'I got my first tattoo at the age of 68'

Jean Cook with her tattoo

David Dimbleby has got his first tattoo at the age of 75 - a scorpion on his shoulder. Jean Cook, now in her 80s, got her first inking at 68 and says it's really no big deal.

Cook, from Chesterfield, had never thought about getting a tattoo until the idea popped into her head when she got older. She started talking to people about it and finally got it on the spur of the moment.

"I was at my son's house and one day he said 'come on then', shoved me in the car and took me to the tattoo place round the corner. I would never have done it myself. It was around Mother's day, he bought it as a gift," she says.

Cook says she didn't even have the time to be scared that it would be painful or to wonder if it would turn out well. "I just picked a rose as I liked it in the shop."

When the tattoo shop moved into the town centre a year later, Cook says she saw it one day and thought: "I will go in and get another one on my other arm." She marched in and picked a butterfly. She was 69.

Cook says the reaction to an 80-something woman with tattoos on both arms is fairly muted, but that some people are quite impressed when they find out how old she was when she got them.

"Some people think I am daft when they know how old I was when I had it," she says.

Her family thought it was great - after all, it was her son who spurred her on. "Everyone else is a mixed bag. No one is that bothered these days. It's not as surprising as it once was."

Cook can't help showing off her tattoos, thanks to their position on her arms but she says she forgets about them until someone brings them up.

She's not currently tempted to get any more body art. "I think I am done," she says.

Reporting by Olivia Sorrel-Dejerine

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