Wee Gathering on Wellbeing IV
Our fourth Wee Gathering was on Saturday 12th March 2016 when we had the chance to listen to some fascinating speakers.
Martin Stepek: Only Now - Life as a Field of Potential
Angus Ogilvie: Holding Hume's Toe: Reason and Passion on the way to well-being. A personal journey with illness in story and poem.
Martin Stepek obtained a law degree in 1980 but decided not to practice law. Unsure of what he wanted to do as a career he worked his way around the world for four years, visiting all the continents except Antarctica. He worked on farms, building sites, and was hired to repair roads, wash dishes and do repetitive work in factories.
Returning to Scotland he was invited to join the family business, J Stepek Ltd. With a new Scottish wife and a sense that he had to settle down or risk endless drift, Martin agreed to work with his father and siblings. Much to his surprise he enjoyed the challenges of business and became relatively good at it. He rose from marketing trainee manager to manager, director, Sales and Marketing Director, finally to Deputy Managing Director.
However the business collapsed in 2002, a victim of a perfect storm of government changes in policy, bank fears during a recession, and family issues. Though he didn’t realise it at the time this was to be a blessing in disguise for Martin. He determined to focus on five areas of interest to him: the arts especially poetry, helping family businesses, environmental politics, mental wellbeing, and his father’s Polish heritage.
Again much to his surprise, though it took a long time, Martin managed to forge a successful life and career doing all of these things. He has published two books with two more due out in late 2015, created and leads a national charity, produced two films with a third due for release in late 2015, and has been asked to speak or perform at the Edinburgh Fringe, the University of Warsaw, and hundreds of other venues.
Angus D. H. Ogilvy
Angus was born in Glasgow, grew up in Galloway, and was educated in Edinburgh and Dundee. He has had a career in education which included 26 years as an international teacher and administrator in Spain, China, Nepal, Indonesia and Zimbabwe. He was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin Mantle Cell Lymphoma at an advanced stage in 2008 and did a year of intensive treatment at the Western General in Edinburgh. He became a regular and active user of the Edinburgh Maggie's Centre and has remained so since, finding the human sharing an invaluable aid in living with cancer. Now he devotes his time to writing and articulating the patient perspective. He has presented at conferences and symposiums in Scotland, France and Sweden about the patient experience of cancer using his poetry as an aid to communication. He has acted as a patient representative with various organisations including South East Scotland Cancer Network (SCAN) haematology and regional cancer planning committees, the National Cancer Information and Support Steering Group (Scotland), and Edinburgh Cancer Research UK Governance Board. Over the years Angus has published poetry in various publications and anthologies. Recently he has published two books, Lights in the Constellation of the Crab and House Clearing by Moonlight in aid of Maggie's Cancer Caring Centres. His new book, The Road to Mellon Udrigle is a collection of poems inspired by the Scottish land and its people.