Trips, Tics, Tipis, Tribes, and Time

I woke this morning with the sound of my alarm ringing in my ears, my mind was already buzzing with ideas. I quickly turned the alarm off and flipped the phone over so I couldn’t see its glowing clock face. I was imagining what my waking brain might look like. It quickly became clear that the talks I’d listened to last night had made a big impact.

I’m in Bristol where last night I took part in 5×15. The concept of this event is brilliantly simple: five people each talk for fifteen minutes on a subject they’re passionate about. The result was a fun, thought-provoking evening full of intriguing ideas and new connections.

5x15Photo by: Alexandra Tyndale

I spoke about Touretteshero and how I’ve come to understand my tics as my power rather than my problem.

Also speaking was Professor David Nutt who’s been undertaking incredible research into the impact of psychedelics on the brain.

Author Jay Griffiths spoke about A Love Letter from a Stray Moon, her fictional account of the painter Frida Kahlo. Jay wrote one of Leftwing Idiot’s favourite books, Pip Pip, which is all about our perception of time. She started her talk by turning the giant 15-minute egg-timer on its side – to give us “infinity”.

And after a 15-minute break, photographer Matilda Temperley spoke passionately about the destructive changes she’d witnessed in the Omo Valley in south-west Ethiopia over the last nine years.

Glastonbury Festival founder Michael Evis closed the evening. He talked about the Festival’s roots, his favourite acts, his cows, and the good causes they’ve been able to support both locally in Shepton Mallet, and across the world. I was particularly excited to meet Michael and hear him speak since Glastonbury’s given me so many extraordinary memories.

I’d never been to a 5×15 event before but I was quickly won over by the format. It’s a great way of getting tantalising glimpses into new ideas, and I’ve woken up this morning excited to read more about what I heard last night. You can find out more here.

5x15Photo by: Alexandra Tyndale

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