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AofA People: Ant Smith – Photographer


1 Minute Read

Ant Smith, 50, is a photographer, poet and computer programmer. What a combination! Not only has he been photographing every underground station in London, he’s also been running an anti-penis size anxiety campaign. What a man!

WHAT IS YOUR NAME?

Ant Smith

HOW OLD ARE YOU?

 50

WHERE DO YOU LIVE?

 Dagenham

WHAT DO YOU DO?

 Photographer, poet, computer programmer

TELL US WHAT IT’S LIKE TO BE YOUR AGE?

 Liberating. The pressures to conform slide away over time so that my non conformity is no longer a struggle

WHAT DO YOU HAVE NOW THAT YOU DIDN’T HAVE AT 25?

A really, really good camera

WHAT ABOUT SEX?

I’m rubbish at it but having more fun trying now

AND RELATIONSHIPS?

 I’m choosy but accept people have their own ids so I try not to ask more of a person than they can, or they’re prepared to, share.

HOW FREE DO YOU FEEL?

Totally. I do stuff that’s required of me, but I do so because I decide to.

WHAT ARE YOU PROUD OF?

 Mostly, of being my father’s son. Specifically re knowing  more of London than any Londoner I’ve met, after a 2 year project to photograph every underground station AND of facing my fears and running a 3 year anti-penis size anxiety campaign. And of having a really well adjusted and happy cat called Gritz.

WHAT KEEPS YOU INSPIRED?

My wife, Christine.

WHEN ARE YOU HAPPIEST?

When I see folk enjoy my work.

AND WHERE DOES YOUR CREATIVITY GO?

I don’t understand the question.

WHAT’S YOUR PHILOSOPHY OF LIVING?

 Life is an unresolvable contradiction of the self versus the herd.

AND DYING?

 It’s another country. It is what it is. It has no relation to living.

ARE YOU STILL DREAMING?

 No. I’m working too hard to make things happen to spend time in dreams.
Yes. They are the only things I want to make happen.

WHAT WAS A MOST RECENT OUTRAGEOUS ACTION OF YOURS?

They’ve all been outrageous, it just keeps happening to me; help!

AofA People: Asanga Judge


1 Minute Read

Asanga Judge, 74, is a vegetable grower, water colour artist, crystal bowl player and retired GP who lives in a beautiful farm on 14 acres of land in N Wales. Asanga is sanskrit and means alone – he says he’s working towards that form of contentment. He lived in the ashram with Osho in Poona and the US in the 70s and 80s. He also happens to be the location-independent partner of our editor, Rose Rouse.

WHAT IS YOUR NAME?

Asanga Judge

WHAT IS YOUR AGE?

74

WHERE DO YOU LIVE?

North Wales

WHAT DO YOU DO?

Water colour painting, play crystal singing bowls for relaxation, meditation and healing. Grow vegetables. Go for walks on local beaches with my dog, swim in the sea, climb rocks.

WHAT IS IS LIKE TO BE YOUR AGE?

Difficult to say, but physically am not as strong or fit as I used to be and my body has gone through natural changes. Doing things more slowly is good.

WHAT DO YOU HAVE NOW THAT YOU DIDN’T HAVE AT 25?

More time on my hands and more money to use. More wisdom, self confidence and experience.

WHAT ABOUT SEX?

I still do it and enjoy it. The emphasis has changed – the intimate exchange of energy is more important than having an orgasm. Savouring the journey rather than being obsessed with the end result.

AND RELATIONSHIPS?

Have been in a committed heterosexual relationship for last four years. An ongoing, evolving dynamic.

HOW FREE DO YOU FEEL?

Not something I think much about.

WHAT ARE YOU MOST PROUD OF?

Being a survivor and despite being involved in a serious climbing accident over 20 years ago, I live life to the full within certain physical limitations. And of the fact that I now have more self-knowledge and can relate interpersonally with more consciousness.

WHAT KEEPS YOU INSPIRED?

People, the beauty of Nature, ability to enjoy simple pleasures.

WHEN ARE YOU HAPPIEST?

Dissolving into a loving embrace with my partner, being in Nature and enjoying the silence.

WHERE DOES YOUR CREATIVITY GO?

Painting landscapes and buildings in watercolour, playing crystal singing bowls, sharing feelings and doing an appreciation exercise with my partner.

