Beyond Skin-Deep Artistry, A Journey Through History and Personal Stories


Tattoos are often seen as the stories we etch onto our skin, but they’ve come a long way since their inception. In ancient times, tattoos carried profound communal significance. Today, they might commemorate life events or express individuality, but their roots run deep.

As for me, I carry my wife’s birthdate on my skin as a reminder of love and the fear of forgetfulness. But let’s explore the science behind my struggle with numbers.

For some, like myself, recalling numbers is a challenge. Factors like brain wiring, the significance of numbers during our developmental years, and personal experiences all contribute to our ability to remember them. So, my tattoo isn’t just cheeky; it reflects my unique brain.

Tattoos weren’t mere whims but a testament to beliefs, stories, and identities throughout history. In ancient Egypt, tattoos had therapeutic properties and were symbols of fertility and protection during childbirth.

Polynesians considered tattoos a rite of passage, intricately woven into their identity. These tattoos told stories of ancestry, bravery, and social rank.

For the Maori of New Zealand, tattoos held deep spiritual significance, representing family lineage, achievements, and the transition to adulthood.

All Star Tattoo, Wickham Street, Limerick, where Bernard O'Shea got his tattoo
All-Star Tattoo, Wickham Street, Limerick, where Bernard O’Shea got his tattoo

Tattoos have always been more than skin-deep; they are symbols of profound meaning. My journey to get a tattoo challenged my fear of needles, and it was an experience at All Star Tattoo in Limerick that I’ll never forget.

The ‘18.7’ tattoo on my skin isn’t just a chuckle about forgetfulness; it’s a symbol of love, my unique relationship with numbers, and a nod to the rich history of tattoo traditions. It’s a celebration of age-old stories and the enduring art of tattooing.

So, next time you see it on a sunny beach day, remember it’s not just about forgetfulness but a tribute to the timeless artistry of tattoos. And as for my license plate number, I might need a reminder!

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