PLEASE INTRODUCE YOURSELF, YOUR NAME, WHAT YOU DO, YOUR AGE AND WHERE YOU LIVE
Charlie Phillips, I’m 74. I live in Mitcham Surrey, nothing happens there. Everything finishes after News at Ten. I leisurely try to catch up on my reading and growing a variety of tomato plants. I’m a part time guest speaker about my life – everybody seems to think I’ve had an interesting life. One of my subjects is documenting the Afro-Caribbean communities in Notting Hill over the past 50 years. This includes documenting some of the most significant funerals that have happened in Kensal Rise Cemetery.
TELL US WHAT IT’S LIKE TO BE YOUR AGE?
I feel like that the Hunchback of Notre Dame! Because I didn’t know age would have caught up with me so quick. Some of the things I dreamt of doing I still haven’t done them yet. If it wasn’t for the young kids dem who demand my time – I could have had more time for myself. Since I’ve retired I’m busier than ever.
WHAT DO YOU HAVE NOW THAT YOU DIDN’T HAVE AT 25?
A dwelling and a caravan! When I was 25 in the late 60s, 70s I was squatting all over West London and travelling around Europe. It was the era of sex, drugs and rock n’roll! And free love!
WHAT ABOUT SEX?
What about it? Ha ha ha, I miss it! Haven’t got the stamina anymore. After three minutes I want 18 hours sleep.
AND RELATIONSHIPS?
In the inner city, it’s very difficult, some people who live within the concrete jungle have animalist behaviour patterns. So relationships, from a humanitarian perspective, can be very difficult. I prefer to go the countryside, people are completely different. More sociable and hospitable.
HOW FREE DO YOU FEEL?
Where? Here? Free? Nah, freedom is non-existent because your privacy is being invaded by the cameras and big brother everywhere you go.
WHAT ARE YOU PROUD OF?
Surviving. Life can be a bitch sometimes. After all the battering I’ve taken in my life I’m still here.
WHAT KEEPS YOU INSPIRED?
Having like-minded people around me. People who can uplift you.
WHEN ARE YOU HAPPIEST?
When I’m in good company and when I have a good dream.
AND WHERE DOES YOUR CREATIVITY GO?
My thoughts. Especially when other people find inspiration in what I’ve done.
WHAT’S YOUR PHILOSOPHY OF LIVING?
Surviving my any means necessary… as long as I’m not hurting anyone.
AND DYING?
I’m looking forward to meeting my creator… if it exists.
ARE YOU STILL DREAMING?
Everyday. I hate when I’m deprived of my dreams.
WHAT WAS A RECENT OUTRAGEOUS ACTION OF YOURS?
I haven’t done anything outrageous for a long time. Life is so boring. I think I’ve done all the outrageous things in my life.
http://nickyakehurst.com/photographers/CharliePhillips/portfolio1.html