Alan Cuthbertson – A Midlife Crisis

A midlife crisis

It doesn’t matter if you live in Granada, East Leeds or Timbuktu, when a man reaches a certain age he starts wanting to do weird things. This normally manifests itself in the purchase of something he doesn’t need and is usually inappropriate for his age. Some men go for fast cars or motorbikes. Me? I decided I wanted a tattoo.

When I announced this, Heather, my wife, thought it was a ridiculous idea. My daughters thought it was brilliant. They took me on one side and said they would pay for it as a birthday present to get around Heather’s objections.

So what to get? I decided on something to do with flying as that was my hobby back in the UK. I showed Heather a design I liked, it was an aircraft similar to those seen in the Red Bull Air Race.

She told me exactly what she thought and secretly rang my daughter, Stacey, to ask her to find a better one. She later emailed me a photo of a pair of wings with an emblem inside. I found one similar to Stacey’s but a little more intricate. Armed with this I marched down to the local Spanish tattoo artist and presented him with my idea. “No problema” he said and invited me to take a seat.

30 minutes later I was starting to think a motorbike would have been a better idea. It felt like he was removing the skin from my upper arm with a rusty Stanley knife. How do people get all their body’s done? As a distraction I asked how long he had been doing the job? I hope he misunderstood me because his reply of “40 minutes” sent me into a panic. Alas this was how long my tattoo was going to take.

I returned home and showed the finished job to Heather and my daughters. “What’s the symbol mean dad?” they asked in unison. Not being able to come up with an answer I made some excuse and slipped away. I think I should have looked into this a bit more. I googled the description and watched as my screen filled with similar images to my tattoo. I was relieved I hadn’t gone for Stacey’s choice…The emblem of the Harry Potter Owl Flying School, could have left me a little embarrassed when I next visit the beach.

I never did find one exactly the same as mine, though the badge for the ‘Iraqi Elite Flying Corp’ had an amazing likeness. Maybe I’ll sunbath with my T-shirt on in future.

So for all my male readers, when you hit this mysterious age where you find yourself avoiding the mirror because it’s your father that looks back, and the urge comes to fulfill a wish that you have carried like an unborn child since your 18th birthday, THINK TWICE!!!

Alan Cuthbertson is the author of Fiestas and Siestas Miles Apart, and Clover House.
He has lived in Spain for over ten years.
For more information please visit

Fiestas and Siestas Miles Apart is now available on audio.


Tags: ,

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *