10 Things to do before Committing to a Tattoo

Continuing our ’10 things women really want advice on’ series with another article from Molly Bruton, 10 things to do before Committing to a Tattoo.

10 Things to do before committing to a Tattoo

By Molly Bruton 


Before deciding to even go and look at the tattoo parlour you need to have an idea of what kind of tattoo you want whether this is style or exact design. It is always best to have a couple of images of some other people’s tattoos that may be of a similar style so you can see how it might turn out.

The Tattoo Parlour

You’ve done the research, you’ve looked at their facebook page, you’ve found the parlour for you. Now it’s going and seeing it. Check reviews online to see what the atmosphere is like – you don’t want to go somewhere that you’ll feel uncomfortable as this will make you more tense and therefore will be a less enjoyable experience.

The Artist

You may have found a shop with multiple artists, or you may be going to a shop for a certain artist. If it’s the former, go in and ask who would be best to do your tattoo as some artists are more skilled in some areas such as portraits than others. Always chose the artist best for you.

Talk to them

Discussing your design with the artist is the best way to get what you want and what will look best. These artists have experience in that field and will want to give you the best tattoo they can, therefore if you go in with some pictures of other tattoos similar to what you (stylistically or design wise) you’ll be making it much easier for the artist to get the design right.

Don’t be afraid to speak up

If the artist is changing your design while you’re planning it, don’t be afraid to speak up and tell them that isn’t what you were hoping for. They will listen, take it into account and change it to suit you. This is your tattoo, it will be there for life, you need to love every aspect of it.

Artist Opinion

If you’re unsure of where you want your tattoo, whether you want it in black/grey or colour or anything relating to the design of the tattoo – ask the artist what they think. Although this is your tattoo, these artists know what will look good and what will fit better where and are more than happy to take the time with you to figure these things out.


How long will the tattoo take? The bigger the tattoo the more time it will take – I feel like this is quite obvious, but it’s always better to ask the artist this as you can then plan around it knowing you’ll be busy for that chunk of time. It’s always better to over estimate than under estimate when it comes to tattoo timings.


Some tattoo parlours charge by the hour, some charge based on design – this is the same with artists. If it is length of time that will be much easier to work out than design. However, if you ask your artist how much it’ll be and get them to give you the largest estimate, you are able to budget for that and take that amount with you.


One of the most important things about a tattoo is the aftercare.  If it’s not cared for properly, or allowed to heal there’s no way the tattoo will stay in good shape or good quality. Ask what aftercare there should be and what products are best for healing a tattoo. Most places have a leaflet or handout that they can give you with everything you need to know.

Stay Calm

One of the main things about getting tattooed is knowing that it will hurt – it’s needles of course there will be pain. However, if you go in relaxed and calm and try not to get yourself worked up before hand about the pain the experience will be much more enjoyable and will end up being much less painful than your mind set it out to be. However, if you are really concerned – talk to your tattoo artist, they might be able to ease your mind a bit.

The main thing when deciding to commit to a tattoo is communication with your tattoo artist, they’re doing the tattoo and will be the best port of call for any of your concerns or queries.


10 Archaeologists to Dig

10 Archaeologists to Dig

By Jenny Barber

Archaeology has been shaped by women from its inception – they have been pioneers of new field methods, new understanding of history, and activists for better conditions for the women studying, teaching, and working in the field.  While their names are often forgotten, their number is legion, so here’s ten of archaeology’s pioneering women to get you started…

Honor Frost

A pioneer of underwater adventure and archaeology, Honor Frost combined her passion for diving with her experience of land archaeology, applying the rigor of careful site and artefact recording to the wreck dives she took part in.  She was responsible for the identification of a Bronze Age Phoenician ship near Turkey and despite being omitted from many of the later reports, made many vital contributions to the recording and analysis of the site.  She went on to excavate many other sites in the Mediterranean Sea and continued her archaeology and typography work right up until her death at age 92.

 Zheng Zhenxiang

Zheng Zhenxiang developed a passion for archaeology when Chinese archaeology was still a new discipline, and persevered through much local turmoil to become the first female archaeologist of New China and one of the leading experts on Shang Dynasty archaeology.  Her most notable discovery was the tomb of Lady Fu Hao, a Bronze Age female general and priestess.  This discovery, the only undisturbed Shang Dynasty tomb found to date, provided such a wealth of artefacts and remains that it has given archaeologists many valuable insights into Fu Hao and the Shang Dynasty world.

