Time Lapse of Brendan’s Tattoo

Brendan’s Tattoo from Emily Minor on Vimeo.

On Sunday, we met at Crystal Jade for lunch to celebrate Brendan’s 40th birthday.

Johnna told Brendan about the tattoo she’d had designed in a song… and then told him the appointment was in 30 minutes! He didn’t back out and a group of us hung out while he was getting it done.  This is a time lapse video of Ting from Shanghai Tattoo.

This is what Brendan had to say about the day:

I turned 40 on the 25th of July.  With help from a lot of friends, and particularly Paul and Suzy, Johnna had been planning my 40th for many months. I had absolutely no clue what she had planned for me!

We started the day with a Dimsum brunch at Crystal Jade in Xintiandi, and then had a wonderful banana birthday cake made and decorated by Suzy.  At the end of brunch Johnna sang a song about me set to the tune of a Sonic Youth song!  The last verse was about my present; a tattoo!  I was pretty cool, calm and collected at that point because I had been talking about getting a tattoo for years.  That’s when Johnna told me the tattooing was starting in 30 minutes and had already been designed!  At that point all of the blood drained from my face.

Luckily, I loved the design and the whole story behind it.  In Chinese, a set of boy and girl twins is called “龍鳳胎”, or in English; a dragon and a phoenix.  This means the dragon/taniwha in the design represents Finn and the phoenix represents Jade.  Neve’s Chinese name is 白星, or “White Star” in English, so she is represented by the star.  The background is a traditional Maori Koru pattern.

At 2:30PM I sat down and Ting, the tattoo artist, got started.  All our friends sat around in the tattoo parlour drinking wine and beer and periodically coming over to check out the progress.  Jon provided some great advice on how to cope with the pain, and Mike provided cans of cold diet coke and a human fan whenever it looked like I was getting too hot!

It was all done two and a half hours later so we went downstairs and had a couple of quiet drinks.  The guys all performed a haka to bless the tattoo, and then we moved on to dinner at 1221 – a Chinese restaurant that has been our favourite over many, many years.  It was a great meal and a great way to end a huge day!


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