I can’t believe I already have 5 confirmed writers for 04, and 03 has just landed. These journals are just building, and I’m loving the flow of how the writers and artists show up at the right time.
This is one of my favourite parts of Soulhub. Reflecting on how the artists came about. We have 13 creative writers who’ve delved deep, and put their words down on paper for us.
I’ll start with Mungo, as I’d approached him to write for 02, but the timing was off. His step-mum was seriously ill, and as is only fair, we all need time to be with those important to us. Mungo and I met about 22 years ago. Our mutual friend Rich bought us both to Cornwall for a weekend, and I have memories, prompted by an unflattering photo of us in our wetsuit pre-surfing (As per photo (C) 1997). Mungo a hell of a lot more natural than me. Even then he was out riding the waves, being the talented adventurer he’s become infamous for. We’ve had few meetings since, but each time, be it for mutual friends significant birthdays, or when I’ve asked him to support my work, he’s always been incredibly receptive. I remember watching him at the Adventure Film Festival about a short film ‘Into the Wild’, and heard him talk about the importance of experiencing others adventures, no matter how small, how that felt more enjoyable than some of his own extreme adventures. Most importantly, I’ve seen Mungo create his family, something which has fulfilled him as nothing else quite does.
Stephen Philips. Where do I start. He tickles me silly. We met in a random topless bar in Brisbane, introduced by Dave, my sailing buddy, as we embarked on the Clipper Round the World yacht race. We drank. Sank a few, whilst laughing at all the antics about to take place. 32 days at sea later, we reunited in the Singapore over a sling. Drank more, and shared our sordid stories. Somehow, we both had responsible jobs, and so since then, nearly 4 years, we’d not crossed paths. I’m truly glad he got in touch, and asked about Soulhub. Not assuming i was the Editor, but before he got on his narrow boat, and now in Australia, he wrote openily about failure and his cycling adventure and a pedal of self-discovery.
Whilst watching the formidable Marianne Williamson, Alternatives were kind enough (thanks Kenny) to have the 02 journal alongside other authors. As I posted, don’t you just love the power of social media, an image with Beth Kempton, she responded to me. And off we went. She very kindly accepted my offer to write, and it coincided with the launch of her new book. Wasi Sabi. I listened to her podcast, and loved the energy, positivity and outlook on life. It’s been wonderful to observe her work and most importantly to feel the responses to me, and Soulhub, when we’re new in her life. She’s been patient, and responsive to my requests, even correcting my poor typos!
Ms Chan. Susie Chan. Well. As expected, our first face to face meeting kicked off with her running to meet me. Sweaty but as I always witness, still smiling and looking radiant. We had coffee in Victoria, as she was about to tell her running tale of New York for a brand I was working for. I really liked her. Her energy, honesty and openness. We were both in similar places, about to leave roles, and jump into something new. I’ve watched her crazy running schedule, and adventure. Not sure what’s more painful to watch. The Marathon de Sable, or 24 hours around a track. She’s a bundle of joy. Infectious. And one you want to hang around with. Sometimes run with!
Katy Lomas is another Soulhubber, who could have featured in 02, but wanted to tell the story in all it’s glory. And in all it’s glory it is. She is flying. I can’t keep up with her next creation. We’re weirdly related. Not sure what the right description is. But she’s my aunt Beth’s niece. My aunt spoke about her, as we both worked in banking, and wanted to escape. She made it to Australia, then to a commune in Portugal, whilst I took a year off to take in the world, and climb to Everest base camp. Synchronised souls. We’ve yet to sit and chat all that through, but I’ve loved seeing her life unfold and land in Edinburgh with Ross , her gorgeous dog Elfie, who you won’t be able to avoid, and her yoga creation, Calm on Canning Street.
It’s always a pleasure when best mates make introductions for those they feel could be part of Soulhub. My dear friends Frith and Clare, told me about Laura Colucci. About her incredible space in West Whittering, where the girls frequent for yoga. They knew she was a Soulhubber waiting to happen. We’ve yet to meet, but chatted about our choices in life, and I’m looking forward to my first yoga class with her at The Nook.
And talking of yoga. Sama is one of my local teachers. We’ve passed each other, far too often, both too busy to indulge, but a gentle appreciation. She’s built an incredible centre, bhuti, which attracts many. She took copies of the 01 Journal and we bumped into each other this summer as I was doing a ‘clearing’ from my house, and talked about the importance of letting go, before I asked her to write.
Dave Muir. The fixer. Whilst working at Jack Wills this summer we filmed two influencers Steph and Lottie surfing and site seeing on the Cornish coast. When I arrived at Sennen Cove his smile gave him away. Yep that makes sense. Head surf coach. Local dude. He has to be smiling. Not a bad life at all. He went above and beyond. Helped me out no end. Best of all he showed me Poldark country. On leaving the pub later, with the his surfing team, I felt genuinely gutted. A small tear that this felt like a moment not to be repeated. I only wish I’d taken the surf lesson!
