Registered charity number 1188652
May 2021 Issue No. 25
Charity News
Welcome to newsletter number 25. We hope you have been enjoying the sunshine and isn't it wonderful how all the gardens and hedgerows are coming to life. As we slowly ease out of lock down, we hope many of you have been able to see loved ones. Life has certainly been odd but with luck it's not long now until more groups can begin again, and we can actually see each other face to face.  
We hope you enjoyed last month's newsletter  If you missed it here is a link:   Click here to see
A Big Thank You to Harry and Mavis

This month Northants Parkinson's People want to say a really BIG thank you to Harry & Mavis Brophy ...... here is a little message written by Harry to explain: 
"Hi NPP, 
Mavis and I have recently been re-writing our wills. We have left money to certain charities and Mavis has suggested that instead of leaving the money to these charities we should pay the money now as we may last a few years more before we fall off the perch. This would keep the amount we now wish to leave inflation proofed.
We have decided to leave £500 to Northants Parkinson’s People which I will gift aid which brings the total to £625 I think".

Isn't that a wonderful and generous gesture and we are extremely grateful xxx

Current Activities

Virtual Pub Quiz   Every 1st Saturday of the month. (next one is 1st May 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: 891 4482 8566       Passcode: 759243

Walk In the Park is back - We use Walking Poles which are brilliant for people with Parkinson's - helping to improve: posture/strength/stamina/walking gait/ 

We are walking on three mornings per week MON/WED/FRI and hope you will join us. We are walking in the racecourse at the moment starting @ 10:30am - meeting in the racecourse car park, off Kettering Rd. Near the Old Pavillion Restaurant. 
Mondays - Richard (Nordic Walking Trainer) is offering training on how to 'Nordic Walk' - spare poles to have a go are available
Wednesday - is a friendship walk, at your own pace.
Fridays - as above

We are going to stick to the rule of six - separating groups if need be.  

Weather permitting, we bring our own drinks and chairs and sit and have a chat after walking.

Our walks are 'friendship' groups and although we are very mindful of safety and will do all in our power to keep everyone happy and safe, you do join in at your own risk and we cannot accept any liability for accidents whatsoever.   

As an added bonus to joining us, you also get the opportunity of being able to purchase plants/jams/marmalade/cakes/bits and bobs from Sylvia - and all income goes to the Charity. Please bring a mask for when you are 'shopping'  

It is handy to know how many will be attending so please send a quick email to let us know when you will be joining us, our email is: [email protected]

‘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
Mimi is on the Move
We are changing our phone number! Oh no, we hear you say, why?  Well, Mimi our trusty Committee Secretary is moving and for reasons that will become clear, cannot take her phone number with her (its also the charities current number).  So we'll be reminding everyone via the newsletter, the website and during FitnFab sessions of the new number.  The new number is just above in contact details, its super easy to remember as well!

Mimi explains what she's up to...

In August, my husband and I (oooh very royal) are off on an adventure. I am lucky enough to have secured a fantastic job at a wonderful school – which just happens to be on the other side of the world!

So, we shall be upping sticks (and many boxes of shoes) over to the beautiful island of Jeju. For those of you unfamiliar with this jewel (as I was) it is a few miles off the southern coast of South Korea…

It is very exciting and very scary: a new country, and new home, a new school, but I am seeing it as an adventure in my middle years! We will be near to rainforests, beaches, ancient sites and a Hello Kitty museum so I don’t think we will ever be bored…oh and it is also a volcanic island!
My husband is a chef by trade, but will be a very busy house-husband out there. His job will be to source new foods and places to visit and we hope to bring you some of our adventures (both culturally and gastronomically) via this newsletter.
I hope you enjoy it as much as we will.

The Jeongbang Waterfall - Jeju, South Korea
Where Mimi will wash her socks or sip cocktails maybe!