WHAT IS YOUR PHILOSOPHY OF LIVING?

I try to be in the moment and take responsibility for my actions and creating my reality.

AND DYING?

I want my death to be a wonderful spiritual experience of which I am in control yet also surrendered.

ARE YOU STILL DREAMING?

Yes, and I will never stop. I believe dreaming is the source of all important breakthroughs in human history.

WHAT WAS A RECENT OUTRAGEOUS ACTION OF YOURS?

I don’t think of myself as being outrageous, although my partner sees this as being part of my personality. I used to live for the thrill of rock climbing, until a falling rock smashed up my body. I still manage to keep my hand in, so to speak, on the small cliffs above my local beach. Last week I was there and a group of schoolboys were being given the experience of abseiling, with an extra safety rope controlled by the leader on the top. While this was going on I casually scaled the sheer rock face nearby, of course with no rope. When I got to the top I looked down to see the boys on the beach lined up watching me, and clapping. It made me laugh, especially as I need to use a walking stick since the accident, and this was hanging by its strap from my wrist while climbing.

AofA People: Elainea Emmott – Photographer, Mother


1 Minute Read

Elainea Emmott, 48, is a wonderfully sensitive and intuitive photographer. She is part of the AoA creative community. We’re proud to have her and her camera in our midst. She’s taken all the marvellous photographs for our Arts Council funded OUTage series of performances and events – The Death Dinner, Taboo Night and next the OUTageous Stylista Bus tour.www.elaineaemmottphotography.com
WHO ARE YOU?
Elainea Emmott
HOW OLD ARE YOU?
48
WHERE DO YOU LIVE?
NW6
WHAT DO YOU DO?
Photographer,  mother.
TELL US WHAT IT’S LIKE TO BE YOUR AGE?
More determined that I ever was and very happy.
WHAT DO YOU HAVE NOW THAT YOU DIDN’T HAVE AT 25?
Experienced about reading people and knowing where my energy is.
WHAT ABOUT SEX?
I am more interested in art & photography – it keeps me awake at night and is completely absorbing and fulfilling. And running.
AND RELATIONSHIPS?
I am enjoying platonic, interesting relationships with people I like and whom I want to get to know and inspire me. Nothing else gets my attention.
HOW FREE DO YOU FEEL?
I am free in my mind and making myself more so by devoting myself to my creative fantasy.
WHAT ARE YOU PROUD OF?
My ability to make things happen. My son and my achievement as his mother through the adversity of autism.
WHAT KEEPS YOU INSPIRED?
Being better than I was yesterday and taking better pictures.
WHEN ARE YOU HAPPIEST?
 
When I am taking photographs, being mum and a crazy sister and an aunt.
AND WHERE DOES YOUR CREATIVITY GO?
Into whatever I am doing.
WHAT’S YOUR PHILOSOPHY OF LIVING?
To be happy and have made a difference.
AND DYING?
I am not scared of it, it is part of the cycle of life.
ARE YOU STILL DREAMING?
I  dream vividly and remember it all and write it down and learn from it, I am often sure that when I sleep it is reality and my day is the dream.
WHAT WAS A RECENT OUTRAGEOUS ACTION OF YOURS?
I challenge myself every day taking pictures when common sense tells me to stop. I’ve been in shark cages for my son and will contact anyone and everyone I find interesting – from all walks of life. I just don’t believe in the word ‘no’ or ‘can’t’ – one has to try.

AofA People: lili free – Traveller


1 Minute Read

lili free is at 53, a traveller, a roamer and a location-independent free spirit who is at the moment in New Zealand. She’s a modern nomad. She’s also the mother to two grown up boys. Kavida Rei was/is a Tantric Goddess, masseuse, writer and sensualist. At some point, they will join hands. lili/Kavida is one of our regular writers.

WHAT IS YOUR NAME?

newly lili free, formerly Kavida Rei

HOW OLD ARE YOU?

53

WHERE DO YOU LIVE?

Planet Earth. I’ve been nomadic for five years now.

WHAT DO YOU DO?

Travel, connect with people, help where I can, be lovely, and write when I get a moment.

TELL US WHAT IT’S LIKE TO BE YOUR AGE?

I’m loving every second. I feel fitter, healthier and happier than I did in my 20s.

