Friday, 15 June 2012


I've been on holiday for the past week, in a little town called L'Alfas Del Pi in Spain, near Alicante.

I've spent the whole week feeling like I'm in a goldfish bowl. I'm a heavily tattooed woman:

I still have quite a bit of bare skin, but people just don't seem to expect me to be tattooed. I live in the UK, so most of the time, I wear jeans, or tights with my dresses/skirts, but it's too warm here for that sort of nonsense.

I adore my tattoos. I used to be severely overweight, and in a relationship with a person who did not want me to get tattooed. When I started getting tattooed, I chose small pieces. The first tattoos I got were the words 'loved' and 'beautiful' on the insides of my wrists. I got these to remind me of a proverb that I had heard a long time ago - "that which is loved is always beautiful". I got these to serve as a reminder that no matter what happened, as long as one person loved me, I was beautiful in their eyes (I have really bad self confidence, still working on improving that!).

My first bad experience as a tattooed person was because of these tattoos. I thought they were perfectly inoffensive, but one day, a girl who seemed to be a student from the University of Glasgow decided to verbally attack me. I was called narcissistic, among other things, and the girl was generally quite disgusted by these tattoos. I was completely shocked, and ended up crying for a good while afterwards.

Nevertheless, I continued to get tattooed. Again, small pieces to begin with (I did the outside and inside of my ankles, and a little diamond behind my left ear), but then I lucked out and found the artist who has done most of my work (Craig Ridley, used to tattoo in Glasgow but is now based in Angelic Hell, in Brighton).

I met Craig because I went into a studio in Glasgow with a passage from the novel On the Road by Jack Kerouac (The only people for me are the mad ones...). I had picked a font that I wanted, but on the advice of the studio, I decided that it would look better in a script style. I was so nervous about doing this tattoo, but I am so glad I did. It covers the whole length of my back, and it stands as a constant reminder that I am lucky to have some wonderful, completely mental people in my life that I can call my friends. I had a strange experience in Brixton with regards to this tattoo. I was in a bar with my fiance, the barman saw the top half of my back piece, and shouted "BIBLE?" at me. I refused to acknowledge this, and my fiance apologetically waved the man away. Again, I was just so shocked that someone thought that they had a right to just randomly shout at me. By the time this happened that night, I had already been ogled by most of the people in the bar, and I was starting to get a bit upset.

I still didn't stop getting tattooed.

In the past 18 months or so, I have tattooed both my calves, both of my shins, the front of both of my thighs, the inside of both forearms, the back of both of my thighs, and both of my shoulders. A lot of work in a short space of time, some may think, but these tattoos have all been years in planning (with the exception of my forearms - these relate to my wedding!) and I had saved up a fair bit of money to allow me to complete a lot of work quickly.

Not being the most confident person, sometimes I really struggle with how people view me and my tattoos. I did not get my tattoos for attention. My mother said I have been fascinated with tattoos ever since I was a little girl (I apparently used to approach old men with tattoos and ask to see their "paintings"). Getting tattooed was always on the cards for me. I genuinely never anticipated that I would receive this much negative attention.

I have been asked how I expect to get a husband. I have been asked how I expect to get a job. I've had the usual comments on how bad I'm going to look when I get older. I've heard one woman tell her child that I was stupid when the child asked why I had "pictures" on me and he didn't.

Just this week, while on holiday, I have been started at, and spoken about, more times that I can count. We went a day trip to Valencia earlier in the week, and I ended up having a stare down with an old man who quite simply refused to take his eyes off of me. We went out for dinner earlier tonight, and my fiance tells me that the couple sitting behind us were pretty much gawping at me and talking about me for the whole meal. It's certainly put a bit of a dampener on my mood at times, because I just do not understand how people can be so rude and careless.

I wish I could say that I don't care. I did not get my tattoos for attention. I have my tattoos because I adore tattooing as an art form. I care because I cannot believe how closed minded people can be.

Despite all of this, I still have more tattoos planned.

Some people may read this and wonder why, when I quite obviously do get upset by the comments that people make.

It's plain and simple. My tattoos are for me. My tattoos make me feel beautiful. I love the tattoo industry. I love going to conventions. If I could, I would work in a tattoo studio. As sad as it is, that would be my dream job. I cannot draw to save my life, but I would love to be the behind the desk person. I would love to be able to experience the joy that tattooing can bring to people on a daily basis.

I've read a a couple of posts on tattoo etiquette recently, and I applaud these women (Nova and Nicole) for being able to articulate on the issue much better than I can!

I guess my main point of this rant would be something that my mother drummed into me as a child - if you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all.

Pretty simple, huh?


Thursday, 14 June 2012

Building a Still

So here I am, giving this whole blogging thing a bash again.

I had a blog that I started in September last year. I then ended up with a whole heap of things happening (I had three months off work with a back injury, and I got engaged) and life has just been a bit of a whirlwind. I didn't feel that my last blog was going in the direction I wanted it to, and I wasn't truly happy with the name, hence starting again!

I want my blog to be a place where I can write about what has been going on, and look back on it fondly. There is so much going on in my life right now (wedding, travelling, lots of gigs etc) and I don't document it anywhere. I also recently bought myself a little Nikon 1, which I'm loving, so I'll hopefully be able to post some pretty good photos too.

 I can also get on my high horse from time to time, and I can see me maybe having ranty posts about issues that are close to my heart - apologies in advance for that!

I'm on holiday in Spain at the moment, hence why the blog design is pretty plain right now. I plan to rectify that when I get to my other macbook, because photoshop isn't working on the one I've brought with me :(

The title of this post is from "Woods" by Bon Iver, the full lyric is "I'm building a still, to slow down the time" (although, on googling the lyrics, some people seem to think it's "sill" instead of "still" - confused!). It pretty much sums up what this blog will be - hopefully a way for me to slow down and savour my life a bit more!