Registered charity number 1188652
April 2021 Issue No. 24
Charity News
Welcome to issue 24, Its Springtime and by the time you read this the clocks will have gone forward.  The gardens and hedgerows are sprouting blossom and new shoots and all is well. We've just got to hang on a few more weeks and hope the dreaded C19 clears off. We might soon get to meet up again, oh a coffee, warm sunshine and good company.  Can't wait!!
We hope you enjoyed last month's newsletter  If you missed it here is a link:   Click here to see
Just as we are going to press Lockdown is easing and our walks will begin again soon. We will be in touch with our regulars individually, however everyone is welcome so please email for details at: [email protected]
We are very pleased with how our membership is steadily growing and wish to thank everyone who has joined us already. But we would really like more of you to join. You can sign up via our website or fill in the last page of our leaflet and you can join for free. By joining, you will be giving us permission to keep your information, then when we have anything special to invite you to, we can get in touch personally. Members will be offered priority places on any excursions, and discounts if applicable. Plus, our members get a say in how Northants Parkinson’s People is run and how we prioritise our support. Here is a link to the join up page: 


Would you like to be involved in research?

UCL Queens Square Institute of Neurology are currently recruiting participants into various open trials to include investigating treatments for hallucinations in Parkinson’s.

They want to find out whether Ondansetron, an anti-sickness medication already in use, will be effective. If you experience visual hallucinations and would like to get involve you can find out more by following this link:
or email your local study nurse Angelina Manoharan – [email protected]
To look at other research trials from UCL follow this link:
You can also help research without leaving home, via your computer filling out a quick survey …

  Researchers at the University of East Anglia (UK) are looking for participants to take part in a research project on how feelings of control and mood in people with Parkinson’s may affect taking medication. They hope this will help make taking medications easier for people with Parkinson’s. Please consider completing this quick survey:
Current Activities

Virtual Pub Quiz   Every 1st Saturday of the month. (next one is 3th Apr 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. Join our Zoom Meeting. 

Meeting ID: 890 1908 5203   Passcode: 822330
‘Younger Chaps Group’  (they are still working on a name!) This is for guys more recently diagnosed – meeting via zoom at present but they are hoping to get back to the Pub or the Snooker or the Tenpin Bowling or the many Restaurant's or Walks (you get the picture, they get about a bit.) Use any of the contact methods below to get your invite.
Northants Parkinson's People contact details are
What to do if you fall
We obviously all need to be very careful and avoid falling at all times but unfortunately sometimes people fall, so here is a bit of info which might help;
Firstly, don’t try to get up immediately and don’t let other people pull you up immediately; you may have broken something and being moved too quickly or in the wrong way can cause more damage. So just take a moment and assess how you feel and if you have any pain from a particular area.
If you feel ok and are sure you
haven’t received any fractures 

first of all try to get onto your side.
  • Push with your hands to bring your upper body up

  • whilst bringing both knees under you so you are on your hands and knees
  • Staying on the hands and knees crawl to something solid you can hold onto. Bring one leg underneath you
  • Take a deep breath and as you breath out pull yourself up with your arms while getting your other leg under you
  • Turn gently and sit down carefully
It may be a good idea to get checked over by a Medical Professional just to check that everything is ok and that you haven’t caused any damage and to also investigate why you fell.
If you feel you may have injured yourself or you cannot get yourself up


  • If you have one, press your alarm button or call an ambulance if you can reach the phone

  • If you do not have an alarm or phone then make as much noise as you can, bang on the radiator, wall or floor.

  • Try to keep calm and keep comfortable – reach for a cushion and a blanket

  • Try to not lay in the same position for too long so if it doesn’t hurt turn on your back or side and move the legs from time to time

  • If you need the toilet you may need to find some newsletter or a rug and then move this away from you so you don’t get wet and cold. 
  • Keep shouting and banging until you are discovered.


