This week I was chatting with a man who’s currently going through the process of extensive tattoo removal with impressive results. He told me that they’d been done in his younger military days and had simply turned into illegible black and red blobs on his upper body. There hasn’t been a year in the last forty or so when I didn’t consider having a tattoo of some description or other. It was just one of those things that I saw so many of my friends or colleagues getting. Now I’m considering that tattoos should remain the reserve of anyone over the age of 50. The reason being that when one reaches the age of 80 and sitting on a sun drenched beach in Brighton the tattoo may still be legible. After all: isn’t that the point? Why does anyone wish to spend so much money on life-long body-art that invariably fades or merges with the aging process? Of course, the practice of tattooing and expression through body painting has been around since the dawn of time, even evident on the arms of cartoon characters like Popeye or simulated multi-coloured temporary transfers that we used to buy as children. I’m not opposed to the practice per se but it could be argued that David Beckhams body art is not in the same league as those with cultural significance such as the Native American, the Maori or distant civilisations like the Inca’s. Many see tattoo’s as an expression of individuality, when its original intention was to have the opposite meaning. I have to acknowledge the skill and creative dexterity of the Tattoo artist. A painter at an easel can afford the odd mistake or two and may simply ‘rub out’ and carry on. Not so the Tattooist. Regardless of one’s view on the subject it has to be said that their work has to include as great a degree of brevity as the person on whom their work will be forever displayed.