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One of the first things people ask when they find out you’re getting a tattoo is “Will it hurt?” I’ve already written here about my experience of getting my first tattoo, which did not particularly hurt, even the second time around, so when asked this question this time I replied blithely “No, not at all!” I have since found a chart which illustrates which parts of the body are the most painful for tattoos, and the hips are the least painful part of the body, shown in yellow, for irritation. If you’re interested, amongst the most painful parts are the torso, the upper back and the wrists, all the areas I was having my tattoos. So I had a surprise in store.

I was prepared for my wrist tattoo to hurt; it was on the wrist, after all, which is famously supposed to be painful, as popular myth has it that the bonier the area is, the less padding it has, the more painful the tattoo will be. And yep, it hurt. It felt like ants stinging their way across my skin. But I was strong! It wasn’t particularly bad pain, the tattoo was small and would be finished quickly and the others would hurt less. And indeed, in no time it was all done. I admired it and took a picture of it, and then Ange dressed it with Bepanthen ointment and cling film held in place with micropore. (Cling film is a most excellent dressing for tattoos, as it stops the post tattoo ooze of ointment, ink, blood and plasma from getting on your clothes whilst not sticking to the fresh tattoo, something you want to avoid at all costs.)

And then we were on to my turtle. We had a couple of tries to get this in the right place before I was happy. And here I have to make a confession. When I had my fake SLSC tattoo  in March, I put it on the left side. When I was planning my turtle, I looked at the pictures and forgot that they are , as it were, mirror images. Yep, that’s right. I put it on the wrong side. More about that later.

But in the meantime, the tattoo. I had happily assumed that the second two tattoos, on breast and back, would hurt less than the first. Well, har har de har har to that! When Ange started tattooing my turtle, the ants were back in force. It was painful. I would go so far as to say it was blooming painful. As she went on with the tattoo, I started to notice slight differences in the pain levels. When she was tattooing the thicker outlines, it was flipping agony. Thinner lines produced smaller lines of ants, and shading was a walk in the park by comparison. But I was fine! I practiced being Zen, I breathed deeply, I consciously relaxed, and above all I reminded myself that the next tattoo would not be so painful. Would it………?

More tomorrow.