Tattoo Number 12?

I'm thinking of getting my 12th tattoo sometime over this summer and reflected back on how I managed to get from my first (which was going to be my one and only!) to this point.

I got my first tattoo around 1989/90, about 24 years old.  From the age of 18 I had wanted my birth sign, a scorpion.  However by the time I reached 18, the AIDS stories had really hit and I decided against it at that point.  So years later, I was driving home from work one day and the Duran Duran song 'Come Undone' came on the radio and the lyric "signed with a home tattoo" played and I decided there and then to get it done.  The next day I went to Kingston and had my first tattoo on my right shoulder blade.  
I was quite happy with this first tattoo and for a number of years it stayed that way. When I met my, now ex-husband, I ventured off for my 2nd tattoo. This was some 6/7 years later.  I went back to the same place (no longer exists) and had a bat with his name written underneath it done on my hip.  I hated it.  The tattooist talked me into having something more 'intricate' than I wanted and ended up...well, cocking it up to be quite honest. The bat had wonky wings and the 'face' just didn't exist, even after the initial swelling went down.  However, despite not liking it, I decided to live with it.

Around 8 years later, I went into Woodys Tattoo Studio in High Wycombe and had a gorgeous little green dragon, curled up asleep, tattooed into the middle of my back. I spoke to Woody and asked about a cover-up for the bat.  I was informed it would be 4 times the size of the original. That didn't deter me at all as I loathed the wonky wings so much.  I asked Woody if he would draw something 'dragon-y' for me and he did.  This gorgeous Chinese dragon was the result.
Of course, the addiction had now well and truly gripped me.  I then had a multitude of new tattoos, including this lovely flower for my daughter (surprisingly painful on the foot bit).
I also had a very large piece on the lower half of my back. Again these were dragons (see the theme here?) that Woody drew for me.  He designed one with the Celtic look that I wanted and then copied it across to form a mirror image. The whole piece was done in two sittings, the first 6 1/2 hours for outlining and the second 2 1/2 hours of magnum shading work. I loved it.

My oldest sister hated my tattoos and kept saying "You'll regret it when you're 60 and they are on display".  My attitude to that was "If I can wear a top that displays them when I'm 60, I'll be bloody delighted".  I don't give a fig what anyone thinks about them to be honest. I had a brief wobble with this big back dragon piece as I had a few comments on how large they were and my now husband (who wasn't at the time) was worried about what his parents may think of them (they are now in their 80s and they don't like them but are now quite used to me having them).  Most friends that know I have tats think they are great - well they could hardly moan about them really as most of them have them too!

My teenage daughter would love a tattoo when she's old enough (she's almost 17 now). My advice to her is to get an idea of what she would really like and then look around at different images or have something specially drawn. I also remind her it's for life, unlike a piercing!  I can't tell her no though as both her dad and I have quite a few tattoos!  She often laughs and says the only way she could rebel would be to be a Librarian (no offence to librarians who may read this).

So, summer is now upon us, school holidays are here, hubby is off work for a couple of weeks so the time seems ripe for another tattoo.  After all, I shouldn't finish on an odd number should I.


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