Since being nicknamed Dan the Tinker by my mother on the occasion of the first time I ran away from home (I was four and left to go pitch my tent- a blanket held up by a stick- in the trees up the street from the house), I’ve always retained a warm spot for anything Gypsy, Romany, Tinker. Growing up in Ireland, tinker camps by the side of the road, avoided by most, held a fascination for me. Woodsmoke and horseshite smells, laundry drying on the bramble. Sure that’s nothing but rank romanticism, but I was a kid dammit. Van Morrison singing Caravan. Marlene Dietrich as a gypsy in Golden Earring and I swear playing the same character in Touch of Evil. Davy Spillane in Traveller. The book Bury Me Standing. Johnny Depp in Chocolat.
And of course, any kind of loud aggresive or abrasive behaviour on my part is always greeted by “them that knows me” as “huh-oh…here we go…the Tinker”. Calumny to be sure on me and tinkers but people, what can you do……I have always conformed to the wandering gypsy stereotype. (Another name my mother god love her throws at me- The Raggle Taggle Gypsy).
Anyway, let’s just say I have a very unreal romantic image of tinkers and gypies. So imagine my delight at stumbling across this charming photo of Miss Kate Moss……
No wonder that wee tinker Pete Doherty was so smitten.