When I was in my mid 30’s, I had just got out of a very unhealthy 10 year marriage. My ex was pretty controlling as a husband, and being young, inexperienced (and scared) I became very subservient to him; so when I finally plucked up the courage to divorce him rebellion was on my mind!

Never again was I going to kowtow to anyone, so for the first time in a decade, I actually went out drinking with my family, wearing make-up AND a  reasonably short skirt (not too short you understand, I was no spring chicken anymore)! I just wanted to do some of the things that had been denied to me throughout my marriage, that ‘normal’ people my age did!

At the time piercings and tattoos were really becoming popular. Oooh. I quite fancied the idea of getting my nose pierced, and now there was no-one to stop me, so I headed off into town excitedly to get the job done. A couple of teenagers were before me, and I was impressed at how quick and painless the whole procedure seemed to be. I felt a bit of an old crock compared to them but hey, this was going to be the new me and now it was my turn. I stood patiently as the little felt tip dot was drawn on my left nostril where it was going to be pierced, and was prepared to get my new pretty nose stud. “OOWWWWWW SHIIIIIIT  that bloody hurt” I bellowed at the poor bloke who had just punctured my nose. My eyes were streaming, my nose was snotty, (that really set off my new jewellery perfectly) and I was in agony!

I felt sorry for myself all the way back to my parent’s house where I was staying. My nose was red and painful, as were my eyes. I went to the kitchen to show my Mum (she is pretty old school and very traditional) “What the bloody hell have you gone and done to your nose. You’re not a bloody teenager for Christ’s sake” . So much for the compliment!. She didn’t speak to me for about a week and avoided looking at me in case she caught a glimpse of the offending nose stud (I was in my 30s for crying out loud)!!!

A few months after this I went to Dorset with one of my brothers and his family. We were staying in a house not too far away from where my Dad lived, and we were going to meet up with him and step-mum on the beach a bit later….Anyway, me and my sister-in-law  had to go somewhere first! I have known her since I was 11 years old, and she is like another sister, We had been talking, and both of us decided that we rather liked the idea of getting a tattoo. We knew there was a place by the beach and we wanted to call in to have a look.

My brother took the kids off to the beach and we both tentatively entered the tattoo parlour. It had only just opened for the day, so we were the only two in there. I loved a design of a dolphin (I knew i would get something that reminded me of the sea) and after a bit of to-ing and fro-ing decided that I  would get it done. My sister-in-law was still contemplating whether or not she was brave enough, so I offered to go first and said I would tell her if it hurt!

I accompanied the tattooist into a little room off the waiting area. I decided I was going to have the tattoo on my lower back so  had to sit the wrong way round astride a chair with my top off so he could do it. If I  thought having my nose pierced hurt , that was just a little scratch compared to this pain! I was squirming and writhing about which annoyed the tattooist, who kept telling me to keep still.The next thing is the door opened and an assistant walked in, In the brief few seconds the door was open I could see my sister-in-law in the waiting room and not wanting to scare her, I contorted my features into a smile (more of a grimace really) and eventually the tattoo was completed.

My sister-in-law was brave enough to get a small one done on her shoulder, and both of us came out of there with a bloody great white dressing over the tattoos which had to be kept on until the evening. We walked down to the beach in the brilliant sunlight and went to join the others.  Dad was there already which was nice. Everyone was in and out of the sea having a great time. Dad questioned me as to why I wasn’t going in for a swim(very unlike me), Unfortunately, we had been told not to get the tattoo wet or expose it to the sun for a while. Stupidly we hadn’t thought to get them done at the end of our stay, and now we had to forego a lovely swim to cool off in the searing heat! I did actually bite the bullet and tell my dad what I had just done, expecting a lecture, but he thought it was great!

Needless to say, due to my extreme aversion to pain, and the fact that I am a total wimp, I have had no more piercings (I took the nose stud out after a few years) and neither have I had any more tattoos (although I do love my dolphin). If it involves any type of pain, then I decided that I am far too cowardly to be a rebel!!