It’s 11am and Nez and I have just left Truro on a train bound for London. We’ve been in Cornwall for the last two days having a lovely time. I’m heading home feeling happy and relaxed.
Yesterday I ran a workshop and gave a talk as part of the Penryn Arts Festival. I was invited to speak by the Independent School of Art – a group of local creative people who organise monthly talks by guest speakers.
My talk seemed to go down well. I enjoyed speaking to the friendly audience, which included people of all ages (both with and without tics).
I’ve always been reasonably confident speaking in public and I’m pleased my tics haven’t affected this. While they rarely interrupt my train of thought or distract me from what I’m saying, there were a few moments during the talk when they mentioned subjects I hadn’t planned to include. For example, I’m not an expert on nineteenth century bears and nor was I running an over-80s yoga class or one for mixed-ability line-dancing! My friend Belle, who’d helped organise the event, jotted down a few more in her note book.
The audience acclimatised quickly to the tic-enriched talk and got used to editing out all the “Hedgehogs”, “Biscuits” and “Bears.” After I’d finished I took questions. Surprisingly, despite my tics’ insistence, there wasn’t a single one about cats.
The talk was just one of many enjoyable moments I’ve had in the last few days. Nez and I have had an excellent time and the weather’s been beautiful. For me, the highlight of the trip was swimming in the sea at Gylly Beach yesterday morning.
Floating around in the salty sea with the sun hitting the water felt blissful and getting in was made much easier thanks to the Sandchair. This is a wheelchair designed specifically for use on the beach and in the sea. It has large, wide inflatable tyres that glide over the sand. You can push the chair right into the water and it even floats! For our swim though, Nez and I chose to leave it at the shore.
After we finished enjoying the sea we took a cliff path round to the next beach. The views from the path were gorgeous but it was quite steep in places. Nez did an impressive job of pushing me up the hills and an equally good job of teasing me about letting go on the way down. He was rewarded for his efforts at the other end with an extraordinary ice-cream aptly named ‘The Hedgehog.’
The trip’s been wonderful and I would’ve loved to stay longer in Cornwall. But I’m also really looking forward to the Ruby Do, an event we’re holding at work tomorrow that I wouldn’t want to miss.
The Ruby Do is an accessible one-day event celebrating inclusion, creativity and 40 years of the organisation I work for.
Thank you to everybody who’s made the last few days so lovely and to all my colleagues at work who’ve been busy organising tomorrow’s festivities while I’ve been away.