Sussex Life: Tattoo or not tattoo

Hastings Octopus sculpture

I am a woman of a certain age. No secret there, but I’m thinking of getting a tattoo. Well, two actually. Some may wonder what the big deal is about this, after all, tattoos are now very much accepted as a norm. In fact, full sleeves, necks and even tattooed faces often go unremarked upon. So this shouldn’t be a big deal.

But I remember the looks of horror, when back in the 80s, I tentatively suggested that along with the six holes in my ears and my peroxide hair, I might get some skin art! Vivid descriptions of what would befall me if I did clearly lodged deep in my psyche and I abandoned the idea for the next 30+ years.

Sussex tattoos

But in your 50s, you seem to care a lot less. In fact, as a very visual person who enjoys looking at art a great deal, I wonder why I wouldn’t want to get my own personal gallery that I could admire on a daily basis. So the decision has almost been made.

I know what I want. I want an octopus on my shoulder. Why? Because I do love octopi but also because to me they represent the many complicated arms of womanhood and the entwined and ever twisting lives that we live.

Sussex tattoos

And I also want to get a compass on the inside of my wrist. Why? Because, although I am frequently heard to say, I know exactly where we are, this almost always precedes getting completely lost. So I thought with the help of a compass, I might be able to guide myself home.


I have a birthday coming up soon which feels like a good reason to be self-indulgent. So that just leaves two questions. Shall I do it? And if so, where are the best Sussex tattoo parlours these days?

If you like this post about life in Sussex, you may also like:

I didn’t run a Sussex Ultra

Sussex Life: The seventies weren’t so bad

Sussex Life: Numbers were never my thing





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