Marmiteboy - Urbane Warrior.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

"Let's Get Some Ink On You".

It took me about 10 years to finally pluck up the courage to get a tattoo done. I had my first one, a small Japanese character (for love, everybody say ahh!!) on my right arm. Whilst under the needle Frank informed me that it wouldn't be my last one. I kind of poo-pooed that statement, but within two months I was having a second small tat done on my keft arm, this time some kind of Tahitian symbol.

I thought that would be it. So for the next five years of so I left it. Then just before my 40th birthday I decided I wanted another one. This time however I wanted something a bit bigger. The idea struck me that it might be quite cool to have my birth date tattooed on my back, in case I couldn't get in to nightclubs or pubs, I could then whip me shirt off and point to it and they'd let me in. Not really!

I went along to Shamanic Body Art (click on the link under other favourite sites) and booked up. I was going to have it done at the base of my back but my impairment means that my hips are a bit skew whiff so I was advised to have it done at the top of my back across the shoulders.

When I had the work done on my arms it really wasn't that painful. There was a slight burning sensation and that is about it. This time however it was quite sore at times. I have a photograph on my phone taken just after the tattoo was finished and it looks really sore, like I'd been in the sun for far too long. The tattoo was designed and inked by the very talented Giselle at Shamanic and as I hope you can see from the picture it is very delicately shaded.

You maybe aware, if you've read my blog or my entries on the BBC Ouch messageboard my devotion to William Horwood's book Skallagrigg. It is a wonderful book and if you are lucky enough to have read this masterpiece you'll have some understanding what the 'Skallagrigg' means to the chief protagonists.

I'd toyed with the idea of having a Skallagrigg tattoo somewhere but I wasn't quite sure where to get it done. I thought having it over my heart, but then again...

I finally decided to have my leg done. My left peg is encased in a leg brace so that was out, so that left the right one. I went along to Shamanic Body Art again and booked up with Giselle.

When I arrived there on Saturday I was shown the design that Giselle had drawn up and asked where on my my leg I was going to get inked, when I told her it was my calf she said 'You're brave'. When Tattooists say that to you, you start to worry that it may just smart a bit. There was a big burly skinhead having his calf done as I walked in and he was grimacing quite a lot.

It actually wasn't that bad. The bottom part near the ankle, which I imagined would be the worst bit didn't hurt at all but the skin nearest the back of the knee did hurt but it wasn't unbearable. I do have a high pain threshold though which maybe why I was such a big brave soldier.

These pictures were kindly taken by Lady Bracknell's Secretary Companion during my recent visit. I'd like to point out that I was fully clothed at all times despite begging from LBSC.

Special thanks go to Giselle at Shamanic for the design and the fabulous inking. I'll be back.


Blogger w1ld child said...

I've considered getting inked up, my local tatooist isn't overly accessible though, I might get a japanese symbol or be really "brave" and get SUFC's club crest on my arm, just the oulines mind, no red ring or black middle.... Or maybe SUFC across my knuckles

12:05 pm

Blogger Charlesdawson said...

These photos throw a new and lurid light on the things civil servants get up to!

12:21 pm

Blogger Lady Bracknell said...

Lady Bracknell would like to make it entirely clear that no member of her household begged Young Master Marmite to remove even a single item of his clothing.

In fact, some of the less well-bred staff could be heard to chant, "Get 'em on! Get 'em on!"

12:42 pm

Blogger Charlesdawson said...

Yes, but what was the Lady herself doing?

6:33 pm

Anonymous Timmargh said...

Nice - I like the 'date of birth' one especially. I might get something like that but I wanted a copyright symbol with the year in roman numerals, i.e.:


At the moment I've got six tattoos including a wolf's head, two Celtic bands and a native American on a horse with the sun setting in the background.

Hmm, I feel like getting another one now ...

10:20 pm

Blogger stella said...

Whoa.... you're cool!! I'm still plucking up the courage... could be a while yet. :-)

1:42 am

Blogger marmiteboy said...


Have one when you come to Blighty. It'll be a nice memento. Better than a crappy teashirt with a picture of the Houses of Parliament on it.


I thought of the Roman Numerals thing as well, good idea. But I went with a custom tat in the end. Both my tat's are in Giselle's own script.

8:15 am

Blogger w1ld child said...

I quite like the script, but well Essex is rather a long way to go just for a tat.

10:27 am

Blogger Agent Fang said...

Cooool - love your tats. It's so true you can never have just one. I'm up to two - roll onnumber 3 - a coptic angel on a shoulder or the bottom of my back. And I really must check out Skallagrigg... ever since you mentioned it on Ouch! the title's been haunting me!

10:56 am

Blogger Lady Bracknell said...

Lady Bracknell would like to make the point that she has been raving about Skallagrigg for years. It took that long for her to persuade Marmite to read it himself.

And she was the one who started the Ouch! discussion thread about it.

11:45 am

Blogger marmiteboy said...

Lady B,

All due respect to you for putting me on to the book. Mind you my Mum, who has never mentioned any of mine cos she hates tatttoo's so much, may well blame you for advising me to read the book in the first place. Had I not read it my leg would be tat free. I blame meself of course but Mothers, as you well know, are seldom rational;-)

1:03 pm

Blogger marmiteboy said...


I'm sure you could take a copy of it to you're local tat place and they could copy the script.

1:06 pm

Anonymous Anonymous said...

w1ld child,

If you would like a copy of that script, let me know via marimite or the Lady B and I will remove it from his leg* and transfer it to paper/disk.

*no legs will be hurt during this procedure!

painless pete

2:04 pm

Blogger marmiteboy said...


You can mail me via this blog if you want to take Painless Pete up on his offer. He can do it believe me for he is a computer genius. He designed several of us bloggers picture thingies and blog headers.


Cheers Pete ;-)

2:17 pm

Blogger Turtle said...

i love ur tatoos! not being funny but some errr...older blokes have really shit tattoos, yknow when its all blue slodges? yours are nice though, simple and arty kinda thing

how many does Giselle have? the guy at the piercing place has loads, its incredible. Do those types of places do football ones? i want to get Sam a Crystal Palace one as a present after he has his grapes and malteasers and plus it won't hurt half as much as postop tendon spasms, he'll have the pain threshold....

5:29 pm

Blogger marmiteboy said...


Thanks mate glad you like 'em. I think the inks and needles are so much better these days so they last a lot longer before going crappy. My tats on my arms haven't faded at all and I had them done 5 years ago. can't stand the kind of tats some blokes have. All that british bulldog nonsense just looks tacky. I'm already planning my next one, I want the ones on my arms enhanced a bit with some kind of design around them.

Giselle has her tattooes on her legs. She has a sort of japanese sleeve thing on each lower leg and you can see tattooes above her waist line on her trousers.ll very subtle shading. She told me she wants to get a holster done on her thigh but instead of a gun she wants a tattoo needle in it which sounds kinda cool to me.

8:12 pm

Blogger ecobunni said...

(A Few years late I know).

Wow! A Skallagrigg tat - it's a really good book (I'm half way through it now).

2:32 pm


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