Newsletter No. 006

Welcome to number 6 of Northants Parkinson’s People Bulletin.  Autumn is upon us but the first half of September has been wonderful. A great way of spending these darker evenings is to settle down and enjoy a good newsletter,  say no more here we are!

We hope you have enjoyed the previous issues but if you missed these and would like to see them either see our ARCHIVE  or email Sylvia at: [email protected] and she will gladly sent any you have missed.

Fit&Fab Boat Trip - still some places
FitnFab have a canal boat trip on Saturday 5th October and we have some places left. Its £5 per head for the boat and we all buy our own lunch when we stop at a pub.

The Wheelchair accessible boat  leaves  Blisworth Arm at 9:50 - returns 3pm ish.   (Directions nearer the time).  Parking is a bit tight so it would be good for people to share rides if possible. 
If you would like to come along please call Angela on 07954 099537.

Northampton Younger Parkinson's Group
Christmas Lunch
NYPG are holding their Christmas lunch on Saturday 7th December and this is also open to non NYPG members at £20.00 per person. 
For reservations please call Liz Birch on 07944 756576  or email [email protected] 

Why I dance

Ann has Parkinson's and as you can see takes a lot of pills to help combat the condition. She also has a secret weapon,  Dancing!
My name is Ann Englert and I am 83 years young. One of my childhood memories from about the age of 6 was watching George Raft in the old fashioned films, he would be dancing the Tango to the musical song called Jealousy. I would stand there mesmerised, little did I know that one day I would be doing that exact dance at my 80th Birthday party.
As I grew older I learned that my father had Parkinson's and he endured this terrible disease for 17 and a half years. Life went on without much dancing until I reached the age of 79 but now I also had the challenge of managing this debilitating disease too. I had heard that dancing was a very good exercise for people with Parkinson’s, so I went ahead and asked Wes & Alex’s Dance Classes if they could teach me to Tango for my 80th Birthday party. I started my lessons in July 2016 and worked hard in preparation for my party. Four months later and I was all prepared for my big day. Wes came along and asked everyone to gather round. We had staged the scene where I  sat at a table and the music to Jealousy commenced. Wes walked towards me and took my hand and the Tango began. I came alive on the dance floor and my friends and family could not believe I had learned how to dance the Tango in only 4 months. As the dance finished the crowd erupted with applause. I have never felt so elated in all my life. Everyone was so proud of me for what I had achieved at my age & living with the challenges of this terrible disease.
My philosophy in life is to keep going in the face of adversity & to fulfil your dreams. Having a positive mindset has been my key driver and I will not let it beat me.
Dancing has become my passion and keeps me going and I hope my story will inspire more people to at least try it once.
Despite only taking up dancing 3 years ago at the tender age of 79 and 2 thirds Ann has amassed quite a collection of certificates and medals

I Remember Part 5

The further adventures of Doug, the Boy Soldier

Place :Junior Leaders Battalion RAOC 
Time :December 1959 - January 1960
After all the first round of education exams had taken place, the results of which would not be known until the new year.  The weapons and military proficiency tests were completed to the satisfaction of the house officers and staff. We were all feeling rather chuffed with ourselves, and quite rightly so we all thought. As the second week of December arrived, the barbarians from the outlying parts of Britain were called into the office by their localities, Channel Islands, northern isles and the end of the world (northern Scotland) and last but not least northern Ireland and the Republic. They all were given their travel itinerary, please remember this was at a time when to fly anywhere was exceptional, consequently these guys were allowed a longer travel time (4 days) to allow them time to take buses, trains and boats to their distant homes.

