Resolutions 2019

I did okay on my resolutions for 2018. I completed three out of eight, and the others are kind of ongoing things which are hard to measure. I’ve decided to try and make it a nice round 10 this year, so here we go.

1. Lose Weight

I managed this in 2018, but it was a bit up and down during the year, I’d like to be more consistent with it, perhaps having it be a steady decline throughout the year. I don’t have a set weight I want to hit, but I’d like to shift a couple of stone at least.

2. Monthly Update on Weight

This worked really well last year, meaning that even when I did badly I had to ‘fess up and also made me think more about my body and my attitude towards it. Will try to make these posts more interesting and dig a bit deeper. They definitely work as a motivational tool as I don’t want to have to write about how crap I’ve done.

3. Complete a Race at Your Pace Challenge Every Month

Since I got my first medal after completing October’s challenge, I’ve got hooked on doing these. I’d love to end 2019 with 12 medals and I’m going to try to do at least 100 miles each month.


4. Try to get published

I had this on the list last year but time ran out on me. I’d finished a novel and edited it, but it was too late to send it to anyone. Gonna have another quick look at it and hopefully send it off in the first quarter of 2018.  If nobody wants it I’ll look into self publishing.

Also want to finish the second book I’ve half written, and send that out. Will try to update more on this as the year goes on.

5. Be Nicer

I’m trying to be a better person. I need to keep trying.

6. Be More Sociable

I have lovely friends and family, and I need to see them more. I owe it to them to stay in touch better, and it makes me feel better. Need to make more effort to get out and not waste my days off.

7. Cross Off at Least One Bucket List Item

I managed to get one done last year (see here) meaning I’ve averaged one a year for the last two years, I’d love to keep this going and I actually have a few plans going towards a couple, so I might tick a couple off, which would be cool.

8. Get New Ink

I have three tattoo ideas that I want to get done, and I’d love to get one at least this year.

9. Go to the Gym More

I joined a gym in 2018, but haven’t used it enough to justify it. Need to change this, will help with the weight loss and make me feel better.

10. Try New Things

There’s a lot out there to experience out there. The bucket list item will cover some of this, but I’d like to try one new thing every month.

Any thoughts? You know what to do. BETEO.


The Tattoo I Don’t Regret Not Getting

It’s been a long time since I got my first tattoo. I remember it clearly, being nervous as I took my seat, hoping that I wouldn’t be such a wimp that I’d cry or have to stop. I hadn’t made it easy for myself by choosing a big piece to pop my ink cherry. Thankfully, it didn’t hurt that much and I’d go on to get more tattoos over the years.


My first four tattoos. More will follow.

My first tattoo wasn’t what I’d originally wanted. While I am still a fan of Motorhead and  their late singer Lemmy, I’d originally wanted something else.

I’d wanted a Welsh dragon. I was a recent convert to Welsh patriotism, and of all the Welsh logos, the red dragon was the coolest. I wasn’t sure I could pull off a daffodil, and I’m not sure anyone could pull off a leek tattoo.

However, in the run up to booking my first tattoo, I started to notice that a lot of people had the dragon tattoo. And many weren’t people I wanted to have more in common with. There was something a little chavvy about it, or so I thought at the time. I’ve changed this opinion and think the traditional red dragon actually looks good. But unfortunately, at the time the only examples I could see were on the flesh of Nessa from Gavin and Stacey and a guy I knew who had his own initials tattooed on his neck. No, I never found out why.


And so, I got the Motorhead tattoo, and while it might be a bit more metal compared to the rest of me, I dig it. In fact, I’m tempted to get some more music related tats around it.

Over the years I’ve added to my tattoos, and occasionally turned back to the idea of having something in honour of my Welsh heritage.

For a while, I was thinking about getting a three feathers tattoo.

Boy, am I glad I didn’t.

Don’t get me wrong, there are still times when I daydream about wearing a shirt with the badge on, and scoring a World Cup winning try for Wales, but as much as I love our national side, I can’t deny I have issues with the WRU logo.


