Registered charity number 1188652
January 2023 Issue No. 45
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Welcome to newsletter No 45
Happy new year, we have passed the winter solstice and the nights are getting shorter, and as if by magic, the days are getting longer. Not quite time to break out the shorts and deckchairs, but we're on our way. This year we are bringing back the QUIZ! yes, one Saturday a month until you are safely ensconced in said deckchair, wearing said shorts, we will entertain and ejumacate your grey matter. See the details below.
All the usual activities are continuing, weekly walks, Fit&Fab, Carers coffee mornings, Our very popular monthly lunch club. Details are all in upcoming events below. We are also organizing more trips this year, so keep your eyes peeled for news on those later on.
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 Big Trip Survey 2023
Following the success of the Birmingham Botanical Gardens trip in 2022 and of course not forgetting those canal boat rides, it has sparked many to ask the question “what next?”
Well, there have been quite a number of ideas and (sensible) suggestions voiced and duly noted. As the list grew, some bright spark came up with the idea of a simple tick box survey in the form of a questionnaire that would give everyone the opportunity to show their preferences.
It must be stressed that, as with any survey, as many of you complete it as possible. It will be sent out by email, but the completed questionnaire returns are totally anonymous.
And when it arrives:-
  • No IT skill is needed (that’s a relief I hear you say!).
  • Just hit the circle for the event or events you would love to do (yes its multiple choice!).
  • If change your mind on any question, just click on the circle and “bingo” its cleared.
  • When you are done, just press on submit, and relax, you’re done.
And all that’s left for us to say is a big THANK YOU Knowing how involved you all are in participating in all things NPP there is going to be quite a lot to analyse, but as soon as this is complete, it will appear in a
forthcoming newsletter.

Do the survey here:  Start Survey
Zoom into Spring!
The Quiz is back!
So Christmas is over, a new year has begun,
resolutions broken and we have a bigger tum.
But don’t be glum.
Northants Parkinson’s People have come up with some
Ideas that may tickle that tum!
And one of these is a zoom quiz. Yum!

Yes folks, make a note in your new 2023 diary, we are Zooming back to Saturday morning quizzing. There will be general knowledge, some history, a music round, picture quiz, and not forgetting the question of sport.
The event will start once everybody has caught up with everyone's news! (well, until the mute button is pressed by the QM!).
The rules are simple; the question master's answer is always right, and therefore Google is declared totally unreliable!
(Any challenges should be made in writing and sent to someone who maybe vaguely interested).
The Time and Dates are: -
All will be held on a SATURDAY starting at 11.00
  • 14 th January
  • 4 th February
  • 4 th March
  • 8 th or 14 th April (*to be confirmed as its Easter week)
  • 6 th May
Email us or use the helpline or contact form to get your Zoom invitation
The Christmas Party

Another great event, everyone had plenty to eat and the Queen Eleanor staff looked after us.
Upcoming Events and Outings
At a glance - Dates for your diary - December
  • 3rd January, 1st Tuesday Lunch Club Queen Eleanor Pub 12:30
  • 14th January, zoom quiz 11:00am in the comfort of your own home.
  • 17th of January, 3rd Tuesday Carers coffee morning, the Halt pub, Brampton.
  • 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.   

Lunch Club
Our Lunch Club is on 3rd of January (1st Tuesday of the month), so please come along to the Queen Eleanor pub for 12:30 we have reserved tables, great atmosphere and good company.
Please contact Sylvia to say if you are attending

Partners/Carers Coffee Morning
JANUARY 17th at 10:30am (3rd Tuesday of the month) 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

(Very briefly, as I need to grab that last mince pie (oh no! Not another one!)) So, by the time you get to read this newsletter no 45 you’ll have opened the presents of socks, jumpers and smelly stuff. Finished off the turkey (or nut roast - good luck with that!), eaten more mince pies, demolished the dairy boxes, and now be frantically searching for the last milk of magnesia tablets!!

Then, for some, there is a very short break before New Year festivities. Then off we go again! In my case, that’s the entire-extended family (of around 38 at the last count) stopping for a couple of days. Don’t ask; apparently the chief fairy has it all under control!!! Thank goodness, Fit and Fab is staying open over the festive season. (I’ll be there to lose a few pounds).

Oh yes, and there are the walks in the park. An ideal escape from the washing up. Suppose you could say it's business as usual. Come all ye faithful, get your boots on, the place and time is the same as before. Above all, don’t worry, be happy it’ll all be all-right on the stroke of midnight, and then we can fulfil all those promises we have in store for 2023. Can’t we?

