Registered charity number 1188652
Charity News
It's our last Newsletter before Christmas so we want to wish you all a very Merry Christmas from all the team on the newsletter, we hope that soon we can all meet up again if and when 'normality' returns. In the meantime take care, look after yourselves and stay safe and well.   xxxxxxx

We hope you enjoyed last month's newsletter  If you missed it here is a link:   Click here to see

1st Saturday of the month, which is Sat 5th December this month 11:00 am get your pen, paper and coffee ready. 
Join the Zoom Meeting, just click 
Or if you want to type it in its...
Meeting ID: 835 6344 0501
Passcode: 645316
You don't have to be Mensa material it is just for fun. Three rounds, General knowledge, Music and Pictures

Northants Parkinsons People Photo Album
We are putting all our photos into an album on our website. By the time you read this, we should have something to show you so  please click onto this link to have a look at our photo gallery (you might be there!)      

Christmas Cards - a reminder
Christmas Cards - Pat's hand-made cards have been selling really well. There are still a few left, please click on this link if you would like to buy some in time for Christmas. 

We now have some information leaflets about Northants Parkinson's People. If you want any to give out to individuals or your local Doctors surgery or wherever you think the word should be spread then please contact us
Some well-deserved thankyou's

Sydney’s Fundraising
Last month we thanked Sydney for her very generous donation to us and we promised you a bit more information. Sydney tells us what she has been up to... 
My name is Sydney, I am 15 years old and I have been raising money for Parkinson’s for 4 years now. I have made and sold knitted owls, held sweet & cake sales at school and I am currently making homemade Christmas cards to sell. So far, I have raised £1,800 and hope to get closer to my £2,000 target by the end of the year. I decided to start raising money when my dad was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease a few years ago.
Sydney and Dad (Steve) pictured
A Huge Thanks to Pet!

Everyone who has been walking with us would like to send a HUGE THANKS to Pet. Pet has kept us supplied with apples, making the trip to meet us in the car park especially to bring us her harvest. Pip pip horray for Pet xxxx
21 Shopping Days to Christmas
It won't be long now, and we have a big favour to ask.  if you or any of your family and friends are shopping online can you please sign up to EasyFundraising.  It does not cost anything but every purchase made gets Northants Parkinson's People a small donation. 
We’re now registered with easyfundraising, which means you can help us for FREE. Over 4,000 shops and sites will donate to us when you use easyfundraising to shop with them – at no extra cost to yourself! All you need to do is sign up and remember to use easyfundraising whenever you shop online. It’s easy and completely FREE! These donations really mount up, so please sign up to support us at
A Bit of Info from Angela
Last week I spoke to the lovely Elaine from Daventry. Elaine has been running the Parkinson’s exercise group for many years at Reach for Health Gym in Daventry. This group was semi – funded by Northampton Branch of Parkinson’s UK. Unfortunately, when Covid came along the branch withdrew their support, apparently, this was due to instructions from PUK head office.
Now we all know how important it is for people with Parkinson’s to continue to exercise and the group also benefit hugely from the emotional support they receive from each other. So super Elaine jumped into action straight away and set up the group online. They enjoy getting together every Wednesday at 11:30 via Zoom and are hoping to get back together in Daventry as soon as possible.
Well done Elaine for jumping into action straight away. If you would like to join in, please give Elaine a call on 0786 0966 807
Elaine and some of her group
I wasn’t quite so quick to start up Fit&Fab group online. However, to even it up a bit (not that it’s a competition!) we have two sessions a week. Having worked it out, since we began on-line we have had 64 sessions and I have not had a day off yet!! So just to say I might have a couple of days of soon' haha  
Nobody anticipated how long our restrictions were going to be and the future is still pretty unsure which makes decision making problematic, to say the least. However, Elaine and I just wanted to remind you that we are here for you – it isn’t the same, but it’s the best we can do at the moment.
Fit&Fab Group say Hello
Meanwhile, while I am blowing my own trumpet and getting a few toots in for Northants Parkinson’s People I thought I would have a little add up of the extra income I have helped people affected by Parkinson’s claim, so far through Attendance Allowance Applications on behalf of Northants Parkinson’s People …. Are you ready for this!?
Lets big up the impact a bit and let me explain that over a year all the people we have helped, now receive between them an extra, just for a twelve-month period ...

core blimey – Personally I think that is mind-blowing and shows the worth of just a section of our Charity already, when we are not even a year old yet.
If you would like any support whatsoever give us a call 01327 612333
Current Activities
Fit&Fab Tuesdays and Thursdays 10:30 am Virtual sessions via Zoom. Angela puts you through your paces in the safety of your own home. Seated exercise only if you are on your own. 
Walkies is back, we have had a little break but will be starting again on FRIDAY 4th December - meet at 10:30 am in the Racecourse Car Park (Kettering RD)  - then the following Wednesday 9th December. 

Follow this link for some pics of previous walks...
 Gallery – Northants Parkinson's People
Please only consider joining us if you can confirm you are COVID-19 symptom-free and/or outside the infection isolation period if you have had symptoms or contact with an infected person.

