My Dad died on Monday

12th September is a day that will forever be etched in my head and heart for two reasons. 8 years ago – on Thursday 12th September – I married my best friend, the fabulous husband.

5 days ago – on Monday 12th September – my Dad died.

If you’ve been reading this blog for a while you may have read my previous posts about his cancer diagnosis and the advancement of the illness. We knew the end was imminent. But recent visits from the palliative care team suggested there were a few weeks to go until the end. In fact he was booked to go into a hospice for pain control on Monday. He never made it. He had a massive stroke at around 5am and was rushed to hospital. When my phone rang I thought it was his wife telling me what time his hospice transport was booked for. Instead she was telling me I needed to get to A&E as quickly as possible. It doesn’t take a genius to work out that’s not good news.

Somehow, maybe due to the strength of his organs due to his pretty healthy lifestyle and relatively young age, it took until 10.40pm for his poor cancer ravaged body to shut down. An agonising day into night of watching him, listening for changes in his breathing and willing him to let go. Everyone who needed to see him did, including his Mom. That’s not the natural order of life; having to say goodbye to your own child, no matter what age they are.

My Dad told me a couple of weeks back that we should be relieved when it was finally over, because it mean he wouldn’t be in pain anymore. It’s not just physical pain. It’s the mental anguish of knowing the end is coming and wondering how bad things might get before the inevitable happens. He had no positivity or fight in him, because it was pointless. He had no quality of life because of the pain and was unable to enjoy anything because he was consumed by the disease. He told me, his wife, family members and medical professionals that he wanted to die, before the pain got too bad and he became solely reliant on other people to care for him.

Unfortunately, due to the archaic laws and closed minded politics in this country, that wasn’t an option. He didn’t have that choice. For that reason, rather than flowers at his funeral, we’re requesting donations, half of which will be passed to Dignity in Dying to help fund their continuing campaigning to allow people to be treated with the same compassion as animals (I know it’s a cliché, but you wouldn’t let your pet suffer in the same way we allow humans).

I had this tattoo in January last year. I wanted him to know how much I loved him while he was still with us, rather than having a memorial tattoo when he’d gone. It’s on my right hip, so he’ll always be by my side.


I also know how proud he was of this blog, and how much he enjoyed reading it. I have to attribute my level of education to my Dad; he encouraged me so much as a kid and spent time learning with me and teaching me.

I’m forever grateful to my Dad for everything he did for me – be that working all hours to provide for me; playing in the swimming pool with me on holiday; setting me maths questions; playing yahtzee; teaching me to drive; wanting to know everything about my first job; buying me a dishwasher for my first home; talking for hours about travels and holidays. I certainly inherited his appetite and we never tired of talking about food and how much we loved it.

I’ve been touched by the kind messages of love and support for me in my loss, and overwhelmed by how well liked and respected my Dad was by so many people.

Losing him at 59, losing our future years together, is the worst and most unfair thing I’ve experienced in my life so far. But I have no choice but to cope and get through this. Bitterness and anger won’t help in the long term.

At least we had time – time to talk about things, time to reminisce and time to somehow  say some form of goodbye.

I already miss him so so much.

Thanks, as always, for reading. x


So Cheryl got a new tattoo…

The media coverage around Cheryl Tweedy Cole Fernandez-Versini toilet attendant thug * and her new tattoo made me chuckle.

First reaction – “OMG! Cheryl has a new tattoo on her cleavage, and we were so busy obsessing over her first official public appearance with the One Directioner in Cannes that we didn’t even notice!”

(in spite of the fact she was wearing a very low cut jumpsuit)

Cheryl cleavage tattoo

Second reaction – “What does Cheryl’s tattoo mean? Reports tell us it’s a Buddhist symbol for enlightenment, which would reflect her personal life, the breakdown of her second marriage, and her new relationship with afore mentioned One Directioner”


…maybe she just liked it?

Y’know, thought it would be a cool place to get a tattoo and found a design that would look nice.

Radical, I know.

People get way too caught up in the meaning behind tattoos.

Yes, it’s nice if they have a story and mean something to you. People get tattooed to commemorate times, places, events and people. They get tattooed to remember someone or to heal a physical or mental wound. And that’s great.

But it’s also OK to pick a design just because you like it. Just because it’s pretty.

What do your tattoos mean

I have “Dad” tattooed on my right hip. I did it last year because I wanted my Dad to know what he means to me while he’s still here, rather than waiting and getting a memorial tattoo when he’s not. That’s important and personal.

I also have a black rose on my left shoulder that I had done purely because I thought it would look lovely. It’s not personal but it’s still important.

Without casting aspersions on Cheryl, she has a bottom full of pink roses. Very well done pink roses, granted.

Cheryl bottom rose tattoo

But, with that in mind, does she really seem the type of person to adorn herself with a Buddhist spiritual symbol?


And that’s perfectly fine.

I have another tattoo appointment tomorrow. I’m getting a flower mandala on the inside of my upper arm. Does it hold any personal meaning? Nope! But it will look pretty as hell!

Thanks, as always, for reading! x

*I’m only teasing about Cheryl’s name and past, I actually quite like her. Well, as much as you can like someone who’s so pretty you actually want to cry when you see yourself in comparison 😉

Tattoo Tuesday, some inspiration

I’m booked in for some tattoo work on Saturday. Major eek! I haven’t been tattooed for over a year and I feel physically sick at the thought of the pain. Every time I get some new work done, even if it hasn’t been very long since my last session, I’m convinced I’m not going to make it through. The first scratch of the needle, and the first 5 minutes or so of work, I have visions of myself having to tell my tattoo guy to stop.


It’s worse this time because I know that the positioning is going to , as I’m having some done on the inside of my upper arm. I don’t know anyone who says it’s not that bad there. Pinch your skin and you know it’s sensitive. Ouch.

Still, no pain, no gain and other such clichéd sayings that really don’t help! I’ll grit my teeth, cry on the inside and rejoice when it’s over. I may even cheat a little bit and get some numbing cream.

I currently have a piece on my shoulder that has grown with time, and I want to extend it to a quarter sleeve.

Actually I want a half sleeve, or even a full sleeve, but there’s always the worry it might be detrimental to my career future, which is extremely annoying.

Here are the inspiration pictures I’ll be taking with me, and some of the styles I want to incorporate.

I love dotwork, if you look closely a lot of the design is made up from tiny little dots to create areas of shading.

One of my worries (because of my own paranoia, not the standard of my artist) is how the tattoo will “end”. I don’t want a border or anything final, in case I extend again in the future, and also because I think it can look a bit harsh. So I’m thinking maybe some filigree or decorative stuff which almost fades out to nothing and could be added to in future.

Ornate shoulder tattoo

I love the negative space of this one, although I have a feeling this is spray painted over a template, as a fashion tattoo.

Lace effect tattoo

These negative space ones are lovely too.

And I love mandalas, but worry that they’re currently “trendy” and might date, plus I’d be a bit of a fraud because technically they’re spiritual and I’m not.

I think my heart lies mostly with more black roses. The first tattoo I had on my shoulder was a black rose, and I love it to this day.

So, as usual, I’ll rock up on the day, thrust some ideas at my tattooist and hope for the best! Not a very technical approach, but better than being too overly set on the exact finished article and then not being 100% happy. I’m sure it will be great, once the swelling has reduced and my arm has stopped looking like a bloody animal carcass.

Thanks, as always, for reading! x