Registered charity number 1188652
June 2021 Issue No. 26
Charity News
Welcome to newsletter number 26. We hope you have been out enjoying the sunshine just lately.  It seems the last few weeks of cold and rainy weather have lasted for ages. 
We hope you enjoyed last month's newsletter  If you missed it here is a link:   Click here to see
Upcoming AGM
We will be holding our first AGM on 6th July and all our members will be duly invited and sent our first annual report. For those of you who have not become members yet, here is some information which you may find of interest:
We received Charitable status in March 2020 and then designed and built the website, writing all the content and additional documentation required. Covid restricted us somewhat but we eventually launched officially via the newsletter in September 2020. Here are some of our achievements so far: 
  • 25 Informative, interesting and positive newsletters – articles are written by members and volunteers. 
  • 235 Recipients of newsletter 
  • Great Website: 
  • 14 Regular friendship calls via one volunteer 
  • 1 Support call for additional support provided by another volunteer 
  • Via the help line/facebook/advertising, we have supported 67 people affected by Parkinson’s, 38 of these with general enquiries. In addition we have helped 19 people receive the high rate of attendance allowance. (This totals £88,524. Over a twelve-month period) 4 additional attendance allowance applications are waiting results. We have also helped 4 people to obtain Personal Independence Payments to include supporting a client through to a court hearing and winning the case.   
  • We regularly welcome 12 to 16 individuals to exercise group. We also have the same amount at the monthly quiz but not the same group. 
  • The younger Guy’s group has increased in numbers recently to 15 regulars, they have begun to meet again in person.  
  • We have started our walks in the park and meet three times a week.
  • We have received some very generous donations and have some amazing fundraisers. Our financial statement will be sent to our members. 
Not bad for a very young Charity, especially achieving all this in lockdown. All the work has been undertaken by volunteers who want to support everyone affected by Parkinson's.  We are excited to see what we can all get done next year.  Please join us and help us to help you

Current Activities

Virtual Pub Quiz   Every 1st Saturday of the month. (next one is 5th June 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: 838 2863 3512                   Passcode: 102788

Walk In the Park

We have had some lovely walks in the Racecourse during May. Believe it or not we have mostly avoided the rain and occasionally it was quite warm! 
Richard and Sue have been showing us how to use the walking poles correctly so to improve posture, walking gait and the more often we walk the fitter we are feeling.  If you would like to join us give us a call on our new number: 01604 244 444   Everyone is welcome 

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’ The Younger Guy's group managed a catch-up face to face in April at the Saracens Head. It looks a bit chilly, but they eventually found a cosy fire pit to huddle around.  This group has grown over lock down and the chaps have been on-line quizzing every couple of weeks. This first meet up meant some of the 'new boys', got to see everyone in real life. Hopefully we will soon be following suit and seeing more of each other - let's keep everything crossed and watch this space - we will let you know when we know.

Northants Parkinson's People contact details are

Our Latest Amazing Donation       
by Val Hamblin (Charity Trustee)  
No doubt some of you may remember when I held the position of Chairman of a previous Parkinson’s Branch. At that time Lady Lowther and Pamela Dunn were very supportive President and Vice President. I am pleased to say that they have kept in touch with me and are delighted that Northants Parkinson’s People now exists and both have kindly made donations to our charity. Last weekend Lady Lowther held her annual plant stall and as a result sent me a cheque for £500 in favour of Northants Parkinson’s People. On behalf of myself and the rest of the committee we wish to send sincere thanks for this latest generous donation.  
Pictured: Lady Lowther at a previous plant sale and both Lady Lowther and Pamela Dunn
Exciting News for one of our very good friends Simon Ingram.

Simon has had his latest books published, here is the official press release. 

Here is the link to the Amazon Page for the book

Judith Continues with some Art exercises for begineers 
Hello everyone,

 This week I have prepared a simple landscape for you to try in three simple stages.

