20-20 Vision

Today is 31/12/2019 the last day of the teens before the century reaches the twenties. It seems strangely appropriate as century need to grow and become more adult. It needs to forget the Brexit inverted teenage tantrums of “I don’t want it now,” and move on to a mature future. We need the world to grow up so we can be serious about addressing issues that have a more significant concern for the future such as climate change.

Eden day out

As I see in the new year, I would like to share my 2020 vision. Despite the first paragraph this 20 20 vision is not a political manifesto but my personal vision. 2019 has been a landmark year in my life. Highlights include a Buckingham Palace Garden Party, a holiday in Lanzarote, self-publication of a climate change poetry book (Park Climate Change) and self-publication of a poetry book to make people laugh and smile (Laughter the 2nd Best Medicine).

The year was also a tough year financially but alleviated by overtime. My employers focus on me as a person rather than just as a unit of productivity has boosted my confidence. I not only have a past and present but will also be haunted by the friendly ghost of future employment for a few years yet. The availability of overtime (which I could not have coped with 2 to 3 years ago) allows me options to manage and sort my own life. The respect and support of my colleagues is a very positive aspect to my life, and I thank you all.

I have just had a wonderful Xmas with the surprise arrival of my oldest daughter being the icing on our Xmas cake. To have all 3 daughters here on Xmas day provided a magical Xmas moment. Their love of each other lit up Xmas with its own energy. On Sunday I took them to the aptly named Eden project and we enjoyed a day to remember (I have included some photographs from that day in my blog.)

So on to 2020. I am starting the year wanting to be a bit more sloth. I recently changed my mattress and have been able to enjoy lying in for the first time in 2 or 3 years. Backpain had combined with stiffness from Parkinson’s to make getting up a battle every morning. I thought the backpain was being caused by my condition but changing the mattress has proved me wrong.

I know a lot of people with sleep issues most with Parkinson’s and but some not and I decided instead of making a charitable donation as I do every Xmas, I would buy 8 copies of The Little Book of Sleep by Dr Nerina Ramlakhan. It is I think one of the best of the sleep improvement books I have seen. I have noticed that people with sleep difficulties often see it as part of them. As soon as we include lack of sleep within our definition, we assume we cannot change it or improve it. This often not true and I hope that we can show that improving sleep is possible to help not only the people I have given the book to but others who might be inspired to try themselves. Sleep will be a regular topic on my blog in 2020 and if I can help anybody achieve a better quality of life

I will continue to blog at work and on social media to share my experiences of life and Parkinson’s for the benefit of others. I would just like to insert a plug here for social media. I have connections with friends around the world, not just People with Parkinson’s but others including poets. Online access has allowed me to cross boundaries and have my words read by people I would never previously have expected to impact. If you have Parkinson’s and want to check out social media I would suggest “Start living today P D” a very positive closed Facebook group. It is a group that has a warm welcoming ethos and provides an encouraging platform for sharing of support and experience.

I intend to keep writing this year although I am currently looking for my next literary project. In recent years I have concentrated on poetry but maybe this is the year for short stories. As I look back to my blog at the end of last year, I can see a certain restlessness. Last year I was determined I wanted to achieve goals and keep moving my life forward. I still want that, but I perhaps feel more content to see where the year takes me.

I may have 20 20 vision, but I don’t have a crystal ball. I do have life and hope and that’s enough.

My best wishes to everyone for 2020.

2019Headbangers Christmas

Headbangers Xmas

Life recently has been a bit of a slog. Car problems disrupted transport and waiting for a plumber conspired with that to limit my time at work. Add in a pinch of night-time coughing and I needed no other cooks to spoil the broth of life. It was distinctly lacking in flavour. Xmas was on its way but I wasn’t too bothered.

With a knock on the door on 22/12/2019 everything changed. Rhi my oldest daughter had made a surprise visit, having flown over from Tenerife where she now lives. On Xmas Eve I had all three daughters here. The power of three seemed to increase the energy level and Xmas magic was restored. They decorated the tree and Xmas started to manifest as we placed the presents under it. However well a tree is decorated it always looks better with presents stacked below.

xmas2019

I watched with a smile as they played board games. Including Heads-up where they proved two heads hurt more than one. When miming the word, wrestling they came together at speed and their faces tried to inhabit the same space. The headbanging had begun. It was a hilarious evening with no TV required.

IMG_20191225_122020

Xmas day came and presents were unwrapped. I had a great collection of presents and my Mum and my children were equally pleased. A game of Metallica Monopoly ensued but minus one daughter who felt that losing at monopoly somehow reflected capitalism and losing financially in real life. Five hours later with a break for roast lamb for a delicious Xmas dinner, I was victorious. It was time to deliver the girls to their Mum.

