i got to the age of sixty and the only thing i regretted, throughout my whole life, was having tattoos
When I was 18, I was a private solider in the army, stationed out in Hong Kong. It was a wonderful experience but one night a group of lads took me—when I was not quite compos-mentis—to a tattooist.
I woke up the next morning with three tattoos – one on one arm and two on the other. I hated them, they were not the tattoos I would have chosen but there was nothing I could do about it.
I can remember coming home from the Far East in 1966 and my Dad bringing me a cup of tea in the morning and seeing my tattoos – he went absolutely beserk. Nobody in my family had tattoos. My mother and father were absolutely horrified.
It’s one of the first things people notice about you. People say they don’t notice but they do and I think they put you in a little compartment if you have tattoos, particularly in the Army.
As I went through the ranks and became a Major, my tattoos became embarrassing. I was always grateful to roll my sleeves down but when you’re in Hong Kong you’re in short sleeves all the time. I felt uncomfortable and would have been so much happier if I didn’t have tattoos.
Eventually, I looked into having them removed surgically but seeing the photos of people with these horrible scars was like looking at a horror movie. I said “I’d rather have the tattoos thank you very much!”.
I then looked into laser treatment but I was told it wouldn’t work completely and the costs were in the thousands, which I couldn’t justify.