A First Tattoo

A couple of weeks ago, I decided, at 53 years old, to get a first tattoo. And before you scream “Midlife Crisis!”  let me explain that I have been thinking about getting one for a little while. Long enough to know that it wasn’t going to be a snap decision that I would later regret.

But what to get? Someone helpfully suggested the tattoo should represent something that means a lot to me. Well, Andy means a lot to me, but I wasn’t about to get his likeness inked onto my arm.  He did tentatively suggest I might like to portray him on one of his kite boards, surfing a towering wave, but I resisted that particular temptation. I also love my children very much, but getting their names written in Chinese on my arms, or across the bottom of my back, seems a bit passé now somehow.  If I was going to do that, I should have done it when they were born. At 20 and 23, I suspect they may well think it’s a bit late now.


No, it was obvious from the start. All my life I have been a cat person.  I play the lottery with the sole intention of winning enough money to start a cat rescue sanctuary, and if I could adopt every stray in the world I would. If I was going to have a tattoo, it was always going to be a cat. Not only to symbolise all the felines that have allowed me to look after them up to now, (and those that are still to come into my life), but also a reminder that when things are tough… there are always cats.

Next, where to put the tattoo? On my shoulder, back, bottom, or neck? 30 years ago, I nearly had an Egyptian eye inked on my back,  (I was going to tell my kids that I could see out of it), but that moment passed. As a slightly older person now, I thought perhaps a tattoo would be nice on my wrist/hand as I wanted it somewhere visible .. but discreet.


I found a couple of designs I liked on the internet and Andy helpfully drew them on my wrist with a black biro to give me an idea! They looked very realistic! I sent the pictures of the designs to my kids, (who will never hold back from telling me what they really think),  and immediately got very positive responses.

I spent some time looking for a tattooist that I thought I would trust and found the wonderful Mary Moore, a local tattooist, on Instagram. Mary does a lot of intricate designs and her specialities are Disney characters and animal designs. I messaged her for an appointment and was a little taken aback when she said she had a cancellation the following day. I quickly posted on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook so that I couldn’t chicken out!

I had literally no idea what to expect on arriving, but Mary made me feel very welcome and I felt immediately at ease. She chatted to me while she did the drawings and made the transfers and made sure I was entirely comfortable before we started. She even changed the positioning a couple of times because she wasn’t quite happy. She showed me the “pen” (it really is a pen, it certainly doesn’t look like a needle!) and then…we were off.


I was expecting it to be quite painful, but I can say honestly it wasn’t. Not even a bit… and  Mary chatted to me throughout. It was all done incredibly quickly, she has such a steady hand! Overall, I would liken the experience to being at a spa, it was certainly very therapeutic. And of course it’s instant gratification, because your design comes alive in front of your eyes!

Indeed, I was so happy with the result there was a bit of squealing and screeching on my part as I got a little over excited! Mary gamely put up with this, though she said she hadn’t had anyone get quite this thrilled about a tattoo before. When she finished, she spent some time explaining the after care to me and gave me a leaflet and some cream to apply. She wrapped the tattoos in clingfilm  and I was all done. I couldn’t wait to phone everyone and send pictures!


I was expecting my hand to ache for the rest of the evening, but there were no after effects at all. I couldn’t keep my eyes off it, not quite believing I had finally got a tattoo. Everyone says that’s it’s a slippery slope and once you start, there is no stopping. They are right. I’m already planning another one…

If you are thinking about getting a tattoo, whatever your age, I heartily recommend it. And if you are anywhere near Southampton,  check out the work of the wonderful Mary Moore.. you will not be disappointed. ❤️


Mary Moore:



40 replies »

  1. Beautiful tattoo! She did a wonderful job! That’s nice that you didn’t feel anything, and you got something you connect with. Just goes to show that there isn’t an age on living life to the fullest. Happy for you and congrats on your first tattoo!

    • Haha!!! Yes technically! Perhaps should have title post “A First Tattoo Experience” 😂😂. Go for it with the paw tattoo… you will love it!❤️❤️

    • Yes I can understand that.. that’s why it needs to be something deeply encroached in your personality, something that is the core of who you are! Could only be cats in my case 😺, they have always been such a big part of my life …. ❤️

    • Ha! Neither do I! In fact I’m phobic about needles – read my post about needle phobia- but honestly it’s not a needle, it’s a pen and there was no pain at all… maybe start with a small one!

  2. Oh my goodnesss gracious me!! When I started reading, at the back of head, my mind was going “well if that was me, it will be a cat tattoo for sure”, and lo and behold, that was exactly what I wanted to get. I had so many googled pictures of that in my
    phone. Now, guess what, got to go and get one, shouldnt I? ♥️

    • Oh how funny! You absolutely must! You won’t regret it I’m sure… what design are you thinking of? Please send pics when you have it done!! 😍

  3. I love it and no I didn’t think mid life crises. what a perfect tattoo and I love where you have it . I have one on my back which now I regret because I cannot see it. it’s a simple rose. So happy you did it.

    • Thank you very much! Yes I am absolutely delighted with both of them! Maybe you could have another one where you can see it! I can’t stop looking at my two!! 😂

    • Thank you and I agree they don’t have to have deep meaning… but the symbolism presumably needs to be important to the person being as they are a permanent feature!! ❤️

  4. I like that, subtle but unique. I had a solitary tattoo on my upper arm when I was 18 but didn’t think about getting anymore. However, I’ve been mulling over the idea of getting another one for a few years now, I’m 54 but I fancy one.

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