Registered charity number 1188652
February 2022 Issue No. 34
Charity News
Only 330 days to Christmas! Can't wait that long? Why not come along to our new Lunch Club. Every 1st Tuesday, see below for details. There's loads more in this month's Newsletter, sit back, relax and enjoy!

We hope you enjoyed last month's newsletter  If you missed it here is a link:   Click here to see
If you want to be a member of Northants Parkinson's People then, please
 Join Us Here
Northants Parkinson's people
Lunch Club
Our new Lunch Club is starting this February, the 1st Tuesday of the month at the Queen Eleanor Pub Restaurant, London Road, Wootton, Northamptonshire, NN4 7JJ.  We will meet at 12.30-12.45.    Everyone pays for their own food and drinks on the day. The purpose of this lunch?  Friendship, companionship and a good old natter!
If you are interested, please be kind enough to email me so that I can give the pub a general idea of numbers.  [email protected]

If you want to see the menu, it's here  (link to Queen Eleanor Pub Menu)
New Group 
Partners Coffee Morning
Last year we asked if there were any particular type of groups which might be of help to our readers. A couple of individuals asked if we could set up a little meeting group for partners of people with Parkinson's..... so that is exactly what we have done. The first meeting date is 15th March and thereafter the meeting will take place on every third Tuesday of the month. The first meeting is to be at Brampton Halt Pub, Pitsford Rd, Chapel Brampton, Northampton NN6 8BA at 10:30am. Please do come even if this is a little way out for you as we will be open to moving locations to suit everyone who comes along. The coffee is very reasonably priced, and everyone pays for their own beverages.

This group will be overseen by one of volunteers; Linda and If you would like any more information please call on (01604) 244 444


Bits of Equipment
Would anyone find some use for any of these pieces of equipment. We have two Zimmers, the one pictured has a Buckingham Caddy which has a top and a cup holder. We also have a Zimmer with no caddy. The perching stool is ideal for the bathroom, to sit and wash at the sink. Then the shower stool - to have in the shower! All free to good homes if they would help anyone, please give us a call on 01604 244 444.

Please get your Friends and Families involved
We are 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!
Even if you don't shop online, maybe your friends or families do.
Please ask them to help too

Click the image to sign up or go to
Current Activities

Every Thursday at Abington Park Rooms, Park Avenue North (& corner of Ashburnham Rd), Northampton NN3 2HT.
1st Thursday of the month is a one-hour session, every other Thursday it's a two-hour session with coffee and biscuits (and sometimes cake!)

Any questions you can call me 07954 099 537

Virtual Pub Quiz
Sorry for last month folks, all Phil's fault, he had a senior moment and forgot the password.

Every 1st Saturday of the month. (next one is 5th February 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 Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 832 4297 7388
Passcode: 502534

What an Amazing Young Lady!!

We are so grateful to have all our supporters, but we want to say an extra special thank you to Sydney Lewis who is probably our youngest supporter.

This is the third time Sydney has raised money for Northants Parkinson's People. We are amazed she has time with GCSE's, studying, growing up etc. to still think of others and we are sure you will agree what an amazing young lady she is.

These proceeds come from making and then selling Christmas Cards to family and friends - here is a picture of the great cards, and a picture of Sydney with Dad Steve who is probably the youngest 'guy' in our Youngers Guy's group - who are now called  (NYPD) N - Northants Y - Younger P - Parkinson's D - Dudes.

Walk In the Park- Update

The walk in the park combines exercise, fresh air, good company and Coffee (Wednesdays and Fridays at The Park Café on Fridays)  By popular demand we will now meet at Abington Park on Wednesdays and Fridays.
  The full itinerary
  • Mondays       10:30, RACECOURSE, meet at the Pavilion car park.
  • Wednesdays AND Fridays         10:30, ABINGTON PARK, meeting at the bowling green/tennis courts.  The nearest entrance is in Christchurch Road. If you use the 'What three Words' app on your phone the location is ///lace.hiking.drain
As you can see, the dreary January weather does not deter us!

