:: Roses from my garden ::
It's been quite the day, today! It was Mr. J's birthday, so I woke up at the crack of dawn to bake fresh caramel walnut sticky buns before I left to spend a good portion of the day at ChangeCamp. It was also World Wide Knit in Public Day, so I took some knitting with me. Mr. J got a slow, quiet, relaxing day with his girls off doing their own things. That's what he likes best. We joked that we wanted to get him the best gift ever, but how does one wrap a nap? :)
The conference was pretty incredible, and the venue was one close to my heart. When I first came to London fifteen years ago, I would bus downtown on a weekly basis and just sit in the gallery and soak in the sights. It was free and usually void of crowds. Just a good place to think and sort things out. So it's fitting that the discussions today were thoughtful and energizing.
To be honest, I was intimidated by the minds present. I'm a plain ol' mum, and I like to craft. These are smart and very passionate people. They know things. They're already engaged. They're coherent. I want to be just like them. :) Despite my social awkwardness, I was comfortable enough to be an active participant. This was huge for me. I think it was possible because everyone in the room wanted the same end result - to live in a great city. I felt connected. Actions were carved out of the numerous discussions, and some steps were determined. I left feeling inspired to do more - to be part of a solution. I'm looking forward to future meetings. It didn't hurt that I also knit several inches of a new sweater. All in a day's work, friends.
PS. You'll never believe this! At one table, I used the example of the Mayor selling London as a wonderfully rich and enticing city in which to live, and I simply suggested that the City present a more realistic snapshot of our community - including the most vulnerable (e.g. seniors, children, newcomers, unemployed), and unbeknownst to me, the Mayor was at another table, AND someone dragged her over and introduced me to her and told the Mayor I had something to say to her. I wanted badly to hide under the table, but I repeated myself and nodded and smiled like an idiot while she went on to say that it would be impossible to lure big businesses and intellectuals to our City with images of derelict buildings and homeless people. I did NOT see that coming.