Virtual Pub Quiz   Every 1st Saturday of the month. 11:00 am Zoom in with the in-crowd. Several rounds of General Knowledge, Music and Pictures. A bit of a social at the end. Use any of the contact methods above to get your invite.
Queen Square Parkinson's Research Forum
As regular readers of this fine publication are aware I am regularly given assignments by Angela. Recently she asked if I would like to attend a Seminar concerning Parkinson’s and research into movement disorders. I of course said yes and booked my place.
I had a few misgivings, mainly because of the word “research”. This usually brings to mind people in white lab coats and a variety of caged animals. Of course, that is just a myth.
The forum was actually very interesting and eye-opening. The speakers were all neurologists or experts in various movement disorders. It was gratifying to see some of the lengths they go to in trying to seek better treatments, chemical or otherwise for people with Parkinson’s, such as myself.
One example of this is a drug called Exenatide. The usual range of drugs that are prescribed for PD, that we are familiar with, slow down or reduce symptoms. Exenatide has shown potential to help change the course of PD. This drug was initially used in the treatment of Diabetes. Exenatide is now required to be tested on a large scale. However, when you add in the factors that the patient must not be diabetic, not had DBS and not to be too far along the PD trail, you can see that this creates logistic problems. This is just one example, there are dozens of trials being carried out. Consequently, volunteers are always required. if anyone is interested in this volunteering 'lark' you can find out more on the website:

I was most impressed with the forum and would say that it was like having a sneaky look through a small window and a vast interior appeared there before me. I will look at the matter of research with a new understanding and hope that all of you who read this PLEASE think about it and give me a call or
email me if you have any questions.

Best to all Doug Tel:07390 147375 or [email protected]

If you would like to listen to the forum, please follow this link below:

The funding for this research was provided by The Cure Parkinson’s Trust
Sylvia's Gardening Tips
By now you should have moved all pots with tender plants into a sheltered position. Have some fleece or bubble wrap handy in case a frost is forecast and cover them overnight. If very cold weather is forecast I have been known to cover my hanging basket with bubble wrap held on with a clothes peg or two!
So, what to write about? Well, I decided a few weeks ago I wanted some kind of house plant display with a difference. So, prior to lockdown, I went to have a look around the garden centre for ideas. There were several varieties of carnivorous plants which I thought would make a different sort of display in the conservatory. I purchased three as follows:
  1.  A Venus Fly Trap (Dionaea Muscipula). The interior of the leaves have between three and six trigger hairs on the surface and when a fly, beetle, spider etc touches these trigger hairs the leaves snap shut in less than a second. The prey is then digested.
  2.  A Pitcher Plant (Sarracenia) with bright purple veiny leaves which give off a scent to attract insects which then tumble down into the pitcher and are trapped by downward-pointing hairs.
  3. Another pitcher plant with a trailing habit (Nepenthes Alata). This plant catches its prey in the same manner as the Sarracena with one slight difference, it has a small lid which it clamps shut! This variety can also be grown in a hanging basket indoors.
All of these plants are found in the wild on the North East coast of America growing in the subtropical wetlands of North and South Carolina and Alabama. They get some nutrients from the soil but not enough, hence they have adapted and become carnivorous.
I found an old glass bowl and some coloured gravel. Gave the gravel a really good wash to get all the dust off. Also found two small pieces of rose quartz and washed them well too.
Then I placed the plants (still in their pots) inside the bowl. No need to water the plants direct, just pour a little water onto the gravel. The plants will drink what they need. Don’t water too much during the winter months. It’s a nice different display and one which young children find fascinating.
Well, I never...
People living in Wootton and Hardingstone can now get their Co-op groceries delivered by ROBOT Vehicles. So if you live in those areas it might just be the thing you have been waiting for!  However, if you just bought some shoulder and elbow pads to protect yourself from electric scooter maniacs then you may want to think about shin pads as well.    A strange new world we now live in!
Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn are appearing together in the night sky for the first time since 2005. But Saturn and Jupiter will be the closest they have been since 1623.  You can see Saturn and Jupiter 'kiss' in the South West sky on 21st December (closest) The Great Conjunction will be visible in the days before as they move closer.


  1. What does a HYDROMETER measure?
  2. Apart from being the name of a vehicle, what is the SIROCCO?
  3. In days of yore, which ELEMENT was known to ALCHEMIST’S as BRIMSTONE?
  4. RUBY is a gemstone consisting of which MINERAL ORE?
  5. Who was the PRESENTER of Match of the day, immediately prior to GARY LINEKER?
  6. According to the Shows Theme Tune, which TV family are “A PAGE RIGHT OUT OF HISTORY”.
  8. The MAU MAU UPRISING took place in which country in the 1950s.
  9. JAZZ musicians STAN GETZ, SONNY ROLLINS and LESTER YOUNG all play which instrument.
  10. Which ENGLISH MONARCH was also crowned as KING of FRANCE.
Recipe Of the Month
Fennel and Rosemary Pork Tenderloin
Pork tenderloin is also known as the Gentleman's cut is usually about 10-12" in length and 2-3" across. Its beef equivalent cut is the Fillet or Mignon. While beef fillet is about £28 / kg, Pork tenderloin is about £6 per kg. A tenderloin will easily serve 2-3 and makes for lovely pork and cheese sandwich the next day (or 2).
If you are a regular Friday walker, you may remember Sylvia being gifted a few plants being dug up by the gardeners in Abington park, I was the recipient of a clump of fennel (herb) and it got heeled into my front garden about a year ago. I got about a mug full of seeds from it this autumn. So because its nice to add some homegrown ingredients into your recipes I cooked this last Sunday. The fennel gives a lovely warmth to this dish and doesn't overpower but enhances the taste.  We had this with roast potatoes, parsnips and veg.

