At first glance, today didn’t look summery ¬– it looked grim. The grey cloud with rain coming out I could see from my bedroom window looked all too familiar. I’d been obsessively checking the forecast for the last week so it wasn’t an unexpected sight.
The reason for all this weather obsession was because of today’s big inclusive summer party at work. The event was organised in partnership with Access Events and was a celebration of creativity, imagination and community.
It might have been drizzly but the atmosphere was brilliantly warm. The playground pulsed with the energy of hundreds of people of all ages taking part in amazing activities.
Alongside the many workshops there was a beautiful sensory yurt, an exciting new net structure and a gravity-defying mountain of speakers that provided music throughout the day.
If this wasn’t exciting enough, it was also my birthday! I was really pleased that so many of my friends who also have Tourettes came and got involved. Ruth sang, Luke Montague led a comedy workshop, and another friend, Tjay, tirelessly made balloon animals and swords all afternoon. We even had some surprise guests: my mum and dad. They stopped in to wish me a happy birthday and check out the party.
With the help of Fat Sister, Keir and King Russell, one of the yurts was transformed into the Touretteshero creative hub. I attached a load of tics to the ceiling and encouraged people to choose their favourites and illustrate them. You can check out the results in the gallery.
The event was full of opportunities to discover, share and be creative. During the day I got to see tiny glimpses of the many amazing workshops taking place, including: street dance, costume making, graffiti, circus skills and drama. I particularly loved the evolving cardboard sculpture, the human jukebox and the weather-defying barbecue.
After the event I headed to the pub to unwind with my friends and colleagues. Fran’s mum had made me the most incredible cake. It was delicious and covered with mini biscuits, naturally.
When I wrote the funding application for today’s party, I’d envisaged a sunny summer party with lots of people, laughter and socialising. I realised today that the sun wasn’t an important part of this vision. All the other elements were there in abundance and that’s what made it wonderful.