For those of you that feel confident and ambitious, it is lovely to be able to go for a walk or a short drive to somewhere which has a landscape of interest and start to sketch spontaneously, especially when you have a good day of weather :-)
The setting for your landscape could be a farmhouse in a rural field, a gate leading onto a field with pretty wildflowers or a hilly landscape with trees and interesting shaped bushes. However, it does require confidence and for those of you just starting out I would recommend that you follow my basic layout and planning steps for a simple landscape to help with setting the scene.

To start the sketch, you can either use a pencil, or ff you are unsure of what pen to use,  check that it is waterproof in case you want to try colours over the top of it, as a normal pen will run when colours are added.

Stage 1

Firstly draw a line a quarter of the way up your paper , which is for your ground level. This will enable you to get the perspective right for your landscape.
Stage 2

Draw in the building, just off centre on the paper. Add the two bushes and a pathway.

 Stage 3

Last of all, start to add the detail, which can range from adding trees, fencing, fields and hills for more detail. Birds and cows are optional :-)

Next time,  I will cover shading and how to add a splash of colour into your drawing to bring it to life. Enjoy sketching and drawing – it takes time to create a perfect drawing,  don’t expect to be Van Gogh immediately  !

I am looking forward to hearing how you are all getting on, feel free to share any of your sketches with the group if you would like to receive any feedback.
Poetry Corner

Another poems from the pen of Dave Meakins AKA Boothville Dave.

Good morning Annabelle I guess it's time to say,
Of all the insects in the world some have gone astray.

I've seen maggots placed on wounds to eat up an infection,
And lots of silly insects which have no sense of Direction.

But the one that frightens me the most I think you will agree,
Is the one that stung me in a private place, it's Mr Bumble Bee.

I was driving down the motorway with my buddy John,
It was a hot and sticky day so my shorts I had put on.

I felt a sting in the engine room of this I cannot deny,
Until the tears running down face were wet then very dry.

I jumped over the driving seat into the back of the van,
I'd left the steering wheel to my mate,  just do the best you can.

We were flying down the motorway at 60 miles per hour.
All I could feel was this burning sensation, I needed a cold  shower.

If you want to know the outcome, I'll write it down one day.
Everytime I see a bumble bee I tend to run away. 

Editors Note:  Bumblebees are usually pretty relaxed, and stings are uncommon, so many people are unsure about whether they can sting or not. As Dave so poetically describes it above, they can, and unlike honey bees they don't have barbed stingers so multiple stings are possible but rare and only when they feel threatened. While bumblebees certainly can bite, it's not their go to defensive weapon, and is unlikely to cause great pain, but you will definitely know if you have been stung!  Oh and they are attracted to blue colours.
  1. Who is currently 5th in line to the British throne?
  2. What is wrapped in bacon to create 'Angels on horseback?
  3. In 1746 when escaping from the Scottish mainland, to which island did "Bonnie Prince Charlie" escape to?
  4. What is the currency of ICELAND?
  5. In the classic war film, "ICE COLD IN ALEX", who, what or where is Alex?
  6. Budapest, the capital of  Hungary is actually 2 cities ( Buda and Pest) split by a river, which river?
  7. The common German surname MULLER , refers to which occupation?
  8. In a proverb, it's said that if it rains on St. SWITHIN'S DAY it will rain for 40 days, when is st. Swithin's day?
  9. What is the monetary unit of VIETNAM?
  10. What does a CRUCIVERBALIST make or do? is it: 
    A) religious Icon's  B) Legal Judgements  C) Crossword Puzzles 
    D) Government Statements 
As I sit here writing I can honestly say that the present weather is more like October/November than May rapidly going into June! So, I sincerely hope that by the time you are reading this newsletter that summer will have put in an appearance! We could certainly do with some nice warm sunshine!

