“Birthdays were the worst days now we sip champagne when we thirsty” : unlike Biggie, my birthdays haven’t quite worked themselves out yet, which is why I don’t celebrate them.

Last year it was a speeding ticket, fine and three points.  My birthday’s have ranged from a relationship break up to a beating as a result of mistaken identity.  Every year they deliver without fail, it’s a gift.

This year the Universe sent me fuckwits.  I feel comfortable labelling them as such in this politically correct world as I have watched the CCTV footage twice.  And given that they were caught in the act and are now remanded in custody I don’t think they can honestly argue the point.

Let me expand further: This is the third time that we have been hit, we don’t keep anything of value in the Tattoo Studio.  We don’t actually have anything of value because all of my profits go on repairing windows, Insurance premiums and Insurance excess.

I am one Tattoo Artist working alone with a my Piercer Anna.  Yes we work hard, but seriously, if anyone thinks that I have piles of cash laying around and spend my evenings imitating Scrooge McDuck bathing in freshly pressed fifty pound notes, then you my friend are sadly mistaken and possibly require help.

As any of my clients will tell you: We do this out of passion, always try to offer a fair deal and it is not a money making Tattoo factory, if it were it would look like Fort Knox.  They are the ones you can’t get into…get it yet?

I understand you are looking for cash, so am I.  90% of my customers now pay on card so the Bank is robbing me before you even get a chance to get your Stone Island socks on.

Yes we have a safe…it’s been empty for three years…if you want it, go for it, I am putting the f*8%££$G thing on eBay this week and the link will be posted to the site.

But it’s OK, I am insured.

Obviously not for the days work that I lose, or the fish…

Our two marine tanks in the Studio, hit with torches, noise and the aftermath between 11pm and 1am when they are bedded down.  Obviously not the first time that they have been disturbed but most definitely the worst.

Between the two tanks we have lost five fish in as many days.  Let me put that in perspective, some of these fish had been with us for over four years; they are marine fish, very clever I always describe them as being like underwater dogs. They used to come out and say hello in the morning, one of them lets me pet them – a fish that allows me to stroke its tail in return for a treat, fancy that.

So anyway as I was saying, no harm done, it’s all insured.

There is no end to this.  Sure I can cover the place in metal shutters and CCTV cameras.  Then I could spend my spare time searching for stolen cameras and cleaning graffiti from shutters.  Unfortunately the position of the Studio on the High Street makes it the perfect “target” for any would be ”criminal”.

Whilst there is no CCTV (or Police as a rule) in the village the situation will only get worse.  This is not local crime, the village is becoming a target for those in the surrounding areas unable to commit the same crimes on they’re own “patch” due to CCTV and a Police presence.

I have been in the village for seven years now, I have made a good living and the business does well.  Over that time the village has changed.  In the last three years it feels like petty crime has gone off the chart.  Fly tipping, pointless theft and vandalism.  The mood in the village during the summer with kids in large numbers on bikes and scooters is somewhat disconcerting and there is clearly an element amongst them that is up to no good.  And they get bolder each year.

The lease on the Studio draws to a close this year.  I should own it as I had an agreement to buy it after three years.  But the other party decided that “fair market value” actually meant “fair market value plus forty grand”, I am actually grateful for this breach of contract in retrospect but reserve my rights to litigation.

Speaking of which, I also need to find time to draw a couple of other “players” over the legal coals; a company who believe in fraudulently overcharging on a contract and a Disney character with a keyboard who has gone a little too far.

I have other issues to attend too that all require my time, a holiday (or two) sit at the top of the list.  I have been working flat out for five to six days a week for a shade under four solid years.  I need to feel the sun on my face, we have had roughly six weeks of sunshine in that time in the UK, unacceptable!

Add all of the above to the fact that we have out grown the Studio…and this year is our last in Abbots Langley.

It’s a shame, I have enjoyed it on the whole and I will miss the village.  But it is time to move on hopefully to bigger and better things.

So what happens next?  All will be revealed in my next post.  Anyone getting work done by me don’t panic, I have all the bases covered and no one will be let down.