WHAT DO YOU HAVE NOW THAT YOU DIDN’T HAVE AT 25?

Patience.

WHAT ABOUT SEX?

Sex has featured large in my life, since I was 16. I write about it, and talk about it endlessly. I have taught sex for many years. I still have it from time to time.

AND RELATIONSHIPS?

I’m a butterfly right now. People are flowers and I’m drinking the nectar while I’m with that person. I don’t label relationships anymore.

HOW FREE DO YOU FEEL?

Utterly, totally and completely free. It’s another reason I chose my new surname.

WHAT ARE YOU PROUD OF?

Giving birth to two sons. They are now balanced, creative and most importantly, kind men. Also, publishing two books on my favourite topic. That was pretty cool! Oh, and retiring from Tantric Goddessing early.

WHAT KEEPS YOU INSPIRED?

Being with inspiring people. Spending time in nature. Extended periods of silence.

WHEN ARE YOU HAPPIEST?

Boxing Day with my boys. Being by the sea. Dancing. Listening to good music, loud, on a top-end hi fi.

AND WHERE DOES YOUR CREATIVITY GO?

Into writing and singing.

WHAT’S YOUR PHILOSOPHY OF LIVING?

Life is short. Enjoy every moment. Pretty simple really. That’s why I’ll never be a spiritual teacher. I don’t have much to say about how people should live their lives.

AND DYING?

I’m not afraid of death. I’ve done many a ‘death ritual’. I’m overflowing with gratitude for life. There are moments every day when I find myself saying “Right now, I could die happy…” That’s a pretty good place to be.

ARE YOU STILL DREAMING?

Of course. I dream literally, every night (I know some people who don’t remember their dreams – how boring night time would be!). I also dream when I’m awake. Day-dreaming and visualising is what has helped me manifest such an amazing life. That, and a great deal of good fortune.

WHAT WAS A RECENT OUTRAGEOUS ACTION OF YOURS?

It’s all relative. Nothing seems outrageous to me anymore. Most people would say that everything about me is outrageous. I’ve come clean about some of my antics, in my memoirs which will be published soon.

AofA People: Valerie Blumenthal – Author


1 Minute Read

 Valerie Blumenthal is the author of 11 critically acclaimed novels  (Harper  Collins,  then Sceptre/Hodder  &  Stoughton).  Her books have been widely translated,  and Saturday’s Child sold over a million copies worldwide. Valerie has also written short stories and articles and, for many years,  taught creative writing. Valerie’s latest novel, The Lupo Stick, has taken her seven years to complete, after she was diagnosed with  Posterior  Cortical  Atrophy,  an unusual form of early-onset Alzheimer’s, which affects vision.

WHAT IS YOUR NAME?

Valerie Blumenthal

HOW OLD ARE YOU?

How long is a piece of string?

WHERE DO YOU LIVE?

Idyllic thatched cottage in Oxfordshire.

WHAT DO YOU DO?

Novelist and features writer

TELL US WHAT IT’S LIKE TO BE YOUR AGE?

Erratic rather than erotic

WHAT DO YOU HAVE NOW THAT YOU DIDN’T HAVE AT 25?

PCA Alzheimer’s. For the uninitiated, PCA is short for posterior cortical atrophy which is a supposedly rare form of Alzheimer’s, affecting all things visual, including literary skills (as I’m a writer this is inconvenient to say the least) motor skills, special awareness, perception and a host of other things. It is the same form of Alzheimer’s that afflicted Sir Terry Pratchett. I do not believe it to be rare; I believe it to be misdiagnosed.

WHAT ABOUT SEX?

Let’s have some fun here… Still happening but oo and arrgh are usually an expressions of pain!

AND RELATIONSHIPS?

As years go by, all are definitely enhanced.

HOW FREE DO YOU FEEL?

My mind soars with creativity but actuality curtails me. Once, freedom meant my beautiful horse, Fleetwood, but he is long gone.

WHAT ARE YOU PROUD OF?

I am proud of all my loved ones. I am proud of my own perseverance against the odds.

WHAT KEEPS YOU INSPIRED?

Life, love and nature

WHERE DOES YOUR CREATIVITY GO?

Art and music

WHEN ARE YOU HAPPIEST?

When I am with my family and when I am creating.

