Philip Pullman once said that “After nourishment, shelter and companionship, stories are the thing we need most in the world.” So with full bellies (care of The Kitchen and their filing cabinet oven), a canopied glade to cover our heads and blankets tucked over knees, we settled side-by-side to hear real-life stories from four Firelight speakers.
This inspiring bunch made eyes widen and shivers cascade down spines with stories that stretched from bird-like old ladies belting out Arias in a Nevadan ghost-town opera house, to taking the leap and patenting a product without a clue, from living in a container amongst cloven-hooved animals, to how to ‘glitter a turd’. Here are four lessons we’ll be taking with us:
1. Amazing things can happen in a sleeping bag – Mark Jones, the inventor of Sleeping Pods and Dritek, taught us that everyone has a ‘thing’, and can discover it in the most unusual places. For him, it happened inside a sleeping bag. Mark’s inspired product ideas have taken him beyond a 9-5, ( via a double page spread in Argos which, we heard, is a massive deal for inventors), to ultimate career freedom.
2. Challenges = character building – That tax return you’ve been putting off…character building. That failed venture where you lost your last pound…character building. Those blisters on your hands…character building. On her recent time-trading travels, Meg Lobb, (aka. Girl Friday), showed us how embracing challenges, instead of backing down, could result in your becoming the very best version of yourself you can be.
3. The most enlightened moments can happen right here, at home – While the farthest reaches of the world can introduce you to the weird and wonderful – including a Pacific Island exorcism – travel writer Olly Berry explained that you don’t have to stray further than your back garden to experience some of the most beautiful and exhilarating moments life has to offer.
4. Dark times can illuminate a path forward – Even in her bleakest hour, Coppafeel charity founder Kris Hallenga found a way to channel her frustration into an idea that could change other people’s lives for the better. In short, it was a crash course in turd glittering that left most of us in awe, and in need of an eye-dabbing hanky.
Thanks to the fabulous Potager for hosting us and to Sharp’s Brewery for the delightfully suppable Atlantic, Doom Bar and Wolf Rock ales. If you missed out this time, we’ll be sharing more fireside stories in September. Keep your eyes peeled on social media for more news.
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