Registered charity number 1188652
December 2022 Issue No. 44
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Welcome to newsletter No 44
Droopy Drawers, 44. Don't know about droopy but certainly thermal, with a thermal vest tucked in. Wellies and a sou'wester for good measure. And soon the warm glow of Christmas will be upon us.  So as we have done for the last three years, we, the Committee and the management team want to wish all our members, their families and all our readers a very happy Christmas and a prosperous new year.
Charity News
Northants Parkinson's People contact details are
If you want to be a member of Northants Parkinson's People then, please Join Us Here
The Saturday Morning Quiz is back

For the next few months, Our Zoom Quiz is back. So get that nerdy grandson/granddaughter to sort out your computer or tablet, so you can join in.
We will start on Saturday 14th Jan at 11am (to give you time to finish the turkey off) the subsequent months it will be the 1st Saturday at 11am. Call the helpline or use the contact form to get your Zoom quiz invite.
Important Note for readers who cannot see
images (pictures) In our Newsletters

We are sorry you cannot see images, It seems this is affecting APPLE products that are running the latest operating system macOS 12 (Monterey)
I do not own an Apple device, but am assured that the way to fix this is...

Open Mail. Then goto the menu bar and click on Mail, then go down to Preferences. Then in the preferences pop up box, at the far right click on Privacy. You will probably find either Protect Mail Activity checked or Block All Remote Content. If either of them are checked images will be blocked and you get the Load Remote Content box at the top of any mail with an image. I am not sure if only having Hide IP address does also.

Uncheck all or any of them and you should get images loaded in each mail.

The reason Apple does this is data privacy, by following the above instructions you may be revealing to Mailchimp that you are reading a Mailchimp formatted newsletter!


Mobility Aid Available

We have had another brand new, never used walker donated to us. If you are in need of one, we can pass it on for a donation of your choice to the Charity. please let us know via email or call. Thank you.
Upcoming Events and Outings
At a glance - Dates for your diary - December
  • 6th December, CHRISTMAS LUNCH, Queen Eleanor Pub 12:30
  • No Partner/Carers coffee morning this month, resume in January
  • All over the holiday period our regular (Thursday) Fit&Fab sessions and (Mon, Wed, Fri) Walks in the Park as detailed below
More details below

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 Angela 07954 099 537
Fit&Fab is online every Tuesday at 10am. For a small fee, join in for exercise from home. Email Angela on [email protected] or call 07954099537 for more details
Walk In the Park
The walk in the park combines exercise, fresh air and good company. On Wednesday's and Fridays, we finish at the Park Café in Abington Park.

A nice walk in the park
  The full itinerary
  • Mondays       10:30, RACECOURSE, meet at the Pavilion car park.
    Umbrella Fair for coffee afterwards
  • Wednesdays AND Fridays       10:30, ABINGTON PARK, meeting at the bowling green/tennis courts. 
    Park café for coffee afterwards.
Picture 1.  No, it's not a still from last of the summer wine, it's the lads recovering from the downhill section. You should see them after the uphill bit!
Picture 2. Autumn sunshine, a hot drink, good company.
Picture 3. Even when It's bucketing down, we remain cheerful and happy!

Lunch Club
Our Lunch Club is also our Christmas Lunch, this Christmas it's on the 6th December (1st Tuesday of the month), so please come along to the Queen Eleanor pub for 12:30 where the marvellous staff will serve us at our tables while we get on with this great social occasion.
Please contact Sylvia ASAP if you haven't paid or given your menu choices

Partners/Carers Coffee Morning
No meeting this month but start 2023 off with us on JANUARY 17th at 10:30am at Brampton Halt Pub, Pitsford Rd, Chapel Brampton, Northampton NN6 8BA. 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.
From the Chair
Where does time go?
Because “It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas everywhere you go”!  (And in this day and age it seems every programme you watch or listen to as well!).
Yes, we are into the month of December. That time of the year when our partners have completed the cards and wrapped all the presents while you are in a state of turmoil. What do you buy, and what was that hint you had last month?! I don’t know about you, but for me, that’s an annual event. They say it’s a man thing, apparently; so, roll on Christmas Eve
late night shopping.  Next dilemma: when should you start the Christmas decorations and is it to be a real tree or a made in China plastic imitation (some are almost realistic). If you’re trying to outdo the neighbour, then mid-November!! Then there are the lights. Why is it you put them away working, only to find (once they're up) they flicker and die! And there are never enough power sockets. Oh, what joy!! I think I’ll leave it till tomorrow.

