Following receiving and email from the NW branch of the Liberal Democrats I decided to go to the Cheese and Wine evening in Kendal on 7th July. I am new to the Liberal Democrats and only joined just before the General Election. I saw that Tim Farron was the speaker, which is why I chose to go to this particular event. I suppose it was in my excited attitude of being new to the party, I thought this was a big event for the whole of the North West, especially with Tim Farron being the guest speaker. So off I went with all the newbie attitude that I had.
I arrived and was looking for a big building, and I found a community centre. I honestly thought I was in the wrong place. I saw some other people looking equally as lost as I did and followed them in. I saw the table full of cheese and a small kitchen full of wine and I knew I was in the right place. I found the lady that I had to pay for my ticket and the conversation started. It became quickly apparent that I was not from Kendal. Not that my very far north accent gives me away, but also people asked where I lived in Kendal. To my surprise there was a fellow ‘Wirralian’ in the room.
As people were arriving we were asked to take part in the picture quiz. The tables were set up in fours so our table decided to play as a team as none of us knew any of the answers or each other. Although we were pretty rubbish at the quiz, it was a lovely ice breaker. Especially since I had come from so far. I met the other ‘Wirralian’ and we had a brief chat over some cheese and assured each other that we would meet up at a Wirral event. During the quiz I was introduced to Tim. He was obviously very busy and very popular, but he made the effort to speak to everyone and make some small talk. Over cheese and crackers there were many conversations had, mostly about when and why we joined the party, changes we all want to see as well as the obligatory conversation about the general election. It was very refreshing to be in a room with people of a like mind. Even though the issues were based in and around Kendal, the issues that affect us are the same no matter where we live.
On to the main event of the evening. Tim’s talk. He spoke about the General election mostly and spoke with wisdom and kindness. The ups and downs of the campaigning, the ups and downs of all of the parties and where improvements could be made. It was a lively talk and the questions at the end gave for an interesting and spirited debate. There were two quotes from Tim that will stay with me for a long time.
1. To be understood, you first of all need to understand.
2. If you are going to throw stones, be secure in the integrity of your stone.
I’ll let you take your own meanings from those as we will all take different things from it. As much as I thought, in the beginning, that I had made a dreadful mistake going to the evening, I couldn’t have been more wrong. I was made to feel welcome and part of a wider family, as everyone did. I throughly enjoyed my evening in Kendal, meeting new people and feeling a sense of belonging within this group of people. This evening reinforced my decision to join the party, and I’m so glad I did. It has filled me with even more passion to make a small change, which can lead to a big change. Nothing ever changed by standing still.