20 March 2010 (Saturday) - Tattoos and Beer

I didn’t sleep well. That’s nothing new. But last night I was laying awake dreading this morning. A few weeks ago I decided to get a tattoo done. Eagle eyed readers might notice a slight discrepancy between this blog entry and the one from a few weeks ago when I had my most recent tattoo started. A few weeks ago I miscounted. My large sleeve on my right leg is actually my eighteenth tattoo, and today was my twenty third time under the tattooing needle

Bearing in mind I had my first one done some time in 1982 and during the intervening years I have had another seventeen done (to say nothing of time spent on recent touch-ups of old fading tattoos), I really should have known what I was letting myself in for. Well, I did. I knew it was going to hurt. But the trouble with a tattoo is that once it’s started you can’t give up half way through, or it will look stupid. My latest one is by far the largest I’ve ever had, and so is probably the most painful; not only just the needle, but the backache I get for lying on the couch for so long.

Today’s session only lasted for an hour and a bit, and I made a point of laying flat out so’s my back wouldn’t be twisted. And the tattooing did hurt. But on the plus side was the fact that they told me that I’d already paid for the tattoo last time. I thought today’s session would be extra, but it was all included in the price. So despite the pain, I hobbled out of the studio with a smile on my face. The thing is pictured above – I feel I should say that the red in the tattoo is nowhere near as vivid as it looks on the picture, and that it will all dull down in time.

Whilst under the needle the tattooists were chatting with another customer about pain-free tattooing. Apparently for smaller pieces you can apply anaesthetic gel beforehand, and the anaesthetic lasts for about forty minutes. After forty minutes it wears off and it hurts twice as bad, which is why they don’t recommend it on larger works. I was fascinated by the whole idea, and I’m tempted to get one of my older tattoos coloured in using this stuff, if only to see what happens.

I came home to find ‘er indoors TM dismantling the chodbin. It’s not been flushing right for some time, and bearing in mind what a sterling job she made of fixing the thing last time, I suggested she might like to fix it again. She’s been having problems with rusty nuts and her ballcock; it would seem to have swollen over the years and now is too big for the cistern in which it sits.

I’d rather pay a plumber to do the job, but it’s been my experience of plumbers that they simply don’t want to do the jobs that they claim they will do in their advertisements. No matter what job I ask plumbers to do, they always say they aren’t interested. And there’s supposedly a recession on.

The original plan for the day was to go kite flying at Hastings. But as I’d not heard anything about this for a while I booked the tattoo appointment a week or so ago. Having made the appointment I then found the kiting event confirmed, so I made all sorts of plans to get to Hastings via train, car and scrounging lifts depending on what time my tattoo was finished. And then the kiting was cancelled because of the forecast bad weather.

Daddies Little Angel TM ” came home with her entourage, and bearing in mind that with this morning’s tattoo being somewhat cheaper than I’d planned, at the last minute I treated everyone to dinner at the pub. The Swan in Wittersham is somewhere I’ve been a few times, and despite the ale selection I hadn’t felt very comfortable there on my last few visits. Today was a great improvement on my last visit. With friendly locals, we kicked off with Rother Valley’s “Smild”, followed by Dark Star’s “American Pale Ale” with a wonderful plate of steak and kidney pudding with chips. Back to the Rother Valley brewery for pint number three – “Honey Fuzz”, and then to the Westerham brewery for “WGV” to enjoy with dessert. I’ve been dismissive of the Swan before, but the food and ale was good. And more importantly it’s lost that “Royston Vasey” vibe it had a couple of years ago. Also four of us ate and drank more and cheaper than three of us did in another pub last weekend.

We hadn’t picked the Swan at random. It was (relatively) close to the pond shop in Rolvenden. So we called in for some flocculant. We spent a few minutes looking at ponds and planning gardens people’s gardens for them before coming home via the Bull in Bethersden. Another pub of which I’ve been dismissive in the past, but unfortunately today I saw nothing to change my opinion of the place. The tables are all still disgustingly sticky, and the place is full of “the Great Unwashed”. Literally unwashed – one of our number asked if there was a colliery nearby as the noisy locals were all rather grubby. I say “rather grubby” – I mean outright filthy. Mind you, the place is at a decent cycling distance. I may well give it another chance.

And then home to find My Boy TM ” has also had a tattoo done today. By the same chap who did my one…

1 comment:

  1. Am loving the finished ink and look forward to seeing it in all it's glory when it has settled down