 NYPD News
Here are some pics from NYPD's first meet up after Christmas - they will be doing all sorts this year to include a fund raiser Quiz Night - look out for more details in future Newsletters plus : golf, walking football, crown green bowling, table skittles and more snooker. If you think this group is for you, let us know and we will introduce you to Nick who does a very good job at organising the guys.
Tel:10604 244 444 or [email protected]
Northants Parkinson's People contact details are
Hello from Judith
This month as promised I have drawn four more animals for you to try. I have found inspiration in the animals I see in my garden around winter-time. I have had cheeky squirrels taking food from the bird house, when I put food out for the birds. The little mouse in the picture also visited the food I had placed on the bird table. Also, last year I had a family of hedgehogs in my garden, which was wonderful. I do love to see wildlife in the garden.
As before, start with the nose. I have arrowed it, which will make it easier to follow the outline. Once you are happy with it, fill in the shadowing. When applying the shading, put in small pencil strokes to suggest the way the spikes or fur go to make the animal look three-dimensional. You might like to put in a bit of ground cover like I have done in the sketch; it suggests the animal is not suspended in the air. I hope you will enjoy having a go!
With Christmas and New Year behind us, our thoughts will turn to seeing bulbs pop up in our garden or window-boxes as spring approaches. Colourful bright daffodils will appear, along with tulips of many different colours. Also, primroses and pansies will come along. This could be our next drawing- adventure. Flower painting can be a real joy. Let’s try and draw some flowers next month?
A happy New Year to you all and good luck with your drawings!
  1. Which cartoon bear lives in the village of NUTWOOD ?
  2. Which foodstuff is known as 'FROSTING' in the America,  what is it called here in the UK?
  3. From which COUNTY does the CHEESE, "RED LEICESTER" Originate?
  4. What colour flag is recognised as denoting that persons flying it, wish to surrender? 
  5. Which arm of the Mediterranean,  separates, CROATIA from ITALY.
  6. What was the POW camp (in GERMANY) "OF-LAG VI  C" better known as by the Allies?
  7. What is the CAPITAL of Peru?
  8. To which branch of the Emergency services, do "PUGH, PUGH, BARNEY McGREW, CUTHBERT, DIBBLE and GRUBB" belong?
  9. What title was traditionally given to the senior nurse in a hospital?
  10. What do MILLINER'S produce?

Answers down the page away
My Christmas present
Amongst my Christmas presents this year was a book token. As usual, it took me a while to find (only 3 weeks this year, last year took me 6 months). But that's not what i want to relate. I trolled through Waterstones but then I spotted a real history buff's tome. "Battles that changed history." Not just a list of different battles, but an explanation along with excellent writing. Also tracks these major battles, and they are from all over the world and covering the whole gamut from the battle of Marathon up to Desert storm. It's full of information and some poignant facts, such as. The first battle of the Somme. On the first day of the battle in the summer of 1916, after the first wave of the allied troops (French, British and Commonwealth) faltered, a second wave was sent and were duly massacred by German machine guns, Amongst them were the Royal Newfoundland Regiment, of 780 men they bore 684 casualties, A fact that really wakes you up.
As I said an excellent and informative read, by the way the foreword is by Sir Tony Robinson (he of Baldric fame)
Take care everyone

Chairman Doug

Hello everyone!    I hope, like me, you are champing at the bit to get out in the garden even if only to sit with a cup of tea and contemplate nature.   Not many of us actually do that.   I mean just sit in the garden and look around at the plants and insects.  I always site a pot with open centre flowers near to my garden chairs or bench so that I can watch the bees and hoverflies going about their business!    However, we are not quite at that stage so I will push my daydreaming to one side and focus on February gardening tasks.

Beautiful Hydrangeas need pruning back either in February or March. I do mine in February because there are snowdrops planted under the bush and I like to be able to see their little white heads putting in an appearance.      So, if your Hydrangea bush is well established it will need trimming back by a third.    Do not cut back any further otherwise you will not have any flowers this year.   Always cut the stem on an angle about ¼ inch above an outward facing side bud.    See pictures.   However, plants which have only been in the ground for a year or so should only be dead headed.   Cut just above the first bud down from the old flower head.
Then hopefully this is how your bush will look in full flower.    This photo was taken last year and I have to say the flowers lasted for several months.
Sedums (sometimes called ice plants) now need to be tidied up by cutting off the old seed heads and you will notice the small rosettes of the new growth beginning to put in an appearance.   The picture shows how far back I have cut mine.    I leave about six inches of the old flower stems to protect the new shoots, which you can just see putting in an appearance.    
Ornamental Grasses now need cutting back to between 6-10 inches off the ground.    These include miscanthus, panicum and calamagrostis.     However, do not cut back pennisetums for another month as these are less hardy and the old grass will protect the new shoots in hard frosts.
With regard to buddleia and rose bushes, I personally, prefer to prune both in early March.   So, I will write more about how to go about this next month.
In the veg garden I have weeded and mulched one side of my raised veg bed and covered the soil with plastic cloches.    This will warm the soil in preparation for sowing an early crop of carrots and sugar snap peas.                                                                                                                                                                                       
My seed potatoes are sitting in trays with the little shoots pointing upwards.    This is known as ‘chitting’ and allows the shoots to get well established before they are planted out.    I keep them in the conservatory which is cool at this time of year but doesn’t get icy cold.   This year I am growing a variety called Rocket.    This is a very early seed potato and will probably go into the bags at end of February with a bit of protection from harsh weather.
Recipe of the Month


