Blogging with Parkinson's

A personal perspective on Young Onset Parkinson's


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Parkinson’s Awareness Week – Thursday and Friday

Is it a (Young-Onset) Parkie trait to take too much on?

There’s a sense of not wanting to miss the opportunities that turn up now, because I won’t be able to take them on later. There’s a refusal to admit that I might not be as capable as I think I am.

But. I put frames on paintings. I made a “slip” for one (it’s a sort of intermediate frame that goes between the frame and the painting. Here it is, complete with frame and painting:

fisher&warriorframedblurryThat one is due to be handed in today for the “INSIGHT” exhibition in Newbury that goes with the Open Studios scheme; all of that kicks off in May.

I’m off to Reading after I’ve taken the kids to school, hand delivered a series of forms to the secondary school that my son will be starting in September and delivered my work for INSIGHT. In Reading, I shall be setting up my stand at the Art Fair. This will involve drilling holes in the stand panel and installing the paintings as well as carting a very full small(ish) car’s worth of stuff into the venue and arranging it all nicely.

Then back home for the afternoon school run before going back out to Reading for the Business Preview at 5:30 and the Private View after that.

Is it too much?

I’ll let you know.


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Parkinson’s Awarness Week: Wednesday

Yesterday (Tuesday) was our fourteenth wedding anniversary. We’ve had our ups and downs, particuarly in the last few years but we’re still together.We suceeded in securing the services of a babysitter at short notice and headed off to our favourite Italian restaurant. We walked; it’s in the village. We had a lovely meal.

And today, I took a bit of time off framing and blogging and went, with a friend, to visit the Stanley Spencers at Sandham Memorial Chapel. I’m talking about paintings, of course. They are about the First World War, during which Spencer was a private in the army. His paintings aren’t about the fighting. They are about all of the mundane tasks that occupy the majority of a soldier’s time, even in war.

It’s an odd little place. The painting scheme is elaborate and grand; it barely seems to fit in its room. The chapel itself is square and unassuming in its red brick clothes. The place has been National-Trustified a bit (albeit without a cafĂ©) since I last visited, but not too much.

After a sandwich in the pub next door, I parted with my friend and went to the studio to make a “slip” for an oil painting whose designated frame was just a little too big (and which requires a frame for Friday). This was a novelty for me, but it seems as if it might work quite well. I’ve mitred the corners and applied a first coat of black woodstain. I made the mistake of putting it on newspaper and the newspaper stuck to the woodstain, but I am sure I can fix that tomorrow.

It’s been a busy day. I’m quite shattered. I didn’t get much sleep last night… it was a case of Parkinson’s Awakeness, I think. I got up at one stage and came downstairs; that is when I drew the picture below:

drawinghands500


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Parkinson’s Awareness Week – Tuesday

A bit of a scare yesterday evening when my right hand came over all Parkie (up until now, the symptoms have been mainly on my left hand side – well, enough so that I can ignore hints of them becoming ambidextrous, although I have been suspicious of my right foot for a while). Then I realised that I hadn’t taken my tablets yesterday morning.

A hint of what’s to come.

Something else to try and ignore.

But… back to the here and now. Yesterday’s consignment duly arrived, and was, indeed, frames. Five of them. Today’s job is to fit them and apply mirror plates in preparation for exhibiting. After I’ve tidied some of the aftermath of the weekend’s flurry of DIY activity…


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Right Now

Oh, heck.

Clasp500

“Clasp”, Acrylic on canvas, 40 x 40 cm

I can’t deny it
Any more.
My right hand’s
Dexterity
Has gone though the floor.

The fingers only
Do what they’re told
With the reluctance
Of a sullen teen
And the wrist won’t fold

Perhaps I’m tired.
I’ll go to bed.
But it’s happened now.
What was once only sinister
Has dexter manifested.


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Up Your What?

Oh, dear.

I’m afraid that I am growing quite annoyed with those three harmless little words.

“Up Your Friendly.”

Putting “up” and “your” next to one another is a potentially dangerous move. Adding an adjective on the end very nearly turns the phrase into nonsense, irregardless of how rude you might expect the phrase to get. That adjective would certainly have a hypothetical old-fashioned teacher of grammar frothing at the mouth.

It is, of course, possible to decipher the intended meaning with little or no difficulty, but it jars. It’s just wrong.

Where did it come from?

Well, this is entirely conjecture, but I suspect that the folks at Parkinson’s UK made it up. It appears to be influenced by the gambling term “Up the ante”, which means to raise the stakes. I gather that it’s a poker term.

Considering that compulsive gambling can be a (very) damaging side effect of some Parkinson’s medication, I’m not sure how helpful that association is.

Sorry, Parkinson’s UK. I like the idea, but I think you could have phrased it better.

At least it gives me an excuse to link to a Suzanne Vega video. I gather that Suzanne’s mother has Parkinson’s, and that Suzanne has played a benefit concert or two.


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Parkinson’s Awareness Week 2015 – Monday

It’s the first day of the school term. My children are both still at primary school, so there’s the school run (well, walk) to get me out of the house in the morning – and an imminent delivery to get me back in it soon after. Fortunately, the delivery wasn’t attempted while I was out taking the kids to school, as it often seems to be! In fact, the delivery company texted me a little after I got home with a one hour delivery slot, which was very nice.

I still stayed at home all morning, though, because I have a mountain of laundry to get done and a pile of files to work on on the computer.

The delivery (due within the hour, now) is, I hope, frames. Picture frames.

I’ve got a BIG EVENT at the end of this week. I’m an artist, but I’m not very well established as such. I’ve decided that this is the year to push out the boat and take a few chances… and next weekend I am chancing my paintbrush at the Reading Contemporary Art Fair. It’s quite expensive to take a stand at an event like this, but I am hoping that it will be worth it.


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Parkinson’s Awareness Week – Good Morning!

Since starting Sinemet, I haven’t slept as well as I used to. Initially, this manifested as me waking in the night, unable to get back sleep again. More recently, I have been waking later – at the sort of early morning hour that it is just about reasonable to get up at. I usually get up. I’m usually tired. I probably ought to get the hang of going to bed earlier – but I have this dreadful feeling that this will result in waking at the sort of early morning hour that is more usually classified as the middle of the night…