Margaret Murray

Margaret Murray was an archaeologist and Egyptologist who was equally at home on excavation sites as she was teaching generations of students in the lecture hall. She nursed in foreign wars and during epidemics; and was also a member of the Pankhursts’ Women’s Social and Political Union (W.S.P.U), participating in the 1907 Mud March.  Her activism also led her to champion better conditions and facilities for the female staff and students at University College London.

Shahina Farid

Considered one of the best field archaeologists in the business, the ‘Lady of the Höyük’ spent 20 years as Field Director and Project Coordinator at the Çatalhöyük site, managing a large international team of over 200 researchers and students.  Seen as a mentor and inspiration by those who worked with her, her expertise is recognised as being a driving force for the Çatalhöyük excavation, while her stratigraphic work has broadened the field and become the foundation for many archaeological and scientific studies.

 Dorothy Garrod

Dorothy Garrod was a pioneer in the field of Palaeolithic archaeology, the first person to use aerial photographs for archaeological work, and the first woman to hold a professorship at the University of Cambridge.  From 1942-1945 she served as section officer in the Women’s Auxiliary Force and in 1965 was awarded the CBE.

 Whitney Battle-Baptiste

Whitney Battle-Baptiste is a scholar and activist who examines the intersection of race, gender, class and sexuality through the lens of archaeology.  She is the author of the ground-breaking Black Feminist Archaeology and co-author of W. E. B. Du Bois’s Data Portraits: Visualizing Black America

She is currently Associate Professor in the Department of Anthropology at UMass Amherst and has served as the Director of its W. E. B. Du Bois Center since 2014.

Check out her website here: https://whitneybattlebaptiste.com or follow her on twitter @blackfemarch

Tatiana Proskouriakoff

Born in Russia, Tatiana Proskouriakoff’s start as an architect was derailed by the Great Depression which led to her working as a museum artist. She decided to dedicate her life to Maya architecture, art, and hieroglyphs after a visit to the Maya site of Piedras Negras (Petén, Guatemala) and produced a number of architectural plans for Chichèn Itzá (Yucatán, Mexico) and Copán (Honduras) as well as a book – A Study of Classic Maya Sculpture. She contributed to the deciphering of Maya hieroglyphic writing and is considered the pioneer of the idea that the Maya recorded their political and dynastic histories as well as calendrical and astronomical information.

 Gertrude Bell

Gertrude Bell was a woman of many talents – known as the ‘Queen of the Desert,’ she was a traveller, a photographer, a mountaineer, spoke eight languages, worked for British Intelligence in Cairo, and her visits to Maltese ruins to draw and photograph them led to an enthusiasm for the excavation and surveying of other ancient sites further afield. She had a particular concern with the security and archaeology of Iraq and visited sites to check for looting and wartime damage, then tracked down and interfered with artefact sales in Baghdad’s bazaars. Later, an official appointment to the Iraqi Department of Antiquities made her officially responsible for monitoring excavation methods and artefact dispersal of Iraq sites. She also established the Baghdad Archaeological Museum (now the National Museum of Iraq) and willed money towards the British School of Archaeology in Iraq which was founded as a memorial to her.

Theresa A. Singleton

Theresa A. Singleton is a writer and archaeologist who is considered a pioneer of historical archaeology in North America. Her work has been particularly important in uncovering finds relating to the African Diaspora, especially African-American history and culture under slavery, and life in communities of African-Americans descended from former slaves.  She is the author of Slavery Behind the Wall: An Archaeology of a Cuban Coffee Plantation and the forthcoming The Archaeology of Plantation Life in the Caribbean and United States.

Amelia Blanford Edwards

A prolific writer and traveller, the ‘Godmother of Egyptology’ developed a passion for the protection of Egypt’s ancient sites after witnessing the rampant destruction and thefts plaguing them.  Along with curators of the British Museum she set up the Egypt Exploration Fund with the aim of studying, conserving and protecting the ancient sites of Egypt, and worked tirelessly to promote and secure funds to enable young archaeologists to study the sites in better ways.