Portugal. Not at all what I expected. My dear friend Sue took me to meet Martin and Henda on the South East coast of Portugal in May. Beautiful souls, in wild lands. We connected deeply. The story will not step here, and I’ll be back to their lands with friends and clients as we host two retreats next year. Martin, a gentle and clear visionary. How he experiences and sees the world. Clearly adores his daughters and his writing just blew me away. The deep soul was witnessed.
Annemarie Estess was introduced to me by her fiancé Ped, by my dear friend Rachel. We first met when I picked her and Ped up outside Richmond station, and we drove down to Cornwall. We had a wonderful weekend to celebrate Rach’s birthday, dancing to our own speaker in the local pub, playing games and long walks. She’s a kind soul, with a strong spirit. She’s made an admirable move to follow her heart from the US to the UK, and so I look forward to working with her, as she’s part of the Soulhub team, through her coaching, and seeing more of her in London.
It’s well known to those around me, that the Camino is a special place for me. Somewhere I gravitate to, and continue, each year, for the last 3 to walk and restore. This year, I found myself walking alone, and met Andrada Remes sitting eating breakfast as the sun rose with some French friends. We agreed to walk together, and once I’d realised that I was meant to walk with her. Slowly and considerately, without verbalising, we meandered alongside each other. The chat was touching. Tears. Laughter. Joy. Love. We really did connect. She taught me lots, and mesmerised me with her knowledge of language, and outlook on life from eyes younger than mine.
Another recommend came from Catherine, who I used to sit next to at Jack Wills. When I talked about Soulhub, she suggested that Holly Lohmeyer would be a great person to connect with. So we did. We spoke as I lay in Terrace Gardens, as I listened to her share her story of recovery. One I thought should be told. Her decision to head off and do the things that were important and right for her. To have that strength, but also her vulnerability around her condition and openness to share it.
We welcome back Lloyd Camp. He’s a Soulhubber now! We’re also working together on future trips. His words continue to astound me. I can imagine him in the wilderness, creating, sharing and telling his stories. He is unique in his skills, his knowledge of the African bush and a joy to spend time with. Since the 01 journal I’ve had the pleasure of holidaying with him in South Africa, experiencing first hand his insights and love for his land, the animals and nature.
The art for this journal showed me to trust the process. Diana Walles is a long time friend, connected by my bestie Teresa, from their time together in Krakow. I didn’t know her talent until later years, and I’m so glad to show it off. Her eye is beautiful. She sees the world in an intriguing way, which is why she’s also written some words. She’s a graphic designer, and loves the café culture almost as much as me!
Federico De Cicco came to me. Which is rare, and wonderful. We met for a coffee in Victoria, and he carried his portfolio with him from Brighton. My first sense was tuned in to his enthusiasm. His passion for his work. An Italian guy. Very genuine. Sweet and thoughtful. Qualities which all came through his crayons and brush.
In the summer, I stumbled via a friend Annaleigh’s Instagram. See it can be useful! Upon Kudvha. And knew I had to go. One of those feelings, where it wasn’t next year, but now. So I connected and called Louise Middleton, the Founder. An hour of chit chat, and a mutual agreement of similar spirits, and I was booked to drive to Cornwall to see what she had created in a disused quarry near Tintagnel. And I wasn’t disappointed. Aside from a crash on the M5 meaning I got there a day late. I arrived and was delighted with the company of her Arron and Lilli, and even more so by the late night hot tub. I cried with joy! And then pod, tucked away amongst the trees, and so very silent making a perfect night’s sleep, which I didn’t want to leave. We’ve since agreed that Soulhub has to run a retreat there next summer. It’s the start of something…
And finally, the icing on the cake. Sue Rapley. We were both on the same Instagram course by Orla & me. We were encouraged to see each other’s work, and Sue instantly commented and took an interest in Soulhub. Her feed kept popping up, and I loved her colours, flow and simplicity. When I saw that the some of the stories from the journal were about the sea, I thought of Sue and her expression of the Norfolk coastline. Somewhere also special to me. I was torn between Dave’s photography (in the 03 journal) and Sue’s work, but put it out to my friends, who chose Sue’s work. So here we are. And it looks wonderful. We haven’t met, but will be in time for her Christmas shows.
All of this not possible without the continued love, support, time and money of Natalie Hewlett, my long time friend, who ensures I have no typo’s and gives the journal consistency and professionalism. Perry, my brother who is always cheering me on, and gives his talent and time to create the Journal. He also tow’s me into line with my filing and admin. I think you’ll agree that this is the best one yet. His continued involvement is possible, as he continues to see the possibility of what we’re creating. And to Paul Maloney from ARC, for his dedication, time and eye for detail. He clearly loves what Soulhub is about, and what I’m trying to do. And it’s so touching to have him on board.
Each tweet, IG post, facebook mention, each connection, each conversation, each reference of Soulhub allows it to grow. To evolve. We have trips, retreats and now a team of recommended experts. But we’re only creating what people are asking for. What seems to resonate. And with so many stories already coming forward for 04, the future is bright. It’s not orange. It’s flourishing across the world. Time for this community to step into the darkness.
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