Christmas 2019 was one to remember.

Merry Xmas

Take

Jon

Lie in.

Parkinson’s affects us in different ways and sometimes interferes with things that most people take for granted. I miss having a lie in. I work 5 days a week,(sometimes 6 days a week if I do overtime) and at times I feel drained. Previously I might have decided to have a lie in, but that is no longer an easy option. Parkinson’s stops me from sleeping well and I usually wake up with stiffness. As soon as I awake I need the bathroom so I have to get up. Sometimes my movements on the way to the bathroom are painful and needs intense concentration to ensure I get there with no accidents. It takes upto 45 minutes for my medication to kick in so that does not provide an answer even if it is right next to the bed. I am just not comfortable enough for a lie in.

If anyone has any suggestions they would be welcome. There is one thing I have decided to try. I am not sure that Parkinson’s is totally responsible for my morning muscle stiffness. I have just ordered a new mattress and if this eases the discomfort in my back it could make enough of a difference to allow me more rest. I will keep you posted on what happens when it arrives.

 

Morning’s bliss

Blanketed

Warm welfare

Cosy, snug

Sanctuary

Luxury of

A lie in

World Kindness Day

This the blog I wrote last year but it still says what I want to say, so I am repeating it. On 13 November it is World Kindness Day, but why do we need it? Surely we are defined by kindness as we are after all mankind.

We all have the same basic needs but live in a complex world of diversity. Politics, religion, gender, sexuality can all leave us feeling dis-connected from others. Our increasing use of technology for social interaction can result in forgetting the technology is just an interface with a person on the other end. Sometimes social networking can become unsocial and not working.

Kindness is universally understood. You don’t need me to say a kind person should have helpful hands, listening ears, warm heart etc. I don’t need to become Dr Frankenstein and make you a kind person from worthy body parts.

Acts of kindness can cross any barriers or divides. They can be small like opening a door or much bigger. They can sometimes be the spark that ignites further kindness.

World Kindness Day is for celebrating acts of kindness. Kindness can make connections, improve someone’s wellbeing and is good for the soul. Sounds worth celebrating to me.

Acts of Kindness

As we ascend to automation

We descend from our humanity

Worship the effigy of progress

Forget to make a fist of mercy

Systems, programs, aps, data, passwords

Cluttered components of career

Rostered  a regimen to life’s end

Technology takes untimely toll

Yet the comfort of compassion

Vested in the realms of chivalry

A knight’s humane benevolence

Has relevance in today’s dark night

So with a good deed that’s good indeed

Act now with the script of a warm heart

Have a care with gentleness support

Another’s concern with calm rapport

Grant the smile of understanding

With the patience of listening

Reach out with hands of generosity

And consideration of the kind

 

 

Thank you for reading

Take care

Putting the F word into Parkinson’s

 

This was the title of Parkinson’s UK Joint Education Day. Not a reference to the possible use of cannabis for people with Parkinson’s but recognition of an event brought into being by two branches of Parkinson’s UK. The Mid Cornwall and the West Cornwall and Isles of Scilly branches brought us a day that focussed on Friendship, Fellowship and Fun.

The conference moved through the introductions to the first session. Standup comedy by Maggy Whitehouse a comedienne. This was a good idea and a response to feedback from previous events that it could be a bit heavy. Unfortunately, it didn’t quite come off. The vicar wasn’t vicarious enough for us.(we didn’t live her experiences ). She didn’t manage to connect with us.and we responded passive and polite.

She was followed by Dr Christine Schofield and Julie with a request for participants in a research trial connected to the smell of Parkinson’.s. I was next with a 5 minute slot to promote two of my books Park Climate Change and Laughter the 2nd Best Medicine.

The next session involved a choice from an impressive selection of five workshops. These were singing, benefits, hypnotherapy, pilates and food tasting. Lunch was followed by a set of six workshops. These were boxing, Cornwall Carers, mental images to motivate, gt creative, active plus, and container planting. The number and variety of the sessions was highly impressive and I personally found the boxing session extremely useful.

The final session, an open session with a cream tea allowed for networking and mingling.

This was the latest in a line of well organised Education Day whose success has been built on a foundation of hard work and dedication of two local Parkinson’s UK branches. I would also like to mention the caterers who I felt were very attentive to participants needs.

Thank you to everyone involved.

Jon Best

Amazon links to the two books I promoted are

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1093153172

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/169127478X

Tea and a Chat

 

In the UK drinking tea is an institution but perhaps .an important factor is the company who you drink with. This week is Mental Health Awareness Week and one way of helping someone who is struggling, is having the time to chat and listen. What better way to do it than over a tea or coffee?

