Daily Post Column: Ignite Liverpool - Enlighten us, but make it quick
Last night I gave a short speech about something I'm passionate about.
My passion is DIY and home renovation, when I say passion I mean that it consume me - consumes all my spare time.
I spent last Sunday traipsing back and forth to B and Q at Switch Island for sand, crushed recycled glass, and rapid fix tile adhesive to lay a set of reclaimed quarry tiles.
Rock and roll it may not be, and it's not a passion in the sense of it being something I love.
But over the past nine months or so I've derived a huge sense of achievement from starting to renovate a rundown Edwardian house into a home - much of the work done by Mrs Bartlett and I.
I was invited to speak at Liverpool's third Ignite - part of a movement that takes place in cities around the world.
It started in Seattle in 2006 and went global in March this year when more than 50 Ignites took place in cities across the world.
Ignite's website says the movement brings together "entrepreneurs, technologists, DIYers, creative professionals, and enthusiastic knowledge-seekers... [in] a unique blend of networking, information, and fun, encapsulated in the Ignite motto: 'Enlighten us, but make it quick.'"
Each presentation is five minutes long, made up of 20 power point slides that auto advance every 15 seconds. Quick it may be, but also slightly daunting.
Ignite has the aim of "raising the collective IQ and building connections in each city".
Last night those attending Ignite learnt about money: an expensive illusion, the lost art of being cheeky, a variety of other eclectic subjects, oh, and my talk on how to renovate a house and survive.
You wont be surprised to hear there is no great secret to renovating a house and surviving, but since I embarked on this project I've been amazed by the number of people who say they don't even pick up a paint brush to decorate their own home.
Painting is probably one of the easiest things to do on the DIY spectrum.
Jobs that on first inspection may seem difficult should not actually be that hard if you use the right tools and take your time.
We all aspire to live in a warm pleasant home, and Doing It Yourself means saving money in the process.
Ultimately though it is about achievement involving graft, problem solving, with a tangible outcome at the end. Hopefully good DIY leads to something attractive at the end - a restored sash window, (that actually opens) for instance.
Unlike much about modern day living, it is not about instant gratification, but improvements for the long term that lead to a better life.
And that's something we can all aspire to.