Friday morning arrived and all the barbarians gathered together on the edge of the barrack square to await transport to the station. We all bid them bon voyage in the appropriate manner and words, so of went de Gruchy, le Flem, le Sauxe, Forfauge, "Jock" McTieth, "Paddy" O'Shaughnesy and "Bangor" Truesdale, to the nether regions of our fair land.  Then on the next Monday morning the rest of us collected in the rest room in the block and one by one were called into the office and issued with our required paperwork. This consisted of travel itinerary, railway warrant (return), leave pass (for 25 days), ration monies (to cover your food expenses for leave), pay to cover same period and lastly any money from your savings requested. All in all in my case that came to a total sum of 68 pounds 8 shillings and 8 pence (this at a time when the average wage for a grown working man was around a fiver) to  someone who was only 16 and a half it was riches beyond belief. 

Now I must point out certain facts that pertaining to this time, when traveling on official duty (ie with a railway warrant) you had to wear uniform consequently you really stood out, so when we got to Euston there was about 8 of us traveling north and when I got to Northampton I was subjected to a barrage of ribald comments by the rest of the guys and being a rather demure type of person I didn't reply to this (not much anyway). So bundling myself onto a bus in the Drapery I made my way home, although I'd been home for a couple of weekends in the previous months this was my first long leave, I can imagine how my dad and my uncles had felt during the war. 

After mum had finished giving me the third degree I informed her that I was going to be paying my way and gave her my ration allowance. She said that she wouldn't take it but I insisted, with dad still in hospital then, she gave in (or so I thought). I found out later that she had put that ration money and subsequent ones in a post office savings account and I found out later on. I took my kid sister (she was 8 then) to the local shop and bought her some sweets, this was only so she could show me off to her friends, but such is the problems of being a big brother. 

Christmas and new year came and went, the visits to grandparents and uncles, aunts and the rest of which was a large extended family were duly completed. I found that I was starting to what all soldiers get, that is "itchy" feet, I think that subconsciously I had made my mind up and that this was what I wanted. 

So two days after Christmas I was all set to go back (no disrespect to my family) but I couldn't wait. But as I said to mother I would have extra leave to come in the coming months as I would joining the senior boys squad and that came with certain extras. Also I would be home on leave at Easter. We then went through what I later use describe as "the ritual" tears and farewell much to be repeated through the years to come. 

So onto the next installment, but you have to wait. 

Thank you Doug 

The following article is an advertisement. From time to time we are asked to share information which may be of interest to our readers. Whilst we wish to help you be informed of services from other Charities and business's, we can not accept any liability whatsoever should you decide to use any of the services that we inform you of.
Favell Day Services
Favell Day Services is a registered charity which provides day care and support for adults with a range of physical and neurological conditions, including MS and Parkinson';s disease. Since the closure of the original 'Favell House' on the Kettering Road in 2013 the service now operates as a charity for two days a week on Monday’s and Fridays from Phab Centre, Sheraton Mews, Headlands, Northampton between 10am - 4pm and one day a week at St Luke's Centre, Main Road, Duston on a Wednesday between 10am - 4pm. The objective is to provide a safe meeting place for adults with physical disabilities to get together for mutual support and companionship. Activities are available to join in during the day, together with hot drinks, and a midday meal ( for a small charge) It gives carers some respite too, giving them the opportunity to have a few hours for themselves.

How the group is run is decided by the members who are asked for their ideas/ opinions so that they are very much involved in any planning. Activities include crafts, talks, cooking, quizzes, group crossword, meals out, trips, music etc. There is access to our own passive exercise bike which can be used from a chair or wheelchair and can be a valuable form of exercise. Research on the use of the  bike has been found to improve gait and balance, thereby reducing falls.
Our Facebook page ( Favell Day Services) shows some of the activities that we have provided in the past. Our website is
If you have any queries or would like a free taster session, please call Kate on 07519846972 Kate will arrange a home visit to assess your individual needs and will discuss costs involved and transport etc.

