I’m even wearing the same nailpolish. Some things don’t change.
The moment at which Craig started his initiation into the coolest (not so) little gang in Wellington.
So I have some of the coolest fucking friends around. Not even kidding. Two of them, the inimitable Pinky Fang and Nursey No Mercy (aka Char aka apprentice extraordinaire at Dr Morse Inc, Tattoo Studio) have teamed up for this excellent … art piece? I think that’s what I’d call it.
Currently there are … 18? initiates. 18 individuals all walking around with these rad similar but different tattoos. All of whom love the work of Pinky & Char.
Besides which, Craig and I didn’t ever really do anything for our anniversary so why NOT buy each other matching Kitty Gang tattoos?
It’s hard to explain, exactly, but we love what we came out with.
I was an OG supporter of the Kitty Gang, buying a drawing from Pinky way back when. I just love her work & I love supporting emerging artists (which partly explains my addiction to Kickstarter) so I’ve had this on my bedside table for months
Oh and believe me, the unfortunate coincidence of being a member of the Kitty Gang who both adores and is allergic to cats? That’s not lost on me.
(incidentally, someone in my play the other day asked if he’d spotted the words “intrepid” and “immoral” on my back. As he’s a psychiatrist I seriously considered telling him yes)
I am at the end of a month of tattoos and bepanthen.
For a month I have smelled like a tiny, like a child, legs and arm and finger either sticky or scabbed. I am delightful, I know.
This July I’ve gone from 9 tattoos to 13 tattoos.
First there was my Friday the 13th tattoo. That took me from 9 to 10.
Then I heard that Char, the apprentice at Dr Morse Inc (who had tattooed Laura, a friend of mine) was offering too-good-to-be-true rates while she built up her base.
I all but jumped at the chance.
Of course she is also a very cool chick, a babe, and that Laura loved the tattoo she got from Char.
Which is how, on Sunday 29th July, I ended up at Dr Morse Inc. I was dressed sort of like a baseballer, and I walked out with three more tattoos than those I walked in with.
I’ve been a bit torn as to whether I should say I got two tattoos or three. Because, while it is split across the back of both of my legs, neither half would work without the other.
Things I learnt!
1. Your dominant side feels pain less than your non-dominant side. So tattooing my right leg before my left leg was not the wisest.
2. It is really hard to photograph the back of ones legs. It is even harder to get a flattering photo.
From Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing, Act II scene I
Your silence most offends me, and to be merry best
becomes you; for, out of question, you were born in
a merry hour.
No, sure, my lord, my mother cried; but then there
was a star danced, and under that was I born.
It’s funny to but noone has asked my why I chose this quote. I quite like that. After all, it really is none of their business. Maybe they just assumed I really really liked the quote.
I do love the play, it was my first and always favourite, and Beatrice is probably my favourite character. She is my Hamlet, the one character I would adore to play.
But why these, out of all of Shakespeare’s glorious words, I chose to have inscribed on me.
To me the words signify that that good things can come from pain, good things can come from sadness. It’s something I find calming and useful to remember.
The third and final tattoo was a bit of a whim.
It’s something I’ve wanted for a very long time but something I’ve avoided because, well, it’s really quite visible, and because it’s so small I didn’t want to book an individual appointment just for it. It took all of about 5 minutes to complete.
Then, one evening, as I sat with my second glass of wine, Char (who is on twitter) linked to a finger tattoo she’d just done. 5 minutes later I’d asked to have my own finger tattoo added on to my Sunday appointment.
This one has no story, no deeply personal meaning. I just think it’s beautiful.
And really, if my tattoos are my storybook? Sometimes illustrations can be there because they’re just beautiful.
I’ve liked Friday the Thirteenth for as long as I can remember. As an essentially unsuperstitious person I find superstitions intriguing. I’ve never found the day to be especially ominous. Quite the opposite in fact. I’d say it’s among my top five days of the year.
Not that I actually keep count of my top five days of the year. But, you know. If I did.
So, on Friday the 13th of July, the final Friday the 13th for 2012, I celebrated with a tattoo.
Did you know my wedding rehearsal was on a Friday the 13th? That’s worked out pretty well so far.
And yesterday, Craig and I celebrated 13 years of dating.
(not really – it was 12 years. But wouldn’t have that just been too perfect for words?)
Also – it turns out that the back of one’s arm is really rather difficult to photograph.
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’.
I don’t think I’ll forget today in a hurry. No, seriously.
Mainly because of my tattoo but partly, partly because of the snowstorm.
Seriously. It snowed in Wellington. More than I can ever remember.
But yes. Also the tattoo. I’m in love with it.
Síorghrá is Gaelic for eternal love.
Gill does amazing work.
I can’t wait until it’s healed. He used turquoise for the keyhole and the script but it doesn’t really show up here.
It’s beautiful though.
It was kind of chilly spending most of the afternoon in a sleeveless top.
In a snowstorm.
When I’ve been asked what I planned for my seventh tattoo my answer was … generally longer than a tweet. I eventually whittled it down to: a traditional style reinterpretation of “St Paul’s during the blitz” inside an ornate gold frame with traditional roses underneath. Which is only 130 characters long. But kind of confusing.
The idea for this tattoo came to me fully formed last November …
It’s no secret that I adore London. It was London which made me believe in the ridiculous Carrie-Bradshaw-esque notion of falling in love with a city. St Paul’s Cathedral is at the centre of my London.
It was crossing the Millennium Bridge with my hands clasped round a coffee and that Dome in my sights when I couldn’t keep from breaking into a wide wide smile.
I’ve loved the photo of St Paul’s during the Blitz by Herbert Mason for … as long as I can remember.
It was used as symbol of resilience, to show that – even as late as 1940 – London could not be brought low by destruction. What was not then well known was that St Paul’s was assiduously protected by local forces and citizens alike.
It’s a beautiful image and a beautiful sentiment. But I digress (SHOCKING, I KNOW).
I chose a frame to anchor the image, to make it stand alone as a tattoo. The roses link it from my right arm to my right side to my left thigh. And just because I love traditional tattoo style roses.
Jeremy Gill from Tattoo Machine did all the work and he was amazing. I loved the drawing and when he freehanded the smoke? It was kind of terrifying. He really was moving the machine like he was using a coloured pencil. Blech.
I ended up bleeding quite a lot.
And despite all of that? it wasn’t really all that painful.
Twelve days from now he’s going to add the colour. I can’t wait.