cape Town for 4 years, and have met lots of wonderful friends, from all walks of life, contrary to the belief that Capetonians are reserved and withdrawn, but friendships that have stood that test of time as ours have, through thick and thin, just are different. After almost 20 years a friendship really is a FRIENDSHIP.

Louis Prima now that's what I'm talking about!!!! if you don't like it? you're dead

Thursday, 8 December 2011


We spent a long night tattooing this new piece for Robs other sleeve, it started out as a mermaid, but they have been done a lot, and i wanted to do something a little different, and it was that I came up with the Mermaid, Geisha, Shiva cross, with an emphasis on a very destructive mans ruin, and if that needs explaining, you will never get it. We started at at 16H30 and finished up at 02H30, a few breaks here and there, but all in all quit a session. I'm pleased with the outcome, we do however still get the ocean background in, a deep blue oriental inspired ocean and blend it into the Aum symbol on the shoulder I did 10 years ago. Tomorrow we finish up the other sleeve I started, based on his Grandad's experience of being shot down as a gunner in a Manchester Bomber in WW2, by a Meschershmidt  ME109, and thats the image that will complete it.

We went for a shave and hair cut at Burnet Fair today, and guys if you haven't been yet,
it's well worth it a Visit, nothing like a hot towel and straight razor shave and a great cup of coffee
to start the day.

We stopped by Madame Zorrina in Parden Island for the most freaking awesome Roti's, I had chicken, but had forgotten to get them to go easy on the chilli, and 8 hours later, Im still feeling it.  

Sunday, 4 December 2011

I just don't know

I just don't know any more, for all the things I believed in that I have lost, I feel like I should morn, but the things that are lost were never really part of me, as those that aren't are what they are, part of me, so I'm left wondering why I feel like I morn, and perhaps it's more for what might have been, and not for what is lost.

Thursday, 1 December 2011

New site is up

New website is up, simple and sweet, hope you all like it. Thanks to Murray and Mandy for all the help


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