Today was the second anniversary of the most embarrassing moment of my life… and if you’re new to the Dock blog and haven’t yet heard the story of the parsnip, the synod and the lady with the black eye, click here to allow me to confess all – or here to meet the lady in question…
As well as providing many, many, many opportunities (many) for people to come up to me and say “I hope you haven’t brought any vegetables today, ho ho!”, the Synod is a good chance to reflect on the changes and chapters of Dock life.
Two years ago, the only reason I was using parsnips in the first place was that the Dock was completely conceptual – an idea – illustrated with visual aids (-slash-weapons). It began with a vision – the vision of a shared community space where Life in the Titanic Quarter could flourish.
One year ago, I stood before the assembled noteworthies again – this time equipped with bundles of Business Plans. The vision had become a team – the team had formed a company – the company had written a Business Plan and was serious about searching for a space – at that stage we thought it would be a boat – where the vision could be lived out.
This year I needed no visual aids. The vision is tangible to anyone and everyone who walks through the door of Dock Cafe. We thought it would be a boat – for now, as it turns out, it’s a pop-up cafe – but the dream of those early days is being given form in daily conversations, cups of coffee, chill-out sessions on comfy sofas.
It’s an impromptu acoustic session on one of the Dock Cafe guitars, where a crowd gathers around someone who unexpectedly decides to serenade us. It’s the chat of the knitting group on Tuesday nights as they put the world to rights over the clack of knitting needles. It’s local community representatives gathering to talk about the future of Titanic Quarter. It’s a group of students finding a place to relax and de-stress between exams. It’s neighbours meeting, community connecting, life happening.
So how appropriate that this day, of all days, was topped and tailed by two incredibly exciting meetings about the future of Dock Cafe. The always-unpredictable story of The Dock is going from strength to strength – a Good News story, an adventure, like no other…