“The Sacrifice”

For my 18th Birthday Jen Aniston and Sandra Bullock decided the best gift to give me would be to scar me for life. They took me to a tattooist that only a few weeks previous, had scarred Sandy with the Chinese symbol for hope, or whore, we are not really sure which one. Either way I am sure it made a statement on her travels to China. I however, decided to opt out of foreign symbols that would make me a laughing stock at the local take away and decided to embrace my inner Emo and get a single star tattooed just below my wrist. After about two years this single star tattoo craze as taken to new levels and before I knew it, half of the girls in Glasgow had a single star tattooed on their wrist. Unwilling to have the same body art as the wannabe cast of The Only Way is Glasgow, I returned to the tattooist. This time I opted to get one main star, followed by many small ones. Why? Because I was young, stupid and had no idea what else to get. Another year past before I realised that not only was this the worst idea for a tattoo since Sandra got whore tattooed on her back, but it was also done by a man who had no idea what stars actually looked like. No way was I spending the rest of my life looking like a rejected member of Avril Lavigne’s entourage. It had to go and in its place I got a dead tree. Many people over the years have asked me why I decided to get a dead tree going from my wrist up my arm, covering the mangled stars. My favourite answer to give is this: “Its like, to remind me that trees die and people die and like everything dies, one day even the earth will die, probably from the sun dying out and then turning into a black hole, sucking the earth in and squashing it to the size of a pee”. Is this the truth? Is it F***! I just like to see the reaction on people’s faces when I tell them this disingenuous and ridiculous story. So what is the reason for the dead tree on my arm? Well let me tell you.


After I decided that mangled stars where no longer my friends, I had to set about coming up with something unique, original and me. I spent hours researching possible options for my new tattoo; I wanted something I would not end up hating and wanting to chop my arm off to get rid of. After two months of Google searches and going through many tattoo books in Waterstones’; where I would sit in their coffee shop trying not to spill my latte on them so I wouldn’t have to pay for the book, I was still no closer to finding my perfect piece of artwork for my arm. One Saturday evening when I didn’t have enough money to go out and poison my system with alcohol, I was sitting in, watching some programme where a bunch of musicians came on and cover other musicians songs, talk out their arses about what that particular song means to them and where everyone in the audience look as if they have been given Valium on the way in. At the very end of what I can only imagine was a desperate attempt to steal viewers away from that night’s Match of the Day, The Magic Numbers came on and covered Dolly Parton and Kenny Rodgers, Islands in the Stream. As soon as they got to the chorus and started singing “Islands in the stream that is what you are. No one in-between, how can we be wrong” I had it! My next tattoo would be a flowing stream with the sun rising behind mountains in the back ground and a single dead tree hanging over the water. Over the course of the next few weeks, I realised that my wrist actually wasn’t big enough for this elaborate piece of artwork I had envisioned, so the sun rising behind the mountains had to go and then after another few weeks I had to also let go of the stream, all I was left with was a dead tree. Many people may laugh when they find out my tattoo was inspired by a Dolly Parton song but Dolly is awesome. Her look is inspired from the town prostitute and she isn’t ashamed to admit it, she started the imagination library, where kids under five get free books in her home state of Tennessee due to the high rates of illiteracy and its now active across the USA, Canada and UK. She also built Dollywood in the Smokey Mountains where her family lived, due to the high rates of unemployment there. She is an inspiration to us all and that is why I am proud to have my Dolly tree and also why on the day after Faith’s leaving night I had to go see her in concert.



The morning after Faith and Adam’s leaving night I woke up to what Courtney now calls my “juice hangover”. I call it living with M.E, but each to their own. Exhaustion, muscle aches and an extremely sore head were just a few of the symptoms that made up my juice hangover. I had no choice but to give into it and not leave my bed until 7pm came and it was time to go and say “Hello Dolly”. The last time I had planned two evenings out in a row, I was fit healthy and had money to squander on copious amounts of Alcohol, so needless to say a while ago.  However when Faith and Adam organised their engagement party for the night before Dolly came to Glasgow I couldn’t just phone up Ms Parton and say “Hi Dolly, hows life? I know your doing this big world tour at the moment and are incredibly busy, but the date you have put down for Glasgow really isn’t suitable for me, so do you mind making it the week after?” I couldn’t do this for two reasons, firstly because I don’t have Dolly’s number, which is probably best for her, as I would harass her on a daily basis to become my adopted Aunt and let me come live with her in Tennessee, where I would force her to sing “Travelin’ Through” to me every night before I went to bed. Secondly, if I did happen to have her number and phoned and asked her this, she would likely to  tell me where to go.


I didn’t move all day, I never even blinked just in case it used up the smallest amount of energy that I would later need to sing along to “Jolene”. But by 7pm the juice hangover, unlike everyone else’s normal hangover, had not subsided. I had two choices; give in and not get to see the Legend that is Dolly, or be influenced by a song on Dolly’s new album “The Sacrifice” and sacrifice all my energy for the next week and go and see the amazing Dolly Parton. I chose the latter; no way was I missing this concert. I got myself ready and very shakily walked into the concert hall, nothing was stopping me, and even if Courtney had to carry me, as long as I got there, I was happy. As soon as Dolly came out in her pink tasselled rhinestone outfit I knew I had made the right choice. Courtney even got me an ice cream cone on the break. Was I ill for the next week? Yes, but by the next Sunday, I had started to feel slightly better and was able to go and see off Faith at the airport. I even made a banner.


Now as an M.E sufferer, I know how important it is to pace yourself, doing too much; like going to an engagement party filling up on Red Bull, followed by going to see the wonderful Dolly, however great it may seem at the time, is not recommended. However, I would have been gutted if I missed out on either of these events due to M.E but this was a once off and I do not plan on repeating this again. Well unless Joni Mitchell decides to tour again and comes to Glasgow the day after Posh’s wedding.


*Please note all the names of people in my blog have been changed to their celebrity or fictional character counter part to protect their identity. Under no circumstances should this be a reflection of the named celebrity or fictional character.
Title taken from the song “the sacrifice” by Dolly Parton
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