On Friday, I had my first tattoo. I say ‘first’ because I’d already to decide to have another one before this one was even finished.

It was a birthday present from Herbert, although my birthday was way back in September. It took us this long to arrange it. If I was going to mark myself for life, I wanted to make sure that just the right person did the job.

He was worth waiting for. It is quite the most lovely tattoo I have ever seen. Well, it was. It’s now going through its scaly, wrinkly phase, but I’m assured it will be gorgeous again in a couple of weeks. Already, fragments are peeling away to reveal the true image underneath.

It feels like emerging from a chrysalis. Underneath is a miraculous new layer, clear and beautiful. I am resolutely not picking at it, but it’s hard. I’m almost euphoric about it, this feeling of owning my own skin. I’ve wanted to do this for years, but always wondered whether I’d change my mind. Getting my tattoo is an act of stating that I know myself, and that I trust myself to make good choices.

Here it is when it was still nice and fresh. I chose a swallow because I love watching them swooping around every summer. No puns, please.

13 Responses to Tattoo

  1. Rachel 22/02/2011 at 15:12 #

    LOVE it!

    Whereabouts have you had it?

    The scaliness is the worst but soon over. Enjoy it, it’s lovely (and addictive!)

  2. Jessica Ruston 22/02/2011 at 15:19 #

    It’s really beautiful. I have one tiny tattoo, that I got when I was 17. Luckily I still love it… I really, really want another one…

    • Betty Herbert 22/02/2011 at 16:06 #

      It’s good that you still like that one – I’m not sure if I still have the same taste as when I was 17!

  3. NickyB 22/02/2011 at 15:58 #

    Quite, quite beautiful. It’a a piece of art. Upper arm?

    • Betty Herbert 22/02/2011 at 16:07 #

      That’s right. There’s another reason to fight those bingo wings!

  4. Cath 22/02/2011 at 17:46 #

    Of course you do realise that no matter how fabulous they are when they emerge from their scabby cocoon they are *never* quite the same as when freshly done. That’s part of the addiction. :)

  5. Jess 23/02/2011 at 15:08 #

    Absolutely gorgeous! Love the fine detail & color.


  6. Vicki 23/02/2011 at 16:02 #

    Careful I started at one over a year ago now have 5 and 4 more planned, addictive aren’t they?

  7. TeacherMommy 24/02/2011 at 16:38 #

    I love it! I too chose a bird as part of my first tattoo (okay, so I haven’t gotten my next one yet, but I totally know what I want. It’s just a matter of money, because I also am very picky about just who does this sort of permanent work on my body.)

    • Betty Herbert 24/02/2011 at 16:51 #

      You’re completely wise. I just don’t understand why you wouldn’t be utterly anal about making sure your tattooist is perfect. But then I’m a bit like that!

  8. Gail 25/02/2011 at 22:42 #

    Beautiful, beautiful artwork. Who did it for you?

    • Betty Herbert 28/02/2011 at 15:44 #

      Thanks – I love it! Dan Chase at Ritual Art Tattoo in Rainham, Kent did it – they don’t seem to have a website I’m afraid x

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