I can almost hear my parents turning over in their graves sighing - "oh jeezus, not another one".
I am resisting the urge to smirk, teenagelike and trying to remember that I am in my forties and should know better. It isn't working.
Whoop, whoop! I have just added to my modest catalogue of bodyart with, again, a self designed tat.
It is still a little scaley, flaking healthily to reveal the brand new branding underneath. I love it just as much as I love my other small works of skin art.
This is the first tattoo that I've had that I can't really cover up, especially in summer. My other ones range from mildly hidden to completely hidden in everyday life.
I have never had any wish to become a tattooed lady, full body art, sleeves, cuffs etc have never appealed to me and I have always been a little concious of not losing a job or upsetting my boss at work who sometimes glances pointedly at my nose piercing (very ouch). I have enough to satisfy the alternative me but not enough to frighten small children.
In case any of you are remotely interested here are some FAQ's...
Does it hurt?
Yes, like fuck, but after the initial sting you kind of get to like it! He said I would scream like a banshee when he got to my big toe - I didn't (women are so much better at pain) but I did wince after when I stubbed my toe getting off the chair.
How long does it take?
The whole thing took an hour from prep to the last needle hole (I should say five needle holes because the shading tool has seven darling little needles).
Is it painful afterwards?
Not really, just a bit like sunburn. I use a gel designed for piles (an ancient remedy and completely un-official) and it helps combat the drive-you-nuts itching you get as it heals (do NOT pick).
How long does it take before it settles in?
About a month to six weeks. You endure the scabby, flaking and then you are left with a raised design - this goes down completely in about six months.
Are tattoos addictive?
Totally. As soon as one is finished I want another!
Do I have any regrets?
None at all. I love my bodyart. They are with you for life so being branded with someone's name has never appealed. I thought long and hard about each one and planned them down to the finest detail.
My only advice to anyone would be - express yourself if you are absolutely sure it is you that you are expressing!