Peg Talks – July 2016

If you are a Swansea resident and have yet to experience the Peg Talks then you have an inspirational experience awaiting you.

The Peg Talks are organised and run at the Square Peg, a social enterprise cool café based in Sketty, Swansea. Every 5 weeks or so 3 local people share a personal talk about something that is close to their heart. Each speaker has been nominated by a previous speaker, and so the love is shared!

Last night was the 5th round of the Peg Talks and I was one of the nominated speakers. I was on with Rocia Cifuentes, Anna Parton and Ian Phillips.

Rocia Cifuentes went first and spoke with great passion and emotion about her personal journey; her escape from Pinochet’s Chile in the 1970s to her welcome and growing up as a Swansea girl. This is how she describes herself: “Refugee. Immigrant. Daughter. Mother. Partner. Sister. Aunt. Friend. Cambridge Graduate. Swansea Graduate. Lefty. Socialist. Feminist. Globalist. Human Rightivist. Swansea person. Chilean. Welsh. Pop Lover. Hip Hop Lover. Runner. Swimmer. Charity Worker. Director.  Trustee. Helper. All of those things and Me”

I was next up. I had prepared 20 or so cue cards to act as memory joggers. I stood behind the mic, looked at all those faces and failed to take a photo. I tried, thought I had succeeded, but the moment overwhelmed me. I looked at the first cue card; it made no sense, so I put them down and just let it flow through me.

My theme was paying attention and particularly how, when we don’t, our fears take over. But that if we pay attention to what we are experiencing, however it is, then love has the capacity to offset the fear. Love for it all; the pounding in our breast, the butterflies in our belly, the cold quivering of our fingers. It was a joy to share my story and to receive such positive feedback from old friends and new. Thank you Sian and Ben for providing the opportunity.

After a little break Anna Parton was up next. Anna is a passionate dietitian; in fact she is passionate about many things. Her talk was inspiring, entertaining and full of laughter and love. Here’s how she describes herself: “Anna Parton , has been a practicing dietitian for over 30 years. She loves eating, occasionally enjoys feasting , eats cake sometimes but believes in good proper food , good eating and clear health messages that health professionals have an obligation to deliver in a way that everyone can understand .Seeing the rise of nutritional related conditions such as obesity, diabetes she passionately believes we need to change our approach to food and eating without making it forbidden fruit.”

Last up was Ian Phillips the founder of Re-Cycle. Re-Cycle was set up as a social enterprise 8 years ago to reduce the widespread waste of bikes, while ensuring a supply  of reliable and affordable bikes for sale. About one in five bikes are given with maintenance training to volunteers. Ian spoke with enthusiasm and belief about the huge numbers of volunteers that have been through his doors, the skills learnt and the bikes saved.

What a fantastic night. Inspirational local stories. Why don’t you try and make the next one? You’ll have to act fast though, this one sold out in hours and was packed last night. See you there?

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