Some of the more observant of you may have seen the poster advertising a talk I had been asked to do by St Luke’s Medical Practice in Duston. The poster asked individuals to get in touch so I could send a zoom link. No one got in touch!! So not wishing to be ‘Billy No Mates’ I sent out a plea via email ‘begging’ for attendees…. Well, the response was nothing short of miraculous and I want to thank everyone who came along – I was flabbergasted and shocked and needed two screens to see everyone. So thank you thank you thank you to everyone that attended.
St Luke’s Medical practice were impressed at the turnout too and thought the talk was interesting and informative!! I hope those of you who attended did too. We had some very relevant pre submitting questions and I wanted to share some of the information from one of these, which others may be interested in…

CONSTIPATION – why it is a problem for some people with Parkinson’s?
Well, we all know that Parkinson’s slows you down; all movements take longer to perform, especially if you have had the condition for quite some time. What you may not know, is that Parkinson’s can slow down all muscular movements to include the digestive process. Digestion involves muscles moving foodstuff through the intestines, and then the bowel. If these movements slow, the transit of food through the system slows. As food stuff slowly makes its way through the intestine, fluids/nutrients get passed through the intestine walls and the waste becomes dryer and more compacted, this makes it more difficult to pass.
Therefore, it is very important to try to drink fluids continuously throughout the day as this will help to keep things moving easier. Also walking and exercise is very good – gravity can help, as can the gentle movement of the trunk from side to side (as you walk). Adding extra vegetables and a couple of pieces of fruit to your diet will also help. Think about eating foods that are higher in fluids such as soups, stews, sauces/ gravy’s etc. If you have cereal try adding fruit to it and perhaps yogurt as well as milk. Very importantly being constipated will affect the absorption of your medication – as will having diarrhea. If your meds can’t work properly then unfortunately your Parkinson’s will get worse – more reason to up the fluids, fruit and veg.
Food that will help: Prunes/ Apples/ Pears/ Kiwifruit/ Figs/ Citrus Fruits (Oranges, grapefruits, mandarins etc.) Rhubarb/ Spinach/ Brussels/ Broccoli/ Sweet Potato/ Beans/Peas/ Lentils/ Chia Seeds/ Flaxseeds/ Kefir/ Whole-Grain Rye Bread/ Oat Bran – be careful not to over do fiber though and talk to your Doctor if you feel you need a prescription of Anti diarrhea medicine.
Hello my name is Judith and I am a new member of Northants Parkinsons People. 
Thanks to Angela and Sylvia for sending my daughter the monthly newsletters. I have found them to be really interesting and it got me thinking about whether I could contribute something useful to other members. 

For over 40 years, I have held various drawing and painting classes in Adult Education, in several villages across Northamptonshire. The teaching and all my fantastic pupils have given me endless pleasure over the years,  and I have continued running the classes well past my retirement on a voluntary basis.

It is never too late to start to paint or draw, and if you are still spending many hours at home,  you may want to try a new hobby that can be done inside or outside, and could potentially unleash a hidden talent. Getting started is easy, and I wanted to provide a few tips on how to commence with a simple sketch. Despite being diagnosed with Parkinsons 5 years ago, it has not yet prevented me from being able to draw reasonable lines for my sketches. 

I have attached a simple pen sketch of a vase with tulips. This is the type of thing that most of us will have in the house, and is a good object to try.

In order to draw, you will need a sketch pad, HB pencil or black pen if preferred.

To start with, create the lines of the vase and do this from just slightly above the bottom of your page in the middle – although to be honest, for simple sketches like this, you can draw wherever you like on the page. To add the tulips, start with outlining the two stems and finish with the flower head. Add the leaves at the end.Finally, have a think about what side of your object has light, and then on the opposite side you can add shading if you want to create a 3 dimensional aspect.

Have a go, you may be surprised by a creative side of your personality that you didn’t know existed !
Poetry Corner

Another poems from the pen of Dave Meakins AKA Boothville Dave.
Northamptonshire’s Reputation At Stake!