The following article is an advertisement. From time to time we are asked to share information which may be of interest to our readers. Whilst we wish to help you be informed of services from other Charities and business's, we can not accept any liability whatsoever should you decide to use any of the services that we inform you of.
My wife Wendy had Parkinson’s for 15 years, she sadly died in August 2017. For most of those 15 years she carried on her life relatively as before, but there were various horrible milestones along the way. For example, having to surrender her driving licence, even though she hadn’t driven for several years, was a real blow.
The last few years were difficult and would have been worse had we not managed, after a long battle, to secure funding for carers, firstly from Adult Social Services and then from the NHS. We had made our Wills a long time ago and made choices about our funerals. We also took the important step of setting up Lasting Powers of Attorney; enabling me to manage Wendy’s affairs during the time Wendy spent in palliative care.
I have had a variety of different careers during my working life but have now joined a small but growing local company called Safeguarding Futures Ltd based in Northampton as an independent contractor. The company offers Will Writing, Estate Planning and a Care Costs Advisory Service, using the respective backgrounds of its directors, and now of its independent contractors.
We have all been struck time and again how much misinformation and wrong advice people were given when it came to making some of the most important decisions in their lives. Many people are completely unsure as to where to go, and who to trust, in securing their own and their family’s
Understandably people find visiting a solicitor or dealing with a local authority a very difficult and daunting prospect. We at Safeguarding Futures endeavour to provide a friendly and personal service, which could ease the stress of making those important decisions. What can you expect when you contact us?
  • A friendly and informal discussion to find out what help you require
  • A free, no obligation, consultation at a time and place to suit yourself (in your own home if you prefer)
  • Sensibly priced services, tailored to your requirements
You can phone or text me on 07931 585004 or by e-mail: [email protected] to find out more and to make an appointment. I look forward to helping you. Mike Hales

£1000 Fine!  Nobody said!
I think most of us know that if you have parkinson's and still want to drive you have to tell DVLA.
I didn't know there a several other conditions that have to be reported, I've been a naughty boy for 2 years and i didn't know it.
I happened to click on an article in the Basildon, Canvey, Southend Echo this morning, yes really I'm not making it up. (if you must know see bottom of this story)
The article was about the 7 Medical conditions you MUST tell DVLA about.  
  1. Diabetes or taking insulin
  2. Blackouts, fainting 
  3. Heart conditions (including atrial fibrillation and pacemakers)
  4. Sleep apnoea
  5. Epilepsy
  6. Stroke
  7. Glaucoma
Did you spot a pertinent condition thats missing? Clue, it starts with a 'P'
Well someone from the Basildon etc. news paper wants to go back to journalism school.  On the DVLA's website they give the 7 examples above of conditions that need reporting, along with a long list of conditions that may or may not need reporting (you have to find the condition and click on it to find out if its reportable, honestly they do make things difficult for no good reason)
I remember when my wife was first diagnosed with Parkinson's the fact it was a reportable conditions was made clear by the Parkinson's nurse so when I received a pacemaker 2 years ago and no one mentioned that it was reportable I just carried on driving (after the surgery recovery period) 
Well thanks to The Basildon bla bla Echo I now know. I'm in breach of the law and could be liable to a £1000 fine.
So what did I do about It? well I first tried the DVLA's website to report it on line. I tried this several times and after proving to one of their 'partner' organisations that I was who my driving licence says I am, I filled in the form several times but alas the DVLA's website is made of sticks and a wolf had blown it down. It kept saying I was unauthorised.  Well that left me with option two, phone them.

Pirate Alert: I looked up the number on my mobile phone. the DVLA's number was about sixth on the list after several 'services' that would 'connect' you to the DVLA for wait for it... £3.60 per minute!   Do not be fooled the DVLA numbers all start with 0300  (standard rate applies)

After a 5 minute wait I got through to a nice lady who took my details and is now sending me a form to complete,  I told her about the website and she said 'pacemakers cannot be informed through the website so that's why you failed'  I didn't say what I thought, that the DVLA website was the point of failure. Why put someone through the ordeal of confirming their identity and filling in the webform if the process was doomed to failure anyway!

