The first INKling

Getting a tattoo was always something that was on the bucket list. In fact, if you scroll down through the posts on this blog a bit, you’ll find my radio documentary on tattoo stories (or, you know, you could just click here), which more or less served as my research into whether or not I should do it.

After a few years of myself and my best hunzo Valerie swearing we’d someday get one, we finally decided to bite the bullet.

A lot of people get tattoos of something with particular meaning to them and I considered going down that route. However, I soon edged away from this idea and instead decided that I would get it at a time that was significant to me. A week shy of my 21st birthday and the week after I finished college seemed perfect. I had seen the following picture while looking through different designs and while I loved the placement and the solid black design, I knew that I didn’t want butterflies. Instead, I settled on swallows.


A friend had recommended Wild Cat in Stephen’s Green to us, so about three weeks ago, armed with pictures of our very different ideas for what we wanted, Valerie and I headed to town for a consultation. There, we met the lovely Brian who answered all our questions, looked at our pictures and promised to sketch up something that we’d be happy to have etched on our skin forever.

Eventually, the appointments were booked and the deposits paid. With nerves high, we went back to Wild Cat where I was scheduled to go first.

I’m not going to lie or sugar coat it; tattoos hurt. The sensation is a little bit like somebody has stuck a knife into your skin and is pulling it down. It’s not unbearable though, just not in anyway fun. Hats off to my tattoo-expert pal Sinead though for telling me to bring fruit pastilles to chew and something I could crush in my hands. Otherwise, I probably wouldn’t have survived. Also a salute to Passenger, who’s album both took my mind off the pain and formed the soundtrack to my week.

I was so so happy with the design in the end. It was exactly what I had pictured and the placement means that I can choose to hide it if I need to or show it off if I want.

Getting the tattoo was the easy part though, now I have to tell my mammy about it. Yurt.

My tattoo.

My tattoo.


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