Tatts just so ugly

AREN'T tattoos unpleasant?Everywhere you look you see them. Young men and women seem to feel the need to mark their bodies, often their arms, with ugly symbols and patterns and designs.

AREN'T tattoos unpleasant?

Everywhere you look you see them.

Young men and women seem to feel the need to mark their bodies, often their arms, with ugly symbols and patterns and designs.

I blame the likes of Robbie Williams and David Beckham and Angelina Jolie for this trend - and that's all it is, a fashion.

Look at Angelina, she has such a stunning body which seems ruined by these markings.

And the odd thing is that everyone looks the same as a result.

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In the summer all you can see is the same designs on different bodies - is it a tribal thing that has passed me by? I don't know about you but having a tattoo would be high on my list of the 100 most ghastly things to do.

Admittedly humans have marked their bodies for millennia and I can see that if you meet an unpleasant death and end up chopped up by a psychopath then having a tattoo might help with your identification - but apart from that what is the attraction?

Rarely do tattoos highlight a particularly attractive feature, they are, to my way of thinking, meant to be something attractive in themselves but of course, they rarely are.

I don't want to get a bee in my bonnet about this subject but I wonder if I'm not missing out, and that would never do. Do you know why so many people have tattoos? I'm sure they never used to be as prevalent as they are today.

Perhaps having a tattoo is marvellous and full of meaning and is far more than just a whimsical and slightly strange fashion statement.

It fascinates me to think that if people were forced to mark their bodies with such unpleasant symbols there would be an outcry.

Of course it wasn't so long ago that the Nazis made people bear tattoos and for many such a branding was a cruel and grotesque assault on the freedom and liberty - both of which we enjoy today.

And there's another thing.

As a friend said to his 18-year-old daughter who tentatively suggested she might be thinking about the advantages of a tattoo.

“Do you really want something like that on your body when you're 80?”

I think she thought again.

NOW this weekend I'm expecting felicitations from all over the globe.

Sunday is my birthday - 29 again - and I shall be celebrating.

Feel free to send me gifts and cards and e-mails and birthday wishes and for a wanna-be celeb there's nothing finer.

Though at my time of life, I'll be 33 to tell you the truth, you start to stop celebrating and wonder where all those years have suddenly gone.

I've lost much of my hair, I never had many looks to lose and I've never lost weight - it's all a bit depressing really.

Nevertheless I shall be putting on a brave face, smiling throughout the day and avoiding thinking about the awful fact that soon and without warning I'll be 40 and I'll have to start thinking about playing golf and worrying about how to pay for my retirement - frightening isn't it?

ENTERTAINING is hard work isn't it?

Last Friday night I invited a few in, including my Aunt Ruth, who married late in life and lives in on the South Coast, for a meal at my small Felixstowe flat with sea views distant.

But there's nothing like entertaining is there to make you clean up your house?

You can't have people round when your place is a tip can you?

By the time I'd Cillit Banged the bathroom, shook and vacuumed the salon with sea views distant, bought some gladioli, dusted the piano and buffed up the silver cigarette box all I wanted to do was sit down and watch Inspector Morse.

The last thing I wanted was to turn into a celebrity chef and cook a simple but sumptuous lasagne with salad with a pudding.

I DO enjoy a Sunday luncheon don't you?

My sister Claire, who keeps fish, enjoys jigsaws and, like me, struggles not to smoke, invited me to her place over near Newmarket for a well-cooked roast chicken and seasonal pudding.

Among the guests was my friend May, who recently had the most awful time after eating monkfish while holidaying in Dubai, and has just turned 60.

As we sipped a pre-dinner Kir Royale and nibbled on a prune wrapped in bacon, May, who lives in a strange place called West Row, said: “I hate it, 50 was OK but 60 is not funny. I had a letter from the pensions people and there it was in black and white. I couldn't believe it was really me.”

I assured her they rarely make mistakes.

FOR most of us supermarket shopping is a chore.

In my opinion the problem is we accept far too much bad service and as a result do the shop's job for them.

I'd like to hand over a list and some cash and go and wait in the car and listen to The Archers while one of these people in so-called customer service go round with a trolley for me.

That's how things should be.

But nowadays as soon as you walk into one of these awful places you are bombarded by offers - everything you don't really want seems half price, everything you just want one of is buy one get one free.

I note that they never put buy one get one free on 20 Silk Cut and a bottle of Gordons do they?

SO the Duke of York is on his travels again - this time Vietnam.

He's often away isn't he? Apparently it's all very useful and something to do with trade - I'm not totally sure.

Nice flowers though aren't they?