Hayley Matthews: My mid-life crisis has taken flight on wings of an angel

Hayley Matthews' angel-wing tattoo
Hayley Matthews' angel-wing tattoo
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I did something this week that maybe shows I’m now entering my mid-life crisis. I got myself inked.

Yes, at the age of 37, I finally decided where I wanted a pair of ­tattooed angel wings to go.

I’m so glad I held off until now and didn’t take the advice of my best friend at age 18, who suggested I get my date of birth – in leopard-print letters – tattooed on my bum.

That particular person no longer holds the title friend, but I suppose the tattoo would have come in handy when getting ID’d in the Co-op.

I’ve always wanted two small angel wings. Mainly because I don’t have a pilot’s licence and I quite fancy ­migrating, a bit like the geese, over the colder months and flying myself to Spain, but also because I love how they look.

I did want them on my back, but a few rolls of fat mean that they would never be on show. I wanted lots of detail although I had never appreciated how incredibly skilled it is for someone to be shown a picture, to interpret it in their head and then draw it.

The tattoo artist used the needles like a shading pencil, working his magic over three hours and leaving me a happy bunny – or bird – with my new wings, strategically placed along my forearms, ready to take flight to warmer climates.

This wasn’t the only occasion I’d gawked full-mouth open at the talent of an artist this week. I was in Ocean Terminal at the Scottish Design Exchange to look at the works of one of my favourite local ­artists, Kate Ritchie.

I’d read a post on Facebook earlier in the week, telling everyone about a portrait she’s exhibiting in the Scottish Design Exchange of Billy Connolly on the back of him being knighted. I took a wander down, with the promise to my son of some fun in the soft play area after I’d had my art fix (thank you Ocean Terminal for having soft play in a shopping centre! Genius!). My love for the Scottish Design Exchange started when I was filming a story for STV Edinburgh’s The Fountainbridge Show last year. The not-for-profit shop in Ocean Terminal was set up to help artists and designers, which I think is really important, mainly because while we can teach and educate our future lawyers, doctors and nurses, I believe art is a skill that we need to nurture.

My favourite paintings are the ­portraits of people and animals and, in particular, Kate’s colourful portrayal of Billy Connolly.

I was disappointed I didn’t see her last series of faces, as I was told by the person at the desk how a young girl from Brixton came in and bought the entire series – as well as prints from the gallery – for her family as they reminded her of relatives.

So I was pleased that The Big Yin was still there for me to see and what a beauty he is!

Cheekily, I’m hoping that this ­article doubles as a letter to Santa for Mr Hayley. I might need to leave an Evening News lying open at this page under his pillow for him to get the hint about adding Billy to my Christmas list.

After all, I have been very good. If I don’t hint, I run the risk of receiving a facial hair removal appliance – like he threatened me with getting last year – and I’d much rather have Billy Connolly with his snowy white, wind-swept hair in my front room than a smooth upper lip!