TattooAccording to a recent article in the Independent newspaper, Norwich is the second most tattooed city in the land, with 41% of people saying they sport more than six images. Coincidentally there are six tattoo parlours in the city centre, all doing a roaring trade. There was a time when tattoos were the preserve of randy roughs and frisky seamen. These days, the streets are teeming with cocks of the county wearing their body art with pride. Everybody’s at it. Some are so well adorned, they could be skinned and hung in the Tate. And yes, the image above is a tattoo of Norwich’s ancient cathedral. Is nothing sacred? Norwich tattoos even get a brief mention in Turkey Street.

‘F-f-fwend,’ said Sean, holding out his hand to an ageing skinhead with a trio of studs in one ear and a spider tattoo crawling up the side of his neck.

Turkey Street,  Chapter Thirteen, Blesséd are the Meek

I’m not against tattoos per se. In fact, I’ve got one myself. It’s a sad little thing resting on my shoulder, long faded with age and disfigured by a mole. I had it done many moons ago and have never repeated the experience. It was like having glass dragged across my skin. No, a little body engraving is fine by me, it’s just, like most things, less is more. When the lovely Iwan Thomas was the first to be ejected from this year’s Strictly Come Dancing on the Beeb, maybe it had more to do with the sudden exposure of his breast plate embellishment than his stompy cha-cha-cha. And I do wonder, when the ravages of time take their inevitable toll and taut young bodies are distorted by bingo wings, double-barrelled bellies and thunder thighs, how many men (and women, of course) will regret the artful decisions of their youth.

Iwan Thomas

Image courtesy of BBC/Guy Levy

6 thoughts on “Tattoo!

  1. All these bright young things will end up in Shady Pines home for old folks, with cups of tea leaking from the redundant piercing holes in their cheeks and lips and running across the tattooed names of bands and partners they can no longer remember

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  2. I’ve got,two,tattoos. The first I got long ago, maybe forty years. It is,small and on y back shoulder where it isn’t seen unless I am in a bathing suit, which is rare these days. No sags because of where it is though it has paled and grayed.
    The second is on my calf and I have it show throughput t most of the warm month, of which there are many in southern Arizona. It I love. I put much time and thought into it before I got it,
    But I have surely reached my limit!

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