I think we can all agree it is scary to have fallen and often falls which result in injuries can sadly cause much more difficulty in the long run with lost mobility and frailty. It is really important to keep active and strong and be mindful of any balance issues. Parkinson’s does affect balance and does slow down reaction times to correct balance problems.
It is a very good idea to have an alarm installed, particularly if you live alone and there are various organisations which provide this service. Usually all that is needed is a landline and a quick additional installation of the safety equipment.  Read more or enquire: 
Tel: 01604 362397
Tel: 01604 230227 
Written by Angela Jeffery thanks to Isabel for modelling (quite some time ago) 

This will be available shortly on our information page at Information – Northants Parkinson's People
Virtual Pop up Sessions
Duston Parish Council in association with St Luke's Patient Participation Group are organising monthly virtual POP up sessions. They have enjoyed the support of consultants from BMI Three Shires and Genesis Homecare speaking on Men's Mental Health, Prostate Cancer, Infertility in Men and Keeping a Healthy Heart. New for 2021 will be talks on Deafness & Tinnitus, Living with Pancreatic Cancer, Joint Pain & Irritable Bowel Syndrome and living with Parkinson's. Here is their website:
Poetry Corner

A couple more poems from the pen of Dave Meakins AKA Boothville Dave.
A Sunny Day Poem
The very light that Dawns the day,
when darkness comes will fade away. 
But alas the dark that Lords the night,
will be lost in today's sunlight.
The summer rays are so intense,
It's sparkling glitter has no defence.
A throbbing heartbeat in this land,.
and feet burning beaches with red hot sand.
The sky so blue a majestic shade,
It's very natural not man made.
This awesome wanting of the  sun,
is suspended their till daylights done.
Tis with some regret that darkness shows,
but alas tonight the moon it glows.
Tomorrows sun it will not fade,
stout and strong as on parade.
The day is done per chance to dream,
for in the morning more sun cream.
Mr Bitz

I have two legs that allow me to stand, 
with feet on the end that walk on the land.
With arms at the top that need things to do, 
so I put two hands on them but I think it's too few.
My face is so worn it’s looking half dead,
It won’t last much longer so I’ll need a new head.
If I get a new head then I’ll need a new nose,
this one is so bent it’s broke I suppose.
I’ll need two new ears so I can hear people shout,
one on each side and not too sticky out.
To see what they look like I’ll need some new eyes,
nice blue ones will do oh what a surprise.
A new mouth will cost me a lot of my pay,
but one that is needed to hear what I say.
Now I have a new body and a new head,
So we can all chat too each other and hear what is said.
  1.  In the Nursery Rhyme 'MARY HAD A LITTLE LAMB' as the lamb follows her, where does It eventually end up?
  2. Which historical event is depicted in the films, 'The Longest Day' and 'Saving Private Ryan' ?
  3. To the nearest thousand what is the official figure given of how many Allied troops were rescued at DUNKIRK in May 1940, is it 
    A) 150,000     B) 200,000         C) 230,000        D) 300,000      E)340,000   F) 600,000
  4. What is the connection between the following :
    A) JOHN McENROE  (1985)     B ) MIKHAIL GORBACHOV  (1991)  C) THERESA MAY (2016)
  5. What alcoholic drink is made from JUNNIPER berries ?
  6. According to Shakespeare which king of England offered 'My kingdom for a horse' ?
  7. How many strings are there on the standard orchestral HARP?
  8. Whose last words were "I'm just going outside and may be sometime"
  9. Who is the patron saint of television ?
  10. What is the capital of MONGOLIA?
I love the month of April with its dazzling displays of tree blossom and the emergence of tulips, daffodils, hyacinths and all manner of delightful sweet-scented flowers.    Plants, Shrubs and trees are all sprouting new shoots and newly sown seed is germinating.  There are a few bees buzzing around too.   This all heralds the approach of summer.   However, first of all, let’s enjoy the wonderful springtime!
A few jobs to be done in the garden.
Time to mow your lawn. Choose a time when there has been no rain for a day or two. Set the mower to the highest cut and give it a whiz over. Next aerate it by sticking a garden fork into the lawn at intervals about a foot apart. Then sprinkle with blood fish and bone but follow the makers instructions as to the amount to use. Too much will not help the grass at all.   
I have now set my seed potatoes in bags. Filled the bag about a third full with a mixture of compost and a small amount of blood, fish and bone (any fertiliser will do). Place the potatoes on top of the soil with the largest ‘eye’ facing upwards and gently cover with about six inches more of compost and then water.  After about three weeks you will see new leaves poking through the surface and then all you do is put another six-inch layer of compost on top to cover. Repeat this as and when the leaves poke through until the bag is full. If, by chance, a frost is forecast just scrunch up some bubble wrap and place inside the bag on the top. Then remove when temperatures rise a little. By the way any old container will do to grow potatoes in as long as there are drainage holes in the bottom!   Remember to water the bags if no rain is forecast for a while.  
Have you set any sweet peas yet? I set some last November and a second batch in February. The difference between the two sowings is remarkable as you will see from the photographs. The November plants have now been planted into their final pot with copper tape around the top (to deter slugs) and a few twigs to start them climbing. They are in the cold greenhouse at the moment but go outside every day to harden them off.  Then around Easter weekend they will be put into their permanent place with a large metal obelisk over them. Sweet peas are half hardy and can withstand quite low temperatures. When mine go outside if a frost is fore-cast I just wrap a piece of bubble wrap around them overnight. The variety I have grown this year is called ‘Here Come the Girls’.  A highly scented combination of varieties with girl’s names.
Finally some of you may remember the ‘bulb burgers’  I created in pots for spring 2020. At the end March/ beginning April 2020 when the flowers had died off, I dried and saved the bulbs and replanted them last October with pansies. They have produced a lovely display again and I highly recommend that you try this for a lovely spring display

