Swansea on a grey winter's day may not appear very appealing, yet I leave today with three great positive experiences.
First, a wonderful antidote to the bigotry and racism that is becoming pervasive in politics and media. The graduation ceremony here for higher degree students was a perfect illustration of both the openness, tolerance and ability to reach out and provide an equal opportunity to all who enter a university in the UK. Of course, this has to be tempered with the reality that it is also a reflection of whether you can pay the fees or not!
As the Vice Chancellor greeted and spoke with every graduand, their names and dress revealed different nationalities, creed and gender, from all four corners of the globe. Physical ability or looks were irrelevant. They were honored equally, for their intellectual achievements. And the audience applauded them all equally too.
The second were the two examples of making your own destiny and future.
We stayed at the Windsor Lodge Hotel, in the middle of refurbishment. Thanks to Luke, Sabrina and Jazmine, their welcome and genuinely friendly attentive care made this small Victorian hotel a great place to stay. it was the difference between professional courtesy in order keep your clients satisfied and actually giving the impression you genuinely cared.
The third was Garbo's, a small cafe just across the modern footbridge over the River Tawe , to your right off Kings Road. It was a friendly haven with a welcome hot drink. Lesley took over the café a mere six months ago, changing from one career to a dream. An ethos of customer service and high food standards have made this café / bar a dream turned successful reality. Lesley showed that even in difficult times, you can create your own successful business if you work at it. I wish her every future success.
An added bonus - a brisk walk along the beach. Sand, sea and seashells, even if the wintry wind was cold and grey clouds scurried across the sky.
Windsor Lodge hotel http://www.windsor-lodge.co.uk
Jazmine Cant Fashion blog http://www.jazminecant.blogspot.co.uk
Garbo's Cafe/Bar www.garboscafebar.co.uk