Here’s hoping you’ve managed to obtain a turkey, and they haven’t been gobbled up
Happy Christmas everyone.

Just a quick heads up for 2023.
The Saturday morning zoom quiz will start on January 14 th at 11.00.
Also, the hobbies and art venture will be launched in the new year.
There is a move to follow up on the success of Sylvia's day trip with the seaside in mind, Indoor bowling is being planned. And NYPD will be as venturous as ever (but skydiving is out).
All will be revealed soon. Please, if you have an idea, or see an event in which we could participate, let us know.

Neglected all year, then just before Christmas it bursts into bloom 

Are you or do you know anyone who has an interest in British Railways in the days of steam? If so, I have quite a few quality magazines I’m about to send for recycling, something I’m finding hard to do! (they are free, and come in sets of 12. I’d like to think that someone else had enjoyed looking back before they go.
This week, the Committee and Management Team are having a meeting to discuss a few nights away for us all next year!! If you fancy spending time with your walking/exercise buddies in a more exotic location - possibly Bournemouth!!! Keep your eyes peeled for January's edition...
Get Arty, or get Crafty soon

We are in discussion about starting a regular art/crafts/hobbies group - perhaps once per month. We are looking at booking a local 'hub' where we can come together to share talents and interests - hopefully with cake and beverages. We haven't quite got details organised yet but keep an eye on upcoming newsletters. 
If you have any particular ideas about activities which would appeal to you, please let us know.... we want to support everyone affected by Parkinson's. 
Tales from a Trip
By Ron H

Valletta Harbour
Travelling abroad with Parkinson's sounds like it could be hard work, but it doesn’t have to be. Here’s an anecdote or four from personal experience. Its all about one thing: 1. Staring at Gift Horse Dentures A year after my diagnosis for Parkinson's, mobility was fast becoming the issue of the day. I was having trouble getting around, and I wasn’t dealing with it particularly well. So when my wife Sandy offered to take me to Malta to visit her family for a few days around my approaching birthday, certain questions needed answers - like why and how. I happen to share my birthday with Sandys brother and the plan was for a Gathering of the coven, err clan to celebrate this anomaly in the calendar.

My initial response was – in best Del Boy fashion - “No Way Pedro. ” I liked the idea, but needed to convince myself that it was physically doable. The clincher for me was the that the longer I procrastinated about it the less able I was going to be to actually do it. Doors were closing all the time that won’t reopen. (Conclusion No 1: Carpe Diem – You ain’t beaten yet!)

2. Charge of the Heavy Brigade The trip began on a chastening note, in that Sandy had booked Travel Assistance to get her knackered husband around the airports more easily. What this amounted to in real life was a little white haired bloke about my age in a hi-vis who sounded very London (there’s always one) and was backed up by two wannabe heavyweight boxers who moved what he told them to move.

At that point, it dawned on me that I was top of the list of things to be moved here….. Seconds later I was dumped into a wheelchair by the Klitschko brothers. I grumped at this flagrant insult to my masculinity and independence, just before they piled our cases and bags on top of me and the wheelchair – and set off planewards. I was not happy at this rapid turn of events, but Sandy pointed out that I could never have walked the distance we were covering in time to catch the flight, so I should shut the feck up and just go with it. I felt like a squashed parcel Amazon had lost.

Payback for the ignominy was swift, however. We flew through passport control and security in seconds. Straight down the outside of the queues, seeya suckers, waved through the gates, sorry can’t stop and parked up at the front of a plane load of passengers waiting to board. If looks could kill the authorities would never find the bodies.