As I sat pondering on life, as one does at my age, I was brought back to Earth with a phone call from my great grand-daughter LEXII ( 8 going on 18). "Mum says, have you still got a cheque book". This followed by the inevitable "Granddad what's a cheque book?". 
That started the grey cells working, I thought, what was a cheque book?  Ostensibly, it is a promissory note to honour a payment of money when the note is presented to a bank. At that level it is as good as a banknote (i.e. paper money). If you read a bank note it states that the "Bank of England promises to pay the bearer ".
On reflection, I thought that it used to mean a lot more than that. I remember as a boy that someone who had a cheque book, also meant they had a bank account. Now in those far distant days, not many working men had a bank account, for a start you were mostly paid weekly in cash. Unlike today where most are paid monthly direct to your bank account. So back in my childhood someone with a bank account and a cheque book inferred some level of 'middle class' on them. 

The history of the cheque goes back a long time. There is evidence of promissory notes or the equivalent in 'Roman' times, they were called 'pre-Syngrapha'. 
The use of the cheque as a draw-down of a sum of money held by a banker. In the 12th/13th century the best and most reliable holders (Bankers) of money or valuables, were the Jews, the Lombards (of north Italy) and the Knights Templar. 
The knights Templar were a Christian order of warrior monks , they were known as 'God's Holy Warriors'.  They were financed through various benefits and bequests from wealthy and royal individuals. By the mid 13th century, a wealthy organisation and stood as bankers for many people.
Now, in the times we are talking of; medieval, one wouldn't travel any great distance. Unless you were a wealthy personage, with a reasonable size retinue for protection.  If you were getting ready to set off on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem, you would need a large sum of money. However, to carry a vast quantity of cash invites trouble, so what to do?   The answer was to go to the local Templar preceptory and deposit your sum of money with them. In return they would give you a receipt. This receipt was no ordinary receipt, as it was written in code.  For the period of history concerned it was a very complex code, and like the 'Enigma' codes of WW2,  it was codes within code.  It meant that armed with this receipt, you could travel through Europe, Byzantium and beyond.  At each place you stopped, you could pay by producing your receipt and on arriving at your destination, collect whatever you were owed. 
On reflection you would think that the Templar's would have gone on to greater things, however, by the mid 1300's the Templar's were finished. Mainly they were too successful in that they were owed vast, enormous sums of money from the nobility of Europe, the English crown, Scottish king and the Holy Roman Emperor.  Mainly Phillip IV king of France, reputedly by 1310, owed the Templars the equivalent of 75% of the annual income of France. So, with the connivance of the Pope (also in debt to them) declared the Templar Order to be heretical.  In the period 1305 - 1308 the Order were hunted down throughout Europe and the British Isles and with a series of executions and a great many 'burnings at the stake' it is thought that at least 98% of the Order perished. They never rose to prominence again, in fact the 'Papal Bull' that declared the order to be heretical is still in force.
The first example of a 'modern cheque' being issued was in February 1659 by Vanter's bank, it was made payable to a Mr. Delto for the sum of £400. 
I will wait for yet another call from LEXII to see what else I can unearth.  

