Stay Curious

10th July 2017
When I mentioned that I was going to Do Wales, all my friends (bar one) replied: “What’s that?”

The one friend who didn’t respond with “what’s that?” Simply said: “What? All of it? You’re going to be a busy girl.”

And I was.

In the space of 4 days, there was wrestling, dancing, lots of listening (mostly in awe) and oh! I attempted a heist with a TV Exec. who shall remain nameless for legal reasons.

It all kicked off on Thursday, with 80 Doers sitting in a barn, gazing expectantly at Scott Colton.

Scott who?

Scott Colton.

No. Don’t know him.

He’s also known as Colt Cabana.

Colt Cabana, right. What is Do Wales again?

Scott/Colt’s a wrestler, who’s been obsessed with wrestling for most of his life and he’s a very funny man. Which is a good job, because he’s also doing stand up at the Edinburgh Fringe.

Apart from warning us not to wrestle with strangers in their basements, his main message was to learn the rules then break the rules. Break The Rules. BREAK THE RULES.

The next speaker, Jim Brunberg, is definitely negotiating the rules as he takes his twin daughters Vern and Dana out on the road in Roam Schooled. He keeps their teachers happy with the promise of practising those dastardly multiplication tables as they explore and learn about their world. Do listen, I will be.

Kate Berry transported me to a land I love with tales of packing up her kids and a stash of avocados in a battered car and driving to Uluru. As Kate’s story unfolded though, we may as well have been on a rollercoaster rather than driving through the Outback.

The discovery that her daughter was being bullied over the food she took to school, the determination of a devastated Mum to deal with the problem and the apparent success of landing a magazine deal that should have helped fix it. This all culminated in the news that Kate’s just resigned her role in order to Do what she’s been writing about.

Inspired and full of ideas, my fellow Doers began wrestling with the past, the future and everything in between. In the spirit of Do I was wrestling with Colt Cabana, under a tree in a field in west Wales.

Inspired by Glow (a Netflix Original series) I demonstrated my tackling skills, and the moves that I’d learnt from watching the Gorgeous Ladies Of Wrestling while pedalling on my turbo in the living room. Specifically, the arm lock and head lock.

How very unladylike and inappropriate, but the endorphins! The joy!

When Scott revealed that he knows some of the characters in Glow, Welfare Queen and Macchu Picchu’s brothers amongst them, I couldn’t contain my excitement and as a responsible journalist I felt obliged to dig deeper into the life of a wrestler with questions like: “do you self tan?” And “do you oil up?”

The answers: sometimes, but self-tanning booths are quicker and yes, with baby oil.

So that’s how it went for the whole weekend, Can Do attitudes from all walks of life on all of the important and not so important stuff.

I couldn’t believe my luck that artist, Rob Ryan made the cut and was speaking at Do Wales, I love that I fell in love with a chair that Gregg Buchbinder breathed new life into and I now know who the most important person in the world is thanks to Floyd Woodrow.

Singing Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau with a Male Voice Choir was good for the soul, so, as it turns out, is being recruited to the world of criminal mastermind/genius saxophonist James Morton.

He created a soundtrack and encouraged us to join him on a heist. Our imaginations ran wild as I and the TV Exec, who shall remain nameless, created the story to accompany the score. Suffice to say, it involved a yacht in Monaco, a submarine in Cardiff Bay and bullion stashed in the Welsh hills. We’re going back to recover it in October.

After a short sleep balanced on the edge of a sloping bed in a sloping tent on a sloping Welsh hillside, the sound of James playing the sax stirred the camp at 6am, and in so doing, created an earlier than expected rush for the showers.

Saturday morning presented a real life dilemma. One of life’s big choices: watch the last 20 minutes of the All Blacks v British Lions test series decider, it’s currently 12-all, or head up to the barn and listen to Dominic Wilcox.

Dominic who?

Dominic Wilcox.

No. Don’t know him.

Dominic is the man who can make a single line interesting. Laugh out loud funny in fact. Not only that, he’s encouraging kids to dream and invent stuff and then getting grown-ups to make the stuff that kids dream up and exhibiting their inventions for all to see.

What happened in the rugby?

Who cares?

A sight to behold on Saturday night was the silent disco. Well, that and Mark Shayler in a Superman outfit. Anyway, back to the disco.

It was my, and many others' first experience of this phenomenon and is something that could have come straight out of Dominic’s head.

The thing is, it was anything but silent.

Not silent?



Everyone danced around with headphones on, listening to one of two channels depending on their musical tastes.

So there was no music playing in the room?

No. Some Doers were tunefully singing along while they had their headphones on, but the rest of us were wailing along to the tunes while flailing our limbs around.

Wailing and flailing?

With gusto.

The silent disco gave me a moment to treasure. Mid wail and flail, I spun around to see Rob Ryan dancing, headphones perched on top of baseball cap perched on top of wild curls and I thought: I’m dancing in the same room as Rob Ryan. Do what?

For some the evening didn’t end, it just became morning. The lights from the silent disco lit up an empty dance floor while stories continued to resonate and drive conversations, how a Joshua Coombes haircut and Sophie Thomas listening can impact so positively and change lives. Or how, like Julien Millot, balancing your passion with your promise can challenge you but that it’s better to live a life than not.

Still don’t know what Do Wales is? In the words of Green Day: It’s something unpredictable, but in the end is right. Thanks Do Wales, I had the time of my life.