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First colour

Twenty years ago I got my first tattoo. It was a small black thing on my leg, one that’s long gone by now, covered by a much larger piece since then. At the time I did it in black and liked it a lot. Then I got a second one, also in black. Soon I had decided all of my tattoos would be black, I couldn’t (don’t ask me why) imagine colour on my skin.


Over the years I’ve had more work done, always by the same crew, always at the same place. I’ve come to trust the good people at Nobre Tattoo, and have no reason to look for someone else. I even went with them to a tattoo convention in Madrid, ages ago, and we did a larger piece on my arm while attending the convention, also all black.

Madrid Tattoo Convention, 2002
Left leg ? Sure. At Nobre Tattoo

Years later we took care of a leg, also black. Part of the other arm was added later, black too. And then I stopped. For a decade, no new tattoos. No idea why none were made during that time, it just happened that way. I would go by the studio from time to time, just to check on them, but never got the urge to do another one.

This year, though, while in Thailand with theLovelyWife, I wanted a Sak Yant, and we went and met Ajarn Neng, who was kind enough to do it.

Just like that, a line was crossed. Someone else had tattooed me. And it also got me thinking about doing more. Thailand jumpstarted the whole tattoo thing again.

We came back home, as one sadly does, and I went to the studio, showing off the Thai work. There was also another small piece that I would like to cover and we started working on that. My leg is getting (still ongoing), a lot more black.

One fine day, while talking tattoos with theLovelyWife she made a comment about color and the fact that I had none. I was left wondering about it. And a couple of days later an intern at work showed me some one he had done a few days earlier. A friend of his, new in town, is doing cool traditional stuff and he done a couple on him. I looked into it and the idea was growing on my mind. I could get some color and, at the same time, a traditional piece. I had none of those too.

While browsing his feed on Instagram (where else ?) I saw something that I liked, called him and made an appointment.

Ink & Wheels studio, Mr Manuel at work

I went to a new studio in town, Ink & Wheels, and I’m glad I did. Wonderful staff, pretty cool studio, and flawless performance from the young artist, Manuel Ribau. It took me long enough, but last week I went back on the decision made all those years ago, and got a tattoo with some colour in it. And I know what’s next…

Sailor Jerry’s Swallow