WHAT’S YOUR PHILOSOPHY OF LIVING?

Making time for people and trying to find something good in the smallest things and incidents.

AND DYING?

As a child I used to cry at night thinking that I would cease. I have not changed!

ARE YOU STILL DREAMING?

Of what! I wish I was.

WHAT WAS A RECENT OUTRAGEOUS ACTION OF YOURS?

It wasn’t that recent, but last year, in a nature reserve, someone had attached a rope to a tree across the brook as a makeshift swing. The temptation was very great; nobody was about, so I succumbed to my urge and swung like Tarzan across the gap. Fortunately, somebody appeared. Just as well, because the thing wouldn’t stop swinging.

AofA People: Barry du Plooy – Counsellor & Life Path Coach


1 Minute Read

Barry du Plooy, 69, is a life path coach who lives in Cape Town, South Africa. He specialises in sex, health and relationships. “At this stage, I am at a sexual peak like never before,” he says. He also explains that sometimes people are shocked when they find out he is a man who is a sexual educator with a special focus on women.

WHAT IS YOUR NAME?

Barry du Plooy

HOW OLD ARE YOU?

69

WHERE DO YOU LIVE?

Cape Town, South Africa

WHAT DO YOU DO?

I provide solutions to Life’s challenges in the areas of . . .
– relationships
– parenting + family
– attraction
– sexuality + sexual function
– health and
– career

I use quantum physics to analyse people’s personality + potential as encoded in their birth date . . . along with their lessons + challenges of course.

Then simply by adding two (or more) dates together . . . I am able to describe the dynamic between those people with blinding accuracy,

TELL US WHAT IT’S LIKE TO BE YOUR AGE?

69 is my chronological age
25 – 35 is my actual age
So I am thrilled to say that I have the excitement, joy and drive of a newbie, but the wisdom and patience of an oldie.

(Whispered) At this age I am at a sexual peak like never before . . . it’s a total joy to have surpassed the fumbling and bumbling stage of life . . . and am about to launch a series of workshops targeting the feminine as also schools, colleges and universities.

WHAT DO YOU HAVE NOW THAT YOU DIDN’T HAVE AT 25?

5 children + 4 grandchildren
33 years of participation in the biggest individually timed cycle tour in the world
Qualification as a Chartered Accountant

18 years in alternative healing and a whole bunch of interesting other related directions.

6 years on local radio, dispensing counsel and guidance on relationships, parenting and career direction.

WHAT ABOUT SEX?

Yes . . . with 5 children (that all look like me) I have had some involvement 🙂

I am about to launch a series of workshops in the area of sex-ed starting at schoolgoer level, through college and university, with a strong focus on women as they are my predominant clients.

I am passionate about putting people in touch with their bodies and facilitating their understanding and enjoyment of their sexuality.

AND RELATIONSHIPS?

Struggled through my younger and teen years as I was painfully shy and did not know how to interact with girls.

Have had two 18-year marriages and I am currently in a relationship of 7 years with a honey who is 23 years my junior.

I am not a proponent of marriage in the legal or biblical sense, as I have come to believe that we are not monogamous beings . . .

HOW FREE DO YOU FEEL?

2017 is my year for finishing off, clearing out and letting go and I have been diligently letting go of all manner of ‘things and stuff’.

The more I let go of, the free-er I feel.

I am also releasing the shackles of rules, regulations and inhibiting beliefs . . . that are foisted upon us through our prescriptive schooling curricula, through religious dogma and regulatory controls

WHAT ARE YOU PROUD OF?

I am most proud of my kids, who have grown up as responsible people, without being boring, without being constrained by convention and who have risen to meet life’s challenges.

WHAT KEEPS YOU INSPIRED?

The constant thirst for truth in the wide-ranging areas of my passion . . . and my ability to make a difference in people’s lives on so many varied fronts.
I specialise in providing Solutions to Life’s Challenges

WHEN ARE YOU HAPPIEST?

I thrive when I am with people but even more so when I am out in nature. Cycling gently along the beachfront, taking in lungs-full of fresh clean air is a special treat and happy place.

AND WHERE DOES YOUR CREATIVITY GO?

I enjoy DIY . . . so do potter around
I also have an interior design consultancy partnered with my middle daughter, so do still have input to aspects of space planning and technology installation.

