We set out early, the roads were quiet and the sun was poking behind the trees. We were inspired by the latest two books we'd read and were headed to Wales to get out and get back to nature.
It was a Wednesday so we would usually be beavering away in the office or on a shoot. But the week before, we collectively reached for our phones to check social media, we both paused, looked at each other nodding and said ‘Feck Perfuction’ – the title to the first of the two books. It’s by James Victore. It’s a collection of gems, words of wisdom and thoughts that challenge, wake you up and inspire action. The section we were referring to was ‘Kill your phone’, Victore says, “Craft takes concentration, excellence takes time. To be serious about our work, we must be conscious of the time we spend on ourselves versus the time we spend on screens. Make your life easier. Kill your fucking phone, and save your soul.”
"To be serious about our work, we must be conscious of the time we spend on ourselves versus the time we spend on screens. Make your life easier. Kill your fucking phone, and save your soul."
The second book we’ve been reading is Nature Fix by Florence Williams. It’s a book about why nature makes us happier, healthier, and more creative. In it Williams talks about the science behind nature’s positive effects on the brain and how the Finns suggest you should have at least five hours of nature fix a month. So we headed out to get ours. Getting out of the hustle and bustle of the city, switching off from the endless noise. Turning the phone off and appreciating just being in nature.
Our early start meant we were having our first coffee of the day sat at the water edge of Britain’s tallest single-drop waterfall. Surrounded by a natural amphitheatre of green, created by years of free flowing water falling from above. We fired up the single burner, fried off some bacon and eggs, piled them into buns and waited for the kettle to boil for a dose of Rounton coffee.
The waterfall was surrounded by woodland at the bottom, ferns and climbing trees reached 240ft up to the top falls. This felt like the perfect nature fix. The Japanese call it Shirin-yoku, forest bathing, the idea that getting into the forest and getting amongst the sounds and the smells helps switch your brain off and re-connect with nature. It is claimed to lower stress levels, heart rate and boost creativity. It didn’t take long for us to feel totally relaxed, then decide to commit to one outside meeting a month so we could catch up and talk shop away from the office.
After a short hike to the top of the falls and back again we decided to have a dip. It was fresh, it took our breath away and it forced uncontrollable smiles as we flapped about trying to keep warm. As far as meetings go, this had to be one of the most enlightening of the year.
After a rapid dry off we jumped back in the van, we were relaxed, focussed and rejuvenated after only a few short hours. We had set three clear goals for our return, answered a few creative blocks, and we’re left with just one unanswered question; where will the next meeting will be?