Further reading:

For more on these legendary ladies and other awesome archaeologist women, check out:


Ladies of the Field by Amanda Adams

Photo Credits:

Honor Frost: By Editsicinf at Italian Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=41247909

Zheng Zhenxiang: People’s Daily Online, October 2008, accessed via Trowelblazers.com 2019

Margaret Murray: By Unknown (Lafayette Ltd) – http://www.npg.org.uk/collections/search/person/mp101036/margaret-alice-murray, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=50111066

Shahina Farid: from https://biaa.ac.uk/about-the-biaa/people

Dorothy Garrod: By Newnham College, Cambridge – http://www.newn.cam.ac.uk/about/about_history3.shtml, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=3159074

Whitney Battle-Baptiste: from https://whitneybattlebaptiste.com

Tatiana Proskouriakoff: By Ms. Char Solomon, biographer of Ms. T Proskouriakoff, and owner of site the image is sourced from – http://www.charsolomon.com, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=4427926

Gertrude Bell: By Unknown – picture copied from the Gertrude Bell Archive [1], Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=1178123

Theresa A. Singleton: from https://www.maxwell.syr.edu/anthro/Singleton,_Theresa/

Amelia Edwards: By unbekannt – entweder der Verlag oder eine Zeitung – aus dem Buch von Amelia B Edwards “PHARAOHS, FELLAHS AND EXPLORERS”, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=11423945


10 Female Lead TV Shows

Top 10 Female Lead TV shows

By Molly Bruton

The Bold Type

This show started in 2017 following the lives of three strong women who are working at a fashion magazine called Scarlett. Each one is pursuing their own pathway in life with each other by their sides to help. It touches on the issues of feminism, female representation in the media; LGBT issues, politics and many more.

Watch on – Amazon Prime Video (Seasons 1-3)

Derry Girls

A comedy series following the lives of Erin, Clare, Michelle, Erin’s cousin Orla and Michelle’s cousin James – who happens to be English. Not only are they dealing with trying to navigate relationships; their Catholic girl’s school and their parents; they’re also having to deal with the troubles the 1990s brought to Derry, Northern Ireland.

Watch on – Netflix (Season 1) or 4oD (Season 1&2)

One Day at a Time

A sitcom based around the Alvarez family, a Cuban-American family. With three generations of Alvarez women living under the same roof, there is bound to be some conflict as well as some amazing stories being told. Lydia, the grandmother, Penelope, the mother and Elena, the daughter are all very different but all similar in the way of them all being strong, powerful women who speak their minds. The show covers a lot of different topics that are important in today’s society in both a comedic way and a serious way as well.

Watch on – Netflix (Season 1-3) and PopTV (Season 4)

Orange is the New Black

Since the first season premiered back in 2013, this show has always been praised at its large, diverse cast of women portraying some of the most empowering, inspirational women on TV. Even if they happen to be criminals. As Orange heads into its final season there is no doubt in my mind this show will forever be known as the show that changed the way people watched TV as it was, and still is, Netflix’s most watched show. It was one of the first shows that had people “binge-watching”.

Watch on – Netflix (All Seasons)

Sex Education

An unexpected stand out Netflix original from this year following the story of Otis who, despite his mother being a sex therapist, is extremely awkward about sex. After meeting Maeve – a confident, outgoing, yet vulnerable classmate – they set up a sex advice business helping students with their problems. This show definitely made a lot of people, especially women, feel more confident talking about sex and owning their sexuality as the characters in the show do.

Watch on – Netflix (Season 1)

Dead to Me

Two women who seemed to have lost everything become fast friends when they meet each other at a therapy group for widowers. Jen is mourning the loss of her husband who was killed in a hit-and-run; while Judy is grieving her finance, who had a heart attack. As this show is a dark comedy there are lots of twists and turns, but the main element of it is the friendship between the two women and how important that is to each other.

Watch on – Netflix (Season 1)

The Act

Based on the true story of Gypsy Rose Blanchard, a young girl confined to a wheelchair due to multiple illnesses with an extremely overprotective mother. While Gypsy tries to find more independence, she begins to rebel against her mother finally finding out that she has been lying about her illnesses as Gypsy was in fact healthy. This leads her (and her boyfriend) to kill her mother. Although this isn’t the most joyful thing, the acting throughout the show is amazing.

Watch on – Amazon Prime Video

Killing Eve

A classic spy thriller with a twist. The series follows a British investigator, Eve, trying to capture the slightly insane assassin Villanelle. While they are taking part in this cat and mouse chase, the two develop an obsession with each other. Not only is this a critically acclaimed TV show, the two lead actresses in it are both being praised immensely with Sandra Oh receiving two Golden Globe awards for this role. The showrunner of each season has also been a woman.