Of all the untidiness in this land, most of it comes from man's own hand, 
Roadside Verges looking bad, not in the day of Mum and Dad.
Tidiness has gone out the door, seems Little Respect there anymore. 
All this litter thrown around, left to rot above the ground.
Fly tipping is also everywhere, come on people we should care.
Do what your parents did and use the bin, keeping Britain tidy is not a sin.
Visitors coming from abroad, look at this and say Good Lord.
Mattresses and sofas to name but a few, in amongst the hedgerows trying to peek through.
Those tidy people all around, who do their bit are really sound.
These tidy folk get rather bitter, as they look out on this litter.
So come on people don't throw it about, take it home don't leave it out.
Northampton is Rose of the Shires, let’s keep it clean as one desires.
I've had my Rant I've had my Rave, best wishes to you from Boothville Dave.
  1. Who is the main character in 'LES MISERABLE 'S ?
  2. Which dancer's biography, is titled 'PRECIOUS LITTLE SLEEP'?
  3. In the original series of 'MIDSUMMER MURDERS' who plays the part of 'CHIEF INSPECTOR TOM BARNABY'?
  4. The title of which novel, has now become a phrase that means 'you cannot win'? 
  5. Where is the ' OLD MAN of HOY' ?
  6. Where is NAPOLEON BONAPARTE buried? 
  7. Which French singer of the 1950's was known as the 'LITTLE SPARROW' ?
  8. What is name of the main mountain range of South America? 
  9. Who is the Princess Royal? 
  10. Which West End Play is the world's longest running production? 
I think that this month it is easy, i must be getting mellow in my dotage      

Sylvia's Gardening tips 
So many plants are sprouting in the garden, it is so uplifting to see all the new shoots. However, the first couple of weeks of April have proved quite tricky for those of us who are growing from seed. Space in the cold greenhouse and under cloches is at a premium due to the cold nights we have been experiencing.
Just a quick reminder of some jobs in the garden which should already have been carried out but where there is still time to get on with them. Tender Fuchsia plants in pots can now be watered and at the first sign of new shoots cut back quite hard getting rid of any dead wood. Trim to a nice shape then top dress with compost and granular feed and give them a good watering. Fuchsias are very forgiving of clumsy pruning and will be sure to produce lots of flowers.
If you have any ferns then cut back all the old tatty fronds. This will reveal the new shoots which are curled up at the base of the plant. By removing the old fronds more daylight will reach the centre of the plant and will encourage the new shoots to grow. Alstroemeria are now shooting and so scrape away the surface soil as much as possible and replace with new compost with some slow-release granules mixed in. Give a good watering and keep in a sheltered spot outside until end April. I re-pot my Alstroemeria about every four years as they produce the most flowers when pot bound. Any potted outdoor plants which you do not need to re-pot can be treated in the same way with some new compost and fertiliser on the top. Here is a photo of my Hosta which has been top dressed with compost and fertiliser.
Don’t forget to save your egg shells. Wash and dry them and collect in a plastic bag. Get a rolling pin or bottle and roll over the bag until the shells are nicely crushed. I save mine to go around the base of the sunflower plants as it deters the slugs from eating them although gravel or small stones will do just as well. Coffee grounds are also good for the garden.
Here are the reasons …egg shells add calcium to the soil and used around tomato plants regulate moisture intake and help to prevent blossom end rot. Coffee grounds can contribute nitrogen to the soil and repel slugs and snails.
Tip for planting tomatoes into their final growing place Always plant the stems deeper into the soil than they were in the original pot as the stems will throw out more roots providing good anchorage. You can actually plant tomatoes sideways if you wanted but I prefer just to plant them quite deeply.
Continue to deadhead daffodils and tulips. Snap the tops off leaving the stems to die off naturally this will enable all the goodness to go back into the bulb underground thereby giving the bulb the best chance of flowering next year.
As usual my "Why or How "question this month came from a grandson and a great grandson, both 11 years old; Alfie and Kenzie. They are also uncle and nephew and live next door to each other. My family do like to make things complicated, but onto the question, which was "Granddad, how do the astronauts on the Space Station go to the toilet?" 
The international space station has 2 toilets, but in reality, they are little more than glorified vacuum pumps. They have 2 attachments, one for ladies, one for gents.  Not to be crude but when requiring to urinate they fit the attachment and switch on. 
But when needing to relieve themselves for the other requirements it is a little more complicated. They are inside a compartment, and you have to consider that on board the station there is no gravity so basically everybody is free floating. Now back to the toilet, the astronaut has to squat over a hole in a container that is anchored, the astronaut has to strap themselves into the position and aim very carefully. Occasionally, as with all things, something goes wrong or the mechanism malfunctions, this results in some waste matter floating around in the cabin. If this happens then all of the crew have to float around catching the waste, this is known as 'catching the brown trout'. Once the toilet container is full, one crew member has to don the rubber gloves (this is done on a rota), and ensure the container is packed and the liquid is extracted. This liquid is then purified and recycled to use as drinking water or to re-hydrate the food. The remainder of the waste is then jettisoned into space, after a while it burns up in the earth's orbit . 

