Cider and shorts

After a good nights sleep and seeing my daughter leave for  school I drove to work. My engine giving a manly roar as I put my foot down instead of sounding like a cement mixer loaded with lumps of metal as it did before the garage fixed it yesterday. . At peace with the world not bothered by those seeing merge in turn as an instruction to overtake as many as possible  I arrived at work

The technology and computers mostly worked. I regaled my colleagues with the artificial friend Domino’s tried to throw at me when I ordered my pizza. Domino’s it takes more than bad jokes and  neediness to become my best friend in real life, so a bit much to expect of a computer app.  How do you know when a pizza is sleeping ? Pizzzzzza – Argggggggghhhhhh Can you hear me scream?


Day went well and off  home to be greeted by Tom’s starving cat routine.  A bravura performance which he thinks deserves an encore, but the summer is here and time to relax

It is an evening for cider and shorts. A bottle of cider to relax with while I ponder how many pairs of trousers I  am too fat for and that the rest are in the laundry basket. So yes perfect weather for shorts.


It is easy to relax today, after 3 out of 4 good nights sleep. Those  of you with Parkinson’s will know what that means. I don’t know why it happened, but I want more  4 out of 5. If I figure out any answers I will let you know.

Thanks for reading.


Bowling Mowing and STTPD


My quest for world domination has begun it started last Friday when my body surprised me and I bowled well. Bowling with about 26 of my colleagues in the first game I was amongst the best. After finding the right weight ball with the right size finger holes my tremor was no impediment and I bowled consistently. Like Graham Taylor I do not like orange. In the second game I had the best score amongst the 18 of us who continued. So any shaky hand megalomaniacs out there start with winning the bowling and you will get there.

Most of my time when my body surprises me it is in a negative way so this makes a nice change. Another good event is my new position as the Thinking Ladies Parkinson’s Sex Symbol. TLPSS. Actually  I can picture Heidi reading this thinking OMG .As I might have got that acronym a little muddled.  So try again STTPD  that seems better. I have become responsible for Start thinking  today PD a part of a closed Facebook group called Start living today PD. My  brief to encourage cognitive activity to slow/prevent cognitive decline. If you have PD join this group and save yourself from confused acronyms . Trust me I’m not a Dr.

There will be puzzles, quizzes challenges suggestion on how to keep using your cognitive abilities so if you have PD check it out. It is already a positive, supportive  and valued site used by many members and we have plenty of room for more.

I was going to put a joke logic problem here but oh hell why not. If it takes 10 minutes for Heidi to talk  the leg off a donkey how long does it take for 1000 donkeys if they are  all  within earshot?

I got my Sunday paper today and as I ignored him whilst reading Tom had the last laugh by lying on the final supplement Don’t upset the cats they get their revenge.


Forced to do something useful. Reports said a fat man mowed my lawn. So I set up the camera and got the evidence. I unmasked the culprit it is me so I will be using the exercise bike tonight before being put through the expense of larger clothes and a wide angled lens for the camera. As an advert almost said “Belly gonna get rid of you”



I think that is enough insanity for one blog so bye for now.

Take care


Photography-A hobby

Photography captures a moment and if you have an eye for the right moment it can be beautiful..

I love photography but have no special aptitude so I will feature , another’s work today. John Whipps 5 years ago a self confessed happy snapper just clicking away at family occasions. entered a photography competition I ran for people with Parkinson’s in Cornwall. He didn’t win but submitted some very good pictures and more importantly discovered a hobby and an eye for a picture. Since then John has had several pictures printed in the local press.

In a blog last year I suggested people tried to take pictures at a beach but pictures with a difference from the normal scenes and I will share with you the dozen he sent me.