Finally, we were deposited onto the plane by our own little truck which elevated, in a most unlikely manner, to the level of the plane door. No steps to climb for us today. Into the silver machine we went. (Conclusion 2: Book Travel Assistance if possible. Most airlines/airports seem to offer it and boy is it satisfying. Just don’t cross the Kitschkos.

3. The Gathering of Cousins Now the Maltese may have their faults, such as being enthusiastically homicidal behind the wheel of a vehicle and haggling for everything and anything, but boy do they know how to eat! The food is fantastic and the portions prodigious. We were visiting family and that meant we had to be fed at every opportunity. I coped with the hardship of this as best I could.

On the birthday itself we visited a real “locals” establishment which was run by cousins of ours. At least I thought they were cousins. Most of the population seemed to be related to the family in some way or other, so the odds are good.

View from the Restaurant

As if to prove the point parties of relatives I didn’t know began to descend upon us, leaving me with a cohort or two of unknown cousins around a very, very big table. I confiscated a bottle of the excellent local Vino Collapso and took up a defensive position somewhere on the fringe of this madding crowd, smiling and nodding when spoken to, thus appearing to understand what was being said to me.

Seemed to work. Various cousins kept refreshing my food and drink and I was doing my best to be polite and keep up. After a while I was convinced I had this language thing nailed until Sandy quietly pointed out they were speaking to me in English. It was good Vino Collapso. Get off me. Not my fault. (Conclusion 3: Go easy on the local wines, they don’t exactly help with mobility/balance issues and count your cousins before and after the meal, just to make sure another one hasn’t sneaked in for a free meal.)
4. Return from Splendour The trip back was smooth and largely uneventful. Don’t tell the Klitschkos but the Assistance was well-organized and somewhat more civilized than our previous experience. We were extracted from the aircraft and wheeled to customs –and through it – by a small uniformed German woman who took her job very seriously (insert stereotype joke here) and once we cleared the airline desk, insisted on wheeling me all the way out to the car park, where if all had gone to plan my son Ben would meet us.

However, having changed the plan and met us at the end of customs, he figured he was in charge from here and tried to liberate the wheelchair from German control. Despite a considerable physical advantage, he failed. Germany was not about to give up track position that easily and simply accelerated away from him. Having dropped me next to the car, she spun the wheelchair and wished us a nice day and all that, although I’m pretty sure she gave Ben a “loser” smirk on the way past. He didn’t wanna talk about it.

(Conclusion 4: Seems to me that sometimes people are more willing to help than we are to accept the fact that we need it. Take the outstretched hand, regardless of why it is there. It’s not easy, but then nothing about this condition is simple, is it?)
Art with Judith
Hello from Judith,

I have managed to get a small piece ready for you try this month. My time has been taken up recently, our village Art Exhibition.
I’m pleased to report that all went well with lots of interest, and we now have 5 new members, which will be great fun.
Here are some tips on how to start the drawing of the foxglove.
Firstly, draw in the dome of the bell shape and then the fluted edges. When that part is done at the small stem and the leaves. For the painted foxglove, I used cobalt blue and alizarin red in watercolours.
If you are using coloured pencils, choose a red and blue near to the colour I have used. Good luck, enjoy having a go.

I wish everyone a happy festive season and hopefully a better year in 2023
The Quiz
  1. Which blood group SHARES its name with a type of MONKEY?
  2. What's a MALE WALRUS called?
  3. The compilation album "25 years-THE CHAIN" features the music of which band?
  4. What sport would someone be playing if they were in these positions : Long Leg, Third Man or Leg Slip?
  5. What CONNECTS a SHORT LIVED "soap" series on BBC and the place the Spanish CONQUISTADORS searched for?
  6. What is a CURMUDGEON?
  7. Which English Sports Stadium is nicknamed "THE CABBAGE PATCH?
  8. What MATERIAL is the traditional gift for a THIRD wedding anniversary?
  9. SLOVENIA, SERBIA, MONTENEGRO and BOSNIA were all part of which COUNTRY in the 20th century?
  10.  "THE CONGA" music and dance originated where?
  11.  What mode of transport was used as a "DEN" for a "kids gang, on the TV programme " HERE COMES THE DOUBLE DECKERS"?
  12. In "DAD'S ARMY" who played the part of "MR.HODGES" the ARP WARDEN?
  13. In 1975 DAVID BOWIE had his first number ONE, WHAT WAS IT ?
  15. The "cockney " criminal, CHARLIE CROKER, was the leading character in which classic film?
  16. What COLOUR was the PUPPET "ORVILLE"?
  17. "JOSE CUERVO" is a leading brand of WHICH alcoholic spirit?
  18. DARJEELING TEA comes from where?
  19. Which darts player was known as the "CRAFTY COCKNEY"?
  20. How many FLUID OUNCES in 2 PINTS?
Poet's Corner
Smile: A Poem by Spike Milligan
Smiling is infectious,
you catch it like the flu,
When someone smiled at me today,
I started smiling too.

