Join me at Llantrisant Folk Club



I am performing Sorting the Sock Drawer at Llantrisant Folk Club on 12th June 2019.  Organiser of the club Pat Smith came to a show and thought her club members would enjoy it.  She was also keen to support the cause and generously offered to make the evening a fundraiser.

I am working with storytelling charity Beyond the Border on a Lottery funded project for those with neurodegenerative conditions like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, MS and others.  So the entrance fees on 12th of £5 will go towards that project.  Its called Slow Motion Selfies and is based on helping others to be creative in finding a new version of themselves.

The evening starts at 8.30 and my show will be at 9.15, sandwiched between song, music and spoken word acts from club members, it will be a fun evening at Pontyclun Athletic Club, CF72 9EH.

If you’ve never been to the club contact Pat via e-mail to let her know to expect you.

Click here for more about the show.

Full House and lovely vibe!



In some ways it’s easier to play to an audience of strangers, people that you will never see again, then if it all goes wrong you needn’t be embarrassed for ever.  However, when it goes reasonably well, it’s lovely to see people about the village who come up and say “Well done!”  .Thank you everyone.

One of the written comments was:-

“I saw, heard, laughed at and was much moved by, Sorting the Sock Drawer last night in Wenvoe.  I learned a huge amount about Parkinsons and much more about a positive and active response to the symptoms and effects. I found the performance courageous and loved the humour. I so liked the weaving of the personal story with the mythical quest.”DSC_0009

If I had to describe my aim in delivering this show, the sentence in pink captures it perfectly.  I am so pleased its done its job for at least one of the audience and hopefully more.  The focus now is to get it to more audiences.

NB The evening in Wenvoe raised £220 for the Cure Parkinson’s Trust.  Thank you to all who donated.

As Summer turns to Fall

The spring and early summer of this year was busy with the Beyond the Border Storytelling Festival.  Now at the end of August, leaves are already beginning to brown as the summer hot spell leads to an early fall, and I am turning, like the year, to other things.

On 27th September I will be doing a performance of Sorting the Sock Drawer in my local village.  I hope its the first of a 2018-19 tour.

Every performance so far, in UK and USA has been greeted by questions and comments, that have made me reflect and learn.  Every time I get together with a group of fellow “Parkies” we find something to laugh about.  Both things are built into the show.  The aim is to entertain and “gently” educate. It won’t do that if I don’t get out there and do the show so I am planning to take it to different parts of the UK.  If you can help me find an audience please get in touch.


The 2017 tour begins

Friday evening sees the 2017 tour of Sorting the Sock Drawer begin.  Hosted by Swansea Storytelling Club the evening begins at 7.30.  Over the lifetime of the show as I have changed so has the show. Its a new one every time so fingers crossed!

2017 is shaping up to be an exciting year.  I have been awarded a Winston Churchill Travel Fellowship to visit USA (July-August) and Argentina (Oct-Nov). I’ll be using Sorting the Sock Drawer as a stimulus for discussion so I will perform it in New York and Denver!


We’re on the road

Nearly a year after its first public performance Sorting the Sock Drawer is going “on the road”.  In 1817 James Parkinson wrote his famous “Essay on the Shaking Palsy” and gave the pesky condition his name.  The 200th anniversary seemed an auspicious opportunity to raise awareness and increase understanding of what its like to live with the bewildering array of symptoms.  50 years ago the introduction of Levodopa based medication brought a breakthrough in treatment but as current treatments are still largely based on levodopa we are overdue for some new methods.

Researchers are working hard but need the support of governments, the pharmaceutical industry, people with PD and the general public.  Sorting the Sock Drawer is way of building that support.

I’m looking forward to taking the show “On the road”.   A list of performances can be seen here.  If you want to put on a performance please contact me.


Grin till your face hurts!

Since getting involved with the Parkinson’s community I’ve met such a lot of nice, funny, creative, inspiring people,  most of whom I would probably never encountered had I not developed the condition.

Currently I am working with a lovely group from the Bristol area.  I could pick out something exceptional about each of them but for today I’ll just mention Louise and her talented artistic daughter Lucie who together have created a brilliant “comic” – Lousie’s A to Z of Parkinson’s. Witty and clever it will make you grin till your face hurts – a good exercise for people with Parkinson’s, and guaranteed to help avoid wrinkles for those who don’t!

Louise also has a thoughtful and thought provoking blog . Have a look!



Don’t get boxed in!

I recently heard a useful new way of thinking about the limits life creates.

Health, wealth, culture, environment all put limits on life, like a box around you.  If you accept those limits and place yourself firmly in the middle of the box, the sides begin to close in and you can do less and less.  If you try to break out of the box and work well beyond your limits, you damage your health, get into debt etc etc.  But if you patrol the edges pushing gently at the boundaries you may just extend those limitations.

Make the most of life, keep pushing gently but firmly and may your boxes be elastic rather than hard plastic!

Watershed Moments

A first performance of a new piece is like a watershed.  After all the work that goes into creating the work and preparing for the big day there is a danger that the water runs down the wrong side of the mountain, into a river and off to the sea touching others only briefly along its way.  What I’m hoping is that instead ( or maybe as well) Sorting the Sock Drawer helps to feed a lake, a pool of ideas that people can come and use in their own way.  Some may come and sit and enjoy the lake, others will set themselves the task of walking all the way round, others will climb to a higher point so that they can look from a different angle, or others might just buy a postcard.

My job now is to tell people that the lake is there to make it easier to find and visit in whatever way suits.  It helps if others who have visited tell their contacts and a few people have already done that – Thank you, it helps me to keep on track with the task.  Selling is not my strong suit but its part of the job description.

If you can send that postcard for me!  🙂

Join me in the slow queue

One of the suggestions I  made in Sorting the Sock Drawer was the introduction of a SLOW checkout at supermarkets.  A place where the likes of me can take  my time about packing my purchases.  Or a parent with children who desperately want to help with the shopping can encourage them.  Or people who just like to have a chat with the till operator can do so knowing that no-one behind them is going to be looking at their watch or tutting about wasting time.

The SLOW checkout will be a haven of friendliness with people in the queue chatting to each other while they wait, sat on the comfy chairs provided by the customer friendly supermarket.  Sharing recipes, jokes, advice, bargains; etc; it could prove more popular than the Express till!

I’m going home to sort my sock drawer:-)

What better comment could I hope for.

A beautiful insight into a very challenging condition.  Very sensitively done and very transferable points for managing other illnesses.  I’m going home to sort my sock drawer :-).  Thankyou.

One of the many positive responses, written and verbal, to my performance last Thursday.

So now I know it works, it’s onward and upward to find other audiences.

I’m looking for audiences of:-

  • health professionals and associated staff
  • people with life changing conditions and those who care about them

and to raise awareness and increase understanding of some of the more invisible symptoms of Parkinsons.

If you are interested in knowing more contact me.


If you would like to share, on this blog, your own thoughts on the challenge of dealing with a life changing condition  I’d be pleased to hear from you. Contact me