Ade's Diary - May 2024

Ade's Diary - May 2024

May has been a lovely month.  After the fun and extreme chaos of April, it’s been wonderful to slow down a little bit.  I’ve really enjoyed getting back into a routine and taking time to appreciate the every day things more.  I’ve been making it to the gym three times a week, and focusing on strength training, which I’m really excited about.  I’ve also been intentional about creating pockets of joy, and a big part of that for me is creativity.  I took a watercolour class early this past month, and I’ve been setting aside time to practice every week.  I’m a novice, but it’s been fun to flex my artistic muscles. 

A birthday gift I received in April was the book ‘A Spell of Good Things’ by Ayobami Adebayo.  I highly recommend it.  Her depictions of the familial interactions of Yoruba families has made me laugh out loud over and over again.  They are so spot on.  I love discovering authors that are new to me, and she writes in a way that really pulls the reader in.

Getting back to the gym has definitely been a highlight this month, and one of the things that has helped me avoid gym fatigue is the Nike NTC app.  It has so many different programmes and workouts that you can choose from, and you can filter by level and equipment.  It’s been instrumental in helping me have an actual strategy when I go to the gym, and it gives me a focused workout to do when I’m at home and can’t make it to the gym but don’t want to miss a “gym day”.

As always, Nubian Skin kept me busy this month.  One of the most exciting things we did was fulfil a large order of softies (breast cancer prostheses) for several NHS Trusts in the UK.  The team and I spent many, many hours filling, bagging and labelling the softies in our studio.  Daniela, our lovely operations manager said that she said a little prayer over each one for the woman who ultimately received it, I thought that was such a beautiful thing, so I did too.  It’s a project I’m immensely proud of.  Looking ahead to June, I am so excited for a Nubian Beings event in collaboration with the Femme Collective.  Nubian Skin will be joining Florian London and Yaura Fashion.  We’ll be holding a two-day pop-up shop in Kensington on June 29th and 30th, so mark your calendars!

I closed out this month attending a funeral of a dear neighbour.  In 2020, I moved to what I consider to be the loveliest village in all of England.  It was a small village where we had bought a home close to South Yorkshire. I’m a city girl, and I was a little nervous moving somewhere that was definitely not ethnically diverse or cosmopolitan.  I cannot tell you how much warmth me and my little family were greeted with, and I’m convinced we have the friendliest little street in the village.   One neighbour, John, was warm-heartedness embodied.  He always called me “duck”, which I loved, and he loved my son, who called him “Uncle John”.  He let my son (who he deemed a “good lad”) sit on his vintage tractor and let him visit his chickens. 

Over easter, he told us about his diagnosis.  Six weeks later we got the news that he had passed.  I could go on about his really remarkable life, but that’s not really my story to tell.  One of the things I really admired about John was how much he loved his life.  That seems like an odd thing to say, but a lot of people don’t really enjoy their life.  They get on with it, and look forward to specific things or moments, but John loved the every day things in his life.  He never failed to go on his walk around the village saying hello to his many friends. He loved taking care of his chickens. He took so much pride in cutting his grass and maintaining his garden and hedges.  He loved feeding the blackbird that came to his window every day.  He loved vintage tractors and loved taking care of and showing off his. He just loved his life.  Perhaps he was so lovely because he was so content with his life. 

The service was standing room only.  There were so many people who loved him because he showed them love. When I was speaking to his widow, I told her how much I admired that characteristic in him, and she said he really did just love his life. I’ll miss seeing John in his garden, and I’ll miss being called Duck or seeing my son run over to him for a hug. I am so glad to have known him, and I’m going to try to follow his example of appreciating and enjoying the mundane and little moments that make up so much of life, because that’s where living really is.

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