Newsletter No. 012

Well, what a difference a month makes.  This is a time when we may not be able to enjoy the company of family and friends, we may be more stressed about the big and small effects it is having.  There is one important thing to remember during our imposed isolation. What it will be like when its all over. Any major event where people are forced by external events to compromise their normal lives will when it's over bring about a great feeling of Relief and Joy. We will have come through together. Hang on to that thought. We will get there, soon.

We hope you enjoy this and the previous issues but if you missed any and would like to see them either in our ARCHIVE  or email Sylvia at [email protected] and she will gladly send any you have missed.

COVID 19 Northants Parkinsons People
Most of you will have received an email from NPP about phone calls and help during this time. Just in case you missed it.
Hello everyone
Apologies for this interim email but we would like to bring something to your attention. We wanted to offer our help if you are at all concerned about the virus and all the different connected news stories. If you are unable or told not to go out for shopping etc and do not have friends or family who can do this for you, then Angela has offered to fetch groceries you might need for as long as you need this support. Please email if you need any shopping, with your telephone number and I will pass on to Angela and she will telephone you. In addition to this very kind offer of Angela’s if any of you are feeling a bit isolated and lonely and you would fancy a chat on the telephone, why not email me your telephone number and we will give you a ring. We have a couple of volunteers (including me) and we are very happy to pick up the phone and give you a call.

email Sylvia at [email protected]
Friday Walks - Abington Park
Tuesday Walks - The Racecourse

We are doing the right thing and abiding by the Governments Guidelines and our communal walks are now cancelled. We urge those who can exercise safely (with a family member) to continue with a single exercise no more than once a day if you can maintain 2 metres from other people.  We urge you to stay safe during this very trying time.
Northamptonshire Younger Parkinson's Group: Just to confirm a message which Debs Whiter has sent out:
The committee of the NVPSG group has suspended the monthly support meeting until further notice.The day trip to the Arboretum has also been postponed to a later date.
Let's get Quizzical
  1.  What unit of speed is equal to one nautical mile per hour?
  2.  What is the annual period of fasting for the Jewish people also known as the "Day of atonement"?
  3. Who was the first winner of the European footballer of the year (balloon d'Or)?
  4. What musical Instrument does Charles Bronson play during the film "Once upon a time in the west"?
  5. In which game show were the contestants invited to "Come on down"?
  6. What is the state capital of Nevada? Is it?

    A) Las Vegas   B) Reno    C) Carson City    C)  Paine  D)  Comstock 
Sylvia's Gardening Tips
We can all find a small space for a few pots and grow some veg.

You will need ordinary multi-purpose compost. A pot, not less than 30cm diameter and fairly deep.
Just set the beans to the depth it says on the packet and wait for beans to sprout. I would say about five or six beans per pot. Dwarf beans don’t like to dry out so keep watered. Pick the beans regularly as this will encourage them to produce more. One of my favourite dwarf beans is called ‘Purple Teepee’, which as the name suggests, produces dark coloured beans. They are delicious steamed whole with butter.
As with the beans you need multi-purpose compost and, if possible, a few containers, ideally minimum of three. Pots, old buckets, anything that has at least a foot in depth. Make sure there are drain holes in the bottom. Scatter the carrot seed very sparingly, then two weeks later make another sowing in another container and so on. That way you will have a continuous supply of carrots. I harvest my carrots when they are quite small. Taking one from here and there and leaving the others to continue growing. Buy seeds which are carrot fly resistant. Two good varieties are Nantes and Adelaide. One tip with carrots is not to overwater. It tends to encourage the carrot leaves to grow more than the carrot root. Obviously, they need watering but just not too much.
Again, these are ideal for growing in pots. Multi-purpose compost is fine. Any containers will do, even a small six to eight-inch pot will grow one lettuce plants. I like to grow a lettuce called Lollo Rossa. It’s a cut and come again variety, just break off the leaves you want and it carries on growing right through summer.
Next time I will be talking about tomato plants.
Take care, everyone!
I Remember Part 12