Aerosol survivor (1)

Aerosol Surviver

Early morning moon

Early morning moon

Foam racers

Foam racers

Geese away

Geese away

Morning sadness

Morning Sadness

Old man of the sea

Old man of the sea

Sunbeams light the sky

Sunbeams light the sky

Sea Gods in discussion

Sea gods in discussion

Limpet shell remains

Limpet shell remains

Lobster pots survive

Lobster pots

Polystyrene fun

Polystyrene fun

Ready and waiting

Ready and waiting

I won’t bore you with my assessment of John’s photo’s as they speak for themselves. Two things however do come to mind.

It is never too late for a new hobby

If you look at things afresh you may see more than you expected.

Thanks John


To fitness and beyond

A Thursday evening  and after a day in the office I am a bit restless. Whilst performing the cat step dance in he kitchen as Tom tries to persuade me  to give him extra food by being annoying.  I decide to go out but feeling slightly guilty that Tom has been on his own all day I got out the cat entertainment system- Yes that’s right a large brown paper bag,



So I walked down the road feeling good in my healthy choice off activity but starting to ponder my options as I felt hunger. As I was having good healthy exercise taking a small diversion and getting fish and chips was fully justified.  I reinforced my healthy lifestyle by choosing to have only vinegar and no salt. I carried my dinner to the beach where I clambered gingerly over rocks to find  a spot to sit.(knowing my balance to be less than it once was). Sitting relaxed  eating my fish and chips


I listened to the discordant cries of seagulls and a group of boys yelling for attention. Their high pitched boasting that one of them had a knife becoming immediately tiresome .In my mind the thought that they were definitely short of a full set of cutlery remained unsaid as I walked down the beach taking photographs as I went.

for blog1


After half an hour I wandered home legs tired but I felt content.

Tis morning I played badminton and for the second week running I played  better than I have played in the 15 months since I started playing once a week on a Sunday. So what’s the difference? Since I reviewed my medication and we increased a dosage of one of them in March, my badminton has improved.

So putting these two things together I realise that although my fitness may have been on a downward trend it is not a fixed condition and can be improved. S I will just for the moment add a few minutes here and there and build it up. Before writing this I hit the punch ball 300 times.

So thanks for reading. I will leave you with a Buzz Lightweight quote” to fitness and beyond”.

Off Beat, Off Peake and Off the Radar

Off  Beat, Off Peake and Off the Radar

I want to discuss Self Publishing and also the Off Peake Poetry competition but first  a poem.

A thought


A moment


In words






By verse






By reading





As it flows

Verbal  dancing


Poetry is probably the hardest type of book to sell. It is not easy for a new poet to establish any interest at all. Many self published poetry books cost the poet to oublish them

Yet there is more to self publishing than that. It is hard to become published .Poetry journals are very strict about their content and tend to be conservative taking few chances. The form of the poem is important as well as its’ content. But in contrast the part-time poets tend to be humble decrying their own talents.

Self publishing poets can have one thing that the published poets  don’t usually have.  An intimate connection to their readership. Self published poetry often sells well within communities and social circles connected to the writer but has barriers to sales outside. I include in this poets who publish for causes such as charities as poetry for charity can sell well in its own community.

This ntimate connection between reader and poet or reader and cause can lead to poetry bought and read by those “who wouldn’t dream of buying poetry.” In some cases will lead to them writing themselves  or buying other poetry books.  The self published books can become treasured bytheir readers.

I wish to encourage those that I called part time poets to value their work. I want them to look and see what they have achieved and whether it is creating smiles or understanding those are both great achievements. I started the Off Peake poetry award to acknowledge the talents of Parkinson’s Poets and the choice of an selfpublished book Notes from a commode volume 1 by Michael H Lester was a deliberate choice.

Michael is a skilled poet but not highbrow or elitist. His book entertains,  and I believe can be enjoyed by a wide range of people.  He has worked hard to bring his work o the public and recently has had some recognition by acceptance of submissions to poetry journals. Michael is a humble man but a man who deserves reading.

