My tattoos

Hello lovelies!

Today I'm going to talk about my tattoos. Joanna from Just Joanna asked me about them recently. so here I am.

Tattoos aren't for everyone, that much is for sure - be it for personal reasons, religious reasons, or plain ol' fear of the needle. I think you either 'get' tattoos or you don't. I had a burning desire to be tattooed from my teens onwards and I just knew it wouldn't go away. When I had my first good tattoo (more on that soon) it was like a rite of passage. It was almost like a religious experience, it was that powerful. It felt like I'd finally found 'me'. I wrote my tattooist a thank you letter afterwards telling him so because it changed me so much.

Being tattooed makes me just alternative enough no matter what I wear. Being tattooed is body modification without the need to diet. Being fairly tattooed tends to keep idiots away as well, I've noticed! ;) I walk round with chronic bitchface as it is, so a couple of eff-off great big tattoos probably makes me look a little unhinged.

However, my first tattoo experience was NOT good. I was 21. I grew up loving rock and metal music (I still do) so seeing tattoos was the norm for me. A girl at my work recommended her tattooist, and I had no doubts as he'd done a good tattoo on her. I think she must've caught him on a good day, because my tattoo was done badly. When it healed up there were lots of missing patches in the black areas. I put that one down to not doing my research properly.

My next tattoo was a tiny Japanese kanji symbol on my right boob. I had this done in my old home town after about 3 months of deliberation as to which symbol I wanted. I chose one for truth/honesty as I hate bullshit, can't abide liars and prefer to tell the truth rather than soft-soaping something.

I think I had this tattoo done about 13 years ago on my birthday. My mum came with me, bless her. It's pretty hard to breathe while someone is tattooing your boob so it was a bit uncomfortable, but not too painful as it's only about 1.5 inches high. I'll have it re-done at some point as it's faded a bit. When I had a busy social life and was going to London for nights out most weeks, I always used to get drunken fellas on the last train home asking me what it means. I always used to say 'Special fried rice!' You never know ;)

My next tattoo was on my back. This was about 11 years ago now. I was visiting my then friend Liz, and she took me with her when she was arranging a tattoo appointment for herself at Good Karma in Eastbourne (now called Holy Cow Tattoos.) I was introduced to their new tattooist Yan. He schooled me in the ways of having a tattoo designed for me rather than picking something out dozens other people would have and asked me what kind of things I wanted. I've always liked gambling imagery, leopard print and flames so we came up with a Lady Luck tattoo. A lady luck tattoo is a beautiful woman usually placed in the middle of other signs of good fortune like a horse shoe, or rabbit’s foot. My lady has tattoos and big boobies, haha.

She has a 7 ball tattooed on one arm and some playing cards on the other. The the dice add up to 7 (as I was born on the 7th of April.) The tattoo is about 11.5 x 6 inches. I had it done in one 4.5 hour setting and it was excruciatingly painful towards the end. Because there are so many colours in it it had to be wiped down constantly so Yan could see what he was doing, and that was almost as painful as the needle. I was really glad when it was over.

Next was the cover up on my left arm. I wanted to have a tattoo which took note of the good and bad sides to every person. Initially I wanted a Queen from a set of playing cards, with a good Queen at the top of the card and an evil Queen at the bottom, with them morphing together in the middle just like you see on a playing card. I was talked into doing two separate tattoos, but it was determined as the 'bad' me would be darker than the 'good' me, it'd be the best thing to cover up my crappy tattoo on my left arm. Yan pulled out some books, introduced me to H.R. Giger and the idea was born to have a bio-mechanical evil me. I had this done in 2 x 3.5 hour sittings, which were a lot better than 4.5 hours straight!

You can still see part of the shitty old tattoo underneath it, but that's often the case with cover ups, so I will have some touches up done on this tattoo too. Where you can see the tattoo showing through, that's white ink, not skin, so I think if I were to have those 3 lines done in a dark blue or purple instead of more white it'd cover it up nicely. Those lines are there to show reflected light as her top is supposed to be made of pvc, and as pvc does reflect some colours I don't think a little dash of a dark colour amongst the black and grey would look too odd. 

My most recent tattoo was done in 2012 after I had my (second) ectopic pregnancy in 2011 and almost died. I was so physically changed inside - both missing a fallopian tube and sporting a sexy 8 inch surgery wound - as well as being devastated by the loss of the much wanted baby that I couldn't rest until my outer self was as marked as my inner self. Only could my healing begin once I had a physical reminder of what we'd lost. It's about 11 inches long including the dotty bits.

The lock and key is symbolic - time to lock away the grief to stop me falling apart, but also recognising some days it has to be faced for me to grow. This was my first tattoo since having Fibromyalgia and I noticed a definite increase in pain. It was like electricity going through my nerves, my arm wanted to jump about like a flailing fish. Also, healing was different. My tattoo got much more dry than usual and even started to split so I had to ditch my usual tattoo healing cream (Acriflex burn cream) and use Bepanthen, as it's so much more moist. However, some areas stayed super dry and there are a couple of bits in the centre of the keyhole which will need re-doing as they scabbed over so heavily that when the scabs got knocked off, some ink came with it. That's not Yan's fault, it's my bloomin' body.

I have plans for more tattoos. I want a pair of matching heart designs on my feet, I want the 'good' me on my right arm to be sweetie themed (good, sweet - play on words) with things like cupcakes, french fancies, candy canes and lollipops, and I want the head from Prometheus on the front of one of my thighs. Oh, and a chestpiece with roses with my mum and dad's names on. So when I'm having one of those tattoos done I can get those little touch ups done too.

So, are you tattooed? Tell me about them!
If you hate tattoos, tell me why - I promise to be nice.
If you want a tattoo, tell me what you want and why!

Thanks for reading!

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