I passed around the corner
and someone saw my grin.
When he smiled I realized
I'd passed it on to him.

I thought about that smile,
then I realized its worth.
A single smile, just like mine
could travel round the earth.

So, if you feel a smile begin,
don't leave it undetected.
Let's start an epidemic quick,
and get the world infected!
And a little story sent in by Lynn
Who says men don't remember?

A couple were Christmas shopping. The shopping centre was packed, and as the wife walked through one of the malls, she was surprised when she looked around to find that her husband was nowhere to be seen. She was quite upset because they had a lot to do, and so she became so worried that she called him on her mobile phone to ask him where he was.
In a quiet voice, he said, "Do you remember the jewellers we went into about five years ago where you fell in love with that diamond necklace that we couldn't afford, and I told you that I would get it for you one day?"
The wife choked up and started to cry and said, "Yes, I do remember that shop."
He replied, "Well, I'm in the pub next door."
Some more Origins of Nursery Rhymes

Rock a bye baby, on the tree top,
When the wind blows, the cradle will rock.
When the bough breaks, the cradle will fall,
And down will come baby, cradle and all.

Rock a bye baby, gently you swing,
Over the cradle, Mother will sing,
Sweet is the lullaby over your nest
That tenderly sings my baby to rest.

From the high rooftops, down to the sea
No one's as dear as baby to me
Wee little hands, eyes shiny and bright
Now sound asleep until morning light

Rock a bye baby, on the tree top,
When the wind blows, the cradle will rock.
When the bough breaks, the cradle will fall,
And down will come baby, cradle and all.

This rhyme has taken the longest to find any reason for such actions to be taken, when first digesting the rhyme. But on researching it, I found the most plausible answer was the following: 
When the immigrants, such as the pilgrim fathers, arrived in what became New England. They found that when the natives of the area, when in the fields tending to their crops, put babies in cribs (also known as cradles) made from plaited straw (Maize). They then hung them in the lowest branches. They were wedged in and tied tight to the branch.  As the wind blew through the tree, it gently rocked the baby. This practice caught on with the pilgrims who adopted the idea, but as they built more houses for themselves, from the plentiful supply of timber, the practice died out.     
The rhyme remained and apparently is still sung to babies today, but I could find little else relating to this ditty. Even in the British Library, where I normally find the answer, they had little on this one. 
Ah, well that's the last of those, I will search for another subject, Happy Christmas to you all.