The very wet weather just lately has brought out an army of slugs and snails. I planted out some quite sturdy 6” tall, Scarlet Emperor, runner bean plants and the following day there was not much of them left. Would have taken a photo to show readers but as there was nothing to photograph was bit pointless!  Luckily, I always sow a few extra beans in a pot in the greenhouse to cover exactly this occurrence. However, the pesky creatures started to have a go at them too! Enough, I thought, time to attack! I decided to order some Nematode slug treatment which is not a pesticide. It comes in a powder form which is mixed with water in a watering can and then used wherever you feel it is needed. I know I have banged on about this treatment before but I must point out that I only use this treatment on my raised veg bed, planters and pots. I leave the rest of the garden slug and snail clearance to the hedgehogs

The tomatoes in the greenhouse are flourishing but the ones outside are a bit slower because of the lack of warmth. They will soon catch up when (if) the temperature rises. Wherever you have your tomatoes planted don’t forget to put some ‘catch’ crops at the side of them before the plants get too big. I stick a lettuce plant in and also sow some basil seeds. When the lettuce is big enough to harvest pull it out gently so as not to disturb the basil. Leave the basil in the pot or ground at the side of the tomatoes. Then when the tomatoes ripen you are able to pick basil too.

I love Bamboo plants they are really majestic but if planted directly into the garden they can run and become quite a nuisance. In fact, they can be very difficult to contain or get rid of. I have grown a black bamboo in a very large pot. Looks quite beautiful and gives a bit of height near a fence. Good tip is to prune off the lower side shoots so that all you can see on the bottom two or three feet of the plant are the beautiful black stems. I have put an old house mirror behind mine to reflect the light which the birds love!

Now for this month’s pruning…
Clematis that flower in the winter or spring bloom on the previous year’s growth. As soon as they have finished flowering is the time to prune them back. Cut any old or damaged wood out but in general do not cut too far into the old wood. Remembering that it is the new shoots that will produce next year’s flowers.

Lilac bushes and trees also need to be pruned as soon as the flowers die off. Take out any large damaged or dead stems. Dead head all the flowers and any stems which will improve the shape. Again, remembering that the new growth will produce the flowers next year.
Bye for now….
Recipe Of the Month

  • 500g cooked sliced or diced chicken;
  • 1 ½ mugs frozen vegetables or fresh veg diced and parboiled;
  • A couple handfuls mushrooms cut into pieces;
  • 1 tin cream chicken soup;
  • Salt and pepper.
  • 4 large potatoes;
  • 4 tablespoons milk;
  • Chicken stock cube for top.
First cook the potatoes then add the milk with a little salt and pepper and mash together. Leave to one side to cool.
Next put all the other ingredients into an oven proof dish. If using fresh vegetables make sure they are well drained after par boiling. Pour over the tin of soup and stir adding salt and pepper if
desired. Now spread the mashed potato evenly over the top of the chicken filling. Then crumble a chicken stock cube over the top for added flavour.
Bake in a hot oven –200c—for 40-45 minutes until golden brown. Leave to stand for 10 minutes before serving.

This recipe can be adapted for vegetarians by adding more parboiled vegetables and leaving out the chicken. Change the cream of chicken soup to cream of vegetable soup and use a vegetable stock cube to sprinkle on top of the mashed potatoes.
I overheard two people talking about the weather the other day, while I was waiting in a queue at the post office. It started me thinking of some of the weather extremes I have experienced during my travels.  I recall driving up the road from Radfan to Dhala in the Aden Protectorate. We were close to the southern edge of the 'Ruhb - al- Khalil' which roughly translates into 'the empty quarter'. Which  it is, a vast 500 plus miles of barren, dry, arrid sand and scrub. No water holes, nothing.  
We were heading to Dhala one day, in a convoy of ten trucks and a squad of men (30)  all armed, escorting a supply of munitions. The horizon took on a dark, dirty brown colour. This seemed to stretch for several miles across our front and as far as we could make out it went several hundred feet into the sky.  The clouds on the horizon started to assume a really nasty looking almost black colour and appeared to be advancing toward us, at a rapid rate of knots. Over the radio came the voice of Staff Sergeant Danny 'cuddy' Edwards " All vehicles halt stay where you are  on the road. Ladies we have run into a sand storm. Everyone arm yourselves, get in the rear of the truck now ". Which we all duly did, just then as the wall of sand hit the vehicles, there was an enormous crash of thunder and bolts of lightening flash through the heavens. One could imagine how some could think this was Armagedon (the end of the world). As the wind rode over us, you could  feel it trying to lift the trucks, then just as it appeared to die away the wind started to reverse from an anti clockwise twist to a clockwise one, this created momentarily a vacuum and all at once everything went deathly still. But within a minute the wind came again, this time it felt as if someone had  punched you and it hurt, not enough to disable anyone (which it would have, had we not been in the trucks), this went on for around a good hour or more, until it just blew itself out and died away. On getting out of the truck all we could see was sand, no road, nothing, just sand. It was as if man had never been there.  
I can honestly that it was one of the most eye opening  and thought provoking moments in my life. 

