I wanted some skin art. I have tattoos already, but one particular one I got at 18 and you would not call it “art” even after a million shots of tequila.
I’ve been to two different studios and talked four different designs, and the idea kept changing. And I was a chicken shit. Tattoos are for life remember?
I had a feeling that my 40th year would be the year I finally bit the bullet, and after my African adventure, it finally became clear.
When I was reaching base camp for summit day at Kilimanjaro the rare bird of prey, a lammergeier, circled above us. When my guide told me it was a good omen I dared to hope it may be true, and sure enough, 12 painstakingly arduous hours later I knew he was right.
This tattoo represents my life-changing trip to Africa, but it is also so much more.
It represents how I can do anything. I climbed the highest freestanding mountain in the world, so if I ever feel as though something is too challenging, too scary, or too tough, I can be reminded that I just need to buckle in and get on with it.
I wanted to give up on that climb so badly. I thought I was done, and I cried like a baby. I felt pretty broken and I’m not too proud to say it.
This feather is also a reminder that when I think I cannot go any further and shit is simply too hard, I have more steely reserve than I realise and I just need to keep going one foot in front of the other.
The birds represent my babies. They are born from my body, but they are free. One day they will fly away but a piece of me will always be in their wings.
When I discovered my artist Vanessa Rodriguez of V Draws Tattoos on the school run (one of the school mum’s has an incredible bird and blossom tattoo down her back and I asked for the artist) I knew I had found my girl.
I explained what I wanted and she said it sounded fun…. I stalked her Instagram feed to get acquainted with her work as my appointment drew near, but when I arrived yesterday I still had not seen the completed piece
I felt at ease immediately in her lovely Merrylands private studio and we talked it out and put it all together.
We played stand-up comedy on the tv, my boyfriend sat by my side, and we all laughed at highly un-PC comedy while she worked on me. Naturally, I tried to stifle my laughter for fear of making Vanessa slip and doodle on my face with her magic gun. I’m not keen on facial tatts.
So, here it is, my tattoo. I love it so hard. It’s a bit red and sore right now but I’ll post more in a few days when it’s less angry at the violation.