My first tattoo

As a kid, I loved tattoos. I used to enjoy a bubblegum (Bazooka?) that came with temporary tattoos.

Then I became older and, back in those days, tattoos were seedy things that only former service men, prisoners, and ne’er-do-wells had.

Times change of course. And for several years, I’ve been wanting one myself. But I wasn’t going to rush into anything (I saw an old school friend on Facebook recently post ‘I’m getting a full-sleeve tattoo next week – anyone got any ideas what I could put on?’ – seriously?!)

I’ve been thinking long and hard about any tattoo I get. It’s basically, apart from expensive and painful surgery, for life.

I wanted to get one last year when I was 10 years sober. But I still couldn’t think of anything I wanted that I was 100% sure of.

Liberation by Escher

Liberation by Escher

Eventually I hit upon the concept of peace doves. My late Dad was a tireless campaigner for peace, and he wrote and proposed the motion that made Manchester the world’s first Nuclear Free City. It’s something he was, and I am, very proud of. And the peace dove also symbolises inner peace (being sober) etc. Overall I was quite pleased with the idea. I was thinking something in the style of an Escher piece. Something in that style could cover an arm nicely.

But after a long chat with the artist recommended to me (her work is great), she made me re-think. I wanted either a full or half-sleeve (I don’t do things by half-measure normally). She suggested I needed a couple of more themes along with the doves. This was back in November or December, and I’m still not quite sure what I want (although I’m getting there…).

Anyway, today is the 6th anniversary of the death of my Dad and I was in central Malaga having dropped my ex off at the airport.

The tattoo artist is only 20km or so away… I got thinking.

Why not start with a small peace dove? It makes more sense to start small (even the artist thought going for a full-sleeve as a first tattoo was a bit ‘over the top’).

By the way, my Dad would have thought I was a total dickhead for getting a tattoo, no matter what the design or size. But to be fair to her, when I told my Mum last year she took it well. I guess at 43 she’s given up trying to control me, more or less.

So, I had a couple of coffees in Malaga and googled some ideas. I narrowed it down to a couple of choices of design and placement. Just something small. Probably wrist, maybe onto my hand… I’d speak to the artist for her opinion. Of course, I was only hoping she would have a slot for me to do something so simple – she may have been booked solid.

I set off to see her – very excited, slightly nervous, but having decided the timing was good and, frankly, why not?

I even saw a peace dove vandalised on a street sign on the way there (I’m not saying I believe in that sort of ‘sign’ – no pun intended – but it was odd!)

I got to the tattoo studio…

and… she only opens Wednesday to Saturday.

I guess it gives me a bit more time to think about it.

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