You know how sometimes, at the hairdressers, things don’t go exactly as you plan? You go in, you think you’ve explained what you want to the hairdresser, but you come away with something completely different, like 2 inches shorter or not enough layers around your face?

And you have a sinking feeling, as you sit there in the chair, checking out the progress, but you tell yourself, maybe it’s just the way she’s styling it, when I get home and style it my way I’m sure it’ll be fine… You don’t speak up there and then because you don’t want to offend the hairdresser, you don’t feel brave enough to explain again with conviction what you thought you already conveyed or you don’t want to pester them with constant grumbles and be some annoying painful customer. So you hand over your hard earned cash and swallow your misery.

Back home in front of the bathroom mirror you confirm that it’s not fine. It’s not what you wanted at all. But thankfully, hair grows back.

Unfortunately I didn’t get a haircut on the weekend. I got tattooed instead.

This is a fuzzy shot, so that probably doesn’t help.

 Be Honest. It looks like two pen drawings on my arms, doesn’t it?

I wanted them to be simple and calm. I wanted them to be slightly higher on my wrists. I wanted them to have thicker lines. I didn’t want them to be perfect (because I’m not and neither are any of the cranes I make) but I didn’t want them to look like dodgy doodles.

But I didn’t speak up. I could say it was because the guy who did them was a grump, and everytime I’ve seen him he’s complaining about customers who didn’t know what they wanted, or customers who were too clueless, or someone who didn’t want want he wanted etc etc and I was too gutless to take him on.

But it wasn’t his fault I didn’t get exactly what I wanted was it?

It’s okay though. I can get the lines made thicker once these heal. I can grow to like where they are on my arms. I can accept that they’re not hardcore, because neither am I. Like Edith Piaff, I do not have regrets. I just need to grow.

No! No regrets
No! I will have no regrets
All the things
That went wrong
For at last I have learned to be strong

If you are wondering why I got two paper cranes tattooed on my arms it’s because paper cranes symbolise loyalty, honor and peace. Commendable virtues, wouldn’t you say? I’m a very stubborn person, which is like a form of loyalty. I believe in peace, love and mungbeans even though sometimes I can be a bit of a shit stirrer. Folding paper cranes is a meditative action for me and more than anything I like to fold them for other people. Tiny and delicate, colourful yet calm, silent symbols of my love for others.

But these two paper cranes are for me. They’re there to bring me strength, remind me to be honourable, to seek peace and to uphold my loyalty.

The crane is a majestic bird which mates for life and is extremely loyal to its partner. The bird is strong, graceful and beautiful. The Japanese believe that if you fold 1,000 paper cranes you will be granted your greatest wish, which is why they’re also a symbol of good luck.

I’ve made several thousand since I first learnt to make them 10 years ago. I’m not sure what my greatest wish is exactly. I’m not sure that I need good luck, but maybe that’s because it’s already taking effect. Karmic paper cranes? Not sure about that. But I’m going to keep folding these paper cranes nonetheless, storing up all this good luck for a rainy day. If you need some good luck, let me know, I’m happy to share my stockpile.