My tattoos began in the year 2000 on a trip to Australia. I had the sudden urge to get a tattoo. It wasn't a drunken rush, rather it was something I'd thought about years previously in Blackpool. I'd been on holiday in the Las Vegas of North West England with my then wife Linda. We were celebrating our anniversary by watching Roy "Chubby" Brown on the pier (I was always the romantic!) and as we walked down the prom towards Bispham we spotted a tattoo studio.
The window was filled with all of those really gaudy designs that I'm sure someone must ask for. You know the ones. Chinese Dragons, Anchors, Flaming Skulls with Snakes or Dragons going through the eyes and not forgetting the semi naked woman tattoos too.
But body art is personal. One man's Popeye is another woman's lawnmower and the reasons for getting said artwork are myriad.Some people want to express themselves through engraving their bodies
For me it was partly a form of delayed rebellion. My parents were a tad conservative when I was a kid. I wasn't allowed to get a tattoo, wasn't allowed to get a motorbike (although they went one better with a car for my 18th birthday!) and wasn't allowed any piercings. That last one I've never changed although a freckle on my right ear sometimes confuses people.
I wanted a tattoo but had no real idea what I wanted. I had been told to choose wisely, in the style of the old Templar Knight at the end of Indianna Jones and The Holy Grail (sic). But then I saw it. or, the inspiration at least. Jon Bon Jovi.
Yes the original Jersey Boy was there, in the newspaper, sporting a small tattoo on his right shoulder. The Superman 'S'. I knew right away that this was what I wanted, not the Superman 'S' but that other symbol of all that is right in the world. The Batman logo.
Standing there on the breezey promenade, explaining my need to a guy who looked like a cross between a Hells Angel and a Weeble, I didn't expect the answer I got. "Do you want the 60's one, the one from the comics or the Jack Nicholson one?" he said. I was about to point out that he meant Michael Keaton, but he wasn't in the mood. "Come back when you're sure, son". Wow, he sure knew the meaning of permanent.
That was the day I nearly got a tattoo but I guess the idea stayed with me. In Australia, I took a printout to a local tattoo artist and one hour later my left shoulder sported a small batman logo. It's not there now though as on a subsequent trip to Thailand with friends, I decided that it was just too small and I had it covered by, yes, a dragon tattoo. In between I also had another tattoo of a dragon on my right shoulder as a reminder of a subsequent trip to Asia and in 2010 I had a tattoo of an Indonesian cicak, a small lizard, on the inside of my left forearm.
I'm currently debating another tattoo right now. My tattoos so far are reminders of great experiences and places I've visited and this time I'd like something to celebrate Uciel. I've been thinking about ways to combine her name with an interesting design. The spelling of her name, linked with phonemic symbols and a dramatic font is where I currently sit.