Place: 221 BVD RAOC, Johor Bahru, Malaysia

2nd Jungle Warfare School, Bukit Timah Road, Johor Bahru, Malaysia

As anyone who has been following these memories now realises, I often ended up in the most obscure units. In this instance, due to health problems with my youngest, I was given various duties, the main ones were the orderly room for 221 BVD and the closing down of 2nd Jungle Warfare School. So, I would spend a morning two or three times a week making sure all paperwork was in order, then back to 221 in the afternoon or off to the BMH with the little one and the wife.
As the little one was getting better and was now toddling, my wife was starting to take more interest in matters concerning the wives and children of the unit. This went down well with the other wives who dealt with these matters. The older, more mature women in the group were happy to have a few younger members, my good lady was only 24 but already had 3 children. The ladies all had servants (known as Armah’s) so had no housework, washing or indeed any other chores.
The children aged 2/3 attended a nursery that the ladies organised, after that they attended the Royal Navy Primary School; Johor Bahru up to the age of 11/12. After that a choice had to be made where the child could go. If the parents chose, the children could attend a public school which was all paid for by the military. On each holiday they would then be flown to wherever the parents were stationed or stay with family. This applied to all ranks, not just the officers. 
As our youngest was now starting to toddle everywhere he was becoming a handful, so we employed a second Armah to keep track of him. He was treated like a little prince by not just our servants but some of the others too, this was due to the fact that he had almost bleached blonde hair and a gentle, even light tan. Most of the locals had not seen anyone so white and fair. Our main Armah asked if she could take 'little master' to see her family on a Saturday morning, before coming home for his afternoon nap. My wife went for a visit, Muna (the Armah) lived in a small Kampong (village) about a mile or two away. Muna would take him and he would be paraded around the village, occasionally applauded when he did something well, such as calling one of the other children as toddlers do, he really was treated like royalty.
Another example of how differently things were treated, was one occasion when Tina and another lady went to the local shops. The area where the shops were was a small space, square-shaped with a bare earth roadway surrounding a patch of elephant grass. This grew about 5-6 feet high with a series of small tracks cutting through. The whole area was about the size of 3 football pitches. As the ladies were walking by the grass, a teenage lad  of about 15 or 16 ran by and pushed my wife to the floor and stole her bag. He then ran into the grass, the women were screaming, the locals came out to see what was happening and someone called the local police and the red caps (military police). When they arrived, the thief was soon arrested, and Tina went with the MP's to the local police station. It was eventually decided that under local law Tina's bag and contents would all have to be kept as evidence. This Included cash, keys, I.D. card and passport etc. There would be no charge's but mem-sahib must go home and the matter dealt with by the local police inspector. She was whisked back home fairly rapidly. After some inquiries by me later, it turned out that the lad had been beaten by the local police with a rhino whip. It was a pretty savage beating, so much so that I never did tell Tina how bad it was. This was the world we now lived in. 
Besides dealing with all this, there was the matter of the weather, namely the twice a year monsoon. Which when they came, it rained so hard and in such quantity that you thought the world was going to end in a biblical flood, these would occur twice a year for about 6 weeks each time.
So, until the next time, when I will include more events that occurred with my wife.

From somewhere in the land of the orangutang Doug (and Tina)
Photo Top Left:  Mick checking out the wildlife
Photo Top Right:  Dougs family at home on Jahour
Photo Bottom Left: Tina at the Botanical gardens
Photo Bottom Right. Doug standing on the grass next to the 'Do not stand on the grass' sign (Ed: Sorry Doug, could not resist)
Recipe of the Month
Self Isolation Cakes

Well, they are carrot muffins actually but they will turn out so delicious that you might just keep them all to yourself.

  • 150g  margarine (or butter or even rapeseed oil)
  • 250g  carrots
  • 200g sugar
  • 200g self-raising flour (plain + 2tsp baking powder)
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 large eggs
  • 125g sultanas
  • 50g nuts (optional, I used ground almonds but add more sultanas/flour if omitting)
  1. Preheat the oven to 200C/gas mark 6/fan 180C. Melt the margarine in the microwave
  2. Top and tail, then peel and grate the carrots.
  3. Combine the carrots, sugar and margarine in a bowl.
  4. Sift in the flour, cinnamon and baking powder.
  5. Beat the eggs in a small bowl and then add to the mixture.Mix in the nuts and sultanas. 
  6. Line a muffin tray with 12 muffin cases and divide the mixture equally between them. Bake for 20 minutes.

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.  A Knot   
  2. Yom Kippur
  3. Sir Stanley Matthew's in 1956
  4. A Harmonica
  5. The Price is Right
  6. C  -- Carson City 
We have a community facebook page, here is the link please like and share:
And Finally...
It's nice to chat on the phone to family and friends. If you would like to chat face to face by video call, and you have either a SMARTPHONE,  A LAPTOP, a PC or a TABLET  the BBC has produced some step by step guides on how to do this.

How to make a WhatsApp video call  Using Either an Android Smartphone or iPhone

How to make a FaceTime video call using an iPhone or Mac Computer

Step-by-step guide: How to video call your family This guide will show you how to make a video call using a smartphone, or receive one using your desktop computer - or help you explain how to do so to others. It also includes a really good Guide on HOW TO RECEIVE A VIDEO CALL WITHOUT INSTALLING ANY SOFTWARE  get your friend or relative who already uses video calling to read this guide, they can then send you a link by email and you can connect through your browser (you will need a computer with a microphone and camera)

I hope you can all chat to someone, make sure you hide all those toilet rolls if you are video calling though :)
Don't forget, email your phone number to Sylvia and one of Northants Parkinson's people will give you a call.

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