My Morning Routine with….. Nick Hook
We recently caught up with 38-year-old Nick Hook from Topsham, a freelance photographer at Nick Hook Photography, and asked him to share his morning routine. The results are hilarious, enjoy!
Do you use an alarm to wake you up in the morning, and if so do you ever hit the snooze button?
My alarm is set to go off at 6:50 am and after that, the radio comes on at 7 am, which is all fine in theory. However, these preparations are made obsolete by a large ginger cat. Introducing Ollie, code name, Boom. When he decides to start the day, I start the day.
What time do you normally wake up during the week and what is the first thing that you do when you wake up?
I usually wake up between 4:30 and 6 am, usually by way of the furry ginger cat purring lovingly in my face. I’ve never been a big sleeper. Well, I’m good at falling asleep, just not great at sticking at it. But this wonderful fluffy soul has turned my inability to sleep into a positive. That is, he’s positive he can get me up when he is ready to start his day.
Tell us about any morning rituals that you follow during the working week; your morning routine?
An average day is as follows. At 5:45 am, the cat scampers wildly into the room, sits in doorway and washes enthusiastically. He then fires up a mighty purr and hops up onto the bed, settling by my head. If I fail to get up after 15 minutes, Boom slinks onto the floor and starts to chew any electrical wires available – clock, phone charger etc in an attempt to get me up. Basically, he’s saying ‘get up now or I’ll electrocute myself’, which never fails to work. I stumble downstairs like a bag of potatoes. Finding myself in the kitchen, the cat eloquently informs me that he requires an amuse bouche before he decants the house to take care of his ablutions. He does this by biting me on the ankle, usually while I’m filling up the kettle. After he has eaten, he skips merrily towards the front door and I’m allowed to let him out. I return to bed. The alarm radio goes off at 7 am, which is my girlfriend Harry’s cue to take the baton when she will let in Boom and finish off the tea for us to drink in bed with him.
Would you say that you are a morning or evening person, or do you tend to burn the candle at both ends?
Is it possible to be a lunchtime person?
Do you do anything before going to bed to make your morning easier?
Try and block the access to electrical wires (and always fail). Feed cat later to hopefully trigger a lie-in. That fails too.
What is your first drink in the morning and what do you typically have for breakfast?
I always start the day with a strong cup of tea. I love breakfast and the menu will vary each day. Perhaps I’ll go for porridge with whisked up bananas laced with almond butter, or crunchy buttery toast with lashings of Marmite, dippy eggs and soldiers with Cornish smoked sea-salt, poached eggs on crumpets, griddled sourdough with scrambled eggs and nduja… I love breakfast, did I say that?
Do you exercise or workout in the morning?
Using the stairs counts, right?
Do you have a morning meditation routine?
From an outsider’s point of view, if my neighbours decided to spy on me, it might look like I’m meditating. However, the reality is I’m just staring into space, wondering how I got downstairs.
Do you listen to music or watch TV in the morning whilst you’re getting ready?
Radio 4 is our station of choice while sitting in bed drinking tea. But when I’m at my desk, editing images or returning emails, I’ll stick on Radio Paradise (an eclectic internet radio station) or perhaps a Spotify playlist. The imagery I’m working on decides what I’ll listen to; anything from an atmospheric piece from Max Richter to The Wu-Tang Clan.
How soon do you check your phone in the morning and do you answer email first thing in the morning or leave it until later in the day?
It’s the first thing I’ll do. Partly because I’ll use my phone’s torch when doing my master’s (cat’s) bidding, but also because I host a Twitter platform called DevonFoodHour and tend to wake up to a lot of notifications.
Do you use any apps or products to enhance your sleep or morning routine?
I listen to podcasts or audiobooks to relax my mind at night. I’ll look for ones with a panel of experts talking on the subject of science, gardening, food or space. At the moment though, we’re listening to Stephen Fry’s book, Mythos. His bumbling voice has so far lulled me off to sleep in minutes. I may never get any more than 16 mins into the book.
Oh, and I wouldn’t be without my fantastic device called a snore-ring too. It’s an acupressure ring that you wear at night to help breathing. I’ll know if I’ve forgotten to put it on, partly because I can feel the difference, but also, I’ll be quickly reminded by Harry…
What are your most important tasks in the morning?
After tea, it’s most certainly coffee. Coffee in the form of espresso from magic pods of delight along with freshly ground beans from local roasters, brewed up via Aeropress. I just couldn’t function without regular caffeine injections. Then maybe, if all the planets align, I’ll take a brisk walk around Topsham, maybe along the Goat Walk. I think of it as my morning commute that helps ready myself for a day of editing images for clients. Oh, and to start thinking about breakfast, lunch, dinner… supper.
Do you also follow this routine on weekends, or do you change some steps?
Boom is a professional; he never takes a day off and he is always consistent with his timings. He takes his work very seriously, which is a trait I admire greatly in a cat. So he continues with his 5:45ish wake-up routine, ankle nibble, food, outside adventures. But weekends are all about late breakfasts of good coffee and the best quality eggs. Harry and I love listening to Radio 6 Music, accompanied by either The Huey Show on Saturday or Cerys Matthews on Sunday. I have a sneaky suspicion these lazy weekends might change once our little boy comes along in July…
On days that you’re not settled in your home, are you able to adapt your routine to fit in with a different environment?
I’m a creature of comfort, so I do find it tricky to adapt when I’m working away from home. I’ll make sure I have a good podcast or two to help relax in the evenings. And allow myself time for a cup of tea and Radio 4.