Keeping Your Mind Sharp

Anyone considering a New Year's resolution? Can you be bothered, is it worth the
effort, can’t think of anything?
To help you decide, I have ‘borrowed’ some ideas from the internet to Keep Your Mind
Sharp – might be worth trying a few as it is just as important to exercise the brain as it
is to exercise the body. The brain does change as we age, but there are a few tricks
we can all do to give the brain a bit of a work-out…
  1.  Do puzzles, sudoku, crosswords, word searches, jigsaw puzzles. All these improve memory, increase the IQ and improve spatial reasoning skills. If you have a ‘smartphone’ there are lots of free apps you can download and play.
  2. Try using your non-dominant hand to perform day to day tasks. This really wakes up the brain and makes it work harder.
  3. Try new foods. It is easy and convenient to eat the same things all the time but learning and cooking a new recipe is interested and engaging and gives the taste buds a treat too.
  4. Try changing your daily routine by doing something different – don’t just go on autopilot. I.e. Change the route to a destination, go visit a different town, join a new club, step out of your comfort zone now and again.
  5. Learn to knit. Not only will this improve your motor skills in the hands, but the process uses many parts of the brain.
  6. Read differently. If you usually read in your head, try reading out loud, this is especially beneficial to people with Parkinson’s as it exercises the vocal cords. Try a different genre of books, and you could also consider joining a book club and gain insight into others interpretations of a book.
  7. Take an exercise class. These will often exercise the brain and the body, especially practising short routines and dual attention tasks.
  8. Do sums with a pen and paper, or even in your head. You could practice this while shopping. The more often you practice then the better you will become.
  9.  Play card games. These require you to make decisions and improve short term and long-term memory.
  10. 10) Learn a new language. Perhaps you already know a second language that you could practice again. Scientist believe learning a new language at any age can help to improve your brain function.

There are more suggestions and in-depth explanations if you have a look at this link:
Poetry Corner
For all the hyperactive members, calm down a bit!..
A shed has got to be a form of retreat
Somewhere to definitely put up your feet
You can do Sudoku, tackle a crossword,
Or any type of puzzle that is preferred.
Ignore the rows and rows of all types of tools,
Listen to me, follow my rules.
Sit back, have a coffee, or brew a tea.
That's always been my philosophy

John Ellis
A Letter from rural France.
Browsing "Google" a few months ago, I came across an article on a research project results, regarding the possible positive effects of vitamin D3 supplements on Parkinsons. Interestingly, there appeared to be some discussion that a daily D3 tablet may have a positive effect.
 I mentioned it to my GP here (France) - his comment was that he felt everyone could benefit from a D3 supplement! I have been taking D3 1000iu tablet (Holland and Barratt) now since beginning of October and I have to say, it appears to have made a difference. I feel much more alert and have more energy.
Now it could be argued my D3 was normally quite low before I was diagnosed with PD, so - did the deficiency attribute to PD in the first place? I'm not a medic, all I can say is taking it now, it appears to have helped me.
Here is the link to the research report: "Benefits of D3 on Parkinsons"
NOTE:  you should check with your GP before taking any supplements to ensure they do not interact with any other medication.
I was diagnosed with early onset PD in November 2017.
Regards Lee

Editor's Note: for those of you who do not know, Lee lives in France but has family connections here, she has attended our lunch club on one of her visits to the UK, she also attends some of our Zoom meetings.
I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas Holiday.

Gardening Tips

So, you might think that at this time of year there is nothing much of interest in the garden or parks but when you go for a walk look up at the trees. Devoid of foliage, the branches and trunks are so beautiful in shape and form. Different colour tree trunks, Beech, Oak and silver Birch to name but a few. Take a few moments to stand and stare! Shrubs like Dogwood (Cornus alba Sibirica with its red stems and Cornus stolonifera Flaviramea with its golden, yellow stems come into their own in the winter when the shrub has shed all its leaves. A welcome splash of colour.
Don’t cut back the dead heads of Sedum as they give such interest to the border as do Rudbeckia dead heads. The seed heads of ornamental grasses look fantastic at this time of year. In particular when covered with a light layer of frost.

Couple of small tips:
Check sweet peas and if they have sprouted a second set of leaves, nip the top out. This will encourage side shoots and create a bushier plant.
Plant ornamental lily bulbs in pots and store in a cold greenhouse or shed. This will give them a little head start. Use a good quality peat free potting compost and place the bulb in the pot so that the growing tip is about 2 inches beneath the surface of the soil. Water and cover with a clear plastic bag or cling film.
Lastly now that the leaves have fallen from the apple and pear trees check on the shape of your tree. Remove all damaged or dead branches and also any which are growing across the tree rather than outward facing.

I would like to wish all our readers a very Happy New Year.
I'm not trying to usurp our gardening guru, but I'm trying my hand at Fungiculture. I bought two mushroom kits a couple of weeks, a Button mushroom and an Oyster Mushroom before Christmas, the plan was to start them afterwards. The Oyster mushrooms decided they couldn't wait and tried a breakout of their box. So instead of waiting out the cold snap I had to find them a place in the garage and then find a heat mat to keep them warm enough. 
The growth through the kit box had to be cut off to get the kit out, so both kits started off flat. So they are about 10 days in at the moment.

I will report on quantity and taste next month. Allegedly I can crop, and they grow again up to three times. We'll see!
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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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