The problem is it’s based on the emblem of Prince Charles, in his role of Prince of Wales. And frankly, I’m not impressed.

I’m not hugely fussed on the royals, I’m not calling for us to build guillotines or anything, but they do seem like a frightful waste of money and it’s kinda ridiculous to still have such an archaic institution going strong. And I’m not fussed on the fact that the ruling monarch can just make their oldest boy the prince of my country. It’d be like my Dad deciding to name me Duke of Neath, only instead of it being an inside joke he’d demand that other people go along with it all.

The fact the Welsh rugby team wear this emblem is kinda like legitimising Charlie’s nickname. He’s not my prince.

Hell, he didn’t even bother getting a Welsh motto for it. He stuck on “Ich Dien”, it’s German for crying out loud. At least Latin is classic.

Nope, I can’t get behind the three feathers or the idea of someone being made prince of my country. Prince Charles? Well, I didn’t vote for him.

So I’m kinda relieved that I didn’t get the logo tattoed on me. I’d never be able to look at it without a tinge of regret. I love my country, I love our rugby team, even if they don’t always treat me right, but I don’t love what that badge stands for. I just think the WRU should ditch it and get something that’s actually Welsh.

If they don’t want a dragon because the football lads have it, then why not a daffodil? Hell, I’d even take a leek.

Any thoughts? You know what to do. BETEO.


Why I might have to get a misspelt tattoo

Not long after I started my current job I was on break and one of my coworkers had a new tattoo poking out from her sleeve. Conversation turned to tattoos and people compared theirs. I showed off my own ink, and the girl showed a couple of hers.

On her upper arm was a text piece which looked a bit off. It turned out to be a drunken tattoo done on holiday and meant to be “Hakuna Matata” from The Lion King.


Words to live by

The only problem was that it actually says “Hahuna Matata”. She explained that she knew this and, to be fair, she was pretty cool with it, so lived up to the motto she’d wanted.

I’d half forgotten about this when I caught sight of another coworker’s ink, and it was more writing. This time I couldn’t see the whole thing just the last word, and I tried to guess what language it was.

Luckily, they moved just as I was about to ask about it, and I saw the rest, which was in a language I recognised.

It was Welsh.

I hadn’t recognised it because it was misspelt, with two of the letters the wrong way around. I wondered if he knew this. Should I tell him?

I decided not to. I don’t know the guy that well and I didn’t want to embarrass the dude.

But really, this is Wales, wouldn’t someone have seen the error? If you don’t speak Welsh why go for the language, when the same idea is expressed in other languages? A Spanish or French misspelling would be bad on holidays but lots of Welsh folks could pick up on the error now.

Or couldn’t he or the artist have Googled the spelling? When I decided to get a tattoo that included a foreign language (Latin) I made sure to properly research it so that (a) it was spelt right and (b) meant what I wanted it to mean.

But as spelling errors in tats are such a trend at work maybe I shouldn’t have bothered? I’d fit in better, or should I just go get someone to mess up a new one?

Hmm, maybe not, my inner pedant means I would drive myself nuts glaring at the offending artwork.

People will want foreign phrases tattooed but you have to make sure you get it right, although it’s more embarrassing to cock up some ink in your native tongue.


Any thoughts? You know what to do. BETEO.

Inked: Live!