I know we are all acutely aware of global warming and the damage being done to our planet, but this year, in particular, I have noticed a really big difference in the garden. I am not just talking about the lack of rainfall, either. We gardeners are going to have to adapt to hotter dryer summers and wetter, windier winters. (Since writing this, the heavens have opened)
I have been amazed at how these changes in our climate are affecting the growth of plants and trees. For instance, in my front garden I have a Prunus tree (I’m not sure of the variety) which produces very tiny pale pink blossoms. Its annual cycle is as follows: March / April it sprouts lovely small green leaves. October/November the leaves turn the most beautiful orange colour and then drop. Christmas day every year for the last 20 years I have noticed just one or two tiny pale pink blossoms and then by end January the tree is a mass of flowers which the birds love to eat. I suspect it is the nectar. Then the flowers drop and the cycle starts all over again. Fast-forward to this October just gone and only about half of the orange leaves have dropped and the tree has decided to produce a mass of pale pink blossom which, in turn, is beginning to drop a little.
This mix up is generally all over the garden. Because it has been so mild, plants which usually lie dormant over the winter having a little rest have been fooled and are starting to sprout new shoots. I have had a word with them telling them to go back to sleep for a while but to no avail.  We all need to play our part in helping to combat global warming, even if it is only in a very small way. Simple things like a pile of logs in the corner of the garden. It doesn’t have to be conspicuous, as the logs can be under a shrub or hedge. It doesn’t even have to be logs, a pile of sticks like kindling will work just as well. Even a couple of hands full of decorative bark will work. I had an old half beer barrel which had started to collapse, so I took a hammer to it and broke it up. Then, of course, the dilemma of getting rid of the bits and that was when I thought of just putting the pile of
wood under a conifer hedge. Back in the summer whilst sitting outside I was watching beetles and all sorts of bugs running around the logs beavering away doing their bit.
Another way of helping is recycling empty compost bags at the garden centre. Three companies, Dobbies, Veolia and Miracle-Gro have set up a scheme which will turn
the compost bags into garden furniture, plastic film and new compost bags. So don’t bin your old compost bags, just take them to the garden centre where they have a collection bin near the checkout area.
Next advice is no dig! Try not to dig soil in borders or vegetable beds. Simply mulch. This enables the soil to replenish its own nutrients and retain carbon. There is currently more carbon in our planet’s soil than there is in its atmosphere. By using the ‘no dig’ method, we help to keep it there as it should be.
Also, why not plant a tree? Doesn’t have to be huge. The smallest garden or patio could have a potted tree. So beneficial for the atmosphere soaking up pollution, providing shelter and maybe food for the birds. There is a tree suitable for the smallest plot. The best size for a small space is Pixy/VVA-1. As the name indicates, this is dwarf rootstock and controls the tree size to between 2-3 metres. However, grown in a large patio pot will restrict the height even more. We do not have to make major, drastic alterations to our small gardens. If we all try a few little things then the whole becomes a big thing and helps so much of our flora and fauna and indeed humankind.

Finally, I have to let you know about my newest acquisition! I’m so excited as I now have a lime tree! I know I hear you saying ‘another one’! It will stay in the conservatory for this winter and then from next April the pot will be moved outside. Thereafter, it will be overwintered in the cold greenhouse to protect from the worst frosts.
Happy Christmas everyone!
Answers to the Quiz
  2. A BULL
  4. CRICKET  (they are fielding positions)  
  6. C (a bad-tempered person) 
  7. TWICKENHAM RUGBY GROUND (it was (formerly  a market garden)     
  10. CUBA  
  14. PEAS
  16. GREEN
  18. INDIA
Ba Humbug!

“If I could work my will,” said Scrooge, indignantly,
“every idiot who goes about with ‘Merry Christmas,’ on his lips,
should be boiled with his own pudding,
and buried with a stake of holly through his heart. He should!”

It's quite an amazing story, in its way, the 1st Christmas number one. A Christmas Carol was first published in 1843. The first edition sold out in five days. Over the next two years, the novella became a Christmas phenomenon. By the Christmas of 1844, the novella was being read all over the world (in editions both legally and, more often, illegally released — Dickens, it turns out, never got rich off this story).

Strange as it might seem to us nowadays, in mid-19th century London, Christmas wasn’t as widely celebrated as it is in the English-speaking world of today. Christian Europe was deeply divided over the holiday for two centuries following the Reformation, and in England, the more Calvinist and Puritanical sects disapproved of the way the holiday incorporated so many pagan rituals of old.

Charles Dickens, in the 1840s, was part of a group of Victorians who were strong Christmas partisans, and saw the holiday tradition, particularly as it was commonly celebrated in the English countryside, as an opportunity to spread good cheer and Christian ethics in the cities.

And after A Christmas Carol came an extraordinary streak of successful works: David Copperfield, Bleak House, Hard Times, A Tale of Two Cities, and Great Expectations.
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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

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