Any way, I'm  now, older, greyer and wiser,  but legal.
So how come I found out about this from The Basildon wotsit thingy Echo. well the browser on my Tablet Computer throws up random stories from regional and national papers when I open it. I mostly ignore them but this reminded me that I also need to renew the photo on my driving Licence soon (failure to do this is also a £1000 fine) To check the picture renewal date on your licence its item 4b on the front.

To check if you have a reportable condition, look it up here   Health Conditions and Driving and if you need to contact them do it by phone, just make sure its an 0300 number

Lets get Quizzical
1)          What is the name of the musical film starring Howard Keel, which is based on the Rape of the Sabine Women?

2)          How are Conquest, War, Famine and Death collectively known?

3)         What is the name of the musical comedy starring Tommy Steele that was based on HG Wells' novel Kipps?

4)         What is the first name of Mr Darcy, hero of Pride and Prejudice?

5)         Which gardener’s item was invented by Edwin Beard Budding in 1830?

6)         What is the term used for a baby ferret?

7)         Who was sitting in a tin can far above the world in 1962?

8)         Born in Berlin he was best known for playing a Spaniard.

Sylvia's Gardening Tips
Just a short gardening article this month as I'm branching out (sorry, a little gardening pun!) and writing all about my assisted travelling adventure.
Autumn is on its way!
Chillies are ripening at a pace.   Once red you can store them all winter either by freezing or drying on the kitchen windowsill then crushing into flakes.   Red hot Tip…if you like your chillies really fiery don’t water them too much.

Pruning this month

If you haven’t already done so, cut back lavender to just above the leaf growth. Not into the woody base.

Cut back summer flowering Jasmine as soon as it has finished blooming.

My Assisted Train Journey
Last month I decided to go to Wales to visit my sister who has Parkinson’s.    I used to drive but as I have got older, I didn’t relish a 4-hour stint mostly on the motorways.   So, I decided to make it an adventure and travel by train from Northampton to Cardiff via Birmingham.       I haven’t been on a train for over thirty years and was, I confess, a bit apprehensive as I had a total hip replacement recently and wasn’t sure how far I would be able to walk.   When I voiced my concern to my sister she told me that when I booked my ticket to ask for assistance.    Which I did.
It was brilliant! I arrived at Northampton train station and went to the customer services desk as I had been instructed.They were expecting me. They took charge of me and my case getting both me and it to the correct platform and then helping me on the train and seated too!  I couldn’t believe how trouble free it was.

Then I noticed, when we made a few stops on the way to Birmingham, how quickly the doors open and closed on arrival at the platforms.  I thought, crikey I had better get my skates on when we pull into Birmingham New Street Station!  (starting to get anxious again) I was poised ready to stick my case between the doors to stop them closing!  Oh really I needn’t have got so worked up! The doors opened and a nice young man jumped on board, walked over and said ‘Mrs Nightingale?’  He took my case and guided me to the correct platform for connection to Cardiff where I was met by another customer services person.

I couldn’t understand how they knew which carriage and seat I was in so asked one of the guards.  He told me that at each station once the customer service person has got me seated they phoned on to the next station telling them where I was!   How good is that!

Needless to say I had a lovely time in Wales with my sister.  We spent a few hours in Cardiff city centre soaking up the wonderful atmosphere as it happened to be international rugby day between Wales and England---it was buzzing!  As you can see from the photo my sister and I enjoyed ourselves.

Who knows where I will go next.  I feel the Hogwarts Express beckoning me. Now where exactly is platform 9 ¾ ?   Or maybe I will travel on the Orient Express!

Readers might like to know that if you are flying anywhere you can also get assistance on and off the plane and most airlines will also take a small mobility scooter free of charge. 