Getting your calf tattooed hurts a lot more than your arms. Or at least that’s my experience, because I’m currently in a fair amount of pain as Morgan at Frontier gives me a chubby mermaid on my right leg.
Luckily I have MWG on hand to comfort me with terrible jokes and to take pictures of my pained face for her amusement (see above).
To be fair as MWG and her mum have put cash towards this, an idea I’ve wanted for a while, as my 30th birthday present.
I’ve decided to blog as it’s done in order to distract myself. I’ve had worse pain, I caught the tip of Fernando in a zip once and watched the Wales vs Italy game where the ref screwed us over and we drew, much to the mockery of every single English person I knew.
Anyway, that being said this does quite hurt. Not in a “Kill me now!” Way but in a prolonged discomfort way, a repetitive scratching that surpasses what I’ve had before.
I think part of the problem is that the position, and it seems to hurt worse nearer the knee and on the sides, the meaty part of my calf isn’t so bad.
I think the major problem is I can’t see what he’s doing. On my arms I could see it all getting done and knew I was a fair amount in. I also knew that an inch was an inch whereas now I fear what feels like an inch has actually just been a few millimetres.
Still it’ll be worth it, Morgan got the concept and the sketch was bang on. I’ll post this later when I have a pic to add at the bottom, but for now, at 11:45 this is me signing off, halfway through.
And while I hate to be all macho and lame, I was raised on John Wayne movies, so feel I have to point out that despite the hurt I haven’t cried. Of course, it might get dustier in here.
Any thoughts? You know what to do. BETEO.

Feel Good Ink

Sometimes you happen to stumble across a news story that just puts a big silly grin on your face and makes you feel more positive about the world we live in and the folks who live here with us.

Our story takes place in Grimsby, right here in the UK. Tanya and Adam Phillips’ daughter Honey-Rae was born with a birthmark that runs all up her leg, and naturally worried that people might react badly or that Honey-Rae might feel different or bad about the birthmark.

The Phillips’ response however was brilliant, and both decided to get tattoos done which are similar to Honey-Rae’s birthmark.

birthmark tattoo

It’s a wonderfully sweet response, and I found it quite touching. The Phillips’ have done something which will help their daughter feel more normal and positive about herself, plus it’s kinda cool that the whole family has a similar thing on their legs, it’s like a tribe marking or something, a thing which unites them and marks them all as being of the same family.

That’s how you parent, folks.


Any thoughts? You know what to do. BETEO.

Resolutions 2015

That time of year ago so here we go-

1. Be nicer

I’m not a scumbag or anything, but I could definitely do with being nicer. More patient, and a little more considerate. So this is a major one, I’m going to try and be politer, more helpful and try to do at least 3 nice things a day, whether this is acts of kindness or just giving compliments. By the way, love what you’ve done with your hair today.


2. Live healthier

I have a Whitesnake shirt to fit into, and I need to get a bit healthier, so less junk food and start running again.


3. Travel more

I really want to travel, and this year I plan to have a few trips with MWG. One is already booked for Budapest and we’re hoping to go to Download this year, but I’d like to maybe fit in a few more minor trips as well.

4. Manage money better

This may hamper some of the other resolutions, but I really need to get better at budgeting and start building some savings up.

5. Socialize more

I’m really bad at staying in touch with my friends and I need to be better and see them more often. Basically I’m just lazy when it comes to organizing stuff.

6. Get another tattoo

I’ve wanted one for a while and have a bunch of ideas, I’m hoping to get a BBW pinup/mermaid done, and MWG has offered this as a birthday present, and I’m trying to save for a few smaller pieces. The picture below isn’t what I want, though it’s sort of similar, I just think it looks boss.


7. Be more positive/Complain less

8. Try at least one new thing a month

Scuba diving, going in a shark cage, white collar boxing, whatever, I want to have some new experiences this year and challenge myself. They can help with the healthy living, crossing things off my bucket list and might help make me write more interesting posts for you guys.

9. Read for at least half an hour a day

I love reading, and I think setting myself half an hour to lose myself in a good book would be a nice way to get some quiet time and enjoy some quality books.

10. Rememberlutions/Jolly Jar

Heard about this on another blog, and then Buzzfeed did a piece on it. Basically the idea is that you get a jar/tin and then throughout the year put in your accomplishments and good memories, and then at the end of the year you read them back.

It sounds like a good way to focus on the positives and means even if I don’t get 10 out of 10 on these resolutions I’ll have something good to look back on make me feel better.

Any thoughts? You know what to do. BETEO.

Skin Deep: A teachable moment?