I love calligraphy but don’t get enough time to produce significant word-art . . . sigh . . . maybe when I am older.

For the past few years, I have been creating a workshop series about life skills and sexual education . . . and this has been an avenue for my rampant creativity!

WHAT’S YOUR PHILOSOPHY OF LIVING?

Before we enter this world, we make a whole bundle of choices . . . including, but not limited to, our parents, our body, our name(s), our date of birth (in which is encoded our gifts, talents, challenges + lessons) . . . and how and when we will leave this world.

As we come through the birth process, we choose to erase our memory of this information . . . then spend the greater part of our life trying to re-discover why we are here . . .

There is an easier way . . . 🙂

AND DYING?

There is no death . . .
Yes, we do cast off our earthly body, like slipping out of an overcoat . . . but life continues unabated.

Yet we cling to life as if it has an end, we hold onto and grieve about those we have ‘lost’ along the way . . taking much of our joy out of Life!

ARE YOU STILL DREAMING?

I don’t often dream at night . . . but spend most of my day in thought, planning, researching and capturing . . . just how I can maximise my gifts to humanity in delivering my Life’s work.

Night time meditation during my nocturnal wanderings does bring crystal clarity to much of my creations.

I am guided by a bunch of pretty powerful angels to connect with people across the globe . . . who are in need of an ear, counsel or guidance . . . those connections are forged with absolute clarity . . . with no room for doubt about divine guidance.

WHAT WAS A RECENT OUTRAGEOUS ACTION OF YOURS?

I am a thought leader in the areas of attraction, relationships, parenting, the family unit and sexuality.

When I deliver public talks, I issue a warning up front that what I am about to say will potentially shock people and make them feel very uncomfortable . . .  it does help to wake some of them out of their lethargy.

Many folks are shocked when I tell them that I am a sexual educator, with a special focus on teaching women about their bodies and sexuality.

AofA People: Jonathan Pillot – Storyteller/Director/Writer/Idea Incubator


1 Minute Read

Jonathan Pillot was an entertainment attorney and producer in NYC, and is now a storyteller, director, writer and idea incubator. A native Manhattanite who had both Brooklyn envy and a desire to be bicoastal, he now lives in a loft in Brooklyn, exploring how to make a Brooklyn – Berkeley split a reality.

WHAT IS YOUR NAME?

Jonathan Pillot

HOW OLD ARE YOU?

63

WHERE DO YOU LIVE?

Brooklyn, NYC.

WHAT DO YOU DO?

Storyteller/Director/Writer/Idea Incubator

TELL US WHAT IT’S LIKE TO BE YOUR AGE?

I’ve never been happier, more open, more passionate, more clear.

WHAT DO YOU HAVE NOW THAT YOU DIDN’T HAVE AT 25?

Wisdom, perspective, an ability to live in the moment, a fire that commands me to be authentic.  Reading glasses.  Great recipes.

WHAT ABOUT SEX?

Never been better, more abundant, more fiery.

AND RELATIONSHIPS?

I am all about seeking Mutuality.  In all types of relationships.

HOW FREE DO YOU FEEL?

Way freer than ever.  And realizing that this sense of freedom bears little relationship to $.

WHAT ARE YOU PROUD OF?

Humanistic values, being a parent of two conscious Millenials, having the courage to implode my life and its foundational paradigms to start over and see what is mine, and what is not…

WHAT KEEPS YOU INSPIRED?

My inner fire, my desire to see my kids have a fulfilled parent, my passion for being a mirror for people and seeing possibilities everywhere.

WHEN ARE YOU HAPPIEST?

Being with my kids, nurturing and feeding people, connecting like-minded and like-souled people, creating an environment where everyone shares their gifts, creating safe spaces for people to be themselves and express themselves authentically, biking through NYC on a beautiful day…
 
AND WHERE DOES YOUR CREATIVITY GO?

Anywhere and everywhere I allow it…in any medium…

WHAT’S YOUR PHILOSOPHY OF LIVING?

Be in the moment as best as you can, this is all we got, and go for the magic.  Own your alchemy.

AND DYING?

Go out fully till the end.

ARE YOU STILL DREAMING?

Every minute

WHAT WAS A RECENT OUTRAGEOUS ACTION OF YOURS?

Keeping the faith when all else looked bleak.

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