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When I first realised that my little turtle was broken, I tried to be Zen about it. I am having some tattoos done in January, one of which will be a little turtle, and I told myself that the turtle had got broken because I no longer needed it, because I was about to get a tattoo of it and make it part of myself. I told myself that it was only a cheap pendant and that it didn’t matter. I told myself that if I wanted a charm to wear while I was swimming, it could be easily replaced.

The trouble is, none of these things were true, as evidenced by the fact that I had kept the broken pieces of my turtle. Every so often I would get them out, look mournfully at them, and wonder if they could be glued. If I was just wearing it as a pendant, maybe, but to wear to swim?  Probably not. Eventually I decided the best thing was to replace it, and duly Googled “turtle pendant” to see what was out there.

It turns out that there are an awful lot of turtle pendants available on the internet. Thousands, probably. They come in all sorts of materials, mainly silver or ersatz silver, but including glass, metal, resin, gold, jewelled, crystal, wood…. You can get big ones, tiny ones, cheap ones, pricey ones, stylised turtles, natural looking turtles, turtles attached to stones, turtles made out of flowers, single turtles, multiple turtles, on chains, on thongs, hanging head up, or head down, or sideways.

You can get almost any sort of turtle you want. But nowhere in page after page after page of images of turtle pendants was there one which looked like my turtle. And the more I looked at other turtles, the more I wanted my own little turtle. None of the others were right. None of the others would do.

More tomorrow.