The last few days have been emotional. On Friday Leftwing Idiot and I had our last full day at Oasis where we’ve worked for over five years.
Yesterday we were at the Battersea Arts Centre celebrating Touretteshero’s sixth birthday. Over 160 friends and supporters joined us for the party, many of who’ve been with us right from the start.
We had a buffet of cake and biscuits, a children’s’ area with superhero costume-making, a biscuit-booth where people could dress up and have their picture taken, and a tic-drawing area that produced over eighty new tic-inspired artworks. There are too many amazing images and photos to share right now – but don’t worry, they’ll have their own post in a few days. For now though, here’s taste of what’s to come.
There was also an exhibition of the incredible images made by the students of Limes College in Sutton, and we shared our play Light of my Life before Captain Hotknives and I took to the stage to close the night with a series of anarchic songs. Our friend and amazing illustrator Amber livescribed the whole event and brought tics to life in real time.
At the beginning I shared a few of the many highlights of our last six years – big events and tiny triumphs, including:
Meeting Captain Hotknives in a field at Shambala Festival in 2012. We had our first official gig less than 24 hours later.
Briefing Tate Britain’s security team in 2014 moments before the doors opened for our creative takeover of the gallery ‘We Forgot The Lot!’ and hearing the head of security say we had their full support and that they’d only intervene if a child was actually hanging off an artwork.
And last year, having a conference call with Keith Chegwin in which we tried to persuade him to dress up as a toothbrush as part of our Broadcast From Biscuit Land on BBC Four.
I wasn’t the only person to speak. Hayley, Richard, Spencer and Lewis, a family who’ve been involved with Touretteshero since early on, contributed their thoughts. Spencer and Lewis both have Tourettes and last year I visited their school to talk to everyone about the syndrome. They spoke movingly about what Touretteshero has meant to them and Lewis shared an amazing drawing he had done to illustrate this.
Touretteshero started as a response to my experience of living with tics, but it’s grown into so much more. Back when it all began, in a conversation around Leftwing Idiot’s kitchen table, I could never have imagined it would evolve in the way it has. But it’s incredibly exciting that it has.
Many, many people have contributed to Touretteshero over the last six years, so a huge thank you to everyone who’s helped, encouraged and laughed with us.
Here’s to the next six!