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Old Un's Notes

Old Un's Notes | November issue


Tattoos are getting more intellectual. Oldie reader Luke Douglas-Home wrote to the Old Un, as the proud new owner of an extremely clever tattoo.

Having recently given up drink, he wanted a daily reminder to stay on the straight and narrow. So he consulted his late stepfather’s brother, the distinguished classicist Colin Leach, who studied classics at Oxford in the early 1950s. 

Between them, they came up with the line, ‘Carpe diem sed cave ne crastina perdas’. That’s Latin for ‘Seize the day, but be careful not to lose parts of tomorrow’ – a brilliant reminder of the hell of hangovers.

‘I had it done on my calf in a font that originated in the Renaissance,’ says Douglas-Home, ‘And everyday it acts as a kind of “Buck up!” on me.’

Do any other Oldie readers have examples of high-minded tattoos?


This story was from November issue issue. Subscribe Now