Name: Graham Dodridge aka ‘Dodders’ | Age: 52
Tell us a little about yourself:
I became a Watch Leader for The Imps Motorcycle Display at 11 and at art school, I became a father at 19 which spurred me on to launch my first design business at 23. This became Gyro , now a global B2B powerhouse, part of the Dentsu Aegis. I sold at 38 and jumped into my new agency, Silver Agency. We’re current holders of B2B Gold – Best website for KPMG Small Business Accounting and further awards for Best Brand Initiative.
Having set up businesses around the world I’m now 52 and feel as invigorated and excited by opportunities as ever.
My heroes are Raymond Lowey, Philippe Stark, Ron Arad and Ptricia Urquiola. Their versatility of creative application has inspired me to explore many different mediums and varying business ideas including my ethical clothing brand EC and building an all natural milk drinks company, Bam. Further creative expression comes through my photography, book writing, Eco board game, Crunch Time and even writing and recording an album.
Describe your health and beauty philosophy?
I have been a keen cycling tourist for the past seven years. I occasionally go for a run and I try to sleep as much as I can. I’ve always been an early riser and early to bed, apart from the clubbing years!
I feel well within myself and believe mental wellbeing is a key driver to physical health, but I also believe I have been extremely lucky.
Have you made any big changes to yourself to help you feel good?
What you see is what you get. I like to kick start my day with three or four coffees, particularly if I’m straight into a planning meeting or a creative brainstorm.
Last year I bleached my hair in a hotel bathroom to prove to my kids that when I accept a dare I always comply!
Do you find any part of maturing tough?
“I’ve always lived in the moment and don’t really see myself as maturing. I am always surprised when the guys at the studio tell me their parents are younger than me. I love having the wisdom born of experience and still having the energy to execute my ideas.”
My teenage boys wrestle me to the ground rather than the other way around. Proud dad.
Is there anything you wish you had done or not done in the past, that impacts how you feel today?
Life appears to be getting faster every day and so there is no time for regret.
There are plenty of things I’ve done that make me feel fulfilled and plenty I haven’t which I can’t say I miss. I’ve fought for some just causes and won and I’ve lost plenty of arguments, I’ve found true love with my partner early on in my life and I experience the unconditional love of my children every day.
Is there any area of your beauty and well-being you would like to improve?
I drink less these days and hate the feeling of lethargy I get from even a modest session when I have lawns to mow, blogs to write and pictures to take. I’ve never been slender and tell myself ‘one day I will be ripped’, but that day never comes’.
Who is your pro ageing icon?
Iris Apfel, a ninety-five-year-old interior designer from New York who describes herself as a “geriatric starlet” Iris says “great personal style is about knowing yourself, staying curious, and maintaining a sense of humour.” That’s my girl!
How do you feel about your age now vs. your youth?
Life has been very good to me and I never take this for granted. I believe each passing year gives me more appreciation of the very essence of life. I feel fitter now than ever but know this won’t last forever!
What’s are your favourite beauty products on your bathroom shelf?
Toothpaste and moisturiser. Any that are to hand. I have no preference. I recently moisturised my face for a week with conditioner before my twelve-year-old daughter complained about the error of my ways.
What lifestyle habits are most important to you?
Maintaining my own garden, washing my cars and getting up early are all hard-wired. I believe that the manual aspect of my chores and the escapism they offer, linked to immediate gratification are key to my sense of well-being and ‘keeping it real’. I relish Spring and the changing of the seasons. I missed this for the many years I lived in London and now I will always stop to appreciate a plant coming into leaf, a tree into sap and the leaves falling.
What are the biggest health/beauty routines you follow?
I shower and shave every morning and don’t much care for baths. A knob of Fudge hair wax and I’m good to go. I avoid antiperspirants. I like to move about and avoid sitting for too long in one place.
What’s the best piece of ageing well advice you’ve heard/you follow?
Wash your face with water only and moisturise every day, eat well and sleep as much as you can without your iPhone at arm’s length!
Never accept defeat, challenge everything and listen to your heart.
What’s your must-have product/surgery/treatment/activity?
I’ll take a couple of hips when needs be.
What is your approach to diet and exercise?
I run and cycle when I feel the need and approach my chores and domestic jobs with vigour. I eat everything I am presented, although I don’t eat breakfast and occasionally I work through lunch. I love fruit and veg but try to avoid leafy salad. I love hard cheese and hunt the house for chocolate and a real treat is crispy duck.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Don’t sweat the little things, avoid the wankers and try not to be one yourself, although that can be easier said than done. Be true to yourself and your family and friends and treat your real loves with more kindness.
Where’s your go-to place to relax?
I live in paradise so anytime at home is relaxing, even when I’m working. I can always step outside and walk down to the river or walk up the garden to enjoy the view.
What’s your best tip for ageing well?
Sleep well, avoid routine, say yes to everything and live it to the max. As my good friend Martin tells me “You’re here for a good time, not a long time!”