Tonight is the Branch Meeting and I’m thinking about my tattoos.

I haven’t completed my Movie Night list for the coming month. It’s late because I try to have a war film for the Monday directly following Remembrance Sunday, and I know nothing of war films. I’m pretty good on movies in general, but war films and westerns pass me by completely.

I had picked out a film which sounded good, starring Eddie Redmayne, who everybody loves and based on the Sebastian Faulks novel, ‘Birdsong’, I thought this would be the perfect film for Remembrance. It’s almost three hours’ long. Now, that doesn’t need to be a problem in the slightest, except for the fact that I press ‘Play’ at 7.30pm on a Monday evening.

Allowing for the interval, even if I’m strict with my timings, which I never am, my Movie Nighters will not escape into the cold, dark night until close to 11.00pm. On a Monday Night. Some of them have work on Tuesdays.

I suspect more of them have golf than work, but still, the tee times are not something to mess about with. With the fees you pay for golf club membership, I can’t imagine anyone just fails to turn up because they’ve had a late night. But who wants to wander round a golf course half-asleep? Regardless, we have arrived at a time of year when the clocks have changed, and the nights are fair drawn in, and there could be two inches of snow blanketing the car between my pressing ‘Play’ and the Movie Nighters escaping into the darkness.

So, maybe I’ll save ‘Birdsong’ for the summer. This leaves a gap in the Movie Night calendar. What with my getting caught up in whether or not one film is too long for a Monday, I haven’t thought about the subsequent Mondays and now I’m in a bit of a tizz.

Rather than give too much of my attention to how slow my brain is, I have decided to think about my sleeve. I have a phoenix tattoo running from my wrist to my elbow. In truth, it’s covering a terribly pathetic relationship-based embarrassment.

Apparently, tattooists know before their clients that the about-to-be-tattooed’s relationship is in trouble because, as a matter of routine, when the end is nigh, a client appears to get their lover’s name tattooed on them.

I haven’t got that woman’s name on me. Thank God. But I did have a very stupid quote. The worst of it is, it wasn’t even funny, at least not to me. So, after ten or so hours of grindy scratching, a sound like a dentist’s drill, quite a lot of cash and treatment with haemorrhoid cream, I have a brightly coloured phoenix and absolutely no idea what it should be rising into. For indeed, my upper arm is just me.

The sky seems a bit tepid. A tree, even a gnarly one, wouldn’t be to scale and would just confuse and perplex. At the moment, I’m leaning towards a haunted house, but I need the thought to settle before I can be sure.

Will I regret my tattoos when I’m older and my skin has wilted? I don’t think you can regret anything as long as you cause no pain to others.

Anything that happens to, through or because of you goes to form the person you become.