Tattoos and Goodwood Swimming Pool ….1983 flash back

I have been toying with getting a tattoo since I was about 10 or 11.

I saw a girl with an anchor tattoo on her arm at the Goodwood swimming pool.  True story.

She has denim shorts, a white t-shirt with rolled up sleeves (this was in the 80’s, so really try and think WHAM with a hangover) and she wore a blue “captain’s” hat at a rakish angle.

I was in love.

I wanted to be her.

I thought she was the most beautiful girl I had ever seen.  I loved her tattoo —I wanted her tattoo.  I wanted her captain’s hat, and I  wanted the boys to also crowd around me in that lecherous sort of manner.

I don’t think I had ever seen a tattoo on a girl, barring those ball-point-ink-and-points-of-your-geometry-compass ones some of the girls at my school made on their inner arms.

I did not exactly go to the kind of school where parents were going to give you money for cool clothing or tattoos, you sort of had to use the ink at school and your imagination.

I have thought about girl-with-tattoo-from-goodwood-swimming-pool often.  I have thought about getting a tattoo for years.

Literally years, not the figurative ones that started last week Wednesday.  Actual years with months in them, and often a paper calendar where you forget to tear of the months, and find in September, that you are still staring at the PAPSMEAR date you circled on 15 March with Dr ColdHands.

Then I wonder, what if I had got an anchor on my arm at 16 or 18 because I thought it was cool.  How good would that look now?

When ever I think I like an image or an idea, I print the image out, and put it in my diary.  Loose leafed.  If in 6 months time I decide I still like it then I will look at getting it inked up.

The problem is I never like the same image in 6 months time.

The image always has some connection or emotional resonance with me.  So it is not a tribal arm band or a fairy on my arse (and yes, if you have a tramp stamp – god forbid a tribal tramp stamp then I am going to judge you), but true as nuts, I look back at the image and I think “Fark, I hate it…. what if it was a permanent fixture … yikes.”

And so the pattern repeats itself year in and year out.

I have always loved fonts and text — always.  Typography and collecting fonts is my little side hobby.

I often find a word or sentence or arbitrary thing that I think “is the one” – but time passes and I look at it, and I am again wondering how much I would then spend in laser treatment to have it removed.

I have been in lust about “white tattoos” for some time.

My brother in law is a very talented tattoo artist over at Metal Machine Tattoo and Body Piercing  – he d0es wonderful work, and his shading and detail work is {swoon} value.

I can’t count the times he has explained the tattoo process to me.  Given advise.  Given suggestions.  And I have thought about it, and have just not got to the point where I think I can commit to anything on me, done today,with today’s eyes that I would like to look at in 5 or 10 years time.

I saw this white ink tattoo recently, and it is so gorgeous — no the design has no meaning to me, and it is probably not right for me, but it is quite beautiful.


I still do not quite understand (and this is not said in a negative or a judgmental tone, it is a real question) how someone makes a judgement and a decision on getting a tattoo and do they really still like it in 5 years.

Or do they just say they do, because they are sort of stuck with it.

I can’t think of wearing a t-shirt that I thought was cool 5 years ago now, because my definition and taste has changed so much.

How many people get tattoos, and regret having it done?

Leave a comment


  1. Christa.

     /  June 16, 2013

    I thought long and hard for about 20 years about getting a tattoo. I always knew the image I wanted, and it never wavered. It was a small abstract linear camel that I drew myself. I eventually had it done on my 40th birthday (12 years ago now) on my left shoulder. I don’t regret it. I love it.

  2. That white tat pic is amazing. I have a very small white tat on my left wrist. The artist researched it for weeks before agreeing to do it. You cannot see it like a reg tat but that’s why I wanted it in white ink. It was the last one I had done – I have 3 in total. I was in my mid 20’s when I got them and I’m glad I waited or I might have ended up with something meaningless tatted permanently on me 🙂 lol.
    My daughter loves the colors of my back tat, she says “pretty mommy”. She will want one eventually, unless she’s like her father that cannot decide on something to be inked with forever. I just hope she will wait until she knows for sure what she can live with for the rest of her life.

  3. I love my tattoo, it means a lot to me and has my kids initials in it… it’s also the most pinned image on my blog! LOL!
    I took years to find a design I liked, but it was only when I set a date that I went hunting for an idea I liked. BTW, my tattoo is not like the design I chose at all, the tattoo artist took my idea and made it a whole load better 😉

  4. I have one I got it in Thailand for my 30th birthday. I still love it.

  5. I want one. And I even know exactly what I want. I want a thin outline of Africa, and then overlaid, a flame lily and a protea. The design solidified itself in my mind when we thought we might end up in Canada (spoiler alert: we didn’t). In fact I was going to get it for my 30th. But…erm ja. They don’t like you to get a tattoo while pregnant. Oh well. I can wait. I want it on my ribs (yes it’ll be my first tattoo; yes I know I’m crazy) so that only I/my husband will see it on a regular basis. I want it to remind me of my roots and the amazing prviledge and beauty of my upbringing.

  6. I have 2 tattoos and I love them both because they have very significant meaning to me. The first is a tribal on my lower back (yes a tramp stamp as they now called) I got that when I changed my surname, took me 9 months to get the perfect design. The other is of 3 large stars and a smaller star with a swirl on my left wrist, this represents my brothers, sister and my first daughter (who past away). It took me 5 years to fall in love with a design enough to get inked.
    Im looking for my 3rd Tattoo for my daughter, so far its taken nearly 2 years and I still havent found the perfect one, but it will come.

  7. Oh my word! Metal Machine is probably the best tattoo shop in Cape Town and if I had a connection there I would milk it till I was covered. Just saying.

    But seriously, if you decide you like something enough to want to have it on you forever then do it. Maybe in 10 years you’ll think aaah, maybe that’s not quite what I would have done now, but it will a memory of that special time in your life. One thing I would say is that you shouldn’t go for what’s “trendy” rather than what’s “you”. All those tramp stamp people are wishing they did something that wasn’t so 90’s right now.

    I have 2 tattoos, had them for about 5 years and I wouldn’t go an undo them. I hardly even notice that they are there now, except when someone stares at them.

    I say do it.

  8. The Blessed Barrenness

     /  June 14, 2013

    I love tattoo’s! I mean like as in really LOVE tattoo’s! If I could I would look like a rockabilly pin up with my legs and arms fully covered but you need to have the body and the right look for that, which I don’t.
    I only have one small wrist tattoo, its an adoption symbol which I had done after Ava’s placement, three years ago, I love it as much today as I did back then. In fact I love it so much I’m seeing my tattooist next week to have it extended all the way around my wrist into a bangle!
    You’ll know what you want when you find is Celeste, if there’s any hesitation then don’t do it!

  9. Tania

     /  June 14, 2013

    I have a leopard cub on my right shoulder. After my 1st marriage I was finally having my belated teen rebellious speed wobble… no children yet, no husband, free to be me!! …no I don’t regret it as I made sure I placed it well, as well as choosing a design/picture I would not regret… I went with my bestie, who had one done on her ankle, a chinese proverb, it freaking hurt like crap but it was good fun. Go grab your bestie and go for it! You need to remember though that you cannot stop your children from wanting one if you now have one.

    • Tania

       /  June 14, 2013

      Oops! I mean a Tiger Cub… it’s on my right shoulder so it’s not like I see it all the time. LOL

    • My children have asked whether they can get one, and I have said ‘Yes sure, when you are 30 too!’, but seriously I have told them they can, but only when they are old enough to know what they want for the rest of their lives!!

  1. Are you a tattooed person or a person with tattoos? | The Blessed Barrenness

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