Morning all.

No. 11 on my Bucket List was to get a tattoo. Now I have to confess that I actually achieved this over 20 years ago, way before the term ‘bucket list’ was even invented.

Unfortunately people can often judge those with tattoos. I try to be a nice, pleasant, smiley, polite, helpful person but sometimes I get adverse reactions to my tattoos and I am sure I am not alone. I confess I might choose not to get into a heated discussion with a guy who has ‘Love’ and ‘Hate’ tattooed on his knuckles but, other than that, we are just the same as non-tattooed people. One of my sisters has chosen to go down the route of covering most of her body with art. I think she looks beautiful but unfortunately it has sometimes prevented her getting work. Such a shame, nice girl.

Anyway, where was I?  Ah yes, my first tattoo. I still remember it like it was yesterday. 22 years old, bumming around Australia on my first big trip abroad, just done a Bungy Jump, feeling on top of the world. The next natural step, whilst my mother couldn’t see me, was to get a tattoo – something I’d thought about for a good long time. The tattoo studio was combined with a biker shop and I did wonder if the tattooists had left their day jobs of singing in ZZ Top to become artists. I got the only non-bearded tattooist – a young guy called Eddie – who did a great job. Unfortunately, as those of you with body art will know, tattoos become faded and blurred over time so I’ve since had it re-done although I did stick to a similar image:

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Anyway, tattoo done, bumming around continues, get back to UK, get a job, get up early every morning to commute to work, blah, blah, blah…life goes on.

But it seemed the rebel in me hadn’t yet been satisfied and I wanted another tattoo. So, again, there I was, a little older than 22, bumming around LA, strolling down the boulevard in Santa Monica and there’s this little Chinese lady out the front of a tattoo studio. So, hell, why not I thought. In I went, out I came 20 mins later with a tattoo of a panther – although to be fair it looks more like my cat Scooby. Again, it is starting to look a bit faded so will need re-doing soon, but hey ho, I still love it:

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Now, you’d think two would be enough wouldn’t you but, well, no. Anyone that has had a tattoo (while they were sober) will tell you that they are addictive, even David Beckham said it was a ‘pleasurable pain’, and he’s right.

So, again, there I was, bumming around Gillingham (well, it can’t be glamour all the time can it), clutching a postcard I’d seen during a trip to Canada, and I decided to pop into my local tattoo studio. A few days later I was back again, this time for 2 hours, getting another, and admitedly my favourite tattoo, done by my sister’s recent ex-boyfriend (luckily he didn’t hold that against me and decide to tattoo a penis on my arm instead!). It is the ‘spirit of the wolf’ and it was first painted by a Canadian Indian but I swear if one more person says ‘I like your dolphin’ I may well, ooohhhhh, well you know:

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And finally, just yesterday I had another one done on my foot – simply the words ‘Goodbye Old Man’ in honour of my hugely missed grandad. I had it done at a place called Kaya Tattoo in Calis. The tattooist wasn’t there when I first popped in to take a look but his friend called him and less than 10 mins later a guy with a chest, arms and legs full of tattoos walked round the corner  – it wasn’t hard to figure out he was the man I was waiting for!

Kaya

We discussed font, size and location and voila the appointment was booked and the job was done:

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Anyway, that’s it, the story of my tattoos and now that I have four I think I am done…or am I?

PS. If you are interested in tattoos then stick around. I am doing an interview with Ahmet (the tattooist) later this week to find out a bit more about the world of tattooing and about a convention he is running in September.

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