I'm an English student at heart, so my ears pricked up when Lucy and Rachel at Writing Project delivered a workshop for us on the power of story.
A story has a beginning, a middle and an end, often a conflict and a resolution. It's a simple structure into which we weave our thoughts, our writing and what we tell people about us.
I always thought that the best stories worked like a knot. At the beginning, pieces of storyline are threaded into each other, until you can't tell at all what will happen. Then the knot is slowly unravelled, to reveal that every event in the story was part of the same thread.
A really good example of this is any novel by Charles Dickens or a good crime drama like Spiral (Engrenages). The story seems extremely complex in the middle, but it makes sense in the end. Or look at A Game of Thrones, where George RR Martin can't unpick the complicated narrative he's created, such that the TV series is taking over from his books.
The equivalent of the knots in everyday life are the obstacles that come in our way, the different pressures that bear on us which we don't know how to tackle in one, the things we want to do, but can't find a way to begin.
That's why I find it inspiring when I get to tell the stories of local businesses who are embarking on that journey right now, doing difficult work to achieve something they're passionate about.
Take Home byKirsty who we featured this week. Founder Kirsty Patrick has just completed four years in business...
...Or Emma Swinburne at Woolly Mammoth who has just begun.
Who wouldn't want to support independent business?
I hope hearing the stories of all the business owners in the directory inspires you just as much as it did me. Meeting all these makers and designers has prompted me to think hard about what I'd like to learn and create during my life. So here I am applying back to university now too... I'll share if it happens!
This week I was lucky enough to have the story of Authentic House told too, by Meghann Percy in the Kiss That World podcast. The truth is it's quite hard to talk about what you do, as you're doing it. Authentic House is so early on still, I feel like I'm creating it as I go. One thing I really want to do though, is give you a better idea of me and what I want to achieve with AH, so you can come along and create it with me.
That's why you'll notice I've been writing more - both in personal posts and researched articles. I'm challenging myself to answer one question about the home per week! This week Ruth Walton of The Green Shopper blog asked me who providers were for a sustainable bathroom. Thanks to Rhian at ALT-Architecture (a brand new Cardiff architecture practice) for her help! You'll see a post on this coming soon, along with more of a focus on specific rooms.
Have any of you seen the 'If Walls Could Talk' series by Lucy Worsley? I've had great recommendations to watch this - it's a documentary explaining how our homes developed through history into what we know them as today.
Thanks for the warm response Authentic House has received in past weeks and for continuing to support us by reading and signing up to our mailing list. We're full of ideas and soon you'll hear more about ways we'll help you create a better, more sustainable home.
As always, elsewhere in the week in Wales:
Did you go to the Wonderwool Festival last weekend in Builth Wells? Once again, my mum, little sister and me went journeying on our pursuit of Welsh culture near and far. This time it was my turn testing my provisional driving skills on the loopy Brecon Beacons road to Powys.
The skill of the people displaying at Wonderwool was outstanding! Especially for someone like me who can't crochet more than a square... Among the blankets, knits and felted works of art, what struck me was the amount of time that goes into creating each item. Knitting, weaving, crocheting or felting is something you embark on for the pleasure of it.
Here are some photos from the day and, my favourite, the black Wensleydale Longwools of Ystrad organic farm in West Wales. Here they are resisting the occasion by being extremely messy.
And if you're in Builth Wales, do pop into Georgie Porgie's Coffee Shop at Beautifully Bonkers. The chocolate orange flapjacks are delicious.
This Friday is a day off for Authentic House as I'll be volunteering with Penny at Handcrafted by Ty Hafan - hopefully upcycling and recycling some new items for the children's charity to sell.
For your weekend ahead, don't forget that 'Hard Lines Brings the Goods!' is on in the city centre on Saturday.
And on the Sunday, there's a special street party on Plasnewydd Road (by Albany Road), 12-4pm, hosted by Made In Roath. Bring along some food and come and meet your neighbours.
Have a lovely weekend all and enjoy the bank holiday!