Watch on – BBC IPlayer

Big Little Lies

One of HBO’s biggest hits in the past few years; with murder, mystery and comedy set in the town of Monterey, California. Their community is fuelled by rumours the whole thing being divided into the people who have and the people who don’t. The series is told through the eyes of three mothers – Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman and Shailene Woodley exposing broken relationships between spouses, families, friends and neighbours.

Watch on – NowTV

Stranger Things

Set in Hawkins, Indiana in the 1980s. The laboratory near the town were performing experiments in the paranormal/supernatural. This included human test subjects – one of those being Eleven. They accidentally manage to make a portal to an alternative dimension – The Upside Down. The shows cast is extremely well known due to them being so young and so talented.

Watch on – Netflix (Seasons 1-3)

10 Lost City Breaks

10 Lost City Breaks

By Jenny Barber

If you’re bored with all the usual resorts this summer, why not try one of these city breaks instead! Whether you’re holidaying at home or abroad, adventure beckons…


This island paradise has a network of canals to rival Venice – enjoy one of the boat tours from the coast to the centre of the city and listen to knowledgeable guides while you admire the classic sculpture on the many bridges.  Take a visit to the jewellery district and explore the Atlantean arts scene in the recently renovated orichalcum studios where you can watch your own one-of-a-kind piece being made; or drop into one of the coastal restaurants for the best fish dishes this side of Lyonnesse.  And when you need a break from the bustle of the city, the black and silver beaches are not to be missed. 

image from world atlas


Hidden away in the magnificent Kunlun mountains, Shangri-La is just the place if you want to get away from it all.  Try out one of the many spiritual retreats; walk the peaceful lake trails; or eat at one of the famous home-style restaurants where everyone is welcome, and all ingredients are acquired fresh that day – and don’t forget to sample one of Shangri-La’s famous peach dishes!


For an exciting Mexican adventure why not try an activity break in Chicomoztoc!  With seven main city-caves and a multitude of caverns and tunnels to explore, there’s something for every level of caver. Beginners can explore the underground streams, lakes, and caverns with stunning stone-age wall art; the more experienced will find some of the most thrilling cave dives in the world, with challenging cave passages that lead to the ruins of ancient tribal sites.


Twinned with Lyonnesse, this gem of Brittany is one for the shopaholics as it boasts a thriving network of markets that will leave you cash poor but infinitely richer in souvenirs.  The Arts Quarter has always been one of its popular attractions and Ys’s signature marble, cedar and gold can be seen here in abundance.  An energetic night life can be found in the clubs and bars near the dykes and those seeking something quieter will find a great many cathedrals and historic churches to visit.


Despite its limited access restrictions, you’ll find Hy-Brasil a mist shrouded wonder whatever time of year you visit. Situated west of Ireland, its unique environment boasts rare flora and fauna native only to this region, making it a haven for nature lovers; and history buffs will delight in the active excavations and detailed museum that documents the ancient ruins and castle. Guided tours through the ruins and woodlands are available twice a day, or those with stronger stomachs can chance a boat trip around the island and discover the many secrets of its stormy coastline.

image from ancient origins

El Dorado

In the South American jungle, on the shores of Lake Parime, you’ll find the ancient Muisca city of El Dorado.  Known as much for its water sports and vibrant night life, as for its gold, silver, and emeralds, El Dorado caters to many tastes.  Learn to sail on sparkling water of the deepest blue or join a dive tour to see the ancient artefacts that still litter the lakebed; then spend your evening enjoying one of the many regular open-air concerts, festivals or dance clubs. 


Closer to home is the fabled island-city of Avalon: one of Britain’s Arthurian centres, you’ll find the famous Avalon Abbey and Academy of Healing as well as bountiful orchards, extensive herb gardens and sacred springs.  Cider aficionados can visit one of the island’s cider breweries and sample the many custom brews, while those looking for something more restful can spend time in the meditation retreat or browse the local bookshops – there’s at least three bookshops per street so seekers of knowledge will not be disappointed.


In the desert, far west of the Nile, you’ll find the shining white city of Zerzura. Built around an oasis network that provides the city with multiple natural pools, springs, and rivers, Zerzura’s impressive city gates are guarded by black stone giants that date back to the Bronze Age.  Its library and university are renowned for holding the oldest records of Egyptian history and its ancient ruins have remained intact and untampered with.  But if history’s not your thing, the dunes outside the city are perfect for sand-boarding and buggy racing, while the nearby mountains are a hiker’s dream!  