Recipe of the Month
No Knead Honey & Oat Bread
A bread recipe that is easy to do, can be baked in a loaf tin or dutch oven. It uses an overnight proofing process that requires no kneading so is easy on the arms.
The preparation for this loaf could not be easier. You need a mixing bowl, a flexible spatula and the round handle end of a wooden or plastic cake spoon.
  • Put 450ml tap water into the bowl.
  • Add a slightly heaped teaspoon of salt.
  • Add 1 tablespoon of honey, I just squeezed some out of a bottle.
  • Add 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of yeast. I get mine in sachets so used about a third of one.
  • Add 450 gm of bread flour, use a cup or scoop and add to the side to avoid splashing. I used wholemeal flour but you please yourself.
  • Add 90 gm of porridge oats.
Now the easy bit. Using the handle end stir the mix slowly (I counted, i did 40 turns) use the spatula to scrape the spoon and then go round the bowl to incorporate any unmixed ingredients. Now cover in cling film and leave on worktop for 12-24 hours.  That's it, about 10 minutes from start to finnish for preparation. 
That's all for prep. now let the yeast do the work.
No Knead bread recipe has more liquid than kneading  recipe, the long proofing time replaces all the hard work.
When you are ready to complete your bread take the mixing spoon (handle end) and stir the mix gently. it should deflate as the gas escapes and the mix will be very elastic. 10 to 15 turns will do it.  Now using the spoon to roll the dough and sprinkle 2-3 dessert spoons of oats on and around the dough, if some mix in don't worry. Next lightly sprinkle some flour over and around.Take a lightly greased loaf tin and tip the dough in,  Cover loaf with tea towel to final proof for 30-45 minutes. Now turn the oven on and preheat to 200C Gas mark 6.
Straight in the tin, add oats to top if you missed any.
Put the risen tin into the oven for 40 minutes. if you prefer a softer top and have a spare loaf tin you can turn it upside down over the loaf for the 1st 30 minutes, this is known as a poor man's dutch oven, remove it for the last 10 mins. When cooked remove from oven and turn the loaf out and cool it on a rack. 

We aim to be...

an inclusive group so if you have an idea for an article that you think would be of interest then get in touch with us.
You don't have to be a journalist, and if you find trouble getting your idea onto paper or email we'll give you a helping hand.

Answers to the Quiz

 1)          Seven Brides for Seven Brothers   
 2)          The  Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse           
 3)          Half a Sixpence
 4)          Fitzwilliam             
 5)         Lawnmower                
 6)         Kit
 7)         John Glenn
 8)         Andrew Sachs 

We have a community facebook page, here is the link please like and share:

And Finally...
Older Facebook Users Now Outnumber Teenagers
Yes the older generations have caught and overtaken the youngsters on the giant social media platform, Facebook.  In fact the youngsters are abandoning Facebook for platforms like Instagram, which is a photo oriented network. (Why type that your mate is a drunken idiot if you can post a picture of same)

This mass migration of age groups has prompted some analysts to suggest a name change to 'GranBook'  while some kinder folk are suggesting 'Boomerbook'

The statistics below show how the older generations are taking to Socialising on Facebook.
Facebook UK users 2018 v 2017
Age 12 to 17 2.2m, down 300,000
Age 18 to 24 4.5m, down 400,000
Age 25 to 34 7.2m, flat
Age 35 to 44 5.9m, flat
Age 45 to 54 5.6m, up 100,000 users
Age 55 to 64 3.5m, up 200,000 users
Age 65-plus 2.9m, up 300,000 users
If you are on Facebook you can check out our page at  Please leave us a message, tell us what you think about the newsletters.

If you are worried for Mark Zuckerberg's future with the falling numbers of youngsters then worry no more. Facebook posted a $4.3 BILLION  profit for the final quarter of last year. Oh, and he owns Instagram as well, bless him.
Our Website
Email Us
Copyright © 2019 Northants Parkinsons People, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is: 
[email protected] 
You can update or remove yourself from our mailing list by
[email protected]