Earlier this week it emerged that a student teacher, Charlotte Tumilty, was sent home from her placement and told she could not complete her training there unless she covered her tattoos. The press here jumped on it because (a) they have lots of pages to fill and (b) it’s the type of story that will spark debate and spread like wildfire, bringing more traffic to their websites.



The reason for this is because it’s a contentious issue, and will divide people. There will be many who feel that the school, regardless of it’s Catholic stance, was in the right and that teachers are meant to be professionals and should look a certain way. Then there will be the opposition, and that’s where I join in.

Personally, I think the idea of tattoos being unprofessional is slightly outdated. It harks back to the old fashioned view of tattoos and those who have them, as being thuggish or associated with the criminal class. However, times change and tattoos are increasingly popular, with around 20% of the population sporting ink (according to this article) and with a growing range of people going under the needle (encouragingly in the article about Tumilty a poll shows that 61% believe teachers shouldn’t have to cover up tattoos at work).

It’s likely that many teachers probably do have tattoos, but keep them hidden, but should they? Do children respect people less for tattoos? Or is that something that the older generation do? The kids might have been distracted or found it unusual, but once the novelty had warn off Miss Tumilty would just have been another teacher.

The fact is there is no standard teacher look, there hasn’t been since the days when they all wore caps and gowns like in the Bash Street Kids. When I was at school none of our teachers had ink, or at least none that I saw, but they were a diverse bunch- we had an English teacher who was a bit of a hippy, a History teacher who constantly wore knee high leather boots, a Drama teacher who wore shocking red lipstick, much of which ended up on her teeth, an Art teacher who had a pornstar tache and I suspect smoked weed, and a Music teacher who looked like a friendlier, slightly neater Johnny Vegas.

bash street teacher

In fact, the most “teacherly” looking bloke at our school was an aging English teacher with a big bushy beard who wore suits. And of all the teachers he probably commanded the least respect (aside from the PE teachers, but they don’t really count. To quote School of Rock: “Those who can, do. Those who can’t, teach. And those who can’t teach, teach gym”). This was due to his advance age, habit of falling asleep mid lesson and the fact that it was common knowledge that his coffee was more than a little Irish.

What I mean to say is that teachers come in all shapes and sizes. As do all people. To state that there’s a certain way teachers must look is daft. What matters is there ability. Tumilty may have been

Also, it seems that the school handled the situation poorly, and might have been better off taking Tumilty aside and advising her that from then on she should wear longer sleeves. Sending her home on her first day seems to be a bit rude and also, embarrassing for the young lady. A bit of tact might have helped and the story could have resolved itself quietly away from the public eye, which I feel would have been in the best interests of everyone.

Unfortunately, it hit the tabloids. I’m not sure why, but I assume Tumilty, angered or upset by the school’s response complained to it and it got to the press that way. This is fair enough, I believe that she had a legitimate grievance and the school could have handled it better.

However, in doing so Tumilty has shot herself in the foot.

It turns out that before becoming a trainee teacher Tumilty made her living as a model. A model who took off her clothes.

Under the name Charlie Horizon she modeled for sites like Punk Grls, which seems to be a Suicide Girls rip off.

Tumilty in her Charlie Horizon days

Tumilty in her Charlie Horizon days

Now, I’m not judging, I’m not slut shaming, Tumilty used her natural gifts to make a living and that’s her decision. Some quick research hints that it was all softcore stuff, and she may have enjoyed the work. However, while the tattoos are easily defendable the fact that she did this does make her suitability as a teacher slightly shakier.

This cat coming out of the bag is a problem.

For the Catholic school it’s even more reason not to want her around and puts Tumilty in an awkward position. She may be at a primary school, and one would hope the kids would be unaware of her past but if she went to teach at a secondary this would give the students extra ammo and would definitely impact the student-teacher dynamic.

And there are plenty of parents who would kick up a stink over a former model teaching their kids. Despite Tumilty having done nothing wrong she will face prejudice and judgement because of her former career and many will attack her suitability as a teacher because of it.

