Was it the drugs, or was it the parky’s?

So, the question is whether we ought to read carefully, or just the headlines.

Parkinson’s UK posted this article today on the supposed link between Parkinson’s and creativity. It was the third paragraph before these words appeared: ‘The researchers spilt [sic] the people with Parkinson’s into 2 groups and found that those who took more Parkinson’s medication were the most creative.’ Continue reading

Hands off?

Parkinson’s is a funny old thing. One of the difficulties of living with it, as with other chronic conditions, is summed up by that hoary old piece of advice: don’t let it define you. The irony is that the more you try to take it on, to resist that definition, the seemingly inevitable slide that follows on from that moment when, on diagnosis, you move from suffering to suffferer: that is, you become no longer a person with this wrong or that wrong with you, but a neatly pigeonholeable nameable condition. Continue reading

Cricket, charity, and stepping up to the plate

I’m not particularly comfortable with, or good at, asking people for money. Last year, when I switched to batting left-handed and asked for sponsorship, the smart money was on a very small runs tally. The smart money doesn’t always win. It began unravelling for my various sponsors during my first innings, in which I scored 40 not out. Though the next few languished in single figures, the die was cast, and this, coupled with an insane quantity of games played, meant that the amount pledged racked up. Naturally, an amount failed to be given in, but this was due to my refusing to accept money until the season’s runs were scored. Continue reading

In my shoes

in my shoes

Cricket is a passion, and these are my as-yet unworn ‘season of 2013’ shoes. In these I will be travelling the country, playing cricket in country houses to write The Country House Cricketer, the proceeds of which will go directly to funding research into Parkinson’s. Parkinson’s is already affecting my game, but that just forces me to think of new ways to get round it, to frustrate this most frustrating of conditions. It’ll win, yes … but I’ll give it a damn good run for its money.

Oh, it’s all about the voice

Like many of us, I simply cannot bear the sound of my own voice, so I have yet to listen to this interview which appeared on the Danny Pike Show this Monday – it starts at 1.09 in.
I do know that the aspects of voice are many, that it means many different things, but that each one of them is down to identity. Whether it’s authorial voice, the voicing of a chord, the collective voice of a populus, or the simple result of air being moved over vocal chords, the voice is something that is instantly recognisable. Why do we not like the sound of our own voice? Is it because we don’t want to be confronted with who we are?
Parkinson’s affects your voice. It gradually softens, slurs, diminishes.
As it does so, another aspect of what makes you you slowly fades.
Eventually, the words ‘I didn’t recognise you’ will be the one I hear most.
Sometimes, I don’t recognise myself. Perhaps that’s why.
I’m truly not convinced I can listen.

 

For more on early onset Parkinson’s, see my book Slender Threads, available both as an e-book and a real, paper book. 30% of royalties goes to fund research into Parkinson’s.

Slender Threads – the whys and wherefores

Five years ago, on January 30th, my life changed. It changed because a consultant uttered the words ‘you have Parkinson’s’.
In the months that followed, my marriage, my career, and my sense of self took an almighty battering. Continue reading

Slender Threads

People are good sometimes. It happened like this. I’m waiting in the sorting office for the man to admit he can’t find this item, even though he hunteth hi and lo, and aa chap comes in, picks up his parcel, rips off the packaging, and reveals a good-looking tome wrapped in cellophane. he smiles, I enquire as to its type, he explains it’s a picture book, I ask  what he does, he replies that he’s a graphic designer, and I, without so much as a second thought, ask him if he’ll do me a cover for my book, for free. He looks mildly surprised, asks what it’s about, then simply says yes.

We just had a couple of pints, and what a splendid chap.

Oh, and here’s the kindle cover:

Slender threads

and the book cover:

slender threads cover final

 

A meeting of minds

So, this evening I travelled up to Sussex Uni to see Tim Andrews, a 61 yr-old PWP, give a presentation on his ongoing project, Over the Hill. Now, I usually begin from a point of scepticism, and I’d read about this gentleman, in the Guardian I believe, and, to be frank, I had been deeply unimpressed. But, like Keynes, when presented with new facts (that is, Tim himself and the images), I changed my mind. Readers, I was wrong. Continue reading