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Kaitlin Gets a Tattoo

I got my first tattoo today!! I can totally see how people get addicted. I would SO do it again! (also, I’m kinda proud that my tattoo artist, London-based tattoo artist Alex Wilkey – check out her work here – said I did “really well.” To be fair, it didn’t hurt that much actually). Here are some photos of the experience:


The Tattoo Parlour in Cork City where the incident occurred 😉


Before going to get the tattoo, my cousin Deirdre and I stopped at Clancy’s for a shot of liquid courage


The shots of liquid courage (aka Jameson whisky) at 10:45am. Deirdre had one too, for moral support of course


Outside the tattoo parlour, still a tattoo virgin


One of the tattoo artists’ dog, who was super cute and definitely therapeutically calmed any residual nerves


Post tattoo, with a celebratory Murphy’s on the unusually warm and sunny streets of Cork

So what did I get tattooed? I got the word samhlaigh (pronounced sow-lig), an Irish gaelic word meaning “Imagine” or “Imagination.” There are multiple reasons for this tattoo:

1) My grandmother, whenever she’d hear a good story, would say “Imagine!”

2) I always dreamed/imagined I would go around the world, doing my writing and photography, and I’m living that dream this year

3) As my grandmother would say, “Imagine!” that I can now legally get married in both countries where I hold citizenship.

That was one of the reasons I go the tattoo in Ireland. I got it in Cork as that’s where both my grandparents were born and raised, and a lot of family still lives. And I got it during this week, as it’s the week of the 11th anniversary of my grandmother’s death and also the week I turn 29!


The finished product!

The celtic knot design at the beginning is a trinity knot or triskelion and also has many interpretations besides the obvious Christian one. The Celts saw it as a representation of earth, air, and water. Others say it means life, death, and rebirth. Another interpretation is the three elements of a person: mind, body, and spirit. And I’ve also heard that it represents the different stages of life – childhood, adulthood, and old age. And still another meaning is the three promises of a relationship: to love, honour, and protect. One of my favourite meanings is that of a person running (e.g. it looks like three legs) – so it’s as though a person is in constant motion, or always moving forward.

Oh, also it’s on my left foot because your heart leans a bit to the left.

And that’s the story behind my awesome tattoo! (Don’t worry, I won’t say all of that whenever someone asks me about it! ;-))