Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Henna Nights

I've recently been going a bit mad for henna.  I seem to have a tube of it in my handbag at all times these days - you never know when someone will want a henna tattoo... I'm getting a bit of a reputation for doodling on people.

Last night I caught up with my darling friend Tara.  We only get to see each other in the summer as she lives in Menorca, and these days our catch up times are spent keeping watch while our respective children bash each other over the heads with spades on the beach...

We used to spend all day every day together getting up to all sorts of madcap things - messing around on boats... creating fabulous beach-side hair treatments using seaweed, sand and shells... one summer it was Street Hockey on the newly laid tarmac of a house-less urbanisation on the coast when we would come over all "Roller Boys" (RIP Corey Haim).  It is my dearest wish that our daughters carry on this friendship alongside us and I hope they will also enjoy some of the freedoms we were so lucky to have on this little island in the Med.

So, last night it was beer and henna - reliving being 13 at the end of the 80's, when it was all about henna tattoos, boys and Top Gun (RIP Tony Scott).

I get my henna on the Bethnal Green Road in London - most Bengali grocery stores keep the tubes by the till.  I use the green tube - Emergency Henna - it has a lovely dark colour and is super easy to apply.  Simply draw on your pattern, trying to keep the line even (a bit like icing a cake with an icing funnel), and leave it for a minimum of 5 minutes.  The longer you leave it on, the darker your tattoo will be.  I tend to leave mine on until the henna is totally dry, usually about 20+ minutes, then just wash it off with water.  Perfect!

Applying the henna to Tara's hand in trying an attempt at a more traditional design
(I seem to only be able to do stars, hearts, lizards and dots!)

Wash on... wash off - my winged hearts and dots are a day old, Tara's henna is newly applied and drying.

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