So it is possible that if you see a 'shooting star., on a romantic summer's night it might well be the remains of a 'brown trout'.

QUIZ Answers
Poetry Corner

Some more laughs from Harry
The Tiger, the Man and God:
A man is being chased by a tiger. He’s running as hard as he can and eventually he gets to the edge of a cliff with the tiger still in hot pursuit.
The man looks over the edge of the cliff and sees a branch growing out of the side of the cliff just a few feet down. Having little option, the man jumps down and grabs the branch just before the tiger arrives at the cliff edge.
The tiger is growling viciously and pacing backwards and forwards along the cliff edge. The man sighs with relief, as he thinks he’s outsmarted the tiger. At that moment a little mouse appears from a crevice in the rock and it begins to chew on the branch. The man looks down to what is a drop of hundreds of feet. If he falls it will surely result in his death. So he looks to the heavens and yelled out, “Dear God, if you are there, please help. I will do anything you ask but please help.“
          “You say you will do anything I ask?” Without question?” a voice booms from heaven above.
The man is surprised to get an immediate reply to his plea but he yells back, “I will gladly do anything you ask, but please save me.“
          “There’s one way to save you but it will take courage and faith,” says the voice from above.
The man can feel the branch begin to weaken as the mouse continues to gnaw at it and he can see the tiger still pacing around growling at the cliff’s edge a few feet above him.
          “Please, Lord, tell me what I must do and I will do it. Your will is my command,” shouts the man in despair.
          “All right then, let go of the branch,” the voice from heaven responds.
The man looks down to a fall of hundreds of feet and certain death. He looks up at the hungry tiger a few feet above him and then he looks at the mouse still chewing on the branch. He then looks up at the heavens again and yells, “Is there no else up there I can speak to?“

The Genie:

A car salesperson, an administration clerk and their manager are all walking to lunch when they stumble upon an old, antique oil lamp. Knowing that old oil lamps can often house a genie they enthusiastically rub it in hopeful anticipation. Sure enough, out pops a genie.
          “I am the genie of the lamp and you can each have one wish,” says the genie.
          “Me first! Me first!” says salesperson. “I want to be in the Bahamas, driving a speedboat, without a care in the world.”
          There’s a poof sound followed by a cloud of smoke and the salesperson's gone.
          “Me next! Me next!” says the administration clerk. “I want to be in Hawaii, relaxing on the beach with an endless supply of Pina Coladas and the love of my life.”
There’s a poof sound followed by a cloud of smoke and the administration clerk’s gone.The genie then looks at the manager and says, “O.K., Boss, I guess it’s your turn now.” Without hesitation, the manager  responds, “I want those two back in the office in exactly 45 minutes.”

Smokers get a bad press don't they - but they also have their favourite films.

 Here are the top 10 Smokers favourite films-:

Smokey and They've Banned It.
Look Baccy In Anger
Reservoir Dog Ends
El Cig
Whose Afraid of Virginia Slims
I Was a Fugitive From a Chain Smoker
Gasper .. The Friendly Ghost
Cheroots of Fire
Nicotine and Alexandra
We could have had The Grapes of Rothmans too I suppose.
And Finally...

As we go to press the committee are preparing for our very first Annual General Meeting (AGM). We received Charitable status in March 2020 but didn't 'launch' straight away as we had to prepare the website, get leaflets printed, etc - things we couldn't do without the Charity number. Our constitution allows us 18 months from registration until our first AGM, so we have some time yet, but we will of course let you know.  We are mentioning this now to ask if anyone would like to join the committee or the management team? Don't worry we haven't written any ridiculous job specifications for specific roles! - yes, we've all seen them! Everyone is welcome in our team, just a desire to help others is required. Of course, if you do have any specific talents or wish to lead a particular project then let us know we are all ears. 
We would also like to hear any suggestions for new groups?  What sort of support do you need? Get in touch, let us know and we will do our best to set these up.

You can call on 01604 244444 or email: [email protected]
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
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