Portobello Mushrooms
Blue cheese or Cheddar


Turn oven to 180c. Lightly oil a baking tray.
Carefully remove the stalks from the mushrooms and put a large knob of butter in the middle

Place in the oven for approximately 15 minutes, or until the butter has melted. Remove from the oven and using a teaspoon spread the melted butter around the mushroom. Now add a large
wedge of cheese to each mushroom. I used Shropshire blue but any blue cheese will suffice. If you don’t like blue cheese you can use grated cheddar.

Put back in oven for ten minutes or until the cheese has completely melted.

I found this quite filling but if you want more carbs than put the cooked mushroom in a brioche or burger bun as shown.

You could also add sweet potato wedges. Very easily made. Simply wash the sweet potato—leave skin on. Cut into wedges and put in a small bowl, add some olive oil and mix well with your hands making sure the wedges are well covered. Now place on a hot baking tray and cook for 30 minutes, turning occasionally. If you like spicy wedges, just add chilli flakes, salt and pepper or even jerk seasoning before cooking.
QUIZ Answers
  4. WHITE
  7. LIMA
  10. HATS 
And Finally... 
Vimes Boots

So why do a fictional character's boots have any bearing on how the economy of this fair and pleasant land is measured?

Read on and find out
The late, great Terry Pratchett wrote about the Diskworld, a fantasy world that allowed Sir Terry to write moral comedies about human society and its frailties. One of the series most popular characters, Sam Vimes, Captain of the city watch, had a theory on why the rich, were so rich.

The reason that the rich were so rich, Vimes reasoned, was because they managed to spend less money,” the passage from Men at Arms reads in part, and tweeted out in full by Terry Pratchett’s former Twitter account yesterday to support the Boots index. “Take boots, for example. He earned thirty-eight dollars a month plus allowances. A really good pair of leather boots cost fifty dollars. But an affordable pair of boots, which were sort of OK for a season or two and then leaked like hell when the cardboard gave out, cost about ten dollars. Those were the kind of boots Vimes always bought, and wore until the soles were so thin that he could tell where he was in Ankh-Morpork on a foggy night by the feel of the cobbles. But the thing was that good boots lasted for years and years. A man who could afford fifty dollars had a pair of boots that’d still be keeping his feet dry in ten years’ time, while the poor man who could only afford cheap boots would have spent a hundred dollars on boots in the same time and would still have wet feet.”

Vimes ‘Boots’ theory of socioeconomic unfairness

This week the Pratchett estate and Pratchett’s daughter, author Rhianna Pratchett, backed a new campaign by food writer and anti-poverty campaigner Jack Monroe. The Pratchett family’s connection is in the name of Monroe’s new price index, the Vimes Boot Index, intended to provide a third-party alternative to the consumer price index provided by the UK Government’s Office for National Statistics, charting the effect of inflation on consumer goods and services, and highlighting the profound impact inflation has had on low-income families and supermarket value ranges of food and other basic goods.

The CPI (consumer price index measure for inflation rose to 5.4% in December, the highest level for nearly 30 years,” Monroe wrote in the Guardian earlier this week, announcing her new campaign. “The CPI and the retail price index (RPI) are used interchangeably to document the rising price levels of groceries and household goods across the UK. Yet they only tell a fragment of the story of inflation, and grossly underestimate the true cost-of-living crisis.” The campaign has already garnered a response from the Office for National Statistics, but it’s gained further prominence thanks to Monroe’s unorthodox name choice for the index.

So to put it bluntly, Jack Monroe's new index will more fairly measure inflation for poorer social groups. So I'm guessing that acoustic guitars and champagne will not be in Jacks list, but they are in the CPI shopping basket. 

Using the Vimes boots theory I checked the price of ham (only because I noticed that my 6 slices of ham from Lidl's  had gone up by 20p recently, about 18% or nearly 4 times inflation)

Poor man buys  Sainsbury's British Cooked Ham Slices X7 120g  pays £1.90
Rich man buys Whole Honey Roast Ham 4.5kg  (37.5 times more) £21.50

If the poor man buys the same amount of ham, over a period of time he would pay 37.5 x £1.90 which is £71.25 or 3.5 times more. OK just one example and probably a bad one at that, but Jack Monroe maintains that inflation affects and is higher for those with lower incomes. So, if you hear of the Vimes Boots Theory (and I think you will) now you know.

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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
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