A Pork Tenderloin (approx 0.5 kg)
1 tsp fennel seeds
1 tsp rosemary
1/2 tsp chilli flakes 
1-2 tbsp  olive oil
For the sauce
1 veg oxo cube
1 tsp cornflower

  • Unpack the loin, let it warm up. 
  • Warm the fennel and rosemary in a pan for approx 5 mins, this will release the flavours. Don't let it burn.
  • transfer to a pestle and grind the fennel. If you don't have a pestle and mortar you can use a chopping board and the back of a tablespoon. Do not worry if the seeds don't grind down its the pressure to release flavour that's important, this will taste great anyway.
  • mix the fennel, rosemary, chilli flakes with the olive oil, add salt and pepper and cover the pork (its perfectly acceptable to cut the pork loin in half to fit your roasting dish. If you are preparing this ahead of time then the loin and the mix can go into a freezer bag but it will be ok in the roasting dish for an hour or so before cooking. Just cover with foil. (if you are cooking for 1 then 1/2 can go in the fridge or freezer now)
  • When you are ready to cook, pop the dish into the oven with the foil on for half the cooking time, then remove the foil. 
  • Remove from the oven, rest in for 10 mins then carve. I carved about 2/3 into thicker slices and then carved the rest later into thinner slices for sandwiches the next day.
  • Use the juices as the base for the sauce, add the veg oxo cube, the cornflower (mixed with a little COLD water) and add water until you have sufficient, bring to the boil stirring often. I use veg oxo because beef and chicken have a strong taste but if you have pork cubes then that's fine.
So, so many. 
Brown the pork in a hot pan if you want. 
Add lemon or orange zest, honey french mustard, garlic. 
I was cooking roasted potatoes so I didn't brown the pork 1st. It went in the oven at 220 c for 25mins but it could cook at 200c for a little longer.
I had some Roquefort cheese in the fridge so I sliced it thinly and popped it on top for 3 mins at the end. 
I hope you get the picture, it's a versatile dish and can flex around what you have.
Some sad news

We are very sorry to let you know that Neville (Nev) Gardiner passed away recently. We wish to send our sincere condolences to Nev’s wife Pat, and the rest of the family. Pat and Nev both regularly attended the younger person’s group at the Barrett Snooker Club. Nev was also a member of the Tulip Group and caused a few giggles, especially during the exercise sessions. Here is a lovely picture of Nev enjoying a bit of sun.


Life can never stay the same
No matter how we try
Our hands can never stop
The clock of life from ticking by
But love remains, unchanging
In the care of sorrowing hearts
For as the love of life is stilled
The love of memory starts

Quiz Answers

  8. KENYA
  10. HENRY VI of England, crowned at RHEIMS in 1431 as HENRY II of FRANCE 
And Finally
Passwords, love them or hate them, they do work and keep our secrets and assets safe in this technical world.  But some organisations seem to think we have the time and patience to play with them all the time!  Who is the culprit this time?  The blooming NHS.
Both Dianne and I had letters the other day from the Director of Primary Care, NHS England, telling us that we are both eligible for a free Flu Jab. She also implored us to sign up for a log-in to a secure patient communications hub where we can receive important messages like the flu jab reminder. This would save 1189.4 metric tonnes of CO2 emissions.

I have several reservations about this letter, the claim it makes and the FAFF it creates...
  1. The letter arrived 10 days after we had our Flu jabs, our local surgery had texted us to book an appointment. So the letter was an unnecessary dent in CO2 emissions.
  2. We have been cajoled into signing up for NHS accounts in the past, several in fact. However the NHS doesn't know which of its individual services are using digital systems so how can it be a HUB for communications.
  3. I'm sure the nice doctor who wrote the three-page letter can doctor with the best of them but even my modest publishing experience could set out the document in two pages, thus halving the CO2 emissions immediately by requiring half the paper. (3 sides = 2 sheets, 2 sides = 1 sheet)
  4. So they want me to have another password? To add to the three other NHS passwords I keep safe. That makes 127 passwords I now have to keep, every one different and they all include Upper case, Lower case, Numbers and Symbols. Oh, "£$%^^&&* It!
My Top Tip for Passwords
Don't Forget!  check out our new website
and please become a member
Northants Parkinson's People is registered in England as a charitable incorporated organisation,
Registered office: 31 Winston Close, Nether Heyford, Northamptonshire. NN7 3JX
Registered charity number 1188652
Copyright © 2020 Northants Parkinson's People

Our email address is: [email protected] 
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