1. Name, age, location?
Charlie, 35, Melbourne.
2. What do you do?
I’m a permaculture and botanical designer, which kind of translates to a glorified gardener.
A glorious gardener.
3. What would you rather be doing?
There’s nothing I’d rather be doing, but it’s harder work than I thought it would be. But it’s interesting that everything’s not peachy. We’ve made the dream of what I wanted to do, but it still has a long way to go. It doesn’t have an end date.
4. How have you changed in the last five years?
I get more confident about what I do every day, but now I’m realising that I’ve got a lot to learn. That’s been a big change: rather than thinking I can do stuff, I’m realising you have to work really hard and take note of things. I also started surfing again; I’m not as good as I remembered being when I was 20, but I’m getting better.
5. Who do you look up to?
I really like David Attenborough. I think it’s incredible that he started doing what he does so many decades ago and he’s still completely relevant and cutting edge. He’s a leader. I love the series he did recently with the Kew Gardens, it was mind-blowing. Check it out.
6. How do you look after yourself?
My mate Rob and I started going for runs. It started off a few winters ago as a night-time walk and talk. It was a good outlet to talk things out so you could press the reset button and go into the next day clear. We’ve converted them into a run and chat. We chat when we’re not out of breath. Exercise helps my mind as well as my body. I force myself to make the time because it’s so rewarding.
7. Do you think men need to moisturise?
I really like the feeling on your skin when you get out of salt water, but that’s sort of the opposite of moisturising. I’m probably too dirty most of time, but I suppose we all really should.
8. What do you care about?
My family, my mates, and a bit about my waistline. They’re probably the top things.
9. What don’t you care about?
I don’t like doing things for no reason. I don’t care for sensationalizing every little thing that happens. Sometimes it’s the act of promoting something that seems to be celebrated, rather than the actual thing. And I’m guilty of it as well; I know I am. It’s weird when I take a step back and spend a week or two in Tassie, I think, ‘Really? I didn’t need to care about that stuff.’ ... I don’t care for sounding cynical either.
10. How important is honesty to you?
It’s right up there. Growing up in the country, you develop a pretty astute bullshit detector, and that goes hand-in-hand with honesty. I’m developing the ability to say no to things. Before, I always wanted to help out if I could and give it a try, but then I realised, wow, we’re doing a lot of things to help out and giving a lot of things a try, and we don’t have much time. The ability to say no to some things and yes to the right things helps balance our life a bit more. Being honest with myself is important for that. When you need a day off, you should take a day off.
11. When was the last time you were wrong?
I think I’m always wrong when it comes to time management. I’m always optimistic that things will be easier and quicker than they are. I’ve been wrong about that twice today.
12. What’s the most brutal truth you’ve faced?
When I lived in Germany I decided I was sick of being in a landlocked country and I had this dream of moving back to Australia and going to the beach all the time. When I got back, the brutal truth was realising that Melbourne is still a lot further from the beach than I’d imagined. The hardest part was deciding to stay in Australia, because I got offered a job in Copenhagen 10 months after I moved back. I had my tickets booked and was psyched to leave, until six days out when I realised I didn’t want to leave yet. That’s when I really committed to staying here for a while, and I haven’t looked back since.