skin elixir blog
NOURISH THE SKIN YOU'RE IN
What do you do as part of a regular routine to look yourself?
Let’s get the obvious stuff out of the way: I’m overweight, and I don’t exercise enough. But I’m learning to look after myself more and more. Walking is a big part of that – it’s partly about the exercise, which is good for me physically. And I like to explore new places, which walking is great for. Recently I came across a café which turned out to be a hangout for local Eritreans I’d have never encountered otherwise, and that exposure to new people, new sights and sounds, and the conversations that sometimes emerge ensures I’m taking in ideas that enrich my understanding. If I went to a gym I might have some pecs, but I wouldn’t have come across that café, or like last night got the chance to talk with someone who’d grown up in Dubai with a Palestinian/Egyptian dad, and was given a censored copy of 1984 by the school librarian when she left, with all references to pigs and pork whited out. I like to challenge whatever bullshit notions I might have kicking about, and staying open to new experiences and people is one of the best ways. It also ensures I’ve got material that can shape the stories I come up with, which is important given I’m primarily a writer.
2. What are the key things you have found that nurture self-nourishment?
I pay attention to my intuition, and keep learning nuances to how it works, especially since getting through mental health problems about a decade back. A few years ago I became a vegetarian, which happened when a character I was writing about told me to put some bacon back in a fridge at a supermarket, and that I don’t eat meat now. Equally, I’m not constrained by that limitation. When I went with a dear friend to a Chinese restaurant in Birmingham that I’ve been going to since I was 8, I ordered char sui dumplings which are made with pork - because they taste amazing, and they’re one of my memories of the place. Why deprive myself for the sake of a dogma? I’m the same with alcohol – teetotal 99% of the time, with room for maybe 6 bottles of alcoholic ginger beer, a couple of glasses of wine, and some species of craft beer last year.
3. What could you do more of to nourish the skin you're in?
Get more exercise, and do something other than walking, I imagine. At the moment creating that kind of time is difficult with the range of exciting projects I have to engage me. Living in Nottingham helps, since there’s so much going on here that interests me – and always more to check out.
4. What top tips have you got to give others around your working life to stay on top?
Learn to pay attention to your intuition. If you’ve got a gut feeling that a particular client or piece of work is not for you, say no and exit gracefully. I worked at a hostel for homeless people with mental health problems for four years, and managed to get out before seeing Goose Fair set up for a fifth year – that was the milestone for me, and it told me when to go. Learn what your signals are, and be thankful to them for being there in ways that what you think of as your conscious mind isn’t. It’s only as I’ve learned to have that relationship with myself that things have started to take off in ways that make me truly happy. If it was just money I wanted, there are jobs I could do that would bring me in more than I make. But the freedom to pursue my own creative development with amazing collaborators matters much more to me than anything resembling job security.
5. What are the things you couldn't live without that are key to your happiness and nourishment?
Music is a big part of what makes me tick. Right now I’m listening to a compilation of quirky house tracks, yesterday it was new electronic/shoegaze act The Engineers, and I’m partial to everything from Kate Tempest and The Beatles through to John Coltrane and Jah Wobble. Time with friends is also really important. Had a brilliant evening at Ludorati games café with my closest male friend on Friday, and a great meal at Tamatanga beforehand. We’re pretty much the same age, and comparing notes about the world as we have our very different adventures is a real pleasure.
I’m mostly a writer, who also does some training and coaching work, and do what I can to avoid the gobshite that happens in all three scenes. My creative projects cover film, tv, theatre, and comics, plus occasional talks. Last year my short film White Lily won five awards at America’s Focus International Film Festival and was nominated for two more. I recently completed a screenplay that’s in that sweet spot between Ken Loach and David Lynch, and two people have approached me about writing screenplays for their projects. My online science fiction comic is nearing completion and is at dadtown.net, and you can check out what else I do at adrianinspires.com. I’m pretty selective about what I take on, especially in training and coaching, but always open to an approach from the right person with the right idea.