To anyone who was in the I Aint No Saint Studio on  Saturday the 24th February: I apologise if I was somewhat “off-key”.  I was trying to clear a very busy Tattoo Studio thanks to a real world life or death drama playing out over my left shoulder…

After two months from hell we thought we had finally broken through and found some light, but it was not to be.  February had one more “kick in the B***ocks” for us before it was done.  Having lost all of the fish in the big tank I thought I had isolated my two favourite fish in the small tank and that all was well.

Apparently not.  Friday night our two “best buddies” had a “falling out” and it did not end well.  The victor had to go back to World of Water, Hunton Bridge where we know he will be found a good home.  The loser, not so lucky.

Harsh day tattooing Saturday.  I had made my fish as comfortable as possible at the bottom of the tank and that was all I could do for him.  His swim bladder had given out and and it looked as if his back was either broken or his tail had been shredded, I couldn’t tell which.  Yeah I know it’s just a fish, but as many customers would bear witness this one used to take treats from me and come to the surface and let me stroke his tail, he was a real character.

Sunday morning and he was dead.  The heater had been up on the tank so he was nice and warm and went during the night, bless his soul he lasted all day Saturday.  So for this one I had a quick “fish funeral” on Sunday and life goes on.

Although… the amount of work I used to put in to the tanks, the constant worry about the fish and their water has all gone and it has left something of a big gap in my life.  It is like losing a relative or a mammal, it’s a very strange feeling.  Also tattooing with empty tanks behind me is somewhat strange, as weird as it sounds the fish used to be there watching the show and now I can sense that loss.

I would not keep marine fish again unless I came into an obscene amount of money and had little or no other use for my time.  To keep marines properly it needs to be more of an obsession than a hobby.  And it is also one of the must cruel industries I have come across; the amount of fish that died so that I could have a few “ornaments” in a tank is staggering.

As human beings we really should start taking a proper look at ourselves… that is what I learnt keeping marine fish.

So I am now hobbyless, for the first time in many many years.  Obviously I still have a couple of “projects”on the go, The Stealth Project is fun but it’s work and “Dirty Arry” who you will meet properly in the summer when I pick up the pinstriping brush, but again it’s a work project.

I am of course still training like a lunatic still, but again since giving up on my martial arts this has become part of my work routine as all of my training and nutrition is geared towards my posture, the use of coil machines and of course my longevity.

It is a blessing that I enjoy my tattooing so much.  Despite the lack of recent pictures the Studio is running at full steam ahead.  The winter is my time to concentrate on session work and we have some cool sleeves that are getting finished and a couple of legs filling up nicely.

The five hours for the price of four sessions are proving very popular with some clients walking away with real bargains, almost half sleeve size centre pieces for the sum total of £320.  So I do have plenty of tattoo work to keep me occupied.

I also have quite a lot of airbrush work in the pipeline, but given that I am sitting here writing this whilst three inches of snow arrives on the 1st of March the airbrush can wait until the workshop warms up.

The blog has been well received, thank you.  I am enjoying writing it, I just hope it does not get boring or repetitive, my lack of Rock Star charisma is a concern.

Now hobbyless I find myself working longer and later.  We have a whole new logo and identity which brings all of our services under one banner and we are very excited about it.  We already have prototype merchandise printed and it looks epic.  I really do feel like we have finally found our “brand”.

This does create us one problem that you may be able to help us with; we still have some stock of the original T’s and we need to clear some space in our little Studio.  So we will be having a crazy below cost T-shirt sale before we can launch the new merchandise, please look out for it and please clean us out!

So with very little to report this week I will leave you with the knowledge that you can expect big changes to the website this month.  I have time on my hands to get some finishing touches done on the Stealth Project, we are working on that portion of the site today so get your passwords ready!

Anna has a brand new project of her own with the vape products, I am kind over the vaping.  I figure we all need one vice and mine is still a bit of tobacco between vapes.  Anna has left me for dust when it comes to product knowledge, she even briefs our suppliers on the new products now!  So we are giving her a website of her own to work with and we are going back to basics: do you “remember” I Ain’t No Smoker?  It’s doing a comeback.

Pop in the Studio if you get a chance, we have a bit of a sale on and everything must go.