And so it seems that Tumilty won’t be able to continue as a teacher. It’s a shame as well, because the anti-tattoo brigade can now seize on Tumilty’s case as evidence that tattooed folks are unprofessional, and will stop us from being able to have a rational debate about reevaluating what we consider okay or not professionals.

I still think the school was in the wrong, and kinda feel that Tumilty should still be able to pursue teaching, but I can see that she faces an uphill struggle now and is unlikely to overcome people’s prejudices towards tattoos and/or nude modeling. Our society is getting more accepting of differences, and hopefully less judgmental, and in future we may have tattooed teachers without anyone even raising their eyebrows, but sadly this may be a few years down the line, and not benefit Tumilty.

Any thoughts? You know what to do. BETEO.

No regrets

Last week I wrote about my thoughts on the Scottish independence referendum, and my hope that they would stay in the UK. It turned out they did with the “No” camp winning by around 10%.

This left Scotland in an odd position, with the country having to move on and get along together after openly showing that there was a massive rift in the population, exacerbated by the fact that the campaign on both sides seemed to be getting a little nasty.

But there were lots of positives. More powers could be handed to the Scottish and Welsh governments and that can only be a good thing, ensuring that the decisions are made by people familiar and involved in those areas.

The largest positive however was the turnout, with around 85% making it to the polls. This stands as testament that the British public is not as politically apathetic as general election turnouts would suggest and shows that when a key issue is being discussed and that “every vote counts” people will get off their backsides and exercise their democratic right (which is a big argument for proportional representation).

Also, with the voting age being sixteen it allowed young people to join the debate and to become excited and interested in politics and the democratic process. Anything that gets young people involved is a good thing, and hopefully this will continue for many of the voters and those that can will take to the polls in next year’s general election.

Earlier this year there were European elections and I was dismayed by the apathy of many of the university age people I know. I looked up my local polling station in Cardiff and headed down, but was in the distinct minority, and not a single person I asked actually voted, which is disappointing. When I was at university the first time I voted in elections, and have done in every vote since. In some instances I’ve been aware that my X in the box wouldn’t have much effect (my home constituency is a Labour stronghold, and has been for over 100 years) but I still feel that we all have a duty to voice our beliefs and show that some object to those who do get elected.

The independence debate fired up young voters, and will hopefully instill that drive to vote in them for years to come. Of course, for many who voted “Yes” the result was a crushing disappointment (see here).

But I hope that the majority will realize that while things didn’t go the way they wanted they at least had their say. Democracy is founded on compromise, and sometimes who you vote for doesn’t get in (or worse, they do and then let you down badly. I’m looking at you, Clegg), but at least it means that the majority’s will is satisfied and that everyone gets to express their political beliefs. It’s not a perfect system, but it beats any alternative we’ve come up with thus far.

While many Scots must have greeted the results with disappointment and irritation, it must have been so much worse for one group in particular.

I speak of the 77 people who last Tuesday went to Spaghetti Tattoos in Kirkcaldy, where the proprietors were offering £2 “Yes” tattoos.

yes tattoo

Yes, people were getting tattoos about the independence referendum. And not post-win celebrations of independence, but pre-emptive ones. Ones to show where they stood in history.

I wonder how many felt when they awoke to realize they were now carrying a marker of being on the losing side of history. I hope that they don’t regret them, that they serve as a reminder of where they were and what they stood for, regardless of the outcome. Of course, some may feel bad about them in future years, but it’s just a reminder to never get a tattoo celebrating an event before it happens. It’s a bad idea when you get a “forever together” tattoo of your loved one’s name, or a trophy with your team’s name below with a date. You are not psychic, so don’t get tattoos based on what you think is going to happen.

Anyway, it’s getting late so I just want to say before I hit the sack that I hope those upset “Yes” voters don’t let it turn them off political environment, that those 77 don’t feel too embarrassed by their tattoos and, lastly, that I’m happy that Scotland stayed with us.

