Bowled Over

It’s incredible how quickly you can get used to being in a new city – today’s been only our first full day in Toronto and it’s already starting to feel familiar.

We went for bagels this morning and explored Kensington Market. I can safely report that all the warnings I had about the weather were totally justified – it’s unbelievably cold here. We stopped off for a hot drink and a snack in the afternoon and as my frozen feet slowly warmed up they started hurting so much I couldn’t talk or think about anything else!

Nevertheless nothing was going to put me off my bowling trip with the Toronto youth chapter of the Tourette Syndrome Foundation of Canada. This involved an unexpectedly long taxi ride to Classic Bowl in Mississauga, which is basically the next town along from Toronto.

While it’s not likely to be on any tourist maps, I was glad to be there to meet such a lovely group of people. The event was organised by and for young people with Tourettes and I was impressed with how well organised it was, and how much fun we had bowling together!

After an easy-going name game, and while everyone was tucking into some delicious pizza, I gave a talk about Touretteshero and how it’s helped me feel positive about my tics.

There were two surprises this evening, both involving Leftwing Idiot. The first was that for a moment it looked like he might secretly be a bowling champion. He got a strike with his first ball, but it turned out to be beginner’s luck. With the help of a special metal chute I was able to do pretty well myself.

The second shock was that he won an amazing pair of headphones in a raffle, which he was clearly very pleased about. He’d been moaning about the quality of the ones they had on the plane over here so he was excited to win a proper pair. Apparently he’s never won anything on a raffle before so this was a good way to start.

Tina and Ian, the organisers of this evening’s event, should be very proud of what they’ve achieved. It’s fantastic to see young people with Tourettes being so active and supportive of each other. It’s something I’d like to see more of in the UK. The event was a fundraiser for TSFC and if you’d like to make a donation you can do it online here.

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