QUIZ Answers
  3. ISLE of SKYE
  4. KRÓNA
  5. ALEXANDRIA  (in Egypt)
  6. The DANUBE
  8. 15TH JULY
  9. The DONG
  10. Designs  CROSSWORD  PUZZLES 

Some more laughs from Harry

I didn’t think the chiropractor could improve my posture … but I stand corrected.

An invisible man married an invisible woman. Their kids were nothing to look at either.

I took my new girlfriend to the ice rink on our first date. It was half-price night. She called me a cheap-skate.

Studies show cows produce more milk when the farmer talks to them. It’s a case of in one ear and out the udder.

My wife claims I’m the cheapest person she’s ever met. I’m not buying it.

Did you know that a raven has 17 rigid feathers called pinions, while a crow only has 16. So the difference between a raven and a crow is just a matter of a pinion.

My cross-eyed wife and I just got a divorce. I found out she was seeing someone on the side.

I told my contractor I didn’t want carpeted steps. He gave me a blank stair.

What did the surgeon say to the patient who insisted on closing up his own incision? Suture self.

It's a five minute walk from my house to the pub. It's a 35 minute walk from the pub to my house. The difference is staggering.
And Finally...
Sometimes I finish laying out the rest of the newsletter and get to this final bit and think, I got nothing! Then I read through rest of the NL and it gets me thinking. So I added a bit on about bumblebees below Dave's Poem. To be honest I didn't know they could sting, If one wandered in through the patio doors I just scooped it up and ushered it out before, I might be a wee bit cautious now. 
Then further down and Dougs recollection of what must have been a sureal journey through the 'Empty Quarter' and the subsequent sandstorm.  I looked up Ruhb al Khalil and stole an image to illustrate Doug's article (Doug selfishly hid in the back of a truck instead of getting his Brownie out and getting a few shots for the newsletter!)  I also found 6 things to do when holidaying in the Ruhb al Khalil. It's no wonder it still has a strong impression on Doug. Several major films have been shot there, Star Wars, The Force Awakens is one of the most recent. If you find yourself with a free week or two you can go to this remote wilderness and try...
  • Desert Camping, Dine with the Bedouins and learn about their history and culture. Enjoy the most beautiful and pristine sunsets and sunrise while sipping on a hot cup of tea in the middle of nowhere. You can also get a clear view of the stars, away from all the light pollution. And if you are lucky enough, you might witness a stunning meteor shower. 
  • Visit Wadi Dawkah, Wadi Dawkah is a natural park of frankincense trees along the ancient incense trade route. The Frankincense trees in this park are one of the most priced incense in the world.
  • Desert  Driving, drive over the massive dunes in 4x4s
  • Sandboarding and sandskiing,  I bet you would get sand in your socks doing this
  • Search for Geodes, pebbles or boulders that contain crystals
  • And of course, camel riding.
I suspect none of these were available when Doug was stationed out there. This hotel has 15 lodges and i cannot find a price so i guess I will never afford one. Not exactly slumming it methinks.
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: 5 Redland Drive, Kingsthorpe, Northampton NN2 8QE 
Registered charity number 1188652
Copyright © 2021 Northants Parkinson's People

Our email address is: [email protected] 
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