Any thoughts? You know what to do. BETEO.

The Man With The Miley Cyrus Tattoos

I watched two Channel 4 documentaries today, and one, My Tattoo Addiction inspired this post (I’ll probably write about the other, Date My Porn Star, at some point).
I used to judge people’s tats, but now I try and be a bit cooler about it. It obviously means something to them and the world don’t move to the beat of just one drum. The only ones I oppose are offensive ones or names of partners which just seems to be tempting fate.
Anyway, one of the dudes featured in the show is somewhat notorious for his massive collection of Miley Cyrus tats. And this isn’t some daft kid, this is a grown man, with an ex-wife, kids and his own business.
Now, I have a Motorhead tattoo, so I have nothing against tattoos featuring your favourite music acts. Heck, I don’t even object to Miley Cyrus, because I dig a few of her songs.
The problem is that this guy appears to have gone overboard, with a couple of portraits and song titles.
My issue comes from the fact that all of these tats came following his divorce. Like many people he sought comfort in the arts, and it was Miss Cyrus who took this role in his life. It seems as though he’s retreated into this obsession as a sort of shield or control. Everything else was changing but he was still in charge of his body.
He associated lyrics and titles with his life, and it’s almost sweet to see how much comfort they provided him. I guess in stormy times anything that helps you stay afloat is a good thing, and he could have done worse, gravitating to something destructive or negative.
But I still worry that one day he’ll regret these or face ridicule from others, which is easy to understand, but in no way justifies it. I feel as though the guy has made more problems for himself.
Also, with the doc made in 2012 I find myself wondering what Miley’s image shift in the last year or so means to him. Has it altered his feelings for his ink muse, or does he now sport tats of her new look or the phrase “Wrecking Ball”?
I guess that’s the risk of getting tats of famous people, what they do later might effect your feelings for the ink you have on your skin.
The doc skewed towards the dafter tats, those done while drunk in Aya Napa for example, and not the millions of folks who have meaningful or fun ones.
It does get one thing right though, they are a kind of addiction, I’ve been wanting to get a fourth for a while.
What do my inked readers think? Do you feel hooked on them, or were you a “one and done” tattooee (can’t think of correct word/phrase for a person who gets tattoos).
Any thoughts? You know what to do. BETEO

Golden Oldie

So apparently the Alves thing I wrote about the other day may have been, to use a wrestling term, a work, which kinda puts a dampener on what I thought was a clever and ballsy move, but at least it’s got people talking about racism in football again, which is a good thing.

Whatever, on to the next post.

Today I saw this awesome story about an 80 year old granddad who got an equality symbol tattoo in support of his grandson.

The equality symbol is a marriage equality thing and basically an equals symbol shown to signify support for gay marriage and that all love is equal. I started seeing the symbol during the American marriage equality debates and it’s taken off as a tattoo, as evidenced by the fact that Miley Cyrus has one.

Miley's tattoo on her ring finger

Miley’s tattoo on her ring finger

The dude, Frank has apparently been nothing but respectful and supportive to his grandson Joe, who came out five years ago. I think this is a cool story, because while every grandparent and parent should support their family, that ain’t always the case and I think cases like Frank’s go a long way to showing that the stereotype of old folks as being homophobic isn’t always true (I’m sure there are plenty of homophobic fogies out there, but there’s a disappointing number of young ones too).

Frank headed out and got the symbol, matching the one Joe has had done, which is a great way of showing solidarity.

Joe and Frank's tats.

Joe and Frank’s tats.

It’s a pretty cool tattoo and I dig the message behind it. I gotta say, if I had the money I’d probably wander into the nearest tattoo parlor in Cardiff and get one done.

Anyway, here’s a video of the tattoo getting done, with Frank being really understated as he gets inked:

Good on ya, Frank.

Hopefully this doesn’t turn out to just be a clever Wurther’s Original campaign.

Any thoughts? You know what to do. BETEO.