Biringan City

If you fancy a trip to the Philippines, why not visit Biringan City! This city of dazzling lights and towering buildings is on the cutting edge of technology and you’ll find the inventions of science fiction brought to life on its streets.  Biringan is also well known for its ghost tours and has a rich folklore woven into local life, making it a rare treat of a city that balances scientific and magical wonders.


Between Land’s End and the Isles of Scilly you’ll find the historic island-city of Lyonnesse.  While famed for its 140 churches and abbeys; its sub-tropical climate, golden beaches, and azure waters easily rival the Mediterranean – making it the perfect staycation destination for the discerning sun-worshipper.  The nearby Seven Stones reef boasts the best diving in the British Isles and at low tide it’s possible to see the remains of the forest that once stretched between Lyonnesse and the mainland.  You’ll find the best clubs, pubs and arcades along the north coast and a thriving shopping district to the south that demonstrates why Lyonnesse was once a hub of European trade.


10 Things That are Improved with Googly Eyes

by Heide Goody

Step into summer! Ten summer things that are improved with googly eyes.

Pack some googly eyes with your summer holiday gear and you’re guaranteed more fun, whatever your destination.

Here are the top ten ideas to see you right through summer.

Keep an eye on what you’re eating

Eating healthily is tough. Turn fruit into eye candy and watch out for admiring glances!

Be fashion-forward

Turn heads with a pair of statement shoes. The statement is “I’m watching you”

Be drink-aware

Are you the designated driver? Do you sometimes feel as though you’re missing out? Not anymore. Add googly eyes to your drink of choice. Here’s mud in your eye!

Take care of the plants

It’s easy to forget the plants when you go away over the summer. Give them some googly eyes and they’ll feel so good that they might forget that you didn’t water them.

Refresh your grooming regime

Don’t lose sight of the basics during summer. Keep an eye on your daily body care regime.

Don’t overlook essential household maintenance

In the heat of the summer we might forget those household fixtures that work so hard during the winter months. Give them some googly eyes so they can enjoy summer too! Then they will see you right during the darker months.

Keep up with current affairs

World affairs won’t stop because you’re on holiday. Make them more tolerable with googly eyes.

we are only permitting this because it’s on bog roll and has googly eyes. – Ed.

Summer reading

A good book is a must for your holiday. How can you be doubly sure that you’ll enjoy it? Add some googly eyes.

Summer tunes

Make any music the soundtrack to your summer. Don’t be afraid to raise eyebrows along with the volume.


Go makeup-free this summer! Cheaper than cosmetic surgery and won’t react with chlorine in the pool (probably). You’ll be a vision.

Blog posts needed!

This call is just for female identifying folk.

There was a thread on twitter today, started by the lovely @Odrah, regarding those click baity ’10 things’ lists often associated with women’s magazines. You know, 10 ways to keep him interested, 10 ways to wear a wrap, 10 things women over 40 shouldn’t wear (the skins of our enemies?) etc etc. The initial thread was about alternative types of 10 things articles. I have the go ahead to run with the idea for a blog series.

While we are not in anyway opposed to women’s magazines with their shoes and make up and bikini body tips (how you woman is entirely up to you) we  do think that for balance it would be nice to see ’10 best places to eat cheese’ or ’10 work outfits that have actual proper pockets’, ’10 women in politics worth following on twitter’, ’10 sword techniques you can practice in limited space (living room), ’10 things to ask a tattoo artist before you commit’.

So that is the blog call. £10 token payment per post, no word limits, thought for guidance, 500 – 1,000 usually works well for blogs, short and snappy is fine though! I mean a literal list of 10 hilarious points works. Subjects, I am particularly keen to see representation from HEMA and other marital arts, clothing that has nothing to do with fashion (pockets), food posts that are about pleasure not weight, and frankly anything you wouldn’t expect to see generally. Have fun, that’s the whole point, we aren’t trying to shame people who enjoy women’s mags, I do on occasion, we are just playing with alternative versions of the concept. 

You can tweet me if you want to check the subject before you write @FoxSpiritBooks and articles should be emailed to adele@foxspirit.co.uk along with your paypal address for payment.