I have a couple of friends who I meet every now and again in my lunchbreak from work just to chat and catch-up. This means a lot to me. Knowing that there are friends interested in my life that I can talk to when I need helps to give me the confidence to face issues.

 

Tea and Empathy

 

The waitress brings your coffee and my tea

As I stir the pot the rich aroma of the coffee

Wafts upwards and its warmth reaches out to me

 

I breathe it in. and inhale your smile anew

I stir and squeeze to encourage the brew

We chat and catch up and you listen too

 

I sip and swallow as conversation follows

Truth exchanged and some chat shallow

Wit found, laughter given, nothing borrowed

 

A mug of coffee and a china cup of tea

A perfect balance without any symmetry

Strengthen wellbeing resilient destiny

 

You can’t fix other peoples mental help issues, but you can listen and give them the space to talk if they wish. You can offer friendship and support, letting them know you are on their side.

Time for tea why not make that tea for two.

 

I have included two further poems that both come from my first poetry book Hope and Inspiration.

 

Only the moon

It was a crisp cold winters night

The clouds had departed for slumber

To allow the last vestiges of solar heat

To depart leaving a chill in my bones

 

Only the moon remained as awake as I

Revelling in its opportunity to shine

leaving eerie shadows around me

Befitting my sombre mood

 

As I look around in the gloom

Colour and beauty subdued

Night has stolen the glory

Night has taken away the joy

 

My gaze is drawn to a solitary streetlight

Its artificial halo marks its territory

The beauty bathed in the surrounding glow

Is merely dormant camouflaged by darkness

 

Just as my soul as black as night

Still contains the goodness I felt in the daytime

The loneliness of the night will pass

The sun will warm my body and soul

 

Only the moon still as awake as I

As it looks down with understanding

Only the moon more awake than I

Will watch over as I finally sleep

 

 

Butterfly of hope

 

Spring is when life is reborn

Time to let go the things we mourn

Hope is like a butterfly

Beautiful but vulnerable flutters by

 

Butterfly blown off course by wind

Tries again and wont rescind

Life survives and life renews

Life continues and life ensues

 

That butterfly will lay its eggs

Hope will grow with caterpillar legs

Hope when ready will transform and fly

Hope continues another butterfly

 

All seems quiet all seems dark

But hope will overcome when life is stark

Hope seems lost but can be found

Your life can turn around.

 

Do not let your fears blind

See the beauty keep in mind

There is always a butterfly of hope for you

Give you strength and see you through

 

Hope and Inspiration can be found on Amazon at

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1521124973

What is Pride? – The Poems

The rain bowed with pride

As the poets built bridges

With a rhyme and reason

In a dome of Eden

.

Straight but could be less narrow

Home truths I may have to swallow

Would I bi or leave on the shelf

Learn about others or of myself

.

Testicles can be two by two

Ovaries can pair to be true

Understanding is a condition

Of starting a new tradition

.

Conform an expectation

Normal’s false foundation

Majority is just number

Condemns progress to slumber

.

Compromise not the key

Can’t dilute sexuality

Parody of your own feelings

It’s your soul they are stealing

.

Bradley or Rachel Stevens

Question of S club seven

Answer is individual

No one answer suits us all

.

Chris followed by MC Spoken

Cornish Chick is not a token

Rap and poems thoughts awoken

Not afraid to be outspoken

.

Kats got a tongue

Sharpened on wetstone

Cuts to the bone

But I like its tone

.

Observation comes alive

Words woven, stories arrive

Insightful gender agenda

Simple truth wisdom renders

.

Robert Garnham’s brand of whimsy

LGBT poems amuse e

Can relate easily

As he protest breakfast tea

.

What about the all day breakfast?

Contradiction but I digress

Compelled by poems lacking title

Un-named exuberance vital.

.

Badger in his garden the word

Eastender badger sure I heard

I entitle “Sett in Albert Square”

Humour and humanity help me care

.

There is a mole in this garden dome

Undercover and not known

There is a mole in this garden dome

Undercover and not known

.

A straight man didn’t mean to hide

In plain sight I can see their pride

Courage of lions in their eyes

Kiss in public can be denied

.

.I have listened to their honesty

Surprised by lifes difficulties

Spellbound by intimate stories

Impressed by the integrity

.

 

Courage of a kiss

The courage of a kiss
That you can’t dismiss

Moment of tenderness
When lover’s lips caress
Sharing their smiles
Touching a while

Fingers, mingle, entwine
Hands together a sign
Held with warm affection
Intimate connection

Sanity unravels
You bang angers gavel
You haven’t got the right
To inflict with your might

Brief flicker of beauty
A truth that you can’t see
Nature of a PDA
Natural to display

A moment of shared bliss
Their courage in a kiss