So today, this happened:
I have to admit, I was terrified. But G, the artist, made fun of me ever so slightly, and that made everything better. Adorable Italian men can do that to a girl.
He also talked me out of going for outline only. I’m ever so pleased I listened to him. Yet again the artist knows best.
The swallow tattoo was a symbol used historically by sailors to show off their sailing experience. Of British origin, it was the image of a Barn Swallow, usually tattooed on the chest, hands or neck. According to one legend, a sailor tattooed with one swallow had travelled over 5,000 nautical miles (9,000 km); a sailor with two, 10,000 nautical miles.
It is also legend that if the sailor drowns, the swallows will carry their soul to heaven, representing freedom and hope. So that’s good?
Swallows migrate between hemispheres throughout the year but always return home. They also mate for life. Well, kind of. They are genetically polygamous but socially monogamous. Which is quite interesting in a ‘sex at dawn’ kind of way
The swallow also represents love, care and affection towards family and friends, showing the loyalty of the person always returning to them.
It was important to me to get a tattoo in London. Especially so after this last week. A week of terrible and changeable weather which has done nothing but reaffirm my love for this beautiful and difficult city. I will always be a New Zealander but I can’t help but feel that London is also my home.
Of course it could always be that, in the words of Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein from Portlandia, all I did was ‘put a bird on it’.