Yes, after many years of careful consideration, I have finally got my first tattoo! So that’s one more thing ticked off my Fifty before Fifty List.I first wanted to get a tattoo when I was about 17, and planned to get one as soon as I turned 18. But when the time came, I had no idea what design I wanted. I was worried about getting a tattoo that I regretted, so I put the idea on hold for a while…
Well, I put it off for about 25 years actually, but recently I started thinking about it again. I’ve been putting it off for so long, and life really is too short to keep putting this kind of thing off. I’ve been put off in the past by worrying what the mums at school or at tennis would think. But at the grand age of 41, I was finally past worrying what other people think of my appearance! So I decided that 2017 was going to be the year that I finally got my first tattoo.
But where should I go for my first tattoo? Because you don’t want to entrust your clear, blank canvas of skin to just anyone, do you?
Luckily, one of my friends got a new tattoo and posted a photo on Facebook. She had visited Meg Evans in Shrewsbury, and was really happy with her tattoo. And as I looked through Meg’s work, I realised that I really liked her work. It seemed that I had found my tattoo artist at last. Meg is pretty popular, and only opens her books once every three months. When her books reopened on 1st February, I sent in a message and got an appointment for 5th July 2017. Exciting stuff!
But I’m not really known for my patience, and 6 months felt like a very long time to wait now that I’d finally made a decision. And so when I saw that Meg had a cancellation slot in early March, I jumped on the opportunity. Now I just had one week to wait…
When I went along for my appointment, I have to admit that I was really nervous. After so many years of wanting a tattoo, what if I changed my mind after having one?
You’ll be pleased to hear that I didn’t change my mind and the process of getting a tattoo was really straightforward. First we finalised the design and placement of the tattoo, and then Meg cleansed and shaved my forearm so that the skin was ready. The actual tattooing itself wasn’t anywhere near as painful as I had imagined. Most of it just felt like a little scratch, and the only bits which did pinch a bit were where Meg had to go over areas a second time to do shading.
My gorgeous tattoo took around 90 minutes to complete, and this photo was taken just afterwards. It was then cleaned again and wrapped in Dermalyze film. I kept that film on for the first 24 hours of healing and the care after that was pretty straightforward. I washed my tattoo 3-4 times a day for the first 3 days, and applied a thin layer of Tattoo Goo salve to help it to heal. After that, it was just a case of washing it a couple of times a day and applying a thin layer of After Inked lotion until the small amount of peeling had finished.
This photo was taken about a week after the tattoo was done. By then the skin was healed and all of the peeling had gone.
I mentioned to Meg while she was working that this design is pretty but it isn’t really a ‘meaningful’ one. She said that it is meaningful, because it signifies my new ‘f**k it’ attitude to what people think of my appearance. I love that!
Now, about two months later, the healing is complete and I absolutely love my tattoo. I still can’t stop looking at it, and I hate it when I have to wear long sleeves. In fact, I love my tattoo so much that I’m booked in with Meg for another two tattoos later in the year. There’s also a good chance that I’ll get another one when I visit the Liverpool Tattoo Convention later this month…