When Cathy Ward’s mother died five years ago, the supermarket worker from Reading was left depressed and unable to face going out.
But the 54-year-old has now turned her life around with a little help from actor Robert Pattinson and her local tattooist.
Today, Mrs Ward says she is happier and more confident than ever – and says it’s all because of the 69 Twilight-inspired tattoos that cover her body.
Among the designs peppered across Mrs Ward’s physique are a version of the Twilight: New Moon poster on her back and a depiction of the wolf pack on her leg.
‘I just got hooked on it,’ she explains. ‘I loved the main story and all the main characters resonated with me.’
Having devoured the remaining novels, pored over interviews with the cast and sat through the sequel, New Moon, Mrs Ward decided to take her love of Twilight a step further.
Her first tattoo was a version of the poster for Twilight: New Moon featuring Pattinson, 28, his ex-girlfriend Kristen Stewart, 25, and their co-star Taylor Lautner, 23.
More followed, among them two further portraits of Pattinson, one on each rib, and a version of the Cullen family crest on her chest.
‘Obviously, I’m Team Edward so most of my tattoos are of Edward,’ she adds. ‘I’m definitely a Robert Pattinson fan.
‘He’s not classically good looking – he’s different. I’m not what I’d call good looking, I’m average and he’s similar. Plenty of other guys in the film are better looking but he’s striking in different way.’
Mrs Ward, who admits her aim is to have a complete ‘body suit’ of Twilight tattoos, says she has already spent £12,500 on her inkings and has endured more than 135 hours in the tattooist’s chair.
But despite the pain and the not inconsiderable outlay, the 54-year-old says it has been money – and time – well spent.
‘I used to be a bit of a wallflower,’ she explains. ‘I used to hide down in corners at parties, I used to keep myself out of conversations and stay in the background.
‘Losing my mum when we did sort of kicked me back into gear and realise that I needed to get myself together. I’d sort of let myself go for too long.’
Indeed, along with boosting her confidence, Mrs Ward says the inkings have also paid dividends at work with customers at her supermarket left fascinated by the designs.
‘I have a great rapport with customers,’ she beams. ‘They tend to want to stop and see what the person behind the artwork is like.’
And Mrs Ward, who expects to spend between £17,000 and £25,000 to complete her tattooed bodysuit, says she has no intention of listening to people who think she should do something else with her spare cash.
‘Because of the body art, I can’t hide any more,’ she reveals. ‘I’m much more positive and outgoing than I was before.
‘I turned 54 this year – 54 years young, I say. I’m going to get old disgracefully.’
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