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l'enfer du North Island

  fill the gap with our english dead Thursday 16 July 2009 link

It's the school holidays again. I remember when I was a kid: school holidays were giant events that lurked rarely in our calendar, huge chunks of free time, during which we were invariably packed off to some improving activity which suspiciously happened to take place during business hours and thus let our parents get some time at work. These days, the plethora of diversionary activities is larger and more diverse; but the holidays are more frequent. Like, every two months. Blimey. Blink and there's another set of the damn things. And R is still just our lovely wee girl, so we're taking a bit of time off to look after her. So far, I got the first end of the holidays, and then had a bit of a gap, and now I've got another day tomorrow. At the start of the holidays we checked off all the major things we wanted to do:

So I've done my duty as a parent. Until tomorrow, of course, when R wants to go see BJ Bear do a teddy bears' picnic at J'ville mall. Wish me luck.

Oh, and we took Rebecca into her first tattooists yesterday. I had another session booked with Tim out at Pacific Tattoo in Paekakariki, and since it was the school holidays, Rebecca came along for the ride. More specifically, Maggie was in creche (we got a casual day for her) and Heather gave me a lift out on the way to take Rebecca to Lindale for honey and llamas. Rebecca thought the studio looked interesting but smelled "stinky" (disinfectant not a hit with the kids), but seemed interested. Before she could warn Tim against hurting me (as she'd been threatening to do), Heather took her off, and Tim and I got down to the serious business of pain.

We kicked off by reworking all the big black areas from the last session, to get a good depth of color and consistent shade. After that, there was a fair bit of work filling in the chevrons we didn't get around to the last session, then a short bit of design to work out what the new bits should look like, then a fair bit more inking. We stopped about every two hours for tea and biscuits, but it was quite a day under the needle. I can say that having the inside of your elbow hurts immeasurably; and the inside of your arm isn't a picnic either. Apparently I'm quite good at staying still while thinking inside my head "Well, this is agony." Not fun on that front, but the results are quite nice. I now have a lot of black chevrons and lines on my inside forearm, and a patterned section inside the blank triangle in the junction of my elbow. When we started this project, I put together a portfolio with the words "Big, bold" on the inside. We've achieved that. Latest pictures are available through flickr.

One interesting moment during the day was when I noticed that the tattoo machine's power supply (an Eikon unit) has a display that showed stats about the current being supplied. One of the stastistics shown was CPS, Cycles Per Second - how fast the needles are going back and forth, in general the frequence of the tattoo machine. This mean that while I was being tattooed I could look over at the power supply and know precisely how much this hertz.

Still have a blank area right around the back of my arm, on the lower back of my tricep. The plan for the next session is to tweak any remaining re-coloring, add some more patterning/texture in the remaining area... and then start work on the next project. But that's another story.

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unspoilt by progress

calm, peaceful, sweary

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