From the 'history man'

'Chairman '  Doug  
QUIZ Answers
  2. 2) 'D' DAY
  3. 3) E  (340,000)
  5. GIN
  7. 47
  8. Captain Lawrence 'Titus' Oates, of captain Scot's ill-fated expedition to the South Pole.
  9. ST. CLARE
A couple of funnies from Harry

Our wonderful NHS doctors and nurses all have their favourite books and films -:

The Forceps Saga by John Gallbladder
Lady Chatterley's Liver
Catheter Come Home
Cystitis Andronicus
Popeye The Say Ahh Man
Diarrhoea of a Nobody
Emily Bronte's Worrying Bites
Up Stethoscope
Bleak Arse
Hernia Shrunk the Kidneys
Bridget Jones Diarrhoea
Dial M for Matron
Madame Ovary
John Pilgrims The Bunions Progress
Womb With a View
A Back Passage to India
Great Expectorations
Around the Ward in Eighty Days
Fatal Traction
From Here to Maternity
The Dead Duck
            A woman brings a very limp duck into a veterinary surgeon. As she lays her beloved pet duck on the table, the vet puts his stethoscope to the bird’s chest and listens carefully.

    A moment later the vet shakes his head and says sadly, “I’m really sorry, but your duck, Cuddles, has passed away.“

     The woman becomes quite distressed and begins to cry.

    “Are you sure?” she says with tears flooding from her eyes.

    “Yes, I'm sorry but I am sure” the vet responds. “Your duck is definitely dead.“

     “But how can you be so sure?” the woman protests. “I mean, you haven’t done any testing on him or anything have you? Perhaps he’s just stunned or in a coma or something.”

    The vet rolls his eyes, then turns around and leaves the room and a few minutes later he returns with a black Labrador retriever.

    As the duck’s owner looks on in amazement, the Labrador stands on his hind legs, puts his front paws on the examination table and sniffs around the duck from top to bottom. He then looks up at the vet with sad eyes and shakes his head.

    The vet pats the dog on the head and takes it out of the room and a few minutes later the vet returns with a cat. The cat jumps on the table and delicately sniffs at the bird from its head to its feet. After a moment the cat looks up, shakes its head, meows softly and strolls out of the room.

    The vet looks at the woman and says, “Look, I am really very sorry, but as I said before, this is most definitely a duck that is no longer of this world. Your duck is dead."

    The vet then turns to his computer terminal, hits a few keys and produces a bill, which he hands to the woman.

    The duck’s owner, still in shock, looks at the bill and sees it is £150. “£150 just to tell me my duck is dead!” she shrieks with incredulity.

    The vet shrugs his shoulders and says, “I’m sorry but if you’d taken my word for it, the bill would have been just, £20. However, with the Lab Report and the Cat Scan, it’s now £150.“
And Finally...
Maybe its an audio phenomenon, or just me being me. When I'm cooking next to the stove, or more precisely next to the extraction fan over the stove I can hear aeroplanes very clearly. So clearly I'm starting to identify them.
Let me explain, I have always been fascinated by flying. so its no accident that I joined the Royal Observer Corps (1979-1991) and although the ROC were exclusively tasked with Nuclear attack monitoring a good percentage of the Corp were 'old school' aircraft recognition experts and the RAF used to 'keep us sweet' with trips to RAF bases and for the lucky few, the odd flight.  So I can still visually identify a few aircraft and also audibly identify a few. O.K.  back to the kitchen... 
Most week days  at around 2 pm I can hear a distinctive throb, throb, throb of twin rotors.  (you will all have heard the very distinctive sound of a Chinook helicopter, It's TWIN blades compress the air between them to produce an unmistakable THROB)  but the sound I hear is from rotors that are faster.   An hour or so later I can hear the sound again.  So what is this mystery aircraft?  Its a US V22 Osprey.  And a pair go over Northampton twice a day, 5 times a week. They usually fly West and then later fly East.
Those twin lift rotors swivel round once the craft is at height so it performs more like a conventional aircraft (in terms of fuel consumption) The two that fly over every day are usually a lot higher than helicopters, I believe they fly high because if they have an engine failure and any significant cargo on board they need time to look for a crash site!!  They are not exactly a lead baloon on one engine, but pretty close if they are loaded.
So if you hear a throb, throb, throb its probably an Osprey. If you hear a THROB, THROB, THROB its probably a Chinook Helicopter. If you suddenly stop hearing a throb, throb, throb, hide under the kitchen table 
Don't Forget!  check out our new website
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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 © 2021 Northants Parkinson's People

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