Link to Off Peake Award

I myself have just self published a collection of poetry called Hope and Inspiration. These are things we can live without, but that is a dour existence. Hope and inspiration can be found from the moment of waking or under a knowing moon, from the miracle of new life to the gratitude for having shared in a life past. from a little bird to the universe and our place in it.

Most of all hope and inspiration comes from people, the ones often unnoticed who deliver so much and ask so little. I can’t change people’s lives but hope I can point the way. So if any of that appeals to you please follow the Amazon link.


Notes from a commode volume 1 can be found at

If entering the Off Peake Awards appeals to you please do I look forward to your entries.

Thank you for reading


Write of Passage

For a writer whether poetry , non- fiction or fiction it is an ambition to be read . Not just read but appreciated for the communication of information or feelings. Publication becomes the holy grail for some writers.

Just over a year ago I finished writing Silverlinings  the story of my first eight years with Parkinson’s. In October last year a colleague and I produced an illustrated children’s book Sweet Dream’s for Jago. I have been seeking publishers for both of them. Submitting for publishing is another writing skill. For this you need to be able to write a  marketing  plan varying it for each company. Although I have had some nice feedback I have had no publishing deal. I am still looking to get publishers for those books but I still felt it was time to explore self publishing.

I chose a German company with an English and a German website. I had used the English one for printing books and was happy with their quality and the upfront fee was minimal. After uploading files having sample books sent to me  I pressed ahead. Six or seven ago I self-published a collection of poetry called Hope and Inspiration. I waited for this to appear in the UK and US  listings on Amazon. It never happened the German company decided to close their English side of the operation but did not say upfront. Instead they put the book through their German processes and it appeared on the German Amazon but only the German one.

Elation became deflation but I was not defeated. I trawled other websites and decided to use Amazons own and yesterday it appeared on  the Amazon UK website at

and in the US at


I believe it can also be found in the French, German, Spanish, Italian and Japanese Amazon sites.

So please have a look and if it appeals then pleases buy it .

Off Peake Award

Poetry Competition for People with Parkinson’s

I am calling all Parkinson’s poets to invite you to submit a poem to my poetry competition. Usually Parkinson’s UK run the Mervyn Peake Awards Art Competition but they have paused it this year. So to help fill the gap I offer you the Off Peake Award.

The Off Peake Award is a poetry competition for anyone anywhere diagnosed with Parkinson’s who has written a poem they would like to submit. Full details of how to submit are given below.

After 30 June  2017 the submission deadline the winner will be chosen and will be sent a copy of Michael H Lester’s poetry book Notes from the Commode- volume 1 , an entertaining collection of good humoured poetry. It can be found on Amazon at the following link.

The entry fee is a minimum £2 donation to Parkinson’s UK to be made via my Justgiving site at:-

I would like to wish all entrants good luck. Please ensure you read the submissions guidelines below as any entries not following the rules for this competition may be disqualified.


Submission Guidelines –

The Off Peake Award is a poetry competition for people diagnosed with Parkinson’s

All submissions must be your original work and be unpublished.

Only one entry is allowed per person.

Poems can be submitted from anywhere in the world but  the poem must be in the English Language

Submissions may take any poetic form but competition organiser Jon Best has the right to the decide if any piece is not poetry and exclude it from the competition

Deadline for inclusion in the Off Peake Award is Friday, June  30, 2017(12midnight UK time)

The winner will receive the first prize as advertised

An entry fee of a donation of at least £2 should be made to Parkinson’s UK via the just giving site

The poem should be submitted by email to jonbest323@gmail.comfrom the email address provided with the donation to ensure submission and donation can be matched.

Please include your name, email address, city, state, and country in the body of the email when you submit the poem

Your subject line should read “Off Peake Award- [your full name]”

Submissions will be considered by the judges appointed by Jon

Winner will be announced by 30 September 2017

Subject to limited re-publication rights, all rights revert to the author on1 October 2018.

You must be at least 18 years old to submit