Sunday, 17 August 2014


I'm doing this in the car. Bear with me. Hyperlinks will go in later: they're proving to be a f**king fanny on a Samsung Galaxy S4 mini. Any photographs I manage to upload are by Bertrand Vessier.

FIRST THINGS FIRST – THE FUND IS STILL OPEN, so if you want to donate you still can.  Let me remind you who you’re supporting: the two chosen charities of the British Beard and Moustche Championships, which are Dorothy House and Depression Alliance. I maintain that there is not a person in the UK right now who will not, at some point, need the services of one charity or the other; or have a loved one who will. Give some money at Mu's Big-Ass Charity Tattoo - if you give £25 I’ll send you the signed photo of my –

- Never mind. I’m getting to that. This is what happened.
Somehow (I know not how) I made the decision to get a tattoo. Not my first; though I may be forgiven the youthful foolishness which planted a marsupial on my backside like a little ass-hickie. No, this would be my first proper, serious, grown-up tattoo.

But I can’t tell you all that, either. Because I told it to the editor of Skin Deep Tattoo Magazine after I had the almighty front to send him an email containing the following - just days after being introduced to him at the Great British Tattoo Show:

“Let me get to the point: In a nutshell (deep breath), do you think [the magazine] would consider it a matter of sufficient interest to feature between its covers the occasion of my inking? I should simply adore it if you would.

Good God, I shock myself sometimes. If I thought it would sway you, I’d send you a picture of the proposed canvas; but fortunately, I actually do know when to wind it in. Sort of.”

Obviously, I’d explained about the charity fundraiser as well. So that makes it perfectly ok*.  But you can read the full story in Issue 241, out in September.

  • So far, £1820 donated to the cause. 
  • A total of 7.5 hours of tattoo work by a woman I admire so very, very much – I hope I may be allowed to call her a friend. 
  • Genuinely the worst pain I’ve ever felt, and I’ve had two children. 
  • A nude photoshoot with a photographer I trust completely, and whose work I love. 
  • Countless messages of love and support from all over the world.
This year has brought yet more wonderful people into my life, and I am constantly overwhelmed at the capacity of ordinary people to act kindly for others. Thank you, all of you, who have supported me in my hare-brained scheme to raise money and promote the Beard Championships. And yet it’s so much more than that: I feel as though I have a new friend. 

William Eight-Speare. He’s got my back.

*No it doesn’t. SiĆ“n, I am so sorry. You didn’t deserve that, based on an hour’s acquaintance. Sorry. Sorry.

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